Sunday, April 22, 2012

Unlimited Kite Flights under Open Skies for Borador sa Katagman in Oton

Long comfortable days and mountain air so clear, summer in Iloilo will be an unforgettable experience, where activities abound, and every day is filled with fun. If hiking, biking or exploring tire you out, take your family and friends for a kite-flying adventure, a huge fun for both big and little folk.

Kites form part of many different cultures around the world. It was said that kites originated in China approximately 3000 years ago. In those times, kites were made of silk fabrics and bamboo for its lightweight frame. Kites were popular instruments used to measure distances; test the direction of the wind; for signaling and communication purposes.

In Solomon Islands, kites are also used as a fishing aid. Koreans used kites to announce the birth of a child. In Japan, windsocks, made in the shape of a fish (carp), symbolizes strength and strong will, overcoming great obstacles to achieve their goal. Like the Chinese, the Japanese have a special day for flying kites or windsocks every 5th of May in an event popularly known as "Children's Day."

There are many kite festivals organized around the world that features kites of different shapes and sizes. Kite-flying still has some popularity especially among children. In addition adults are also often seen flying kites.

In the Philippines, mostly in the rural areas, kite flying is also a craze during the summer. Filipinos fly their kites from open grounds. While some, fly kites from the roofs of their houses. Kite-flying is a common hobby of many Filipinos throughout the country. Kites may be flown for recreation or other practical uses. Sport kites can be flown in aerial ballet, sometimes as part of a competition.

It is a form of outdoor sport that many took into the status of art. From the designs and sizes of kites to the making of unbreakable wire, for many this became a matter of honor to compete in who is who among the best kite fighters in their neighborhood. By late morning or at early afternoon, the sky becomes peppered with kites of different colors and sizes. Just like the Borador sa Katagman in Oton, Iloilo celebrated this year on April 30 at 7:30 a.m. in Barangay Trapiche.

In Hiligaynon, kite is called borador. Borador sa Katagman is an annual event that is traditionally a part of the festivities at the Katagman Festival of Oton, Iloilo held this year from April 28 till the 3rd of May. Kite enthusiasts show off their stunt skills and compete for awards in many categories. The Borador sa Katagman is one of the most popular annual events in Oton.

Borador sa Katagman features a large assortment of single line kites that are unusual in their shape and design. Many stand out from the crowd with kites attracting lots of attention, making the sky come alive. The skies of Oton is loaded with color and motion, from classic boxes to spinning, tumbling sky sculptures shaped like airplanes or ships, flowers or insects.

The local government of Oton holds Borador sa Katagman kite flying competition partly to boost the town’s tourism industry. Many people visit Oton to witness the kite flying competitions. Some 200 kites annually participate. The municipal government is promoting this traditional game not only to showcase some of the most beautiful kites across Iloilo but also for the youths to prevent them from engaging in unhealthy activities.

Come spend the day with your family and friends and witness Borador sa Katagman in Barangay Trapiche in Oton. Soak in the relaxing atmosphere under the sun, and share a lovely conversation in between snack bites on the picnic mat. Do not forget to bring a kite along and fly it high up into the sky together.

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