Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Diwata ng Lahi in Butuan!

Good news Butuanons! "Diwata ng Lahi" is expected to arrive in Butuan on the first week of December. Team Balangay will then go on a 24-day Christmas/New Year break and resume the voyage on  January 7, 2010. That means "Diwata ng Lahi" will remain docked in Butuan for the holidays! Visiting Butuanons will  have more time to see the balangay in Butuan. Go ahead and spread the word! I, for sure, will have my pictures taken with "Diwata ng Lahi" and Team Balangay.

To read more about the Voyage of the Balangay, read this POST or visit

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walk for a Cause

Our lone source of water in Butuan City has been endangered by the illegal mining, illegal logging and illegal constructions within the Taguibo Watershed area.  Socio-civic organizations have been actively creating public awareness to save our only source of water here (there are pending cases too, but we can't talk about it here).

As I went down the office today, I chanced upon the Walk For Cause to save our said watershed. The front-liners were our diocesan priests, followed by  the officers and employees of Fr. Saturnino Urios University, the seminarians in the St. Peter’s Seminary, students from the various schools in the cities, and so on and so forth.

The Walk intended to call and pressure those lawless individuals to cease their illegal operations in the Taguibo Watershed Forest Reserve Area.  By the looks of the wrath brought about by Ondoy, I hope those !@#$$ persons heed the persistent plea and stop already, por favor!

By: yenskay

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Taguibo Watershed: Before and After

This is a video that was uploaded on Youtube by a fellow Butuanon to show the damages within a month of continued illegal activities at Butuan City's main source of potable water, the Taguibo Watershed.

To know more about the issue read this previous post.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Voyage of the Balangay

Team Balangay has finally set sail aboard Diwata ng Lahi towards an epic journey from Manila Bay to Mindanao and later on to Southeast Asia. For more updates from Team Balangay, visit the official website. Lawig balangay!

Note: Diwata ng Lahi will be joined by another balangay once it docks in Butuan City. The balangay construction in Butuan will be paid for by private citizens.

To read more about the Voyage of the Balangay, read this POST or visit

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Water is Life

There is an ongoing battle in Butuan. Concerned citizens from all sectors are staging a fight against illegal loggers and miners to save the Taguibo River Watershed Forest Reserve (TRWFR), Butuan's primary source of potable water and farmland irrigation.

The Taguibo watershed is one of the critical watersheds in Caraga that was declared as a Forest Reserve by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1076 issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos on September 4, 1997. It covers a total area of 4,364 hectares for protection and conservation under the public domain of the City of Butuan and Municipalities of RTR and Cabadbaran in the province of Agusan del Norte.

It was discovered as early as 2005 that illegal activities such as logging, mining, and road construction, have been going on at the watershed. It has been four years since the issue was first raised by BCWD to the Regional Development Council (RDC). The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (DENR-MGB) has issued a Cease and Desist Order dated August 9, 2005, but the issue  has resurfaced. Unlawful activities have resumed at the protected area, causing the rise in water turbidity level and forcing the Butuan City Water District (BCWD) to shut off water supply in Butuan during rainy days.

Butuanons are alarmed that if these illegal activities will not be stopped, further destruction will be done to the watershed and the whole city might end up with no water in the near future.

The advocacy to save the Taguibo Watershed is being spearheaded by BCWD, managed by Engr. Anselmo Sangtian, and the Fr. Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) community, headed by Rev. Fr. John Christian Young.

If you want to know more about how you can be part of this worthy cause, you may visit the following links:


(photos courtesy of

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Diwata ng Lahi

This is an update on the Voyage of the Balangay Project led by Art Valdez. The balangay, named "Diwata ng Lahi", is now finished and it was officially launched yesterday, June 27. Team Balangay will set sail on the first week of July, if weather permits. Below are some pictures taken during the launching. Pictures courtesy of Butuan Global Forum.

The balangay before the launching.

Fr. Joesilo Amalla of Butuan City officiating the Catholic boat blessing rites. (Tausug and Protestant rites were also conducted).

Art Valdez cutting the rope to release the balangay into the water.

The balangay finally on the waters of Manila Bay!

Diwata ng Lahi ready to set sail!

Click HERE to see the complete list of Philippine ports wich will be visited by Team Balangay.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Butuan Pride

I just read on the net that a Butuanon dance group called Next Block Crew bagged the top prize at the Dunkin Donuts Icy Coolers Dance Dunkdown. The contest was held last May 28, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia. The group won in the Young Adults category while another group from General Santos City, Experience Kids, won in the Kids category. Both groups were awarded P100,000 each. Madyaw gid kadyaw ang Butuanon!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Journey Into History

On June 27, 2009, the Filipino Mount Everest Team, led by Art Valdez, will embark on another journey. This time they will travel by sea aboard a balangay. A balangay is a wooden boat which was used by our ancestors to travel around Southeast Asia to as far as Polynesia in the East and Madagascar in the West. Team Balangay will attempt to retrace those ancient travel routes  starting at Manila Bay.

