Butuan City, Home Sweet Home

Butuan City is located in the northern part of the Mindanao (the second-largest island in the Philippines). It is the regional center of the Caraga Region of the Philippines and is known as one of the oldest city in the Philippines. In fact, it has been said that "before there was no Philippines, but there was Butuan City". As early as the 10th century, the city already has a thriving trading relationship with Vietnam, China and other countries in Asia.

Butuan (pronounced but-wan) City is also called the "Ancient Kingdom of Butuan" or the "Timber City of the South" (because of its vast forest lands during the 19th century). It is said to be the site of the first Catholic Mass in the whole of Philippines, a fact that the city vigorously claimed when history books (both local and international) kept citing another island in the Visayas as the site of the first mass.

The city's land area is roughly 816.62 km2. It has a population of about 300,000.

Courtesy of: http://butuancity.tumblr.com/post/95341207/city-on-the-rise#disqus_thread
Courtesy of: http://butuancity.tumblr.com/post/95341207/city-on-the-rise#disqus_thread
The majestic Mt. Mayapay (Courtesy of: http://mindanao.blog.co.uk/2007/04/07/a_closer_look_at_mt_mayapay~2048092/)
The majestic Mt. Mayapay (Courtesy of: http://mindanao.blog.co.uk/2007/04/07/a_closer_look_at_mt_mayapay~2048092/)

Getting There

There are a couple of ways you can go to Butuan. One is through domestic flights from Manila or from Cebu. There are flights everyday to/from Manila and to/from Cebu (both have international airports). Currently, there are two airlines servicing Butuan, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. You can check out their sites for the schedules - Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Just a tip, when you arrive by plane and you're nearing the runway of Butuan, don't forget to look out of the window (towards the land area, not the sea). Search for the highest mountain in the area. That is the majestic Mt. Mayapay, the pride of Butuan.

Another way to go to Butuan is by ship from Manila or from Cebu. The port is located in Nasipit, about 20-30 minutes away from Butuan City. It takes around 36 hours from Manila to Butuan and only around 12 hours from Cebu to Butuan.

Lastly, you can also go to Butuan by riding the bus from Cagayan de Oro City (CDO), Davao City or Surigao City. CDO to Butuan via a bus (with air conditioner) is around 4.5 hours, Surigao to Butuan is only about 2 hours and Davao to Butuan is about 7 hours.

Courtesy of: http://www.piepenbrock.nl/map.htm
Courtesy of: http://www.piepenbrock.nl/map.htm

Where to Stay

There are a number of hotels and inns in Butuan. They offer quality service at low prices (one night is like 1,000 pesos per person or $20/person or even lower). Some of these hotels cna be found in the main highway such as Almont Inland Resort and Dottie's Place - Hotel and Restaurant. These are also the premium hotel here. Others include Goat2geder Hotel and Restaurant, Royal Plaza and Balanghai Hotel. This website features some of these hotels - http://www.hotelphilippines.biz/butuan-hotels-travel/.

Where to Eat

Butuan is one of the cities where you can eat to your heart's content while still maintaining your budget (not your waistline though LOL). Want to eat native food? Go to Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora (Home Cooked Food of Ms. Cora) for a taste of their barbequed chicken (Pinoy style) or to Weegol's, another place known for its chicken. You can also go to Goat 2Geder, a hotel and restaurant in one where you can eat native foods. Its specialty is kalderetang kambing (goat with sauce). Or you can try Narra Restaurant, a very old restaurant here in Butuan with its own recipe for garlic chicken. When you go to any of these restaurants, try their kinilaw (raw tuna fish cooked in vinegar). It's the equivalent of the Japanese sashimi and it's really delicious. If you want Chinese food, go to Rosario's.

If you want to go for a coffee, there's True Brew with it's brewed coffee, capuccinos and frappes. Try their baked spaghetti, potato salad and loaded omelet, these are the best (and my favorites too!). Or you can go to Pit Stop Coffee Shop which is at the back of the Otis Shell Station along the highway.Or go to Margie's Kitchen, which also serves pasta, cakes, breads and hot meals. When you go to Margie's Kitchen, make sure to try their cakes, especially Cookie Monster. I'll bet you haven't tasted anything like it before.

If you're a bread lover, there are lots of bakeries in Butuan. There's Pan de Pugon (Bread of the Oven) with its fresh bread (so fresh, it was baked only within the last 24 hours) and its 24-hour operation. You can go there anytime, buy a freshly baked bread and eat it with hot coffee. There's also Julie's Bakeshop, Rose Bakeshop, Gold n' Pearl and Madelicious Bakeshop.

