A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE MEN WHO BUILT THE PARAW.
Senior boat builder, Celso “Boy” Conde is 40 years old. He grew up on the remote island of Cagayancillo in the Sulu Sea, helping his grandfather on their balangay, a traditional Cagayanon sailboat. Celso came to mainland Palawan after high school and has worked here as a carpenter and boat builder ever since.
“I feel boat building is what I am meant to do, it’s my skill – more so than any other kind of carpentry. All of us carpenters are very excited about the paraw project.”
Senior boat builder, Jaime “Mindoro” Maltos is 66 years old. He grew up in Romblon and sailed to Palawan via Mindoro Island using just the wind and the stars as a guide. He has lived on Palawan’s west coast for 22 years with his wife Filipina.
Jaime began sailing when he was just ten years old and by fourteen his father, a fisherman and boat builder, had taught time how to sail alone and build his own small outrigger boat.
Boat carpenter Bernardo Conche, 57, lived in Cagayancillo until just one year ago, when he came to seek a better living for himself and his family. He has previously worked as a carpenter on houses and outrigger banca.
Boat carpenter Claro Magbanua, 54, lived in Cagayancillo until just six years ago. Growing up in this remote island province he spent many months travelling on local sail boats, which they call Balangay.