By Lyka Manalo
Calaca, Batangas – The Carrera de Paso, an age-old tradition horse racing tradition remains alive and kicking in this municipality.
The traditional race is held after the Holy Mass in honor of Saint Rafael Arcangel every Holy Wednesday.
Two horses will be pitted against each other in a race and the first to cross the finish line wins.
Mayor Sofronio Ona said it was the 13th year that the local government joined the tradition by awarding prizes and organizing the race which was initiated by his brother, former Mayor Nas Ona, now the vice governor of Batangas.
“This is part of the culture of Calaca, we just support and continue the culture of the municipality and to share the advocacy to the next generation” Mayor Ona said.
Aside from the tradition and culture, Ona said the event helps to promote tourism not only in Calaca town but also in the province.
“There is tourism here, probably half of the people here is not from Calaca, they came from Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Manila, from different places,” he said.
He added that Batangas is also known for horses, thus the local government wants to maintain the tradition of horse handling, horse breeding and horse sport industry in the province.