It was a spiritual moment -- witnessing the Diwata ng Lahi (the official name of the Balangay) being eased flawlessly into the sea. It was like shooting an arrow that glided effortlessly into the waters of Manila Bay. I could imagine hearing the yachts in the Manila Yacht club clapping, with their hands high up in the air, cheering for the Balangay.
For those who witnessed it, we shared a common feeling of Filipino high, which is beyond saying, "I am proud to be a Filipino." I would like to share the experience with you through a photo essay of the entry of the Balangay onto the waters of Manila Bay.
Call time was 10am. The ceremonies started with both a Christian blessing for safe voyage and a Badjao Blessing of the Boat. The coast guard navy vessel was on standby, as well as Dr. Rted Esguerra, who was in a kayak.
A Badjao man boarded the Balangay for one last time as he tied black support ropes (just in case it needed to be towed).
The entire family was waiting to witness the event, especially my son Aidan, who waited under the heat of the sun for more than an hour. He was seated on my shoulders throughout the entire time until the Balangay touched the Manila Bay waters at 12:24pm.
(Does anyone have a shot of Aidan and me near the Balangay? Please send it to me via email. :) )
Art Valdez, standing once again at the forefront of Philippine History. The launch date was moved to June 27, Saturday, to conform to tradition that boats should be launched on the new moon. Also, at this time, high tide was expected to be at 12:40pm.
The Badjaos and the Voyage of the Balangay team ran through final launching preparations to make sure that it would be safe for all people watching the event last Saturday.
After waiting for more than an hour, the Balangay was ready to set sail at exactly 12:24pm.
Art took the honor of cutting the umbilical rope with an ax to launch the Diwata ng Lahi into the Manila Bay.
Here is a rapid shot sequence of this historic moment...
It was a flawless launch, with the Philippine flag waving with pride as the crowd cheered on.
The Badjao and the Dreamer in a victorious embrace!
Diwata ng Lahi, side by side with a Navy Boat.
I can't wait for the chance to ride the Balangay into the Manila Sunset...
Live an Awesome Life,
Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2009.
prof. blog: AntonDiaz.com
mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627)