about paraw regatta

The Iloilo Paraw Regatta Festival is the oldest sailing event in Asia. Awarded as the Best Sports Tourism Event of 2009 by the Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, it highlights the colorful native Paraw and the ingenuity of the local seafarer. The Philippines is known as a seafaring nation. In Iloilo particularly, thousands of seafarers reside thus dubbed as the Seafaring Capital of the Philippines. The festival covers the whole 3rd week of February. The last day of the festival which is a Sunday, is reserved for the much-loved tradition of watching colorful Paraws race along the waters of Villa Beach. February is the chosen month for the festival, purported to be the best time of the year with the most appropriate winds to power the Paraws. The rest of the week is spent for side events held in malls and other venues in the city; beach sports and other water activities in Villa Beach and the Iloilo River Esplanade.

Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta

One of the major events of the festival, Miss Iloilo Paraw Regatta imbeds the deep cultural heritage of Iloilo City in its mission to showcase pulchritude, purpose and advocacy by opening the pageant to candidates from all over Western Visayas who embody class, character and inspiration.

Pinta de Layag Competition

A competition showcase of island hopping vessels with sails gaily painted with colorful murals.

Pinta Tawo Competition

Pinta Tawo competition featuring the artistic talents of Ilonggo artists through a body painting competition.

Paraw Race

Participating paraws are categorized based on the waterline length of the boat and further classified according to their sails as “unpainted” or “painted”. The sails are painted with colorful designs.

Miniature Paraw Making

This festival pocket event at SM CITY Iloilo exhibits the many ingenious designs of the native Paraw, reimagined using recycled materials.

Lighted Paraw

One of the highlight events on the last day of the festival, this feature showcases pump boats gaily decked out in colorful lights.

Paraw Photo Exhibit

Explore the history and future of Paraw Regatta through our photo exhibitions and contest as amateur and professional photographers present their photographic interpretation of the Paraw Regatta Event, representing a range of styles and genres and demonstrating a distinctive vision, creativity and versatility.


An old favorite reinvented. A group dance competition featuring samba dancers of 30 to 35 per tribe. Dance presentation is in the genre of samba with official dance music provided by the Iloilo Paraw Regatta Foundation, Inc.

Mini Paraw Race

As the name suggests, it is a race of unmanned, mini-paraws along the shores of Rizal, Buenavista, Guimaras.

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