Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Balangay docks at Mahinog on epic voyage around Philippine seas and Southeast Asia

Mahinog, Camiguin (8 Feb) – Mahinognons have witnessed yesterday the historic voyage of the replica of the two ancient boats of "balangay" named “Diwata ng Lahi" and "Masawa hong Butuan" which arrived at Benoni port here as part of her 6th leg of continuous journey around Philippine seas.

Also named Butuan Boat, the "balangay" 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.

Remnants of around eight ancient balangay boats were excavated in 1978 in Butuan City and Agusan Del Norte. The oldest boat that was dug was carbon-dated at 320 AD, a proof of evidence of pre-Hispanic Filipino civilization.

In 1987 Former President Corazon Aquino issued Proclamation 86 which declared the Balangay boat as national cultural treasures and the site where they were discovered as archaeological site.

The boats left Butuan City for the second phase of its voyage on Wednesday, Feb. 4, passing Gingoog City and Balingoan port in Misamis Oriental before they arrived in Benoni port on Feb. 7 at past 12:00 noon.

From Mahinog, the boats will dock in Cagayan de Oro City. After Cagayan they will pass Initao town port in Iligan City, and the cities of Ozamis and Oroquieta in Misamis Occidental.

Before sailing to Cagayan de Oro, the balangay will pass by at Mantigue island, also part of Mahinog in Camiguin.

The 20-man sailing team is composed of members of the successful first Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition, namely, Leo Oracion, Erwin "Pastour" Emata, Noelle Wenceslao, Carina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino-Sardina, the Philippine Navy, the Philippine Coast Guard, and some Badjaos who built the balangay.

The team navigated on the same method that was used by the earliest mariners — steering by the sun, the stars, the wind, cloud formations, wave patterns and bird migrations.

They would only sail during the day and dock on various ports or islands that they will pass by during the night.

Once the Mindanao adventure is completed in March, the next phase of the voyage will be throughout Southeast Asia. The expedition is set to last until 2013.

Mahinog local officials led by Vice Mayor Rogerio C. Acle welcomed the team upon arrival at Benoni port.

Mayor Alex R. Jajalla said Mahinognons took pride to be part of the itineraries of this ambitious balangay epic voyage.

"We are very proud that you choose Mahinog to be part of your epic voyage and this is history in the making for our town," Jajalla told the team when they paid a courtesy call at his office.

Taking the team’s “Kaya ng Pinoy (The Filipino can do it)” slogan to heart, the project aims to reawaken the Filipino’s sense of patriotism and pride in its rich culture, says project coordinator Art Valdez of Kaya Ng Pinoy Foundation.

“Our inspiration is that Filipinos can do anything," says Valdez.

"Just like Mount Everest, the Voyage of the Balangay is a way of triggering faith in ourselves if only we recognize the richness of our heritage, the skills that we have and the kind of fortune that we live in an island that’s almost like paradise. Then we may finally value and try to preserve this," says Valdez in an earlier press statement.

“Filipinos could have done so much if they put focus on themselves as a people and bring it to move forward," he adds, "but since we are also a little bit confused exactly where we are going, it’s better to look back into the past to anchor ourselves to something we can really be proud of.” (Homer R. Jajalla – Mahinog IO)


  1. Very interesting..and navigating using old method? wow!

    And Yes, i am proud of my heritage. But am i proud of the philippine government as of now? and will I be in the future?
    Other focus should also be on how to bring people's trust to the gov't (like how the navigators trust its vessels and each other to successfully arrive at the destination) and the gov't to be trustworthy, likewise.

    The Ampatuan story was a HUGE blow on Philippine Politics..and a revelation of some corrupt governance..and the whole world was watching :(

    But, like many other countries, there are bad and good politicians..and kudos to those who are true public servants whom make difference and progress, u know who u are! And we are proud!

    I believe the "balangay voyage" was a great idea and served its purpose to foster patriotism..and patriotism for good governance too!

    -peace people :)

  2. Text message from Team Balangay

    Team balangay has just left benoni port (8:30 am today) for salay. Please extend our heartfelt thanks to d ppl of camiguin for d very warm reception most especially to mahinog n mambajao lgus, benoni elem skul n camiguin coast guard. kaya ng pinoy! kaya ng taga-camiguin! Mabuhay!

  3. kudos to Balangay team sa pagpili sa Mahinog nga usa sa lugar nga iyang gibisitahan.

    Kudos usab sa atong Municipal Government sa pag abi abi nila. Daku na sab ni nga garbo para sa atong tanan.

    sa akong expereince sa municipyo okey raman sila bisan opposition ko,,, basin ikaw ray gahuna huna ana... nagtinal-os pud tingale ka.

  5. to anonymous

    kana imo engon nga ang nauna naulahi ang naulahi nauna... NA SELOS KA LANG... WAKAY MAHIMO AYAW NA LANG UG COMMENT KUNG GUSTO KA PAG SIPSIP SA... ana naman ang weather karon dili na importante kung nauna ka or naulahi ka... Ibog ka lang!!


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