Google celebrates Regatta de Zamboanga on October 9, an annual sailing competition from the southern part of the Philippines.
Every October, thousands of people gather along the kilometer-long stretch of R.T. Lim Boulevard in Zamboanga City to watch hundreds of vintas and their colorful sails race across the coastline. The event is the highlight of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival honoring its patron saint, the La Virgen Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza.
The racers are mostly Bajau fishermen who come from coastal villages like Sinunuc, Maasin, Labuan, Mariki, and the island of Santa Cruz. Each boat carries two people paddling towards victory.
Also known as lepa-lepa or sakayan, the vintas are traditional outrigger boats with vibrant, rectangular sails. The intricate patterns on the canvas—designed by the racers themselves—symbolize the identities, customs and aspirations of the region’s diverse ethnic groups.
Although the regatta is a friendly competition in celebration of the fishermen’s maritime skills, everyone is motivated to be one of the winning teams to take home a prize.
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