Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ang mga Balangay... bow

after days of ranting that i wont be able to see the 2 balangay visit Zamboanga City... we were finally able to find a way!!! (sorry for having a first pic with my face all over... im just toooo happy that i get the chance to see Diwata ng Lahi and Masawa Hung Butuan plus Tiririt for real before their adventure in Southeast Asia)

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i first found out about this project through Anton Diaz's blog last June3,2009. At that time I was already scheduled to go home, that's why I got too hooked on this project since Zamboanga City was one of the major stops of the balangay voyage. I knew I would be able to meet them, their expected arrival in Zamboanga City was Feb14,2010. Since then I've been checking their blog to note their location and check on updates about their stops.

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Diwata ng Lahi was the balangay that sailed from Manila Bay. They've constructed her using ancient methods of creating the balangay. They used pegs only to connect the wooden planks and natural resin from mangrove trees to make it airtight.... no nails!!! (refer to Anton Diaz's post). According to Dr. Ted (one of the crew ---the voyage's doctor and speaker actually), the Diwata ng Lahi had weathered 7 typhoons including Ondoy since they've set sail September2009.

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The Diwata ng Lahi was joined by the Masawa hung Butuan from Butuan. Masawa is bigger than Diwata. The 2 balangay went to Port of Lebak, then Davao after Zamboanga City. They will set sail again for their Southeast Asia adventure once repair of Diwata is complete in Davao City.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Tiririt. :-) I don't know how they've brought her along but I'm definite she also came from Manila. I remember seeing a 360-degree photo of the Diwata ng Lahi in Manila Bay with Tiririt around. :-)

Their arrival in Zambo was postponed to sometime end of Feb2010 since they need to spend more time in Butuan to repair the Diwata ng Lahi. I didn't realize we scheduled a trip to Dipolog that weekend. In short, i missed the balangays' arrival in Zamboanga City (even the day they've presented the 2 balangay to the public in Paseo del Mar).

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After learning that they will be staying for a few more days but will be based inside the Naval station, I immediately begged Leo to accompany me there. :-) i'm just soooo glad he did! we didn't only get to have the balangay all to ourselves we also get the chance to take photos while they were shooting for their video. :-)

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Dr. Ted told me about how the Filipinos were being feared during the time of the balangay because we were so good at using weapons during combats. They've tried to do a re-enactment of fight scenes as well to include in their video.

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it was nice to have a little chat with Dr. Ted. and it was nice to meet some of the crew (there were 30 of them according to Dr.Ted, some are coastguards who joined them from Butuan).

the meeting was made even special by the place, the Naval Station beach had been a big part of my childhood. I used to spend saturday mornings here with my sibs trying to learn how to swim and just enjoying the beach while we wait for our papang who's working in the Naval base. :-) It was nice to see the 2 balangay and the Naval base (again after years!)... :-)

Thanks to Mr. Art Valdez the Kaya ng Pinoy Foundation for this voyage. It makes one feel proud to be Pinoy knowing that we have our own culture, our own identity even before all the colonizers tried to erase it....

have a safe southeast asia adventure to you guys! :-)

Naval Station, Wesmincom
Zamboanga City
March 3, 2010

Camera: Cannon Digital Ixus 70

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