Butuan, officially the City of Butuan (Butuanon: Dakbayan hong Butuan) and often referred to as Butuan City, is a highly urbanized cityin the Philippines. The city is the regional center of the Caraga Region. It is located at the northeastern part of the Agusan Valley,Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River. It is bounded to the north, west and south by Agusan del Norte, to the east by Agusan del Sur and to the northwest by Butuan Bay. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 309,709 people.
Butuan City was the capital of the province of Agusan del Norte until 2000, when Republic Act 8811 transferred the capital to Cabadbaran City.
|City of Butuan
Aerial view of Butuan City, 2013
A golden vestment worn by the Hindu Brahmin Caste, found in Butuan Archeological Digs.
Butuan, before its colonization, was known as the Kingdom of Butuan, an Indianized kingdom known for its metallurgic industry and sophisticated naval technology. The kingdom flourished at the 10th and 11th centuries CE, and had an extensive trade network with the Kingdom of Champa and the Srivijayan Empire.
On 1001 CE, the kingdom had established contact with the Song Dynasty of China. The annual Song Shih recorded the appearance of a Butuan mission at the Chinese imperial court, and the kingdom was described as a small Hindu country with a Buddhist monarchy, which had a regular trade connection with Champa. The mission, under a rajah named Kiling, asked for equal status in court protocol with the Champa envoy, but ultimately was denied by the imperial court..However, under the reign of Sri Bata Shaja, the diplomatic equality was eventually granted to the Kingdom, and as a result the diplomatic relations of the two nations reached its peak in the Yuan Dynasty.
Evidence of these trading links are in the discovery of 11 balangay boats around Ambangan in barangay Libertad, which was described as the only concentration of archaeological, ancient, ocean-going boats in Southeast Asia. Other evidences of the post are the discovery of a village in Libertad that specializes in gold, deformed skulls similar to reports in Sulawesi, and the discovery of many artifacts by locals and treasure hunters.
Festivities and annual celebrations
- Kahimunan Festival
- The Kahimunan Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January in celebration of the city patron Sr. Sto. Niño. This celebration is a Butuanon version of the Sinulog festival ofCebu City. Kahimunan is a Lumad term which means "gathering".
- Balangay Festival
- Butuan celebrates its annual fiesta, the Balangay Festival, for the celebration of the city patron St. Joseph every whole month of May, with the exact feast day of St. Joseph on May 19. The city holds many events such as summer league basketball championship games, thanksgiving mass, and more.
- Butwaan Festival
- The newest festival is a feast day celebration of St. Joseph, patron of Butuan, which is held every 19th of May. This was created last 2013 as replacement to Balangay Festival during the specific date. Both festivals will still celebrates the feast of St. Joseph with Butwaan focus on the Church activities while Balangay will focus on the city government activities.
- Cultural Festival
- The Cultural festival/tourism consciousness week is a week-long celebration that lasts from the last week of July up to August 2 in celebration of the Charter Day of Butuan.
- Abayan Festival
- The Abayan Festival, a part of the Cultural Festival, is held in celebration of St. Anne, patroness of Agusan River, which is celebrated every last Sunday of July.
- Palagsing Festival
- “Palagsing” is a local delicacy popularly made in Banza, one of the old poblacion of Butuan City. The popularity of making Palagsing in Banza is attributed to the abundance of Lumbiya (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) where Unaw or lumbiya starch is harvested from the Palm Tree. Another popular ingredient is young coconut meat taken from coconut trees. The mixture of unaw, young coconut and brown sugar make palagsing moist and chewy. They are delicately wrapped by banana leaves and are boiled for 30 minutes to create the soft consistency of palagsing. The Palagsing Festival usually held on Adlaw Hong Butuan Celebration every 2nd day of August.
- Adlaw Hong Butuan
- Adlaw Hong Butuan is the charter day celebration of Butuan, which includes a thanksgiving mass, motorcade, palagsing festival, street party recognitions of outstanding Butuanons and City Government Employees' Night.
- Unaw Festival
- The number one ingredient of the local delicacy of Butuan called "Palagsing". Found in the "Baang/Lumbiya or Palm Trees (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) .Baang or Lumbiya usually found at near on small river places like Barangay Baan,Barangay Banza,etc. The Unaw Festival usually held on Adlaw Hong Baan Tres Celebration every 3rd or 4th Week of June
- Natural wonders
- Agusan River
- The Agusan River is the widest and most navigable river in Mindanao. Natives who live on the banks of this river pay tribute to their Patroness, Senora Sta. Ana (Saint Anne) every last Sunday of July in the Abayan festival.
- Mount Mayapay
- 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.
- Ramon Magsaysay Bridge
- The old Magsaysay Bridge in Butuan, an arched-type steel bridge built during the early sixties spans the mighty Agusan River. For years this bridge serve as a lone vital conduit of the city to the rest of Mindanao island until its new more modern pair came at the city’s southern side. The bridge links the main urban center to eastern suburbs of Baan and Ampayon.
- Balangay Boats
- The Balangays (or Balanghai) are ancient boats that were found in Butuan. They were excavated in the Balangay Shrine, across the Masao River from Bood Promontory. They played a major role in Butuan because Butuan was, and still is, a port city. Since its discovery, the Balangays have become an icon of Butuan. The Kaya ng Pinoy, Inc. recreated the Balangay boats and have sailed it as part of their project, the Balangay Voyage. So far they have only sailed around Southeast Asia. They are planning to sail around the world.
- Balangay Shrine Museum
- The Balangay Shrine Museum, located in Brgy. Libertad, lays the graveyard of the Balangay 1 dated 320 A.D. or 1688 years old. The Balangay shrine museum is located at Balanghai, Libertad, Butuan City. 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. Three have been excavated and others are still in Site.
