A trip to Butuan allows you to explore one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines and discover its rich and intriguing history that continues to amaze historians.
Butuan's past is not like any other city in the Philippines—it used to be an ancient kingdom, thriving on its economic relationships with civilizations from China, Japan, Indonesia, India and Thailand. It was a major trading hub during the 11th century, and one of the oldest settlements in the country. For many years, archeologists have unearthed numerous stunning discoveries in Butuan such as the Golden Tara—a 21-karat figurine of a Hindu female deity, and several "balangay" boats or old shipping vessels used by the ancient Filipinos for travel and trade. These artifacts are preserved in the Butuan National Museum and the Balangay Shrine respectively.
Butuan is also one of the first places visited by the Spaniards during the Colonial Period. In fact, some historians claim that the first Easter Sunday mass in the Philippines was held in Butuan on March 31, 1521 by Friar Pedro Valderrama, together with Ferdinand Magellan. The site of the said historic event is now known as the Bood Promontory Eco-park, which overlooks the calm Masao River.
While Butuan attracts history buffs, sightseers can enjoy the city as well by taking a sunset cruise of the Agusan River, the widest navigable river in Mindanao. For thrill-seekers, the Delta Discovery Park features a 1.3 kilometer zipline for a magnificent panoramic view of the city's lush green mountains and forests.