In celebration of May as the Month of the Ocean, CCEF supported the First Bigiw Bugsay Race, a Bigiw Regatta and Stand Up Paddle boarding Race, held in Hale Mana Beach Resort last May 18 to 19, 2016 in Moalboal, Cebu Province. A “bigiw” is a traditional dugout canoe with bamboo outriggers that are paddled or driven by sails and motor, and “bugsay” is the local term for paddle. For the race, participants used bigiw driven by sails. The activity was organized by Island Buzz Philippines and Ms. Rebecca Smith, CCEF’s former board member. The main goal of the activity was to heighten the public’s awareness of the richness not only of the marine biodiversity of Tañon Strait, but also to rekindle the maritime culture and tradition of fishers dependent on Tañon Strait for their livelihood. Most of the participants were fishermen from towns along Tañon Strait.
A dinner was held on the night of May 18th where participants shared their experiences on fishing and sailing in Tañon Strait as well as tips and techniques on bigiw racing. The actual race and awarding of winners was held on the morning of May 19th.
The month of May is celebrated as the Month of the Ocean in the Philippines by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 57 issued in 1999. The proclamation states that government agencies, local government units, state colleges, universities, non-governmental organizations, people’s organizations, and the private sector, shall spearhead the observance of “The Month of the Ocean” of each year through the conduct of activities that highlight conservation, protection and sustainable management of Philippine coastal and ocean resources.
Camillia Jane Bollozos