Crewmen of the three ancient balangays boats dock at San Fernando Bay, Pier 2, Poro Point in San Fernando City, La Union on May 19, 2018 (Saturday) from their Balangay Expedition.CHRISTINE JUNIO / NPN – northboundasia.com
The adventurers sailed from the Philippines to China in boats constructed with techniques dated back to 320AD.
The expedition is composed of three wooden replicas of the ancient balangay boat, the “Sultan Sin Sulu”, “Lahi ng Maharlika” and “Sama ng Tawi-Tawi”, wherein two boats are motorized due to strict maritime rules.
The thirty-three crewmen of the Balangay expedition are composed of mountaineers who led an expedition to conquer Mount Everest and Philippine Coast Guard. The expedition is headed by Arturo Valdez, a former USEC of DOST and a former President of the Mountaineering Federation of the Philippines.
“Sailing is good but the paper works is so difficult and almost beyond to qualify, the strict maritime rules imposed by the Maritime International Organization is making almost impossible to travel in an ancient boat like this” Valdez explains as to why the two boats are motorized.
Their trip is to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the journey made by the Sultan of Sulu Paduka Batara who went to China to pay tribute to Ming dynasty rulers but had died in Shandong province in China.
“This voyage is an advocacy to stir maritime consciousness” Valdez added.
Valdez notes one of Jose Rizal’s quote “Only when the Philippines, only the future generations can rediscover their maritime roots can they be totally free and prosper as a nation”