‘Regatta of Hope’ launched for Badjaos

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THE Department of Tourism (DOT) has launched on Tuesday the “Regatta de Esperanza” (Regatta of Hope) to provide livelihood, although short term, to the Badjaos, who were among those displaced by the standoff in September.

DOT Regional Director Mary June Bugante said the Regatta de Esperanza, launched in coordination with the City Government, aims to invigorate Zamboanga tourism industry.

Vinta boats
ZAMBOANGA. Vintas with colorful sails serve as an added attraction at the scenic Paseo del Mar as the Department of Tourism launches Tuesday the “Regatta de Esperanza.” (Bong Garcia)

The standoff started last September 9 when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels infiltrated and laid siege in this city.

The DOT, through the regatta, has employed 20 Badjao men to sail at the shore of Paseo del Mar with colorful vinta sails to entertain local folks and tourists, Bugante said.

Badjaos are a Moro indigenous ethnic group of southern Philippines. These sea gypsies use maritime vessels such as perahu and vinta, which is a traditional boat used in the Philippine island of Mindanao.

Each of the Badjaos will receive a salary based on the minimum wage law for the duration of the regatta, which Bugante said will end in December 15.

Seamstresses who sewed the colorful sails being used by the Badjaos in the Regatta de Esperanza were also employed.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said the city government intends to make the Regatta of Hope as a regular added attraction to Paseo del Mar.

Local news

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