List of ancient Philippine boats, ships, and other water vessels

List of ancient Philippine boats, ships, and other water vessels

Balanghai ride along Manila City Hall

Since monsoon rains are a regular thing this side of the planet, and massive flooding is assured too every year, we might as well deal with the double whammy.

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Apparently, we are not dealing with these right by treating the annual phenomenon as a problem and a threat. What if we view it as an opportunity instead? If Venice can draw millions of tourists from its flooded vistas and boat rides, we have no reason not to attract the same legion of visitors for our own boat rides around the flooded districts of Manila.

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Of course, we must exert an effort to be original, so as not to look like a shameless copycat. We can draw from our own trove of indigenous treasures. For starters, we have the balanghai perfect for the purpose. We have at least several other such ancient watercraft, so why don’t we try this tack, if not for the tourists, then at least for ourselves? We can’t possibly rely on the government each time we need rescuing — that would be too demanding, if not bratty an attitude.

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The Thais, too, are reportedly good in this, vending fruits and finger foods on riverboats. And the Hong Kongers, too, with their ancient sampan rides. At home, down south, we can look to the Badjao’s ancient technology for other survival tips.

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So balanghai is a seacraft — so what? We can probably adjust the design. We might want to add vintas and karakoas and paraws to the mix. No matter which, let’s not call the boats gondola, for Pete’s sake. Let’s leave the patent for the gondola to the Venetians.

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Let’s stand back and watch how tourists paddle merrily away around the city’s floodwaters!

Indigenous water vessels as tourist attractions, now!

The list, in evolutionary (chronological) order:
Salambao, Balsa – raft

Bangka, Vanca – dugout canoe; often spelled banca

Tapake – bangka with outrigger

Vinta – tapake with triangular or squarish sail

Parao, Prau, Proa, Padao, Palao, Basnig  – outsized version of vinta; copied by Arabs as dhow

Balanghai, Balanghay, Baranggay  – improved version (higher and sharper ends, flooring, and shed) of parao

Karakoa, Caracoa, Caracao, Koro-koro – balanghay with bahay or kubo

Dyong – ship made of wooden planks pieced together to form the hull

Sampan, Champan, Junk (American English) – Chinese version of dyong

Galleon, Manila galleon – Spanish trade ship using Philippine hardwood and pre-Filipino forced labor

Galleria, Galley – miniature galleon used for war by invading Spaniards against Muslims



Lepa – Badjao boathouse with intricate (okir?) carvings, including those hidden, on the keel

Tataya – traditional Ivatan boat; the only type of rowing boat in the Philippines; has five kinds

Other Ivatan boats: Viyung, Paychatanian, Paychanavagan, Suhuan, Panineman, Chinarem, Falua, Chinedkaran, Motor, Avang (Pontin)

Owong – T’boli dugout canoe made from lawaan tree; syn. Bito?

Sapyaw – Butuan raft based on the balanghai; originally from Capiz; term literally means manglimas or magtabo (technical terms used for catching fish)


About Koan

Look ISIS (ISIL/IS) or Islamic State or Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims are now in the Indigenous Peoples of Latin America like Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Central America Northern Triangle, Panama Canal, Colombia, Andes, Amazon, Guyanas, Triple Border Region and Patagonia. Southern Mexico is now the land of the Mayan Muslims. Islam is now the religion and will become an official religion in Chiapas, Mexico. Muslim groups and peoples from all over the world will come to Chiapas and intermarry with the local Maya tribes. The vengeance of the Maya with the help of Islam and groups like ISIS will wreck havoc on Mexico, Central America and the United States of America. Jews will never be safe in America anymore. Also the Indigenous Native Americans with United States, Canada, Caribbean, Greenland and the other native tribes of Latin America will embrace Islam too. But also the Indigenous Peoples in Europe like the Sami (Laplander) People in the Lapland Scandinavia and the Indigenous Roma / Romani (Gypsy) People of the Balkans. The Ainu and Ryukyu (Okinawan) in Japan. The Papuans of Papua New Guinea. The Mansi and Yakut in Russia. The Aborigines in Australia. The Maoris and Polynesians in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in the year 2020 to 2070 (1500 in the Muslim Calendar).
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