Return to the Sea with Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey

The Manilatown Heritage Foundation in collaboration with Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey presents
Return to the Sea
Saturday, February 8, 2014 from 4-6pm

Balik sa Dagat (return to the sea) Bangka (canoe) Journey (BSDB) uses Cultural Development activities with 22 feet long bangka construction in Santa Rosa, CA, to engage the community about building the watercraft of the Philippines. Their goal is to create space where the community is able to safely experience a healing process from ancestral wounds and trauma.  Please join us for a family-friendly afternoon of education, dance, story-sharing and mini-watercraft making when BSDBJ joins our Manilatown family of cultural presenters.  


Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey supports the belief that when you get in the bangka you must be one in mind, body and spirit as initially inspired by the theme of “Loving, Caring and Sharing” at the Paddle to Swinomish 2011 Tribal Canoe Journey experience. Hands-on training sessions provided on carving, watercraft-making, poetry, music and dance and the integration of ceremonial honoring of our Waters and the vessel that can transport us across waters.

Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey is a group of Filipinos/Filipino-Americans, mixed heritage people and the Indigenous Peoples of the Pacific Northwest gathering to assist each other in revitalizing the cultural heritage and traditions necessary for healing as individuals, family and community members.

A gift of a living dream, from a gifted log to a world Bangka, to honor our ancestors, reconnecting with sacred elements of nature, tradition, wisdom, discovery and learning, transformation and healing. It has been a journey of courage, facing fears up front, face to face, a journey of cooperation and trust, learning new skills and as we create and build together, as we carve chip by chip, we heal together as a community, in bayanihan spirit. It is about Renewal ~ a spiritual journey ~ intentions made with utmost reverence and humility. It is about Reconnecting with our ancestors, the soul of the Bangka, Balik sa Dagat, return to the sea, building dream bridges with rainbows across the oceans for future generations, we paddle onward and forward, reconnect, transform and heal.

~ Mylene ‘Leng Leng’ Amoguis Cahambing, RN, PHN, MPH
Vision Holder, Lead Coordinator, Blogger,

Former Foster Care Public Health Nurse

Balik sa Dagat (return to the sea) Bangka (canoe) Journey entails the healing of our connection with our natural world. It is the canoe that literally and spiritually connects us with the land and forests as we take the trees and bamboo that will form our intentions. It is the canoe that connects us to the element of water and a renewed consciousness of our waterways; rivers lakes, oceans etc. It is the process of building the canoe that connected family – community – culture. It is the canoe that embraced the many aspects of science and technology in the construction and function as well as celestial navigation. It is more than evident that modern culture has lost the vital connection with nature in a brutal display of selfishness and abuse. The dire state of the global forests and waterways and the diversity they sustain is the result. If we are to survive we must alter the paradigm of greed and destruction with a renewed understanding of connection and respect for cultural and biological diversity. Balik sa Dagat Bangka Journey can be a vehicle of healing ourselves and healing the earth in creative and collaborative ways by building our consciousness of connection to culture, history, community and crucial contemporary issues. It can be a way of navigating our way to a more sustainable and healthy future.

~Alexis Canillo,
Pomo/Coast Miwok-Cebuano, Carver
Retired Youth Counselor, Artist, Kulintang Musician