By: Hilda Austria
ALAMINOS CITY, Pangasinan — Some 52 paraw or sailboat fishermen raced on Thursday through the waters of the famous Hundred Islands here to promote paraw fishing.
The paraw fishermen assembled and started their race from Sulput Island going to Lucap Wharf.
“The winners are those who are good at maneuvering their paraw,” said City Tourism Officer Miguel Sison in an interview Thursday.
Winners in the small paraw category are Sammuel Navarro-first place, Pablo Ambrocio-second, and Cesar Navarro-third place. Winners in big paraw category are Arvin Villena-first place, Joery Navarro -second place, and Efren Donato in third place.
Sison said the winners received PHP3,000 for the first placer, PHP2,000 for second place, and PHP1,000 for the third placer with additional incentives as part of the Paraw Festival of the city.
Paraw is still used by many fishermen in the city to catch fish since it is cost-efficient and environment-friendly. But it is customized now with a five-horsepower engine that the fishermen only use if the winds were rough.
“In 2017, the city government and the Department of Labor and Employment and Pioneer Epoxy distributed 50 units of big paraw to fishermen here since many of the fishermen’s paraw were already damaged or destroyed due to typhoons and other reasons,” he said.
Sison noted they added a tourism component to paraw fishing through the paraw sailing, wherein tourist may experience riding the sailboat around the seawaters of Lucap Wharf for only PHP150 for 20 minutes.
“This is available from 4 p.m. onwards as long as there are paraw fishermen around since their main purpose is to catch fish in the ocean,” he added.
A parade was held prior to the race that attracted and delighted tourists.
Paraws painted by various artists in the province entered in the Paraw Painting Competition held last March 23 became attractions during the parade. (PNA)