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MET blueprint, Yolanda poem, Torogan toy on board the balangays

Some of the items of the balangays identified and collected by Project Saysay for Kaya ng Pinoy.

Project Saysay collaborated with Kaya ng Pinoy in identifying and organizing culturally and historically significant objects to be loaded on board the balangays Sultan sin Sulu, Lahi ng Maharlika, and Sama Tawi-Tawi. The initiative was dubbed as "Baon ng mga Balangay" (Items of the Balangays). Kaya ng Pinoy is the brainchild of the Balangay Voyage Expedition.

Around 20 items were collected, sourced from various institutions and individuals. These will be wrapped on native handwoven textiles: the Luzon items on abel Iloko from Bangar, La Union courtesy of the Saint Louis College of San Fernando City, La Union; the Visayas items on hablon from Miagao, Iloilo shared by Dr. Randy Madrid of the UP Visayas Center for West Visayan Studies; and the Mindanao items on tinalak from Lake Sebu, South Cotabato and hinabol from Bukidnon, donated by the Tboli School of Living Tradition and Hibla Sanghabi.

There are also items stored digitally in USBs: the digital version of the scripts of the award-winning Ari: A Life with the King written by Robert P. Tantingco, Director of the Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies, Holy Angel University, and Hinulid written (in Bikol) and directed by playwright Kristian Cordero, Director of the Ateneo de Naga University Press, starring Nora Aunor.

Also in digital format are the colorized profile of Jose Rizal from the NHCP Alfonso Ongpin Collection by Ivan Bilugan of the Philippine History in Color, and the master thesis "Pagsasakasaysayan ng Pagpapangalan ng mga Bayan sa Hilagang Panay" (Historicizing the Place Naming in the Northern Panay Towns) by Ruchie Mark Pototanon of the University of the Philippines Visayas in Iloilo (defended this year at the University of the Philippines Diliman History Department).

Waray playwright Samlito Abueva sent to Project Saysay his handwritten version of his widely known poem "Bukatkat" (Fireflies). The poem is about the onslaught on Eastern Visayas of the Category 5-strength super typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

Davao City-based Swito Corporation permitted Project Saysay to include in the items of the balangays their innovative work Balay-Balay Ta! It is a 3D architectural puzzle toy of a miniature torogan, a Maranao house on which Marawi City is famous. Project Saysay took the panolong, a highly stylized carved beam found protruding in a torogan house.

Hibla Sanghabi, a group of musicians playing folk instruments and an advocate of writing in baybayin, also contributed a kulibaw (jaw harp), a Tinguian musical instrument. The group also shared a Mangyan script etched on a bamboo stick.

Central Visayas' iconic puso, a triangularly woven coconut leaves use as rice casing, also made it to the items of the balangays. Bago City's Negros silk has been with the balangay Sama Tawi-Tawi since 17 May 2017 and turned over to Project Saysay on 25 May 2017. The Negros silk was courtesy of Negros Occidental Provincial Tourism Office.

Architect-in-charge on the restoration of the Metropolitan Theater Gerard Lico contributed the blueprint of the said newly acquired heritage structure by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). NHCP also contributed the blueprint of the newly restored Baclayon Church of Bohol.

NHCP chemist and urban sketcher Gee Roxas also sent from South Korea her sketch of Mi Retiro Rock in Dapitan City.

Mindanao delegates to the 1st National Youth Forum on Heritage Janelyn Dalisan of Lake Sebu and Randal Jay Mislang of Isabela, Basilan contributed a Tboli lady's belt and a piece each of Yakan and Tausug cloth.

All the items will be placed in three bamboo canisters commissioned by Project Saysay from Hibla Sanghabi. Etched on to each canisters are baybayin letters.

A fourth bamboo canister is reserved for the Philippine Flag which the NHCP will send to Hong Kong to symbolically visit its birthplace on Morison Hill. The flag is expected to be raised in the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong and will be returned before the 119th anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence in June. If arrived on time, the said flag will be hoisted at Emilio Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite on 12 June 2017.

The rest of the items will also return to the Philippines after the Balangay Voyage Expedition accomplished its mission: to visit the tomb of Paduka Batara, the 15th-century Sultan of Sulu who was received by the Chinese emperor in 1417 and died in China. It was one of the earliest Asiatic connection of our ancestors with neighboring ancient kingdoms almost a century before the European conquest of the soon to be called the Philippines.

Baon ng mga Balangay initiative is also supported by Mama Sita Foundation, which will send condiments to the expedition team. It will also send cookbooks, along with other publications of the NHCP and a bust of Apolinario Mabini, the first Philippine Foreign Affairs secretary, for the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong. Project Saysay will also donate posters for the consulate and send goodwill bookmarks for all the Filipinos to welcome the expedition in China.

#MetropolitanTheater #GerardLico #HongKong #MamaSitaFoundation #Baybayin #HiblaSanghabi #JoseRizal #Puso #Tboli #Balangay #KayangPinoy #ApolinarioMabini

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