Monday, February 1, 2010
Masawa Hong Butuan
"People of Butuan, you should be proud because in your veins run the proud blood of an Ancient Kingdom which you can tell to everybody, ‘we have a civilization long long long before', five times earlier before the coming of Magellan and the Europeans. I'm asking the people of Butuan you should realize that sense of pride, that you have such great inheritance as a people. I hope with the Balangay Project you will be together as a people to show to the whole country, that KAYA ng BUTUAN, KAYA ng PINOY” said former DOTC Undersecretary Arturo Valdez, Voyage of the Balangay Team Leader.
Masawa Hong Butuan crew Lemzar Manginsay
nearing the waters of Agusan River
Father Joesilo Amalla blessed Masawa Hong Butuan
The 7-ton Balangay tilted a little bit on its side as soon it touched the strong current of Agusan River, but with a little push Masawa Hong Butuan smoothly glide into the river with cheers from people who witnessed the historic event.
The 24.7-meter long Balangay christened Masawa Hong Butuan, was finally launched on January 31, 2010 into the waters of Agusan River at past 1 in the afternoon, almost the same time as the 20.12 meter long Diwata ng Lahi was launched into Manila waters in June of last year.
Masawa Hong Butuan will undergo test sailing on Butuan Bay before joining the newly repaired Diwata ng Lahi to continue the journey of the Voyage of the Balangay on February 4, 2010 for their 6th leg which is the Butuan- Ozamiz route and the first stop would be in Carmen, Agusan del Norte.
The two flotilla are set to sail to the ports of Cagayan de Oro City, Ozamis, Camiguin, Zamboanga, Davao, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, General Santos City, Sarangani and finally in Sibuto, Tawi-Tawi then off to Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Vietnam and Taiwan.
When the Voyage of the Balangay crosses Taipei it goes back to Batanes, Northern Luzon and will be in Manila by the end of October while Masawa Hong Butuan will be back in Butuan on December, 2010.
Mr. Greg Hontiveros, Chairman of the Butuan Boat Building Committee said the cost of re-creating the second Balangay is more or less 1.7 million pesos, spearheaded by the Butuan Global Forum, Inc supported by Butuan Historical and Cultural Foundation and the city government of Butuan.
Wood used in building the Masawa Hong Butuan which the Manobo’s from Barangay Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur called the Dungon Tree, or Yakal tree as it is known by many was donated by the Banwaon Manobo Talaandig Tribe.