Note: I didn’t look for a place to sleep last night as I arrived in the city past 9:00pm. What I did was to look for an internet shop and try to stay there until closing time (1:00am). Then I ordered something from Dunkin Donuts (they are open 24hours) and stayed there until 4:00am. Then I went inside the Catholic Church and try to sleep inside until about 6:30am.
After breakfast and checking e-mails I started my DIY Butuan City Tour.
I headed to the Provincial Tourism office and met Ms. Leah Medado of Creative Niche who was helpful enough to guide me with my itinerary. She specializes in the heritage tour of the city and its not a coincidence that I met her there. Thank you Ms.Leah!
Do-It-Yourself Butuan City Heritage Tour
National Museum. I started the tour at the National Museum where I saw Butuan’s rich Archaelogical and Ethnological findings, sorry because picture taking is not allowed inside the museum. Anyway, I learned the rich past of this city and their economy dates back as far as 10th century. You can also see some paintings inside, perfect for art lovers. Entrance is free.
From the National Museum I took the jeepney to Bonbon (near the Sports Complex), from there I rented a motorbike for Php100, its easier and more efficient for solo traveler like me.
Bequibel Shell Midden. This site is where the ancient community, around 7,000 years ago gather their trash. Here I saw piles of fresh water shells which is said to be the main food source of the primitive people. You can also find stone tools and skeletal fragments in the site. This is own my the Bequibel Family. Entrance is free.
Balangay Site Museum. Fragments of the old Balangay or “Butuan Boat” can be found in the glass container. You can also see coffins, human skulls and other remnants associated with the boat.
Bood Promontory Eco-Park. This is situated on top of a hill in Brgy. Pinamanculan. You can see a big cross erected to celebrate the historic event of the first planting of the cross in Philippine soil. They said that the historian, Pigafetta recorded this event in March 31, 1521.
There are so many to heritage sites in the city but my flight to Manila is at 2:00pm so I have to cut the tour.
Some places I wasn’t able to see are: Banza Church Ruins, the oldest and the most beautiful church in the entire Mindanao before its destruction. Also a interesting place to go is the Boat Building Site at Luna Compound in Brgy. Bading.
Travel Tip: Should you want to go in the places mentioned, it is advisable to negotiate with a motorcycle driver. You have the freedom of time and can adjust your Itinerary at you own will. It’s cheaper and time conserving too!
You need at least 3-4 hours to tour the city, renting the motorbike would cost you Php150-200, just right for 1-2 travelers. You can contact the driver who helped me go in these spots, Mang Teteng Familar Purukto- 0919-9785-136. Tell him that you got his contact thru James.
Observation: The city prides itself with the Balangay, their logo and even their waiting sheds are shaped like the Balangay. I just hope that other cities would also think of ways to brand itself like this. So next time I think of Butuan, only one thing comes to mind- the Balangay or as they want to call it- “The Butuan Boat.”
Expenses for Today: Php 384
Php 75 Internet Rental
Php 30 BBQ & Rice
Php 46 Hot Choco and Donut
Php 24 Coffee & bread
Php 16 Tricycle fare (2 rides within the City)
Php 8 Jeepney fare
Php 100 Habal-habal rental
Php 65 Lunch
Php 20 Terminal Fee
Reflection for Today:
ON SILENCE: “One can also experience solitude in the midst of daily life. As such it is an inner disposition of peace and tranquility, of prayer and quiet reflection that we maintain despite the hustle and bustle of life…the place of silence is not only the place where we are alone. It is also the place to which we bring those others who are the concerns of our hearts.” (Dare to Journey with Henri Nouwen by Charles Ringma, Reflection 63)