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

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