Last night I went to the pre-climb meeting of PALMC's Tabayoc outreach program held at the CCP Manila vacant lot housing the Balangay (Bangka/Boat) Project. I never thought that my attention would be diverted out of my real purpose here.
So whats the Balangay Project?
The building/construction of the Balangay (ancient boat) is on-going at the CCP Complex. It started in March 2009 (I guess. But the conceptualization was planned long before (after the 2 Everest climb expeditions) c/o former Usec. Arturo Valdez, the Bajaos, and the Everest Group. It is set to sail to the seas (Philippine coasts/ straits/ shorelines) on June 12, 2009 during the celebration of our Philippine Independence Day.
This year the voyage will be done in the Philippines first but in the succeeding months or years to come, consequently, it would go international (to Africa, etc etc). The first voyage of the Balangay is divided into 7 legs (and these 7 legs are divided into 75 stops/ports).
"We Filipinos are known to be land people (as what Art says). But based on our roots, we are also marine (sea people). We must take pride of our origins and let the whole world know once again that we are proud of our heritage."
There you go, I was very excited and happy to be able to see the boat in construction. I was also amazed on how much they have accomplished with so litte time. After the meeting I inspected the boat and then took some pictures. Hopefully I can join the voyage and be able to see and feel how our ancestors travel.
more info here: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=458964
Artist Concept of the Balangay