Butuan General Tourist Information
Through the untiring efforts of its people and the government, the city of Butuan has come to embody the modern, first class city in the entire region. It has become a focal point of tourism in the Caraga and is attracting a host of business investors too.
Geography and Location
The City of Butuan is bordered on the northeast by the Agusan Valley, and in the vicinity is the flowing Agusan River. Throughout its east side, the city is enveloped by Agusan Del Sur, while Agusan Del Norte forms the north, east and western borders. At the northwest coast is Butuan Bay.
The land is well suited for farming and agriculture. Nearly 400 sq. km. of land is arable, while almost 300 sq. km is land filled with grass and shrubs and rainforests. A good portion of this land, especially the rainforests, is now part of a natural reserve program. There are also several swamps and marshes hosting different types of marine life.
Natural Resources and Livelihood
While some of the rainforest is protected, there are also specific areas that have been cited for use by industries, among them logging and furniture making, with the wood being shipped back to the city for processing.
The local people of Butuan City also derive their income by extracting and harnessing needed material from several rivers, including the Taguibo River. The Butuan Bay in particular, is very important to the local folk who make their living through fishing.
While these remain the traditional livelihood of the people, an ever increasing number are now turning to manufacturing and other more commercial industries, which is expected to continue as the area becomes more modernized. Throughout the city are an ever growing number of first class hotels, banks, shops, eateries medical faculties and schools.
The growing number of tourists have also led to a proliferation of travel agencies, tourists guides dedicated to helping one find the best dive sites and beaches.
The early history of Butuan has been well studied by historians and archaeologists. The evidence points to the existence of a rich and cultured civilization, dating from the 10th century (perhaps even earlier) already engaged in trade and commerce not just with the neighboring towns but with other countries.
The early Spaniards who came to the land were astonished to see such an advanced civilization and this may have influenced some of the written account depicting the island to be much larger than it was. Even with the conquest, the city would continue to flourish as a center of trade.
Further progress in the city occurred with the American occupation as education institutions, roads and other construction took place, including the holding of a municipal election.
A great portion of Butuan was ravaged by the advancing Japanese in 1942, and more damage was inflicted by the guerilla warfare that ensured for the next three years.
The 1950s saw the reemergence of the city, and the rapid economic progress resulted in the conversion of the town into a city on August 2, 1950. In February 1995, Butuan was upgraded into the status of a first class highly urban metropolis.
Facts and Figures
Location: Region 8 (also known as the Caraga region)
Barangays: there are 86
Foundation Day: August 2, 1950
Total Area: 817 sq. km (490 sq. miles)
Estimated Population: approximately 300,000
Major Tourist Attractions: the Agusan River, Butuan Regional Museum, Mount Mayapay, the Balangay Museum
Major Festivals and Holidays: the Foundation Day (August 2), the Kahimunan Festival honoring the Sto. Nino (held every third Sunday in January), the Feast of Saint Joseph (May 19) and Abayan Festival (commemorated on the last Sunday every July).