Courtesy of: http://www.truebrew.com.ph/index.php/true-brew-experience/
Courtesy of: http://www.truebrew.com.ph/index.php/true-brew-experience/
Almont Inland Resort (hotel) - from http://butuancitytourism.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=99
Almont Inland Resort (hotel) - from http://butuancitytourism.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=99
Dottie's Place (hotel and restaurant) - from http://butuancitytourism.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=99
Dottie's Place (hotel and restaurant) - from http://butuancitytourism.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=86&Itemid=99

Where to Go

There are a lot of places you can go to in Butuan. There's the Balanghai Museum, the museum in Libertad, the City Hall of Butuan and the newly-built state-of-the-art bridge (called Macapagal Bridge, but some want to call it Butuan Bridge). Make sure you visit the Libertad Museum where you will see the famous balangay boat (which dates as far back as 320 AD).

If you want to go farther, just barely 2 and a half hours away, is Siargao Islands, known for its surfing and waves. There are also a lot of tourist spots in other parts of the Caraga Region and they are just one to two hours away from Butuan. You can easily go there through the jeepney or the bus or you can hire a van (what we call the PU) to take you to the various places in the region.

The Balangai Boat. Courtesy of: http://butuantoday.tumblr.com/.
The Balangai Boat. Courtesy of: http://butuantoday.tumblr.com/.
The City Hall of Butuan (Courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)
The City Hall of Butuan (Courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)
Dancers performing during the Balanghai Festival (May 19) (Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)
Dancers performing during the Balanghai Festival (May 19) (Courtesy of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)
The Macapagal Bridge (Courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)
The Macapagal Bridge (Courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butuan_City)

If you want to know more about my hometown, visit this site - http://www.butuancitytourism.com/home/.

There you have it, all about my home, Butuan City. But what I have written here is just a short summary of this city. There are a lot more I can write about Butuan (and I will). For now, let me just leave a final note. For those who are worried about going to Butuan because it is in Mindanao (read: the travel advisories), don't. This city (knock on wood) is very peaceful. I'm not saying it's crime free (what place is?) but what you read in the news is like far away from this place. So, if you want to go somewhere inexpensive where you can be laid back and relaxed, go to Butuan (just don't forget to drop me a note here so that I can show you the sights and places I have written in this hub). Madiyao nga adlaw sa inyong tanan (Good day to all of you)!

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Comments 13 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

emi

The info is good but pictures would have made this hub a killer LOL Anyway, you can always reedit, right? Thanks for sharing. :D


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Hi Cris. Actually I wasn't supposed to have published it until I find more pictures. Unfortunately, I clicked "publish" instead of "save". LOL my mistake. Here's my final hub with all its pictures =). Hopefully I'll add more in the future. Thanks for the comment!


Cris A profile image

Cris A 7 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Hey emie

Ooops sorry, I guess I spoke too soon! Anyway, nice pics! What a mighty bridge you have there. :D


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

That's okay. Thanks for the feedback =).


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

That's okay. Thanks for the feedback =).


sarovai profile image

sarovai 7 years ago

Very informative whosoever travels in phillippines.thank u for sharing.


emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines Author

Thanks for dropping by sarovai.


bisayakongdako 6 years ago

hei,picture is not so clear,and i would suggest much better if you have some photos of hotels room,


irene_=) 5 years ago

WOW BUTUAN


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

Hi, I find your hub very informative as I have not been to other places you mention in Butuan. Thank you for sharing.


aireen 5 years ago

love to go there by next year... hope we can find more interesting spots to visit at butuan....


Ron Lurvey 4 years ago

Butuan City is a great place to visit. My wife is from there, and we will retire there. When I visited Philippines in 2009, I enjoyed myself so much. The people are so warm and friendly. Not to wish my life away, but I am looking forward to when we move there with our family in eight years. It is where I want to raise my new family. The pictures on this site do not due the place justice. I found it to be more beautiful than the PICs shown. Like any area, you will see your not so pretty areas, but the beauty that is there over shadows those places not so pretty. My wife and I also traveled to many places in Philippines, and as an American, I felt very safe everywhere we went. The dangers are no greater than traveling in New York City, or Boston. I only have visited Butuan City twice, but I look forward to when I can call it home.


will 4 years ago

layu ra kaayu oi dugay pa kaayu ang progress 48 years in the making tungod sa mga former politicians diha way klaro pa ang progres mao bitaw nakipag sapalaran ang uban tao sa laing lugar kay naay trabaho didto kaysa diha sa butuan walay klaro

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