09 May 2018 - The Embassy welcomed the Philippine Balangay Expedition Team on 09 May 2018. The expedition team is composed of 33 members, headed by former Undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Mr. Arturo Valdez. The expedition comprises 3 boat teams namely Sama Tawi Tawi, Lahi ng Maharlika, and Sultan Sin Sulu.
Philippine Balangay Expedition Team
Ambassador Sta. Romana welcomed the team to the Embassy
In his welcome remarks, Ambassador Jose Santiago L. Sta. Romana congratulated the team for their successful voyage through the South China Sea. He noted that the expedition of the team is a great contribution to the people-to-people exchanges between the Philippines and China. The expedition also shows the maritime traditions of Filipinos dating way back to the 1417, when Sultan Paduka Batara undertook his voyage to China.
Mr. Arturo Valdez presenting a miniature Balangay to Ambassador Sta. Romana
Mr. Valdez thanked the Embassy and Xiamen PCG for their assistance in making the voyage possible after 10 years of planning and three attempts. He introduced members of the crew according to their boat team. He noted that great bodies of water are means of communication and contact among people. These bodies of water are means to unify people, and the expedition serves to remind us that we can be friends with our neighbors.
The team sailed from Poro Point, La Union to Fujian Xiamen on 01 May and arrived in Fujian, Xiamen port on 03 May 2018. They then traveled by train to visit the Tomb of Sultan Paduka Batara in Dezhou, after which they proceeded to Beijing. The team plans to sail back to the Philippines on 15 May from Hong Kong. END.