Like many great ideas, Paraw World started with an image. That image was of the blue sails of paraws gliding gracefully across the horizon as the day was slipping into night, colors changing from yellow to orange and red. Propelled by the wind, the paraws cast a beautiful sight on top of the blue waters of White Beach.
This has always been the image of Boracay on everyone’s mind — these outrigger boats that have the ability to gather speeds between 20 and 30 km per hour and travel long distances.
Tourists love them; their Boracay experience isn’t complete without a relaxing sunset cruise or a picture of the boats sitting prettily across the beach. For locals, it is a source of livelihood today, a quick and practical transportation for goods and people, as it was to their ancestors centuries ago (marauding pirates included, as most island legends go).
The founders of Paraw World had often talked about the missing piece in people’s experience of Boracay: art and culture. We realized that this iconic sailboat isn’t celebrated enough and that there are so many stories to be told of the people and communities still rooted in this traditional mode of transportation.
Each paraw is painstakingly handcrafted on the mainland by very few people these days. It is a tradition that is finding it more difficult to compete with the modern age and for the young generation to take an interest in.
Paraw World is our way of making sure this craftsmanship doesn’t die. Our miniatures are our way of putting the spotlight on both tradition and art, and supporting the people behind it.
Our miniatures — their wooden sails, outriggers and main hull — are the canvases of our young studio artists, all of them Aklanons living in Boracay and Caticlan. Their works are exuberant paintings in the shape of paraws.
As much as art feeds the soul, there needs to be a strategy for sustainable livelihood that would help the island’s three barangays, which have persevered through tourism upheavals in the past years, and introduce the culture of Aklanons to visitors.
Paraw World Souvenir Shop at Station 2 is the bridge that connects the past and the present, and makes heritage conservation possible and sustainable. Our souvenir shop and miniatures let us dream big — to create a Paraw Village and Museum in the future for people to learn the stories of this unique sailboat.
Paraw World brings art into your Boracay experience and, hopefully, to the rest of the world too.