- National Museum (Butuan City Branch)
- 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. At the Ethnological Hall are exhibits of contemporary cultural materials the Butuanon or every Filipino for matter used for a living.
- Guingona Park
- Guingona Park is the native name used for that park. Due to changes of government, however, that resulted in change of name to Rizal Park. This came about because it was contended that Rizal went there and that they named the park after him. Recently, the government of Butuan City headed by Mayor Amante reconstructed the Park and put the name back to Guingona, as it was he who donated the said park some decades past.
- Delta Discovery Park
- Delta Discovery Park is a newly opened zip-line in Butuan. Delta Discovery Park is located at Brgy. Bonbon, Butuan City. A Hidden Paradise in the heart of the city. This is also known as the longest zip-line in Mindanao and in Asia as well with a length of 1.3 kilometers.
- Bood Promontory Eco Park
- This historic hill is believed to have been the site where Magellan and his men celebrated the first Catholic Mass on Philippine soil and erected a cross when he landed in Mazaua on March 31, 1521. The highest elevation nearest the seaside village of present day Masao, Bood is a wooded area located at a bend in the Masao River (El Rio de Butuan), overlooking Butuan Bay and ancient Butuan as well as the serpentine Masao River. Today, the indigenous Hadlayati tree still abound lording over a clonal nursery and tree park, amidst fishponds and archaeological treasures. According to the chronicles of Spanish historian Pigafetta, the event took place in the afternoon of March 31, 1521 after the Easter Mass was celebrated in the morning of the same date. Two Butuanon brother kings attended these Easter ceremonies. Pigafetta also noted the surrounding fields and balanghai boats on the bay that could be seen from the hill. The eco-park was established to provide the people of Butuan and its visitors a place to rekindle the past amidst a relaxing natural setting.
- The Butuan National Airport, called Bancasi Airport, serves the general area of Butuan City, located in the province of Agusan del Norte in the Philippines. It is the only airport in the province and largest in the Caraga region. The airport is classified as a trunkline airport, or a major commercial airport, by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports. It also serves more than 400,000 travelers yearly that includes 250,000 local and foreign tourists. Butuan National Airport can also accommodate 5 to 10 flights a day including large number of aircraft via Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines operated by PAL Express.
- As a regional commercial and economic hub, the Port of Masao is Butuan's seaport. It was built to avoid having the city depend on the port of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte. The said port will be having more expansion and development to become a seaport with international standards in the region and in Mindanao.
- The main modes of transportation within the city proper is the "orange" tricycle which can accommodate up to 6 or 7 passengers. Another mode of transportation is the small-type jeepneys or multicab vehicles with a seating capacity of at least 15 passengers via fixed routes going to big barangays such as Bancasi, Libertad, Ampayon, Los Angeles and De Oro. Jeepneys, Vans and Buses is also available in Jeepney Terminal, New Integrated Van Terminal and City Integrated Bus Terminal respectively located Langihan Public Area. They also follow fixed routes to outlying barangays, neighboring towns, municipals, cities and provinces. Long distance routes also include cities of Manila, Ormoc, Legaspi,Tacloban, Surigao, Tandag, Bislig (Mangagoy), Davao, Tagum, Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, and soon Malaybalay.
- Mayor Democrito O. Plaza II Avenue Circumferential Road and Diosdado Macapagal Bridge
- The said circumferential is a 14 kilometer diversion road from Brgy. Bancasi to the southern part of the city proper crossing to a PP2.1 Billion Diosdado Macapagal Bridge to the main highway in Baan Km.3 and in Brgy. Antongalon. The Diosdado Macapagal Bridge is the longest bridge in Mindanao, which is 3 kilometers upstream of the old Magsaysay Bridge and provides an alternate route across the Agusan River to connect the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway (Surigao-Agusan-Davao road) and the Butuan City-Cagayan-Iligan road. The bridge is gaining popularity as the only cable stayed bridge with steel deck and single tower in Mindanao, and it has a total length of about 10.30 kilometers.
- It was during the Presidency of Joseph Estrada that the project was approved which was lobbied by the city government way back President Fidel Ramos' time to decongest the traffic of the more than 50-year-old Magsaysay Bridge and create an alternate route. However, it was President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who approved and implemented the project. The bridge was funded through a Special Yen Loan Package from Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). The project was started on May 6, 2004 and completed in May 2007.
- New Circumferential Road and Four (4) New Bridges (Proposed)
- The new circumferential road consists of 20 kilometer 2-lane road and four (4) new bridges that connects Brgy. Sumilihon to Brgy Banza which crosses 2 small rivers (Taguibo and Banza) before crossing to the Third Bridge in Agusan River and connects to Brgy. Pagatpatan to Brgy. Lumbocan then crosses again in Masao River to reach Brgy. Masao and Brgy. Pinamanculan before connecting to the National Highway in Brgy. Bancasi. The proposed circumferential road will be worth closed to PP2.9 Billion.
- Butuan City Polysports Complex and Recreational Center
- With new developments surrounding the old unfinished sports complex facility, the City Government has transferred the sports complex from the 8 hectare complex in Brgy. Libertad to the 38 hectare complex in Brgy. Tiniwisan/Ampayon. The said complex is worth P250 Million for Phase I will be one of the biggest international standard complex in the Philippines. Phase I consists of a 4,000 seater football main bleacher, a 4,000 seater basketball gymnasium, grass football field, and a rubberized track oval. Phase II will consist of a 2nd main bleacher, an Olympic-size swimming pool, and a baseball/softball field with bleachers.
SOURCE : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan