Butuan City Philippines Gateway to Northern Mindanao I love Mindanao Its more fun in the Philippines Mindanao Philippines Places to visit in butuan city travel travel eat pinas TrEaPh
Five Places to Visit in Butuan City, Philippines
A couple of months ago I went to the "Gateway to Northern Mindanao"- Butuan City. Butuan City is an unfamiliar place to me. Given the fact that it is my first time to set foot in Mindanao and I don't have any relative or friends staying there, I am clueless on what this place has to offer but for some odd reasons I am excited with it, I mean this would be a new adventure for me.
|Overhead shot of Butuan City, Philippines|
For this trip I preferred to travel on air. It would be faster that way and more comfortable at the same time. With this trip I choose to ride in Philippine Airlines. From Manila to Butuan City plane fare cost me PHP 3,528 or USD 76.09 and from Butuan City to Manila it cost me PHP 2,297 or USD 49.54. It took me an hour and 30 minutes from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila to Bancasi Airport or Butuan City Airport. Upon alighting the plane, friendly porter and drivers of van and jeepney greeted me and told me that a private transfer from Butuan Airport to hotel will cost PHP 200.00 or USD 4.31 and Jeepney ride cost PHP 20 to 25.00 or USD .43 or .54.
After relaxing for an hour or two, I started my Butuan City adventure. I rented a jeepney for PHP 700 or USD 15.10 to tour the city. I don't have any idea if that was a good deal but I guess it is worth the risk since I don't know anything about the place and the best people to help you familiarize with it are the locals.
Butuan, I must say is a highly urbanized city. It is located in the Caraga Region.Known as one of the earliest places where our folks settled and some locals claim that Magellan landed in Butuan first and then to Limasawa. Since it is the primal settling area a lot of artifacts that shows the affluent history of the Philippines were uncovered here.
I listed some of the places that I visited in Butuan City that will give you a glimpse of the rich culture and heritage of the Philippines.
1. Bood Promontory Ecopark- The ecopark is situated at a bend in the Masao River or El Rio de Butuan. A huge cross will welcome you in Blood Promontory Ecopark. The cross replace the original one that was used during the first Christian mass in the country that took place on March 31, 1521. Though according to Antonio Pigafetta, Magellan's chronicler, the first mass took place in Limasawa or Mazaua, an island in Southern Leyte, and due to that it was declared in 1960 that Limasawa was the site of first mass in the Philippines.
|Replica of the cross used during the First Mass in Butuan City|
A statue with Ferdinand Magellan, Kalambu, King of Butuan, and Siaui, King of Mazaua commemorating the mass can also be found on the ecopark. Tables and shed pavilion are available in the area for those who love to have picnic and be one with the nature since the area is full of trees.
|Statue commemorating the first Mass in Mindanao|
2. Balangay Shrine Museum- Balangay Shrine Museum is a one-storey building that serves as a unit of the National Museum.
It is located in Barangay Libertad and it houses the remnants of Seagoing Outrigger Boat or Balangay. The former is used by a community of settlers to go from one place to another, thus the name barangay or community, is driven .It is said that the Balangay is one of the oldest known artifact in the country. Majority of the Balangay were excavated in Butuan. When I was there, they are carefully digging their latest find in Barangay Libertad and at the back of Toyota Showroom.
Aside from Balangay remains the museum also houses remnants associated with the boat like coffin, human remains and other relics, it was said that the coffin burial remnants lead to the discovery of the boat.
|Remnants of Philippine Ancestors|
The coffin that they found along with the Balangay has 14th-15th century material and measures about three meters. Deformed skulls are also displayed in the museum. According to the guide, the deformed skull are owned by royalties during their era.
3. Bequibel Shell Midden- Located in Tuway, Bonbon, Butuan City is one of the oldest shell midden or trash of prehistoric people. Shells found in Bequibel are layers of fresh water shells and was said to be present over 7,000 years ago. Stone tools and ecofacts were also retrieved in this area. Bequibel Shell Midden is maintained by Bequibel family but when I was there the municipality of Butuan is planning to buy the property so that they can improve the facility of the latter.
|Fresh water shell found on Bequibel Shell Midden|
4. Agusan River- The third longest river and largest river basin in the Philippines. The headwaters of this river is found in Compostela Valley mountains and drains in Butuan Bay in Butuan City. It has twelve tributaries that runs to streams and creeks.