Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fascinating Balanghai [Watery & Outdoor Wednesday]

@ mirandablue
I stumbled upon these wooden boats while taking a stroll at the Harbor Square along Manila Bay on Saturday night.  At first, I thought they were ordinary boats until I read "Diwata ng Lahi" etched on the side of the boat.  I got excited when I realized the three boats are the Balanghais [also called Balangay or Butuan boat]. These boats are replicas of the balanghai, a prehistoric boat that plied in the archipelago and around Southeast Asia centuries ago.

The first balanghai, Diwata ng Lahi (Spirit of the Race) was constructed in 2009.  Two other balanghais were subsequently built---Masawa Hong Butuan (Radiance of Butuan) and Sama Tawi-Tawi (People of Tawi-Tawi), all using ancient construction methods.  The shell is made of Dungon, the wood used by ancient Filipino boat builders, while the planks are connected with pegs (or dowels)---no nail was used on these boats.  And to make the balanghai water-tight, the builders used natural resin from mangrove trees.

The Voyage of the Balangay started in Manila on September 1, 2009 and was completed on December 13, 2010, covering more than 14,000 kilometers in 14 months.  The balanghais sailed around most of the Philippines and Southeast Asia ...(read article here) with 40 crew members.

Nine balanghais have been excavated in the 1970's by pot-hunters (those who excavate ceramic antiques without legal permits) in the areas of Butuan City in the northern coast of Mindanao.  The oldest boat found was carbon-dated at 320 AD or 1,690 years old, said to be the first water vessel excavated in Southeast Asia.

@ mirandablue



This is linked to Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday

26 comments:

EG Wow said...

Amazing! I can't imagine sailing 14,000 kilometers! What a journey!

Tink *~*~* said...

You had me going there for a second with "pot hunters" LOL - I was relieved to find we were talking antiquity and not well you know.

Tink **~*

ewok1993 said...

extremely fascinating post. thanks.

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

Stunning!

Martha Z said...

Great captures and very interesting history.

2sweetnsaxy said...

How cool! And thanks for the information about these boats.
:-)

J Bar said...

It is quite fascinating.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

mirage2g said...

love your photos! And thanks for the input...I wasn't aware of Balanghais...ngayon lang! :D

Ann said...

Here's go fishing.

chubskulit said...

Gorgeous shots sis, informative too! I remember this in social studies class hehehe

Please come and see my Watery Wedensday entry, thank you in advance!

Bhupesh said...

beautiful!

Thanks for sharing

BHupesh

Lina Gustina said...

Very interesting and amazing voyage with those Balanghai boats...

Awesome shots, Luna :)

http://thehappyfamilies.blogspot.com/2011/01/before-and-after.html

Nikki . said...

Lovely night shots...

Jama said...

Fascinating boats and you photographed them beautifully in the night lights.

Cecilia Artista said...

Beautiful nightshots!

Lily Riani said...

wow! amazing and beautiful capture! never knew about this place.

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

Mmmmmmm, I LOVE these photos. The night lights in the background make for a very interesting composition. Great photos.


My Wednesday post link In Search of the Elusive WHOLE Sand Dollar

http://hootin--anni.blogspot.com/2011/01/beachcombingits-obsession.html

Tricia said...

Very cool night time watery shots! =)

momgen said...

it is pretty. Happy watery Wednesday...

Mine is here

xinex said...

Very interesting and great photos!...Christine

Carol said...

Beautifully made boats. Thanks for the history lesson.

RNSANE said...

What very interesting history and I am amazed at the fortitude of these sailors, making such a journey. Wonderful photos, Luna.

jeannette said...

Such interesting info about these boats (and great night shots as well!) - thanks for sharing!

4timesblessed said...

For night shots they look amazing and the reflections were awesome.

Reflections said...

What an amazing find while out on your stroll. Great pictures! Interesting that they could be made without nails and still be sea-worthy... of 14,000 kilometers. 14 months is quite the journey for anyone and any boat these days.

http://graceolsson.com/blog said...

great shots