February this year, the SSC cancelled their annual Subic Bay to Boracay Race as an expression of support to the alarming environmental concerns in Boracay Island that was then raised by no other than the President of the Republic of the Philippines. “Our heart goes out to all the Paraw sailors in Boracay. We hope that these people will soon be able to cope up with this unfortunate event.” said Zed Avecilla, Executive Director of the SSC. In the meantime, the Subic Sailing Club has decided to provide work to Dino and his relatives. “Dino is one of our crew when we compete in the Subic Bay to Boracay Race. We are very happy to have him here in Subic Bay together with his team who has been helping us expedite the repairs of the two Paraw boats. The visitors and local community will be able to enjoy sailing in these boats in Subic Bay, very soon.” Avecilla added.
According to Dino, on a regular day in Boracay, he used to go out 5-7 times on his Paraw and goes further up during holidays or when cruise ships visits the island. In relation, the Subic Bay Freeport has recently been hosting regular visits of international cruise ships this year and will continue until the end of the year bringing in thousands of tourists in each visit. “The Paraw will surely accord tourists visitors in Subic Bay a joyful and different sailing experience in a renowned native boat and at the same time give Subic Bay another unique attraction and the distinction to be the first province in Luzon to bring the iconic sailboat in this part of the country.” said Zed Avecilla who is also the Executive Director of the LMRLF and organizer of the International Coastal Cleanup Zambales. “Also as advocates for the preservation of our coastal areas and environment, we hope that these Paraw will not only be a great attraction but also a means to raise environmental awareness and appreciation to our oceans.” Avecilla added.
Moreover, the SSC sees this Paraw program as an opportunity to provide jobs and livelihood to the surrounding community particularly with the Aytas through its partnership with the Subic Indigenous People Assistance Group (SIPAG). “We are still positive that we will be able to encourage our Ayta community to use these paraw not only for tourists but also for fishing. However, we are also opening doors to any local person who is interested to learn. Part of the plan is also see if we can locally produce these boats. We can do some modification and combine it with the modern fibreglass technology.” said Avecilla.
The SSC is indeed keeping true to their word in promoting sailing and maritime heritage in our beloved country. “We believe its high time that we bring these traditional boats here in this region. Zambales and Bataan are coastal provinces that can benefit from these boats. Come and try out the Paraw boats here in Subic Bay and feel the adrenaline of sailing in these traditional Filipino boats.” said Avecilla. Portions of the proceeds will be donated to LMRLF for projects helping the indigenous people in the area and also the Paraw operators who have lost their jobs in the recent Boracay closure. The Paraw is available at the Lighthouse Marina Resort jetty area. You may also call (047) 252-5000 for more details.
TRIAL RUN PHOTOS
The Paraw Boracay Crew doing a sea trial in one of the Paraw Boats.
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