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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, March 3, 2018
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Balangays arrive


Three replicas of an ancient Filipino boat “Balangay” docked yesterday in the Bredco Port in Bacolod City, before sailing off to Zamboanga to undergo repair.

Former environment undersecretary Arturo Valdez, who heads the expeditionsaid yesterday that they are having the boats repaired before sailing off to China on April 7.

Valdez said that from Manila they sailed to Boracay Island where they stayed for 12 hours before sailing off to Lakawon Island in Cadiz City.

He said they want to make it to Zamboanga the soonest time possible because it is where they can have the boats repaired before returning to Manila in March.

The replica boats are made of hardwood Dungon, which was the material used in making balangays before around 320 A.D., and is available in Zamboanga.

Valdez said the Philippines is a maritime nation and endowed with so much maritime natural resources. It is not just in the center of the corral triangle but it is itself the center of marine biodiversity.

The purpose of their expedition is to share with the people that the real wealth of this country lies in its maritime domain, he said.

“However, colonialist power like America and Spain discouraged our people to be in the water and made us think that we are land-based people. So we have been detached fromour natural environment,“ Valdez said.

So he highlighted having a wooden boat sail especially the first time with nothing in it. It highlighted that indeed the Philippines is a maritime nation, he said.

Valdez said the balangay freely roamed these waters before colonialism divided Southeast Asia.

He has been doing this for several years now and wants to finish the expedition to bring the message, he said.

Valdez said Balangay is the name of the boat that was dug up in Butuan in 1976. “It is where our ancestors used to live. The wood of the boat that was dug up in Butuan, when tested, revealed that it dated back to 320 AD and is even older than the Vikings. But our ancestors were not able to record it in writing,” he said,

The Balangay replicas are named Sama Tawi-tawi, Sultan of Sulu and Lahing Maharlika.*CGS


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