Bon Voyage, Diwata Ng Lahing Balangay!
A group of intrepid Filipinos are sailing off today on a journey like no other.
The group is led by Art Valdez, the same adventurer behind the Philippine team that conquered Mount Everest.
And this time, with history as their inspiration, Valdez and his group are taking Diwata ng Lahing Balangay (Maiden of the Balangay Race), an indigenous Filipino house-boat which was constructed by Badjao artisan boat builders using authentic tools and faithful to the design of THE original ancient Balangay.”
Through to 2010, Diwata will criss-cross the Philippine archipelago, tracing the same inter-island route of our Filipino forefathers and in the process reaffirming centuries-old Filipino maritime skills and celebrating the Filipino spirit.
The journey of Diwata will take it to Batangas, Mindoro, Pola Island, Tablas, Boracay, Capiz, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Bohol, Leyte, Agusan, Camiguin, Cagayan de Oro, Lanao, Ozamis, Misamis Occidental, Dipolog, Zamboanga, Banga, Pagadian, Cotabato, Mati, Kalamansig, South Cotabato, General Santos, Sarangani and Davao.
Through 2010, Diwata will sail through Southeast Asia and eventually embark on an epic global trip through the Pacific and Atlantic oceans until 2013.
The vessel was built exactly like the excavated original Balangay in the 70’s which was carbon dated back to the year 20AD.
It’s only concession to science is a GPS that will show its progress via the internet.
Diwata’s team is composed of 6 Badjaos, four men from the Navy and Coast Guard, two seamen and the 8 members of the original Mount Everest Team Philippines.