“Barangay” is a term to describe the smallest political unit of the Philippine Government, but don’t be surprised that this word originated from the National boat of the Philippines–the Balangay.
This boat, also known as “Butuan”, was the first-ever wooden watercraft to be excavated in southeast Asia. It persists as a vivid representation of the Filipino expertise during pre-colonial times. Our ancestors used these fleets to maintain commercial activities within the country and all over Asia in the 10th and 11th centuries. To this day, it proudly sails as a “symbol of the Filipino community’s character of unity, cooperation, determination and resilience” (Press and Public Affairs Bureau, 2019).
One sunny day, we were pleasantly surprised to have a national treasure sail right past Pangulasian Island! With more than 7000 islands left to navigate, nothing beats the waves better than a Balangay!