• my image ANGRY BIRDS
    First look on the suicidal squad and their new look.

The Balangay Project

Last June 4, 2009 we are introduced to a heritage long been forgotten by most of the filipino people. The Kaya ng Pinoy Inc., launches an exciting, new undertaking that will retrace the migration of our ancestors across the oceans using only the native Balangay, built faithful to the craftsmanship and materials used during the ancient times. Navigation will also attempt to remain as accurate to the method that was used by the earliest mariners – steering by the sun, the stars, the wind, cloud formations, wave patterns and bird migrations.

Wow sounds nostalgic right? But not easy. The authentic Balangay will be crafted by master boat builders from the Island of Sibutu and Sitangkay in Tawi-Tawi, whose skills had been handed down through generations. They will be employing the same boat building technique and method of construction as the Balangay of the 4th, 13th and 14th century A. D. - plank built, lashed lug, edge pegged and shell-first construction. This will not only showcase the capability of the Filipino boat builders but would also be our way of instilling and propagating the idea among the present Filipinos, particularly the youth, that the Filipinos have been world-class boat builders even before the coming of the Western colonizers.

This historically veritable construction will take place at the Reclamation Area, Manila – an informative and interactive boat building showroom. A viewing deck will be constructed so that students and the public will have the chance to actually see the progress of the construction of the boat

There will also be an active participation by a pool of experts and the academe to ensure an in depth understanding of the technical and historical aspects of the endeavor, as well as a thorough appreciation of the significance of this undertaking to our identity as a people.

We also got the chance to meet Mr. Art Valdez who leads the team on this project. Art Valdez once had an impossible dream. But no order is too tall for the man who conceived, organized and lead the successful Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition to the top of the world’s tallest mountain. Against all odds, including a perennial shortage of funds, his team put the First Filipinos on the Summit of Mt. Everest in 2006. In 2007, the team accomplished the First Women Traverse of Mt. Everest – a feat never before done in world mountaineering history.

Art Valdez’s organizational expertise and rich experience in leading the Mt. Everest Expedition can serve as the guiding light in the accomplishment of this project, his new “Everest.”

If the team can succeed on Mt. Everest without ever having seen snow or high mountain, then more so in the Voyage of the Balangay, an undertaking that has been in the Filipino blood, in Malay tradition, for thousands of years.

Now that the boat is finally built, is is set to be tested to ensure safety of the whole crew. Then the Balangay will start to sail this year across South East Asia, Micronesia, across the Atlantic and back to the Philippines hopefully in year 2013.

We are very happy to see that this extraordinary work of art and culture is brought back to life and we can see right before our very eyes how our ancestors live a sea life back those ages. We hope that this project will succeed with the help of the right people and continue to bring back or at least preserve our cultural heritage for the next generation to witness.

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