Voyage of the Balangay reaches Borneo

The Voyage of the Balangay, a reconstruction of a Filipino watercraft that sailed the Philippine waters last year is now in its second leg of its journey – a trip through the waters of Southeast Asia. The Balangay recently called at Kota Kinabalu and is on its way to Kuching before continuing on to Singapore and Vietnam.

Retracing the sailing bravado of Filipino ancestors
Daily Express, 22 August 2010

They were the first Filipino group to climb Mt Everest from its north face and reach the top not just once but three times! Now they have decided to test their mettle on something equally extraordinary.
“Going to the sea in an ancient migratory barangay sail boat is more than coming down to earth,” joked Art Valdez, 61, leader of “Voyage of The Barangay” which sailed into the beach off Kinabalu Yacht Club, Saturday.

Before breaking into international waters into Sabah on its way down to Singapore, then upwards to Vietnam and Shanghai, Valdez and his flotilla of three barangays had spent a year sailing around the Philippines, making 80 stops in all.

The international leg first took them to Sandakan, then up to Kudat, around the tip of Borneo to Kota Kinabalu. Everywhere they went, they were greeted with rousing welcome.

“We are out to show the young the sea is part of the natural environment and part of the natural highway for the peoples of the Philippines and Southeast Asia,” said Valdez, a friend of Tengku Datuk Dr Adlin, Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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