The Balangay “Diwata ng Lahi” now set at sea

Art Valdez Stands by the Balangay

I’ve been following the developments of the “Voyage of the Balangay” since last I wrote about it. Last June 27 2009 was another momentous date as the Balangay (Balanghai) was eased forth to the sea months after its creation. Morning at 10am Saturday, more than 400 people at the CCP grounds witnessed how Art Valdez cut the rope to let loose the Balangay to sea. I wasn’t at the event that afternoon since I have a Photo Lecture at that time but Carina, one of the Everest team showed us snippets of the video when we dropped by in the afternoon.

Art Valdez rebuilds the ancient Balangay and sets it for voyage

Art Valdez at the front of the Balangay

I have always wondered what it’s like for our ancestors to travel through open waters. The ancient Filipinos are originally seafaring people and proof of this is the discovery of an age old Balangay sea vessel excavated in Butuan dating as far back as 320 AD. And when I heard that someone rebuilt a Balangay in Manila, crafted by the Bajaus of Sibutu and Sitangkay of Tawt-tawi using methods originally done during the 14th century, I just had to see this.