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Date Posted: 02/23/10

Memoirs of the Voyage - February 2010

By: Arturo Valdez

I'd like to share an account by John Maginsay, Masawa crew and member of the Butuan Balangay crew, of his experiences and lessons he has learned aboard the Balangay. This is what he shared to me....

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In the 16th of February, the team arrived in Iligan from the stressful experience in Initao. It was a warm welcome with the Government Officials and the arrival honor. The two boats were docked at the pier. There was a short presscon and a motorcade afterwards. The team stayed a night in the Holcim staff house. There was a small gathering that night because there were two members of the team celebrated their birthday. The following day, Sir Art Valdez departed going manila and was relieved by Dr Ted Esguera as his acting expedition leader. The team stayed for 3 days for some repair of the boat and the tiririt. A night before departure, the Mayor of Iligan invited the whole crew a dinner. We had fun with him and his party. Dr Ted sung back to back with the mayor but still the team won ‘coz our acting team leader didn’t give up even his having hoarseness of his voice.  After Iligan, the team sailed to Ozamis. It was a good sail. Wind and current direct abaft the two boats. We arrived in a smooth and organized voyage. The crew stayed in the museum which they called Kuta del
Triunfo. The LGO’s welcomed us warmly and were very supportive in every activity we conducted. We shared our experiences about our lives in balangay. We showed them how our great forefathers suffered and sacrifices to our country for being a real Filipino. Some of the students wept and high morale for they know and believe that we Filipinos are better than the other races. They realized that we cannot achieve our dreams and survive from many trials if we don’t stick and help one another. We should treat ourselves as brother and sisters for we are ONE. The team was very enlightened to all comments and dedication from the teachers and mostly from the students. They said that they will be with us in every coordinates of the globe through their prayers. The team continued to sail to Oroquieta where they experienced to sailing against headwind and big waves all the way until they reached the
channel of the city. The Navy PCF 117 assisted to make it to port. Even we only spent a night there, the tourism department escorted us and took good care from the time we arrived until we departed. On the 21st of February, the Masawa Hong Butuan and Diwata ng Lahi arrived in Dapitan where our National Hero – Dr Jose Rizal shared and showed his patriotism and the love of his country. We believed that still the spirit of our late hero is watching over us because we didn’t lost our way even we were confused what the exact direction of the shore. Maybe it is a will that, we arrived smoothly in order for us to tell the people of Dapitan that we are influenced by the spirit of Rizal and part of our journey. Upon the arrival, we were acknowledge with a “flovial parade” which also a sailboats with a band onboard. The first
port where we welcomed with their highly officials and accepted us as their family. We directly went to the house of Dr Jose Rizal and when we enter his place, we felt that we’ve been in that place. We’ve learned a lot of things and inspired us more which it gave us more
courage and faith to fight and believed that our race will rise up again. We’ve also learned that people won’t follow us if we, ourselves don’t take the first step and lead them to reach the top and fulfill our dreams. What we only need is a leader who brings and encourages his
people. W e realized that this voyage of the balangay is a key to let the Filipino people proud that we had heroes like Rizal who never gave up and never underestimate our own race. The place was very clean and the people love their environment. Because of the trials and
experiences the team encountered, they believed that there is a good purpose in each of them why they made sacrifices of joining this voyage. The spirits of our forefathers were joining with us here in balangay through the end of our journey because they want us to continue their unfailing dreams.


Arrival in Ozamis


Dinner with Iligan's Mayor


Fantasy Land in Dapitan


Fisherman who found Tiririt


Flag ceremony in Dapitan


Fluvial Parade


Horror House


Rescuing Tiririt


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