A PAIR of Sama tribesmen went home on Sunday with P25,000 cash for topping the Regatta de Zamboanga, a traditional race of vintas with colorful sails.
The regatta was held along R.T. Lim Boulevard, commonly known as the Cawa-Cawa Boulevard and is one of the activities lined up for the 2016 Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.
Zambaonga City Information Officer Belen Sheila Covarrubias said that at least 251 pairs, mostly coming from the different ethnic groups, participated in the annual sailboat race, now on its 42nd year since the first event in 1974.
The participants first competed in the elimination rounds, consisting of 16 hits, and the winning pair of every hit competed for the final 400-meter race, to the thrill and cheering chants of thousands of spectators teeming on the historic Cawa-Cawa Boulevard.
The winning pairs were Danny Ladja and Hajad Hamid of the village of Sinunuc for the first prize of P25,000 courtesy of the City Government (P15,000) and Globe Telecom (P10,000), Muktar Suya and Patta Isnang, also of Sinunuc, for the second prize of P12,000.
The pair of Hasel Binuddin and Julbasri Taup of Sta. Cruz Island of the village of Sta. Barbara bagged the P10,000 third prize.
Haiman Alih and Faisal Bathakki of Mariki village landed in the 4th spot worth P7,000 while Frankie Apalad and Abi Basar, also of Mariki, finished 5th to receive the P5,000 prize.
The special award for Best Vinta went to the pair of Alvin Birin and Popong Biring, receiving P3,000 cash prize.
The local government in cooperation with the different sectors has lined up several activities for this year’s Zamboanga Hermosa Festival.
The highlight of the festival is the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar, the most revered saint of this city, on October 12.