Friday, February 5, 2010

Voyage of the Balangay joined by Masawa Hong Butuan

Lumads made a ritual for a safe voyage

Father Joesilo Amalla blessed Team balangay and held a mass for a safe travel

An elaborate and heartwarming send-off ceremony was held in the morning of February 4 at PPA ground to the two Balangays as Voyage of the Balangay resumes its journey in the remaining areas of Mindanao with former DOTC Undersecretary Art Valdez heading the team composed of badjao’s from Tawi-Tawi and the Mt. Everest Team.

Father Joesilo Amalia, who is also a local historian held a mass and later blessed each of the crews for a safe travel.

Masawa Hong Butuan with Team Captain Art Valdez led the sailing moving slowly from PPA Port with Diwata ng Lahi not far behind.

The two flotillas was escorted by the City Disaster Coordinating Council, the coastguards and two motor banca’s following behind sending them off with people from riverside barangays waving Philippine flags shouting “Maayong Paglawig” (Von Voyage).

Balangay Masawa Hong Butuan as Kaya ng Pinoy described, made her shakedown and test and onward voyage all rolled into one along with the 'Diwata ng Lahi' at past 12 noon with almost 20 guest crews joining the maiden voyage from Butuan to Carmen in Agusan del Norte anchoring at 5 in the afternoon.

In the morning of February 5, the Balangay boats lifted anchor at 8:30 for Gingoog City continuing its 6th leg, consisting of Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Ozamis.

The Balangay, also known as Butuan Boat is the first wooden watercraft excavated in the late 1970’s in Butuan City and was radiocarbon tested and was dated at year 320.

The Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation launched in June of last year an undertaking that will retrace the migration the Filipinos’ ancestors across the oceans using only the Balangay, built by master carpenters from Sibuto, Tawi-tawi based on tradition used during the ancient times.

Inspired by the cause, Butuan Global Forum, Inc. and Butuan Historical & Cultural Foundation decided to build their own Balangay which started on December of last year with the same master carpenters from Sibuto.

Jorge Navarra of Butuan Global Forum clarified, that if the balangay's name was "KASAWA HONG BUTUAN", as a noun KASAWA could be taken to mean as Radiance or brightness.

Navarra added, "Masawa Hong Butuan" as put together simply means that MASAWA, the native name of the place that Pigafetta had written as "Mazzaua" or "Mazaua" where Magellan landed, is of Butuan - MASAWA belongs to Butuan, therefore the literal translation would be MASAWA OF BUTUAN.”

Butuan Global Fourm wants to emphasize the point as MASAWA in BUTUAN, or where the first blood compact and the first Easter mass was held.

Masawa Hong Butuan measuring 24.7 meters will be back in Butuan by December after the Voyage of the Balangay has successfully finished navigating the rest of Mindanao and parts of Southeast Asia.

The Voyage of the Balangay according to Art Valdez will be back to Manila early part of November, 2010.


  1. bohzo (hello)

    I like the pictures but can't read the language, will you please put a translator on it.

    I will be back to read.
    Mwgwetch (Thank You)
    David M

  2. which one? i provided in parentheisis the english language, thank you for visiting my site ;)