Friday, August 28, 2009
Butuan Getting Ready to Build Balanghai and in Welcoming Diwata ng Lahi
The Kaya Pinoy sails the Diwata ng Lahi led by Art Valdez with Team Everest
Balanghai also being referred to as the Butuan Boat. As early as the 10th century, according to the chinese song shi (history), people from Butuan have already established trading relations with the kingdom of Champa which is now South Vietnam.
By the 11th century, Butuan was the center of Trade and commerce in the Philippines. The best evidence to prove this fact is the discovery of 9 balanghays (The Butuan Boat) and other archaeological finds in the vicinities of Butuan City, particularly in Ambangan, Libertad near the old EL RJO de BUTUAN and MASAO River.
Balanghai images published by the Kaya Pinoy describes the method and technique of construction
The Butuan City Tourism Council is getting ready for the coming of Diwata ng Lahi sometime in November of this year and already created different committees to focus on several activities.
“First activity is the rehabilitation of Balanghai Shrine in Ambangan, Libertad by the Butuan Global Forum with an estimated funding of 500 thousand pesos,” said SP Tourism Committee Chairman Ramon Carampatana.
The Balanghai Shrine is the site of the 15 meter wooden balanghai boat excavated in the 1970’s, a proof that Philippines have a rich cultural past, and a tradition that is worth preserving.
The city government on the other hand will soon start a complete repair of the now dilapidated building of Butuan Regional Museum and appropriated 2 million peso budget.
Councillor Carampatana estimated 1.5 to 2 million funding cost in building the Balanghai. It is hoped that the City Tourism Council with the Butuan Historical Foundation and Butuan Global Forum can raise obtainable fund for the whole activity for the coming of Diwata ng Lahi that includes the holding of a cultural presentation for the welcome honours on the day of its arrival, medical mission, and the building of Balanghai.
It was earlier informed by Diwata ng Lahi Team Captain Art Valdez that the Balanghai will lead the voyage upon departure from Butuan to start another leg in going to Gingoog, Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro and other parts of the country.
The Diwata ng Lahi tentatively will arrive in Butuan on November 16 if the weather continues to be in favourable condition.
However, Mr. Greg Hontiveros of the Butuan Historical Foundation is informing the public that there would be a delay in the procurement of the materials in building the Balanghai due to the required permits imposed by the DENR as they will be using Dungon Trees sourced out outside Butuan.
“There will be ample time because the construction of Balanghai Boat will only take a month but what we are more concerned of is the curing period of the dungon. That will take us a little more time but we’re confident we can finish it by the time Diwata ng Lahi arrives Butuan,” said Hontiveros.
The first Balanghai built in Manila now named Diwata ng Lahi officially sails on September 1 for its Phase I navigation within Philippine seas until February 26, 2010having a grand total distance of 2,136 nautical miles or almost 4 kilometers.
It is expected to arrive in Butuan on Novembre 16 from San Bernardo, Limasawa for its 5th leg after a short stop-over in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte on November 14, 2009.
Balanghai will be joining Diwata ng Lahi to start with the 6th leg from Butuan to Ozamis City and every port and stop-over, the “Kaya ng Pinoy” team manning the Balanghai expedition will hold environmental awareness campaigns, outreach programs and teach the youth about the country’s rich cultural tradition.
The “Kaya ng Pinoy” team led by the former Transportation and Communication Undersecretary Arturo Valdez hopes that with this undertaking, they can effectively showcase the character, culture, ingenuity and survival skills of the Filipino.
Greg Hontiveros of the Butuan Historical Foundation meanwhile urged the public to support the undertaking in building of the Balanghai in Butuan.