‘Balangays’ to sail to other Southeast Asian countries

From:    The Philippine Star

Date:     January 24, 2010

By:          Evelyn Macairan

Organizers of the “Voyage of the Balangay” are setting their sights on neighboring Southeast Asian countries as their next destinations.


In a statement, the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation (KPF) said they would be using two balangays or Butuan boats for their journey to neighboring countries after completing their Philippine expedition.


“After traversing Philippine waters, we have set our horizon to traveling around Southeast Asia, especially in countries where we can visit a lot of Filipinos,” said Voyage of the Balangay leader Art Valdez.


The first boat, named “Diwata ng Lahi,” would be joined by a bigger and newly constructed second vessel.


The two vessels are docked at the Butuan Port.


The vessels are set to sail to the ports of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Cotabato City, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, General Santos City, Davao del Sur, Davao City, Sarangani, and Tawi-Tawi and finally in Sibuto, Tawi-Tawi by the first week of February.


The two balangays will visit Southeast Asian countries with large Filipino communities such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan.


The Voyage of the Balangay traces traditional maritime routes during the pre-Spanish period. The Butuan balangay is an ancient sea vessel used for transportation, trading, and even warfare.


Premium tropical hardwood like the dungon, tanguile, bagtikan, molave, and yakal were used to construct the second replica. Historically, these were the timber of choice for balangays as well as for Spanish galleons.