Friday, August 6, 2010

3 Balangays Off to Conquer Southeast Asia Seas

The pride of Butuan and Filipino people, credits to Fung Yu

Balangay Sama Tawi-Tawi credits to Ivy Amante

Balangay Diwata ng Lahi credits to Minda Ponce

Balangay Masawa Hong Butuan credits to Dr. Ted Esguerra

What was only a dream to recreate 1 Balangay to relive Philippine history turned out as an inspiration that 2 more were built and sailed towards international waters, hoping to reach China to become part of the World Expo 2010.

The 3-Balangays namely: Diwata ng Lahi, Masawa Hong Butuan and the latest is the Sama Tawi-Tawi have started their journey from Zamboanga port taking the 14,000 kilometer voyage to Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, and China before going back to the Philippines.

"We want the balangays to not only be the source of unity for the country but also as a source of unity for the whole of Asia," said Art Valdez, team leader for The Voyage of the Balangay.

The Voyage of the Balangay started in Manila on September 1, 2009 and arrived in Zamboanga City on May 1 after 70 multi-port stopovers, covering 2,500 kilometers which lasted for 8 months.

The 3 boat flotillas are expected to reach Vietnam in time for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in September 2010.

The Balangays are also expected to dock in mainland China by mid-October for the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.

The World EXPO has provided an unparalleled opportunity for the tourism industry and an opportunity for Butuanons and the Filipino nation to feel with pride the message of Art Valdez who said: “We want the Balangays to not only be the source of unity for the country, but also as a source of unity for the whole of Asia.”

The theme of the exposition is "Better City – Better Life" and what it does to China hopefully will be trickled down to the Philippines....and perhaps to Butuan?

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