Pinoy voyagers circling Southeast Asia on ancient balangay vessel replicas to be back by Christmas
The Filipino crew aboard the balangays--pre-colonial sea vessels used by the Badjao tribe of Tawi-Tawi--traveling around Southeast Asia will be back in the Philippines by Christmas, reports Yahoo News. The flotilla, composed of three boats, reached as far as Cambodia according to crew leader Arturo Valdez’s email to Asia News Network. Because of the bad weather, they cancelled a scheduled meet with President Noynoy Aquino in Vietnam, where he attended the Association of South East Asian Nations Summit in October. The balangays, which set sail July, also made it to Indonesia and Malaysia.
The historic voyage aims to "retrace the migration and trade routes of ancient Filipinos in Southeast Asia and China," reports Inquirer.net. The core members of the crew are Voltaire Velasco, and some members of the First Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition team: Valdez, Janet Belarmino-Sardena, Carina Dayondon, Leo Oracion, Erwin Emata, Noelle Wenceslao, Ted Esguerra and Fred Jamili.
Reuters video: Filipinos build a balangay.