Balangay Replica sailing in Manila Bay
(AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELIS / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
The balangay was the first wooden watercraft excavated in Southeast Asia and is evidence of early Filipino craftsmanship and their seamanship skills during the pre-colonial times. The oldest known balangay was carbon dated to 320 AD by the Gakushuin University of Tokyo, Japan.
The Balangay is a plank boat constructed on a keel and joined together by carved-out planks edge to edge, using pins or dowels. It was first mentioned in the 16th century in the Chronicles of Antonio Pigafetta, the official chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition and is known as the oldest watercraft found in the Philippines.
The planks which were made from a hardwood called doongon in the Philippines (Heritiera littoralis) were joined together every 12 centimeters (1 centimeter=.39 inch) by hardwood pins measuring some 19 centimeters long which were driven…
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