Saturday, November 28, 2009

Balangay Team Leader Declared Butuan Balangay Crew as Official Members

The Butuan Balangay Crew, Toto Calo, Sato Raypon, Lemzar Manginsay and Nico Calo with the thumbs up sign

The thumbs up sign means Kaya ng Pinoy, but this time it means "we made it". Balangay Team Leader Art Valdez declared in a press conference held at Almont Inland that Butuan Balangay Crew is officially a member of the Voyage of the Balangay.

Good Luck and Godspeed! You made Butuan PROUD!!!

Warm Welcome for Voyage of the Balangay Team

Diwata ng Lahi anchored at PPA port in Butuan City

amalla & hontiveros
Local Historians Father Joesilo Amalla and Greg Hontiveros were equally excited who for a moment experienced how it feels to ride the historic boat-Balangay.

Who would have thought that a group of Filipinos will recreate a boat used by our ancestors, the Austronesian-speaking people for trading. Balangay was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta, and is known as the oldest Pre-Hispanic watercraft found in the Philippines.

ct officials
Art Valdez greeted by City Tourism Council Chairperson Daisy B. Plaza, Congressman Jose Aquino II, SP Committee on Tourism Chairman Councilor Ramon Carampatana

photo op
Everyone wants to have a photo opportunity with Team Balangay

welcoming Diwata

so red

dr ted
Dr. Ted Esguerra enjoying the grand reception

Balangay, Home at Last

from a distance

balangay in butuan

Home in Butuan


"She's coming, she's coming, i can see her now," the crowd cheers, waving, some were teary eyed, others says they have mixed emotions and could not describe what they feel the moment Diwata ng Lahi navigates Agusan River.

It was a big event for the Butuanons because Balangay finally is home.

After it sets sail on September 1, 2009 starting Manila with 35 stops sailing within Philippine waters and braving 8 typhoons Balangay Team headed by Art Valdez set foot to ancient kingdom Butuan at exactly 11:10am on November 28, 2009.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Balangay Crew Conferred with Honorary Butuanon Titles

After 83 days of sailing Philippine waters, Voyage of the Balangay reached Mindanao on November 23 and moved to a more protected shelter in Lipata, Surigao del Norte port as tropical storm Urduja hit eastern Mindanao.

On November 25 the Balangay left Surigao Port at 6:05 AM seizing the narrow improved weather to navigate the critical Surigao Strait towards Cabadbaran, Agusan Del Norte. However, due to rough seas along the way, the crew decided to sail back to Surigao and continue the journey 5:50am on November 27.

Surigao to Butuan had a total distance of 105 kilometers, the farthest target distance of sailing in the entire voyage.

The Balangay anchored at Cabadbaran at past 4 o'clock in the afternoon, 20 kms from Butuan, to avoide sailing at night. Some of the crew members made their way to Butuan where they were conferred with honorary Butuanon titles by City Tourism Council Chairperson Daisy B. Plaza.

The Balangay continue sailing in the morning of November 28 and expected time of arrival is at 10 o'clock in the morning at PPA port and Voyage of the Balangay will be accorded with a festive arrival honors. (photo by digital teens)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Balangay Crew

photos by Sato Raypon on their way from Dauis to Loay, Bohol

Voyage of the Balangay had already docked in Lipata, Surigao del Norte in the morning of November 23 and was greeted by tropical storm Urduja.

Balangay crew headed by Art Valdez is checking on the updated weather bulletin to have a safe sail to complete the 5th leg-Mactan-Butuan City route.

In Art Valdez' blog during Balangay's arrival in Danao on October 27 he wrote: "For the past five days we enjoyed favorable northeasterly wind and the skies were all clear and sunny for most of the days. Our skins are really darkened now because of too much sun, prompting Rey Santiago, our National Museum Balangay adviser to comment that now we truly look like our “Austronesians” forefathers in their wave of migrations. Leo and Carina had already made contact with Danao officials who organized a welcome reception upon our arrival. The distance between Bogo and Danao is quite far, estimated to be a little more than 70kms. After 9hours of sailing we slowly entered the newly finished fishing port of Danao. The typical throngs of welcomers were on hand. But what took us by surprise was the boom of cannons that greeted our arrival at the port."

If good weather prevails tomorrow and the coming days, Balangay will continue to sail docking at Jabonga then in Cabadbaran Agusan del Norte before entering Butuan Bay through Masao.

It is expected for Balangay to be home in Butuan on November 27.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Voyage of Balangay Nearing Caraga Region

The handcrafted Diwata ng Lahi is now on its 5th leg taking the Mactan-Butuan route which will travel a total distance of 265 nautical miles, sailing for 20 days and done visiting Mactan, Argao, Dumaguete and is currently in Bohol.

The crew headed by Art Valdez still had their chance to watch the Pacquiao-Cotto fight on November 15 before sailing off to nearby Bohol municipality from Dauis to Loay.

After Bohol, Diwata ng Lahi will dock Maasin in Leyte, San Bernardo in Limasawa then Jabonga and Cabadbaran in Agusan del Norte and is expected to arrive in Butuan on November 27.

The city government of Butuan has prepared a fiesta atmosphere in welcoming the Diwata ng Lahi as soon as it enters Butuan Bay until it docks at PPA Port.

The renovation of Balangay Shrine in Ambangan, Libertad nearly completes in time for the scheduled visit of the Diwata ng Lahi crew.

Balangay Shrine is very significant being the site where the remains of the ancient boats, locally known as Balangay was dug up, a proof of evidence of pre-Hispanic Filipino civilization.

Former President Corazon Aquino even issued in 1987, Proclamation 86 which declared the Balangay boat as national cultural treasures and the site where they were discovered as archaeological site.

