Boat and sailing show opens March 2By Anne A. Jambora
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It began as a passion, a passion for boating and sailing, and from that passion was born a mission: To stage a premier exhibition that will gather manufacturers and enthusiasts in one venue for a weekend of shopping, exchanging ideas, sailing and festivities.
Today, the 4th Sea-Expo, the country’s only nautical lifestyle exposition, will hold its annual exhibit showcasing anything and everything that has to do with the water or the ocean, from March 2-4 at One Esplanade, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
A showcase for national and international manufacturers of nautical lifestyle accessories, yachts, water sports equipment and boats, the 4th Sea-Expo is hoping to receive about 5,000 guests this year.
Around 20 big boats will be in the exhibit area, along with booths featuring everything from boat parts, navigation systems, paddle works, surf boats and dive gear to just about every imaginable summer gear there is. Aside from exhibitors from Australia, Hong Kong, and other international companies, this year will see the addition of a helicopter company.
“It sounds unusual but it actually makes sense to bring in a helicopter company into the exhibit. This is especially useful for resort owners who might need a luxurious transportation for their special guests,” said Bianca Jison, event manager of Sea-Expo.
Jison noted that the growing number of international exhibitors only shows that the Philippine market is steadily rising as well. While it’s a very niche market aimed for the very rich—a boat will cost at least $1-1.5M—she said the market’s growth has been encouraging, especially with boating and sailing having become popular even among celebrities. Willie Revillame reportedly owns a few boats, and Manny Pacquiao is said to have recently purchased one.
“Some of the guests are boat-owners who might be looking into purchasing a second boat, some are resort owners, and some are really interested in the lifestyle itself,” she said.
This year’s main feature is the Lagoon 500, a 50-foot catamaran that is currently based in the country. The Lagoon 500 has already visited neighboring Asian countries.
There will also be services for repairs, seminars, yacht cruises (first-come, first-served basis), live bands playing jazz music to reggae, and a guest DJ who will spin retro and fresh music. The Philippine Sailing Association will once again stage a mini-regatta.
The Sea-Expo is chaired by boat-builder Angelo Olondriz. An entrance fee of P150/day for adult guest is required at the gate; free admission for children below 15 years old.