An exact reproduction of an ancient balangay boat, the earliest evidence of Philippines maritime heritage, was built in Butuan in 2009 using centuries-old technology. A few Sama people from Sibutu Island have retained the ability to make boats in the ancient fashion. Butuanons had lost this ability, so a group of these Sama people were commissioned to build the boat. This boat named, "Masawa Hong Butuan" (meaning, "bright light of Butuan" in the Butuanon language), was actually sailed, retracting a portion of an ancient Butuanon trade route. It proved to be very sea worthy after visiting ports in Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia, in a 15 month journey called "The Voyage of Unity".

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