SAN VICENTE, Palawan — Barangay Alimanguan in this town will be the center of the “Baroto Festival” celebration on March 12 to 16.
The festival commemorates the arrival of the original settlers who populated the town from the islands of Cuyo and Agutaya. It also recognizes the Tagbanua indigenous peoples (IPs), one of the oldest tribes in Palawan.
Alimanguan barangay captain Cesar Caballero said the Tagbanua IPs are the ones with the “baroto” tradition, a local term for the dugout canoe.
He said Alimanguan is the center of the celebration because it is where most of the boat building activities are happening.
Caballero said more than 20 barotos will participate in the boat race. They are seven feet in length and will be powered by the wind and their sails.
The winner of the competition will receive a Star 8 eHauler, an electric tricycle.
There will also be an award for the most attractive boat and the barotos will be on display in Alimanguan, he added.
Tonino Habana, president of the United Tourism Enterprise Association of San Vicente (UniTEA), said visitors who wish to watch the baroto race can do it on the beach in Alimanguan.
“The Baroto Festival is a unique regional and traditional festival that aims to showcase and promote the seafaring culture and traditions of San Vicente. The festival will hold traditional games called the Palaro ng Lahi which is extremely entertaining to watch and participate in,” Habana said.
“Last year, tourists from all over the world were awestruck by the physical skills needed to win the palo sebo competition. They had good fun chasing the greased up wild pig. Filipinos underestimate how so very interesting their traditions are and the Baroto Festival will show to the world that traditions are alive in Barangay Alimanguan, San Vicente,” he added.