The Municipality of San Vicente in the northern part of the Province of Palawan will once again showcase the Palaweño culture by bringing back the “Baroto Festival” on its second year.
“Pagbabalik-tanaw [ito] sa nakaraan para maibalik natin ‘yung ating kultura, lalo’t higit sa Brgy. Alimanguan. Nakatutuwa! Marami ang natutuwa na mga kabarangay ko at ang mga kasamahan ko sa Konseho, talagang suportado nila ang program,” Alimanguan Punong Barangay Cesar Caballero Sr., said when interviewed by members of the media.
The Festival of Bgy. Alimanguan will be conducted from March 12 to 16 and is open to all interested Palaweños.
The winner will bring home a Star 8 E-hauler Electronic vehicle, the second runner-up will get a P10,000 worth of Solar Home Panel and the Second Runner-up will be awarded a P3,000 cash while all of the participants will get a P1,000 consolation prize.
“Alimanguan is the Center for boat building in San Vicente and we want to showcase and promote this industry,” Barangay Captain Caballero said in a separate press release.
The word “Baroto” is the local term for dug-out canoe (bangka), a small boat usually operated manually through a paddle (sagwan), katig (outriggers) and a sail (layag).
“The Festival celebrates the arrival of the original settlers who populated the town from the islands of Cuyo and Agutaya. It also recognizes the Tagbanua tribe, one of the oldest tribes in Palawan which has a Baroto tradition,” Caballero added.
The more than 20 participating Barotos “will sail through an ocean race course off the beach of Alimanguan” as spectators watch the race on the beach.
“The Baroto Festival is a unique regional traditional festival that aims to showcase and promote the seafaring culture and traditions of San Vicente,” Tonino Habana, president of the United Tourism Association of San Vicente, said.
He added that the festival will also hold traditional games called the Palarong Lahi such as “Palo Sebo” competition and 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 Bgy. Alimanguan, San Vicente, Palawan,” he said. Meanwhile, Kapt. Caballero who already served Alimanguan for 15 years as punong barangay and ran again last election, told the media that during his more than a decade long of tenure, they assigned a foundation day celebration in all puroks. When he was reelected, their Barangay Council passed an ordinance creating the “Baroto Festival” and the “Surfing Festival.”
He happily narrated that the participants are so much excited to showcase their craftsmanship and talent so that their boat will be adjudged as the most beautiful during the competition, apart from winning the game. The participants were also told by the organizers that in order to avoid the disqualification, their Baroto should be displayed at the beach of Bgy. Alimanguan from the start up to the end of the competition.
“Yung iba nga, tinatago nila, surpresa raw; hindi nila ipinapakita sa akin talaga kasi may mga papremyo tayo,” he said with enthusiasm.
“Sa ating mga kaibigan sa buong lalawigan ng Palawan, at bawat munisipyo na sakop ng ating lalawigan, nais kong mag-imbita na saksihan ninyo ang second ‘Baroto Festival’ at kung magustuhan n’yo, sa third festival ay maaari kayong sumali. Open po ito para sa lahat ng Palawenyo at sa buong bansa, kapag nagustuhan n’yo ‘yung aming ‘Baroto Festival’,” his message to everyone.