Known as one of the first or industrialized cities in Agusan del Norte, Butuan is a fast advancing city in Mindanao. According to the history of this city, its name was derived from the famous fruit in the region which people call as Batuan. It often graces the pages of history books. Known as one of the oldest settlements in the Philippines, its rich cultural heritage seduces travelers thirsty for ancient history.
A domestic airport in Bancasi can get you to Butuan from Manila (one hour) or Cebu (45 minutes) either by Cebu Pacific or Philippine airlines. By Boat you can reach the city from the port in Nasipit, Agusan del Norte for about 26 minutes, aside from other ports in Cebu and Bohol. There also bus routes to Davao or Surigao from Manila which can get you to the city. If coming from Mindanao neighboring cities, Butuan City is accessible by bus, hired van, or private vehicle. Butuan City is accessible via Davao City from the south, Cagayan de Oro City from the west, and Surigao City from the north. The bus company that caters trip in and out of Butuan is Bachelor Express, Surigao Liner, and etc. A van can be also hired towards Butuan City.
There are historical and famous places in Butuan City you must see.
Balangay Shrine Museum.
Five kilometers east of the city proper lays the graveyard of the Balangay dated 1688 years old. This wooden plank-build and edge-pegged boats measured an average of 15 meters in length and 3 meters wide across the beam. To date, 9 Balangays have already been discovered in Ambangan, Libertad sites.
Butuan Regional Museum.
This museum is the repository of historical and cultural materials and artifacts that proves Butuan’s prehistoric existence and rich cultural heritage. There are two exhibit galleries. The Archaeological Hall and Ethnological Hall specimens of stone crafts, metal crafts, woodcrafts, potteries, goldsmith, burial coffins, and other archaeological diggings are exhibited.
Looming southwest of the Agusan Valley is this majestic mountain plateau. It rises to 2,214 feet (675 m) above sea level. Mount Mayapay got its name from the ancient Madjapahit Empire. The history behind the Sri-Vishaya period bears much meaning and influence of Butuan’s pre-historic and archaeological discoveries.
Butuan River is the widest, deepest and longest navigable river in Mindanao. A cruise along the river barangays reveals much about Butuan’s history, culture, arts, and people, and as a tribute to the Patroness of the Agusan River Senora Sta. Ana, the Abayan Festival was born – a day-long celebration of baroto races and fluvial procession at the Agusan River.
1st Easter Mass Eco Park This historic site is where Magellan and his men erected a cross and celebrated the 1st Mass on Philippine Soil in March 1521. It is the highest elevation and promontory overlooking the whole of Butuan bay then. Today, the indigenous “Hadlayati Tree” still abound lording over a Clonal nursery and tree park, and the serpentine Masao River amidst fishponds and archaeological treasures.
Banza Church Ruins.
This site was one of the old poblacion of the city. The church built here in 1625 by the Recollect Friars was reduced into ashes in 1753 by Moro pirates. What remains of this church is its bell tower banyan (balete) tress. Now enveloped by as the most beautiful church in the region before its destruction. Today, it is the oldest ruin of a stone church in the entire island of Mindanao.
Magellan’s Landing Site.
Every year in March, the city celebrates MAZAUA DISCOVERY DAY” to commemorate a historic milestone, the 1st Easter Mass on Philippines Soil celebrated by Ferdinand Magellan on March 31,1521. No matter what, Butuanon’s proclaim with pride that such historic event took place in butuan not in Limasawa
And the best for last.
Nipa Wine Distillery “LAKSOY”.
Is local wine made out of indigenous Nipa Palm that abound in Butuan. It goes through the process of fermentation from a crudely made vat only a native Butuanon can ingenuously produce. Laksoy is definitely one of the best tasting local wines in the Island, very true.