THE BALANGAY VOYAGE

Tracing the Migration of Our Forefathers

Early Filipinos were a people of the sea, living in coastal villages or near rivers. Boats were linked to many aspects of Filipino life: fishing, trade, warfare, piracy (trade-raiding for goods and slaves), travel, communication, and dwelling. These boats were called "Balangay".

WHAT IS A BALANGAY?

The Balanghai or Balangay or Butuan Boat is a plank boat adjoined by a carved-out plank edged through pins and dowels. It was first mentioned in the 16th Century in the Chronicles of Pigafetta, and is known as the oldest Pre-Hispanic watercraft found in the Philippines. 


The first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia, the Balangay is only found in the Philippines where a flotilla of such prehistoric wooden boat exists throughout the world. Nine specimens were discovered in 1976 in Butuan City, Agusan Del Norte, Mindanao and 3 of which have been excavated. Examination and extensive investigation reveals that the extant boats found in the excavation site date back to 320, 990 and 1250 AD

 

“The whole exercise of riding the Balangay was to steer the maritime consciousness of our people. It is a reflection of us, Filipinos, a link to our maritime tradition. Sailing is in our DNA.”

Art Valdez, Founder of The Balangay Voyage