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Balangay Boat Building Site in Butuan City

Masawa Hong Butuan

Aside from the historical discovery site of the relics of the ancient  Balangay in Butuan City, it is also a must to  visit  the Building Site of the Balangay in Luna , a boat replica which commemorates the legacy of our sea voyager ancestors that ruled  the sea in prehistoric times.

Meeting Abdul, one of the carpenters of Balanghai
The Balangay Boat Building Site is located in Luna Compound, Brgy. Bading, Butuan City, where the Masawa Hong Butuan rest for repair/preservation along the shore of Agusan River.

Crossing the Agusan River coming from the Ruins of Banza  I personally witnessed the giant  boat made from indigenous Philippine wood materials. My visit to this isolated place in Butuan City, gave me a feeling of kindling the life of our ancestors on how they lived, traveled and traded with other communities in far places across the sea. 

The size of the boat could fit more than 40 people with different expertise in sailing from carpenters to engineers.

Here is the Route Highlight of the Balangay

  1.  September 1, 2009. Balangay “Diwata ng Lahi” left CCP Complex, Manila to start the Voyage of the Balangay.
  2.  February 4, 2010. Balangays, “Masawa Hing Butuan” and “Diwata ng Lahi” left Butuan City to continue the Voyage of the Balangay around Mindanao and Southeast Asia.
  3.  Jully 22, 2010. Balangay “Sama Tawi Tawi” left Butuan City to rendevouz with Balangay “Masawa Hong Butuan” and Balangay “Diwata ng Lahi” in Zamboanga City.
  4. August 1, 2010. The three balangays left Paseo del Mar, Zamboanga City for travel to Sulu and Tawi Tawi before crossing international waters towards Sabah, Malaysia.
  5. August 15, 2010. The balangay flotilla crossed international waters from Turtle Islands, Tawi Tawi and arrived in Sandakan, Sabah Malaysia , its 81st port of call and 1st in  international voyage.
  6. October 26, 2012. The balangay flotilla left Sihanoukville, Cambodia for the return trip to the Philippines after traveling around Southeast Asia. Sihanoukville is the 101st port of call and 21st in the international voyage. Countries visited: Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and the waters of Vietnam.
  7.  November 16, 2010. The balangay flotilla re-entered Philippine waters from Pulau Banggi, Malaysia to Balabac, Palawan.
  8.  December 13, 2010. The balangay flotilla reached CCP complex, Manila after more than 15 months of sailing around the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
  9. January 21, 2011. Balangay “ Masawa Hong Butuan” begins the journey home to Butuan City from CCP Complex , Manila, escorted by Balangay “Sama Tawi Tawi’.

The team of voyagers of  Balanghai

Getting there
  • Daily local flights to Butuan are available from local airline companies in the Philippines. 
  • From the city proper you can take a tricycle and kindly direct the driver to R. Calo Street and tell him to drop you at Luna compound where the Balanghai Building Site is located.  You will see a colorful painted wall at the entrance of the compound and just informed the security (if there is) that you wish to visit the balanghai. The site is a private property .Tricycle fare: Php 8.00, travel time: less that 10 minutes, entrance fee : Php 0.00.
  • You can include the Balanghai Building Site to your itinerary on your visit to the Ruins of Banza by just crossing the river through a local pumpboat just near the site of the Ruins. With my experience , I paid Php 20.00 to the boatman as I requested to drop directly to Luna compound. Travel time is less than two minutes.


  1. I love history! Butuan ancestors showed how industrious they are in building such giant boat. It seems they made the boat with hard work and passion for work.

  2. It's been over a decade since I last visited Butuan. I remember we visited the historical sites during our education trip for our history class. It was such an awesome experience getting up close with the historical relics.

  3. This was the same one docked in CCP years ago. I didn't see it back then which I regret until now. I hope to see it in Butuan in the future.

  4. Lucky me, nakita ko yan ng mag-docked sa CCP. I am fond of Phil. history kasi. Ang galing naman ng mga taong nag-restor nyan.

  5. indeed amazing how a boat like that can fit 40 people! can almost compare to noah's arc story!! truly mabuhay and pinoy. I remember that I was joing a quizbee before for one of my school back in the day adn this was one of their questions! xx

  6. Balangay the boat which is the beggining of the Filipino race, good to see that their is still a model of that in Butuan, great

  7. I've heard so much of Balangay and I must say that Filipinos are already great builders even before the Spaniards came. I hope I could ride one of those in the future.

  8. It's amazing how seaworthy our traditional ships are. To think that these vessels can handle open seas; our boat-makers skills seem to have truly withstood the test of time. If only we were a warlike culture, we'd be Southeast Asia's vikings! :)

  9. we definitely have a deep history, and sailing would be one of them, considering our country is composed by many islands. preservation of these relics is same as preserving our beautiful history. Yahweh bless.