Iloilo City in the Philippines attracts boat-lovers who cannot imagine their life without sailing. The Paraw Regatta Festival is an event which may impress both professionals and beginners. Every February, hundreds of people take part in this sailboat race in the Iloilo Strait, mostly on paraws.
A Paraw is a double outrigger sailboat that originated from the central part of the Philippines. The sail of a paraw is called layag—it can be made of cloth, woven mats, or canvas. As a result, each boat looks unique and colorful. In addition to the variety of sails, paraws may have different waterline lengths, and can be painted or unpainted.
At first, the Iloilo Paraw Regatta was a half-day sailboat race but nowadays it is a large-scale festival which has numerous events. The main events are naturally paraw races that take place between Iloilo City and the nearby Guimaras Island. 30 kilometers long race course starts from the coast of Panay, stretches down the coast of Guimaras, and finishes at Villa Beach. Along with the sailing competitions, Paraw Regatta Festival offers such events as paraw-inspired furniture making, miniature paraw making, paraw photo contests, exhibitions, and others.