Moonlight Rowing The Pasig River On Obscura Day 2011
Image courtesy Max Makowski
The Manila Boat Club – The Philippines’ oldest water sports club – will offer eight people the chance to go moonlight rowing on the Pasig River in support of Obscura Day – a somewhat obscure day of international participation where people offer insights into the World’s local wonders, curiosities and esoterica.
Moonlight rowing on the Pasig River is your chance to obtain a visual perspective on Manila that very few people know exists. It is a most striking experience to travel through one of the busiest and noisiest cities in the World, yet hear only the sounds of lapping water, children laughing on the banks nearby and the occasional evening stroller throwing you their “hello”.
Along the way the old cigar factory, the race track and hidden parks will open themselves up to you – as these views and others, normally blocked by walls and buildings, will become unencumbered along the Pasig River. The views of Manila and Makati lit up at night will add to the serenity of the moment as the moon in Gemini, almost in her first quarter, will gracefully rise above the metropolis, adding a final touch of romance.
Back at the Manila Boat Club, its resident inebriate-mixologist has created the “Pasig Obscura“. A unique gin cocktail made especially for the occasion, in recognition of Hendriks Gin – the global Obscura Day supporter.
For the Moonlight Rowing The Pasig River event, on 9th April, provision is made for two participants to sit in a four-man scull, with two rowers and a cox, and will take you up the river and back down again. Two boats will go out at a time. Before the trip drinks will be served at the club house for all participants and two of their friends. The princely sum of Php90 will be charged per person.
There are only eight slots available so book now. To participate, you must be able to swim and be in reasonable health. You may get a tiny bit wet from splashes . . . so leave the Gucci in the closet. The row will take roughly 45 minutes but can be shorter or longer depending on your desire.
The Manila Boat Club was once an integral part of the famous Manila Club (also referred to as the “British Club”), and was co-located with the Manila Club when the latter was housed along the Manila Bay waterfront during the 1800s. In 1895, the Manila Club moved away from the waterfront and into the growing city of Manila, so the Manila Boat Club was founded on the Pasig River as a distinct social entity. The club has enjoyed varied national and international rowing success over the course of the last century and is also known as the birthplace of the sport of squash in the Philippines – there are still two playable squash courts in the clubhouse.
Enjoying a recent resurgence in interest in the sport of rowing, the Manila Boat Club’s clubhouse is slowly being renovated and opens its doors regularly to non-members for cocktail evenings and other events. Sitting on the terrace on a sunny afternoon, watching the river slip by and imbibing the tranquility of the century-old garden beside the Pasig, it is hard to imagine that you are in the heart of one of the most populous cities in the World.
The Pasig River, despite its challenges with pollution and abuse over the past quarter century, still retains its resilience and majesty. With the recent serious efforts to reign-in the destructive forces that have threatened to destroy it, the Pasig River is now more fragrant and cleaner than even just a year ago. Surely there are few better ways to spend a Saturday evening in April than having someone row you along the Pasig in the moonlight, empowered by a few Pasig Obscuras.
For more information contact the Manila Boat Club through their website
Obscura Day Events website