ILOILO City Mayor Jerry Treñas has announced Wednesday, February 26, that the Paraw Regatta Festival, which he earlier canceled due to the threat of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), will happen on April 1 to 5.

The original date of the 48th Paraw Regatta Festival was February 23 to March 1, but it was moved to April after the mayor's meeting with officials of the Iloilo Festivals Foundation Inc. (Iffi).

The postponement was also made after the mayor's consultation meeting with the Department of Health, City Health Office focal person Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna, Iffi, and Fulbert Woo.

Paraw, a Visayan term for a double outrigger sailboat, started in 1973, making it the oldest wind sailing event in Asia and the largest sailing event in the Philippines.

The festival is held in the Villa de Arevalo District, Iloilo City annually and it is one of Iloilo City's tourism events along with the Dinagyang Festival, Kasadyahan Festival, Chinese New Year festival and the February 2 Jaro Candelaria Fiesta.

Treñas said the highlight of the festival -- the sailboat race -- will be held on Iloilo Strait and has a 30-kilometer race course.

On Tuesday, February 25, Treñas also signed Executive Order 38, suspending all major gatherings in Iloilo City.

The mayor urged the public to avoid attending, participating and organizing events that draw a huge number of attendees as a precautionary measure against Covid-19. (SunStar Philippines)