Friday, June 18, 2010

Sama Tawi-Tawi to join Voyage of the Balangay, Soon

Masawa Hong Butuan souvenir item put on sale at Butuan Boat Building site

Miniature replicas of "Balangay Diwata ng Lahi", "Balangay Masawa hong Butuan" with the "Sama Tawi-Tawi" at the center (photos from Pierce Martin Chiong Chua & Marilou Monet-Solidum)

Progress of Sama Tawi-Tawi

Almost 90% complete, the Balangay boat builders once again will make history with the third boat called "Sama Tawi-Tawi" which will be joining Diwata ng Lahi and Masawa Hong Butuan in their journey to Southeast Asia and Madagascar.

"Sama Tawi-Tawi" will serve as the service vessel of the two Balangays, carrying provisions and serving as communications center.

Unlike the two Balangays, it now has a marine diesel engine, a cabin with head and radio system, and it will be launched on July 3, 2010 in the morning, still at the Butuan Boat Building site in Luna Compound, Bading, Butuan City.

A brief history: Tawi-Tawi is inhabited by several ethnic groups, including the SAMA, Tausug, Jama Mapun and Badjao (Sama Delaut). The 'Sama' comprise the majority, inhabiting almost all of the island municipalities.

Within the Sulu sea basin alone, the majority of the coastal people belong to the Sama cultural community. The term "Sama" is a derivative of the word "Sama-sama" meaning togetherness. Sama may be described as a cohesive and peace loving people.

Each Sama sub-group is identified geograohically according to the name of their coastal settlement. This include: Sama Simunul, Sama Balimbing, Sama Sibutu, Sama Ubian and Sama Tawi-tawi. Each of them have varied ancestral background, outlooks in life, economic life ways and types of social up-bringing.

(photo from Minda Monica Ponce)

The Diwata ng Lahi and Masawa Hong Butuan currently docked at Zamboanga

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