The bancas in Bulusan’s coastal areas are so common that these are most of the times taken for granted. But after stumbling upon an article on the Philippine indigenous bancas, my photos of local bancas suddenly popped out in my mind like a waiting cache of treasures waiting to be rediscovered.
Of the 24 villages of Bulusan 18 are coastal communities (i.e. the ocean’s edge is just minutes walk away from the villages) plus one mountain side village with a lake. This means bancas are constant fixtures on our shores and beaches. Utilized for fishing, transporting farm produce, travelling from the villages to the town centers or simply for leisure like for example an afternoon banca ride (above photo).
Interestingly, the local bancas of my town have their own peculiar names specifically designated for each kind of locally made bancas. These are: sibid- a small banca, sibiran – next in size to sibid, kasko – a banca without the outrigger, paraw – banca with sail, baruto – bigger than a paraw. For many of us though who are living in the center of town, the banca is simply referred to as ‘sakayan.’
Thanks for sharing information* on the importance and beauty of the Philippine indigenous bancas, I can now begin to fully appreciate the true value of this under appreciated Filipino heritage. This time, I know I will never look at the familiar bancas of my town’s villages the same way again.
Photos: Alma P. Gamil