The Balanghai Shrine is about 5 kilometers from Butuan City proper. The shrine was established to ensure the proper protection and preservation of the balanghai boats also known as Butuan Boats, declared National Cultural Treasure on March 9, 1987 by then President Corazon C. Aquino. Felix A. Luna, a resident in the area, made the establishment of the shrine possible with his donation of land in 1979.
To date, there are nine balanghais known to exist. Three have been excavated and conserved by the National Museum, one totally destroyed by gold panners and five are ďin situĀE The prohibitive costs of conservation prevented the Museum from retrieving the other balanghais. Giving recognition to such a rare cultural heritage, one is at the site while another is on exhibit at the National Museum in Manila.
The Butuan boat is a cultural heritage that establishes Butuanís maritime activities long before the Chinese and other Asian countries sailed the high seas. Butuan was declared an archaeological site by Executive Order No. 252 and is protected against any form of intrusion, illegal excavation or vandalism.
Category/Type of Museum: Archaeological
Location, Museum Hours & Contact No.
National Museum, Butuan Branch, Libertad, Butuan City Region XIII
ASBMD, National Museum Central Office; 527-4192