Friday, March 28, 2008

Before there was Philippines...

... there was Butuan. With a rich history dating back to the 4th century, Butuan City is now the regional center of the Caraga Region in the Philippines. It is located in Northeastern Mindanao, bounded by Agusan del Norte to the south, west and north, Agusan del Sur to the east and Butuan Bay to the northwest. Some say the term Butuan is derived from the name of the sour fruit "Batuan". Others believe it originated from the name of a chieftain named "Datu Buntuan". The more preferred belief is that "Butuan" came from the word "but-an", a local term used to describe a person with good character.

The discovery of 9 balangay boats in Butuan serves as evidence that Butuan is an old civilization which existed even before the Philippines came into being. Chinese history records mention Butuan as a center of trade and commerce, having trade relations with the Kingdom of Champa (now South Vietnam) and Srivijaya Empire of Java as early as the 10th century. Butuanons earnestly believe that Ferdinand Magellan dropped anchor in the vicinity of Masao, Butuan where he held the very first mass on Philippine soil on March 31, 1521, an Easter Sunday. (In 1998, the National Historical Institute ruled that the first mass was held in Limasawa, Leyte. This ruling is still being questioned by Butuanons and other supporters of their claim).

In August 2, 1950, Butuan became a city through Republic Act No. 523 or the City Charter of Butuan. By February 7, 1995, Butuan was classified as a highly urbanized city.

Other facts about Butuan:

Land area - 816.62 sq. km.
Estimated population - 350, 000
Total barangays - 86
Urban barangays - 27
Rural barangays - 59

For more information on Butuan City, please visit