Sunday, June 28, 2009

Voyage of the Balangay: Into the water, out to sea

balangay sunsetTwo weeks ago, I wrote about the voyage of the Balangay. Yesterday, the Balangay was put out to sea, not without some tense moments for team leader, Art Valdez, who cut the rope that tied the Balangay to land. We were shown the video by Carina, the balangay held in tow by the builders and volunteers with rollers underneath, it was airborne for a few seconds before splashing into the waters of Manila Bay. It righted itself almost immediately, laying to rest any doubt of its seaworthiness.balangay outpouring of blessingToward the sunset hours, a priest blessed the Balangay and its accompanying boat. the Balangay was christened "Diwata" or fairy in the vernacular while the small boat was named Gabriela Silang after the famous Philippine heroine.balangay visionary art valdezArt Valdez, the leader of Philippine Everest team always takes time to remind visitors and guests of how significant this event and how symbolic the Balangay is. Yes, it is a reminder of the Filipino's affinity to the sea, but beyond this, it is a testament to the Filipino's capability. As declared in the project's battlecry "Kaya ng Pinoy", the Filipino can make things happen if he/she sets his/her mind on it.balangay bajau boat buildersThe Balangay would be at the waters off the CCP terminal until it sets sail two weeks from now. It would be outfitted with a sail made of organic cloth by then. Much credit goes to the Bajau boat builders who lent their expertise in boat building to this historic project. Feel free to drop by to show your support for this cause and the team.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Sir Oggie for this post. Sayang po di tayo nagkita sa event. Hope to meet you next time. =)

ian papasin

escape said...

so sad that i missed with you there because my brother invited me to watch the transformers but still it was you informed me about this.

i didnt know they have names. is the small one the white one?

amazing also that you had the chance to talk to sir art.

Jerick said...

i like that little philippine flag on that bangka.

bertN said...

It is hard to believe that this open boat will be able to survive a long ocean voyage and raging storms. But what do I know about boats, the high seas and gutsy seafarers? If the Kon-Tiki was able to do it, why not the Balangay. Go Balangay go!

The Nomadic Pinoy said...

As the balangay will sail around the Philippines at this time when typhoons are in season, will the team of Art Valdez bring aboard some instruments to predict weather?

lagal[og] said...

hi ian, oo nga eh, but it's ok. what's important is that the news about the balangay voyage is written about and has reached more people.

dom, they're approachable naman, even the members of the philippine everest team. they'll gladly share their stories with everyone who wants to hear them out kaya it's a pleasure talking to them.

jerick, thanks bro.

hi bert, i guess so. there will be a navy boat to escort the balangay and the crew will hug the coasts mostly during daytime and in good weather to keep safe.

nomadic pinoy, there will be bajau and navy guides to help the crew navigate.


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