Alaminos City, soon Paraw Capital of the World

ALAMINOS CITY— If you think this city is content being referred to as the home of the world famous Hundred Islands, well, think again because it also aims to become the “Paraw Capital of the World.”

This objective was announced after it staged the first Paraw Festival at the Lucap Wharf here evening of March 28.

The colorful parade of 125 paraw paddled by local fisherfolks awed the crowd to witness the official start of the Paraw Festival, made possible by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Pioneer Adhesives Foundation Inc. who donated the units.

Two boys watch three entries in the best paraw contest sail by during the 1st Paraw Festival in Alaminos City.  (Punchphoto by Cesar Ramirez)

“After we launch them tonight, our journey begins and this journey is captured in a single photograph. A photograph that portrays Lucap Bay ladled with mariposas and fireflies,”  City Tourism Officer Miguel Sison said.

He said paraw-sailing, duplicated from the past, will be the ultimate water sports activity here “and we aim to embellish Lucap Bay with them”.

“There will be paraws to visit the mangrove farm, for island hopping at the Hundred Islands, for paraw-sail along the shallow and serene portion of the Bay,” Sison added.

Sison stressed, “We will not stop until Lucap Bay and the Hundred Islands will be declared “Paraw Capital of the World”.

During the launching, participating paraws queued and presented to the public at the Lucap Wharf, each paraw lighted with lampa or lampara, a lamp by which paraw and fishermen in the old days used, that cannot be put off even on a windy or stormy weather.

Mayor Arthur Celeste, who conceptualized the Paraw Festival, said he recalled images of the paraws of yesteryears, in Lucap Bay, “and by bringing  a glimpse of it, he believes this part of our history will bring Alaminos City and the Hundred Islands into greater heights as far as global tourism is concerned, and that someday, Lucap Bay at Alaminos City shall be the “Paraw Capital of the World””.

Celeste said he conceptualized the idea of having the Paraw Festival after he noticed one day during his leisure walk along Lucap Wharf about the presence of 10 paraws in the area between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. sailing and became curious about them.

“I encourage the people that once they ride on paraw, they would not only get excited but also help 50 families who are beneficiaries of this livelihood project,” Celeste said.

A day after the launching, a paraw race was held at the Lucap Bay.

Celeste also said each of the major and developed islands along the Hundred Islands will have paraw  available for use of tourists. (Tita Roces)