History and Culture

Ancient Balangays Sail Once Again to Mactan!

Agusan del Norte

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Dec 16, 2019

Story and photos from the National Quincentennial Committee, Republic of the Philippines


After almost five centuries, the boats of our ancestors reconnect with Mactan. The quincentennial balangays Raya Siyagu and Raya Kolambu were sent by the Butuan City Government and Kaya ng Pinoy to Lapu-Lapu City to join the country in reconnecting to its ancient past through a spectacle being mounted at the Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City this Saturday, December 14, 5pm courtesy of the Office of the President of the Philippines, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Lapu-Lapu City Government. This is in time for the 500-day countdown to 500 years of the Victory at Mactan and other related events in 2021. Parallel events are also happening at the National Museum of Natural History in Manila and Davao City Hall Grounds.


Titled "Mangayaw: The World of Our Ancestors," the program is an hour-long retelling of the pre-colonial history of the Philippines directed by Lutgardo Labad and written by Floy Quintos. It is a theatrical spectacle aided with augmented-reality technology transforming the sprawling space of the Hoops Dome into a huge canvass.

[related: The Philippines to Highlight 500 Years Compassion and Victory in 2021]

Preceding the show is the wreath-laying rites at the Liberty Shrine by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte's official representative to the countdown, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, at 5 pm. She will proceed to the Hoops Dome to lead the country in singing the National Anthem. (Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra to perform the National Anthem in Lapu-Lapu City, Banda ng Maynila in Manila, and the 500-voice composite choir in Davao City accompanied by Kalimon Ensemble.) It will be immediately followed by the countdown to 6 pm through simultaneous illumination of historic sites, landmarks, plazas, and edifices in blue across the country and our embassies and consulates in the same time zone with ours, marked by the fireworks display at the Liberty Shrine.

[related: The Philippines Marks 500 Years of the Victory at Mactan!]

Cebu's World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA) medalists Vingenr Tan John, Ronna Jenn Lofranco-Cañete, Willace Tubalde, and Erneville Vinculado will sing the official theme song of the 2021 Quincentennial Commemorations in the Philippines (2021 QCP) titled "Bagani" (written and composed by Roel Rostata) during the 500-day countdown to 2021 QCP in Hoops Dome, Lapu-Lapu City on December 14. They will be accompanied by the Cebu Philharmonic Orchestra and the composite choir of Mandaue Children's Choir, University of Cebu Chorus, Loboc Children's Choir, Silliman University Campus Choristers, University of San Agustin Choir & Troubadours, and Rahrah Rousers of Palo.

[related: President Duterte and Mayor Isko Lead the Countdown to 500 Years!]

The theme song was selected among the entries in the PhilPop Bootcamps 2019. National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab himself was the Bootcamp master, together with various OPM songwriters and artists as coaches. The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines co-sponsored the year-long Bootcamp.

ALSO READ: President Duterte Hosted Three Celebrations to Kick Off Philippine Quincentennial Commemorations!

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