A cultural show will be held during the stop-over of the Diwata ng Lahi and part of promoting environmental awareness is the conduct of coastal clean-ups and tree planting activity.

Diwata ng Lahi will stay in Butuan at Luna Compound in Bading-building site of the Butuan Balangay- to undergo some repairs as it prepares for a much longer journey continuing the 6th leg in January 2010, almost finishing its Philippine leg before proceeding to other parts of Southeast Asia in 2010 and on to Madagascar off Africa in 2011.
A longer duration of its stay in Butuan will give the public an opportunity to navigate Agusan River on board Diwata ng Lahi and witness test sailing of Butuan Balangay.(photos by Sato Raypon)

Butuan Balangay Crew Sailing the Diwata ng Lahi

The Butuan Balangay Crew sailing the Diwata ng Lahi in Bohol. Toto Calo on yellow shirt while below him is Sato Raypon. By the time Diwata ng Lahi arrives Butuan on November 27, 2009 Mr. Jody Navarra of the Butuan Boat Building Committee said, Art Valdez will officially announce who made it as crew members of Butuan Balangay crew.

He added, “There would be high possibility that Butuan Balangay Crew composed of only 4 namely, Toto and Nico Calo, Lemzar Manginsay and Sato Raypon will be accepted. However, Art Valdez might also decide not to choose any of them.”

If this happens, Valdez will be dividing the core crew, Badjao Group, Philippine Coast Guard and the navy to sail the Diwata ng Lahi and Butuan Balangay

Nevertheless, Butuanons were optimistic all 4 will be accepted. (photo by Sato Raypon)

Butuan Balangay Crew Meets Diwata ng Lahi

Fred Jamili, Toto Calo & Sato Raypon on board Diwata ng Lahi
photo by Sato)

The Butuan Balangay Crew composed of Toto and Nico Calo, Lemzar Manginsay and Sato Raypon was met by Voyage of Balangay documentalist Fred Jamili at Tagbilaran Port in Bohol where Diwata ng Lahi was docked. Training starts immediately wherein, Sato and Lemzar spend the night at Diwata ng Lahi as their first assignment. Butuan Balangay crew will undergo evaluation by Art Valdez, head of the Voyage of Balangay to qualify for the final selection of who can join the voyage to start with the 6th leg-Butuan-Ozamis route in January 2010.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Butuan Balangay Taking Shape

The construction of the second replica of Balangay has begun at Luna Compound in Bading this city.

It was estimated to be finished within 33 days and undergo test sailing on December before it sails off for the 6th of 10 leg journey joining the Diwata ng Lahi by January 2010 of the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation Voyage of the Balangay project.

A team of 8 Badjao’s from Sibuto and Sitangkay in Tawi-Tawi who built the first Balangay replica now called Diwata ng Lahi are the one’s who also tasked to build the Butuan Balangay using their ancient method and carpentry tools.

The Master Balangay Builder, Professor Judail Muyong along with his 5 crew members to complete the team of 8 Badjao’s, will be arriving on November 15 to build Butuan Balangay.
The Badjao’s were said to have acquired the knowledge of building the Balangay from their ancestors.

The Balangay is a plank boat adjoined by a carved-out plank edged through pins and dowels instead of metal nails.

It was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta, and is known as the oldest Pre-Hispanic watercraft found in the Philippines, large enough to hold 60 to 90 people and used for cargo and raiding purposes, a proof that Butuan played a central role in trade.

Diwata ng Lahi measured 15 meters long by 3 meters wide, but Butuan Balangay will be 20 meters long by 3 meters wide.

There were nine Balangays discovered in the late 1970’s in Butuan City by archaeologists from the National Museum of the Philippines.

The first Balangay now preserved and displayed in Balangay Shrine in Ambangan, Libertad, this city.

It was radiocarbon tested and was dated to year 320.

The second boat was dated to 1250, and is now located at the Maritime Hall of the National Museum in Manila.

The third Balangay was transferred to the Butuan Regional Museum and is still undergoing preservation.

The six other boats, which are yet to be excavated, remain in their original waterlogged condition which is proven to be the best way to preserve the said artifacts

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Butuan Balangay Boat Building Project

Butuan will have its own limelight in building the historical and now famous Balangay Boat, it will still be built according to traditional methods by Balangay master builders from Sibuto and Sitangkay in Tawi-Tawi led by Professor Judail Muyong.

However, the Balangay Boat will be much longer compared to the first replica built in CCP, Manila of the Kaya ng Pinoy Incorporated which is now sailing the Philippine seas spearheaded by former DOTC Undersecretary Art Valdez and the Philippine Mt Everest team.

Balangay Boat Building project in Butuan was initiated bythe private sector in partnership with the Butuan Historical and Cultural Foundation and Butuan Global Forum, Inc.

According to Mr. Greg Hontiveros, President of Butuan Historical & Cultural Foundation and Chairman of the Committee on Butuan Balangay Boat Building Project, it took more than 3-months to secure the needed lumber which consists of red lawaan for the upper planks, yakal and dungon for its base.

On November 9, the Committee selected 4 finalists to compose Butuan Balangay Crew namely Sato Raypon, Toto Calo, Nico Calo and Lemzar Manginsay. The group left Butuan on board Mt. Carmel for Cebu and sail to Panglao, Bohol to meet with Diwata ng Lahi crew.

Art Valdez will have the final evaluation to chose who among them joins the Voyage of the Balangay for its Butuan-Ozamis leg and onwards.

Sato Raypon signed the waiver and release form


all 3 photos by Sato Raypon

Butuan Balangay Boat