Butuan and Balanghai - A Journey Through Time

I'm about to sleep and I stumble to this blog post. I really find this one very interesting.

We usually  hear this word  around  this  time  of summer as  we usually equate it with the  city’s  display of culture and tradition as well as its opportunity to show  the  development  highlights it has travailed in its a thousand  years  of existence, from an influential maritime  kingdom in the  Sri Vidjayan and  Madjapahit Empires, to a gold  finders paradise in the early 20th century… to a  booming timber-town in the 50’s.  From a  fragile, perennial  calamity hit locality… to  a rising highly urbanized  regional  capital of today…to that  of vigorous  shining metropolis  in the near future. Let us again take a review of Balanghai, and how this great Indo-Malay  word came  to represent this  city’s journey through the past millenia.

Golden VoyageSince the 10th  century,  Butuan  appeared to have been in good relations with  the Srivijayan Empire. Being  located on the coast of Mindanao,  balanghais are  often docking at the Butuan bay keeping good business  between the local  people of Butuan and traders from the neighboring empire.

During the 1970’s,  these  balanghais  were exposed through an  excavation to the modern  time and found that through carbon-dating process, the boats were almost a thousand years old.
Building  balanghai requires  teamwork and  unity among workers which is why it was  used by the Philippine  Government as a term to  refer to the smallest political unit, now became popularly pronounced as barangay.

Butuan’s Early Balanghais
A  balanghai, or some refer  to it as balangay,  is a wooden boat adjoined by planks, and  believed that  the term originated from an  Italian archaeologist named Antonio Pigafetta  in the 16th century  when he mentioned  the word spelled “balanghai”.

The  balangays did not serve just a  wooden boat  but stood as a symbol for social unit. In the 16th century,   Spaniards found  out that balangay also referred to the smallest unit of politics among Filipinos.
Balanghai Boats

Late 1970’s,  balangay boats were  discovered in Butuan City by the National Museum archaelogists.  Nine were  recovered during the excavation. The first is being presently preserved and displayed  in the museum in  Libertad, Butuan City. It had  undergone carbon-dating  and  dated at year 320.  The second  boat, dated 1250, is presently located at the Maritime Hall of National Museum in Manila. The third  was  transferred to Butuan  Regional Museum while the six other boats are under the process of  excavtion and  preserved,  remaining to their original waterlogged condition to protect the artifacts.

The Historical Butuan
The city of Butuan is the home  of treasures such as the  Tara, golden  figurine of Buddha’s consort, an array of lustrous,  most intricate jewelry, a collection of priceless ceramics  from the Sung Dynasty, and  the remains of the early balanghai.

These precious  treasures of Butuan  are now found around the globe.  The Tara is now at the Field Museum in Chicago, the Chinese  precious findings and the restored  balanghais are being displayed  at the National Museum,  and the incomparable gold jewelry is the Metropolitan  Museum of Manila’s grandest collection.

The first mass in the  Philippines is believed to have  taken place near  the Agusan River,  and it is said that Ferdinand  Magellan himself dropped the anchor of the ship in 1521 at the Agusan River, and held a  mass to  commemorate the event.

The Festival

Commemorating  the coming of the early settlers from Borneo and Celebes, Butuan in Agusan  del Sur is celebrating Balanghai  Festival during  the third week of May, coinciding the feast of Butuan’s patron  saint, Saint Joseph.

The balanghai,  also known as balangay and Butuan boat, is  the first water vessel to have  excavated in Southeast Asia, serving as  evidence to the craftsmanship of the early Filipinos in attempting to transport on water.

Balanghai Festival is  one historical event commemorated  through a  night of exotic performances, costumes in an array of colors and creativity, and dazzling floats. One can also take part in the festivals activities such as contests, exhibits, and many other events.

LIKE THIS POST? SHARE THIS TO Tweet This ! Share On Facebook ! Add To Del.icio.us ! Digg This Post ! Share On Reddit ! Share On StumbleUpon ! Share On MySpace ! Blog Feed !

Share your views...

0 Respones to "Butuan and Balanghai - A Journey Through Time"

Post a Comment

This is a do-follow blog and is updated regularly.

■ Avoid posting non related contents.
■ Please use a name instead of blog name or SEO stuff, otherwise it will be deleted right away


Disclaimer | Filipino BlogKarya's HavenReggae MusicBXUNETFood DiaryDiamonds For Sale