ALAMINOS CITY—Paraw of different colors and sizes paraded and raced in a competition at the coastal waters of the Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) here Thursday to cap the almost two-week long city’s foundation anniversary celebration dubbed as Paraw Festival.
Miguel Sison, city tourism officer, said 52 participants classified into two categories, the small and big paraws, joined the activity.
He said 50 paraws were given by the local government unit led by Mayor Arthur Celeste in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Pioneer Adhesives Foundation to those in paraw fishing.
Sison added that when the 1st Paraw Festival was launched, Celeste thought about the paraws of yesteryears in Lucap Bay “and by showing a glimpse of it, he believes this part of our history will bring Alaminos City and the Hundred Islands to greater heights in global tourism, and that someday, Lucap Bay at Alaminos City shall be the “Paraw Capital of the World””.
In an earlier interview, Celeste said he conceptualized the Paraw Festival after he noticed the presence of 10 paraws one day during his leisure walk along Lucap Wharf in the area between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. sailing, and he became curious about them.
He talked to the fishermen and asked them about their livelihood using paraw. Soon, he requested the help of DOLE to provide 50 units of paraw, each capable to ferry four persons, two operators and two passengers.
The paraw fishermen earned added income by using their paraw for tourism purposes, particularly for island-hopping in the (HINP) in nearby areas especially during summer.
Celeste said since tourist arrivals in Alaminos City is continuously growing, he thought of making the paraws ferry tourists who can fish using fishing rod while on board paraw.
“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.
By joining the parade and race, Celeste also gave them P500 each to compensate for their lost daily income in fishing, he said.
The paraw fishermen primarily go fishing in designated areas in the HINP at dawn and enjoy big fish catch, made possible by the zero-illegal fishing in the area.
Every year, Paraw Festival levels up. This time the city held its paraw sail painting for the first time for Pangasinan paint artists.
Today, each of the major and developed islands along the Hundred Islands has paraw available for use of tourists. (PhilStar Wire Service)
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