Balangays, also called Butuan Boats, were dug up in Butuan City in the 70's. These balangays were carbon dated 320 AD.

A sketch of the balangay at the National Museum

One of the original Butuan balangays on display at the Balangay Shrine in Butuan City

Here is a detailed list of places in the Philippines which will be visited by Team Balangay:

1. Manila to Sangley, Cavite 5.3 nautical miles (nm)
2. Ternate, Cavite 17.4 nm
3. Nasugbu, Batangas 19.5 nm
4. Calatagan, Batangas 16.5 nm
5. Batangas City 29.0 nm
6. Puerta Galera, Or. Mindoro 14.2 nm
7. Calapan City, Or. Mindoro 16.0 nm
8. Pola 27.0 nm
9. Maestre de Campo 26 nm
10. Calatrava, Romblon 26.2 nm
11. Odiongan, Tablas 16.7 nm
12. Looc, Romblon 30.0 nm
13. Boracay, Aklan 20.7 nm

13. Boracay, Aklan
14. Kalibo, Aklan (Port Batan) 38.5 nm
15. Roxas City, Capiz (Port Capiz) 12.5 nm
16. Estancia, Iloilo 51.0 nm
17. Barotac Viejo, Iloilo 42.0 nm
18. Iloilo City, Iloilo 30.8 nm
19. Bacolod City, Negros Occ. 23.3 nm
20. Silay City, Neg Occ 7.5 nm
21. Sagay City, Neg Occ 23.3 nm
22. Bantayan Island, Cebu 40.o nm
23. Daan Bantayan, Cebu 23.4 nm
24. Bogo, Cebu 16.4 nm
25. Danao City, Cebu 35.2 nm
26. Cebu City, Cebu 10.7 nm
27. (Mactan - Cebu Departure)

27. (Mactan - Cebu Departure)
28. Argao, Cebu 27.0 nm
29. Dumaguete City, Negros Or. 38.5 nm
30. Siquijor (Port Canoan), Negros Or. 16.5 nm
31. Panglao, Bohol 28.7 nm
32. Jagna, Bohol 31.5 nm
33. Maasin, Southern Leyte 43.0 nm
34. Limasawa, Southern Leyte 16.6 nm
35. Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte 56.3 nm
36. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte 6.3 nm

36. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte
37. Gingoog, Misamis Or. 25.7 nm
38. Mambajao, Camiguin Island 34.0 nm
39. Cagayan de Oro City 49.7 nm
40. Iligan City, Lanao 48.2 nm
41. Ozamis City, Misamis Occ. 10.5 nm
42. Oroquieta, Mis. Occ. 29.5 nm
43. Dapitan, Dipolog 37.6 nm
44. Liloy, Zamboanga 54.0 nm
45. Ciocon (Port Sta. Maria), 49.0 nm
46. Sibuco, Zamboanga 31.0 nm
47. Zamboanga City 34.8 nm

47. Zamboanga City
48. Panubigan Island 15.7 nm
49. Bangaan Island,Port Banga 24.2 nm
50. Bagalamatan 16.0 nm
51. Suba Nipa 29.5 nm
52. Limbug Cove 43.6 nm
53. Pagadian City 22.2 nm
54. Port Baras, Cotabato 35.0 nm
55. Cotabato City 25.0 nm
56. Linao Bay, Mati 40.0 nm
57. Port Lebak, Kalamansig 17.0 nm
58. Milbuk Harbor, Milbuk 35.3 nm
59. Kling , South Cotabato 41.5 nm
60. General Santos City 41.5 nm

60. General Santos City
61. Glan, Saranggani 16.0 nm
62. Butulan Cove, Butulan 36.0 nm
63. Jose Abad Santos (Caburan) 22.3 nm
64. Malita, Davao 33.2 nm
65. Digos, Davao Del Sur 25.0 nm
66. Davao City, Port of Sta. Ana 25.3 nm

67. Isabela, Basilan
68. Jolo/Patikul, Sulu
69. Siasi, Sulu
70. Tumbagaan Island, Tawi-Tawi
71. Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
72. Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi
73. Sitangkai, Tawi-Tawi
74. Siluag Island, Tawi-Tawi
While on port, Team Balangay will conduct several activities in the area which include medical missions, school visitations, coastal cleanup, awareness seminars, and visits to local places of interest.

From Tawi-Tawi, Team Balangay will trace the migration of our ancestors and the ancient trade routes of Southeast Asia.

Catch Team Balangay in your area and be a part of this historic endeavor!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Caraga: Madyaw Kadyaw!

I found this very nice video on Youtube showcasing the best of Caraga Region. Byahe na!