Thursday, April 30, 2009

Church Ruins

The BANZA CHURCH RUINS located at the oldest poblacion of the city is the oldest ruin of a stone church in the entire island of Mindanao.

The church was built in 1625 by the recollect friars but was reduced to ashes in 1753by Moro pirates.

What was left of the church is part of the bell tower, enveloped by a “Banyan” – balete tree.

The place is located at the inner portion of Lilo in Barangay Banza, with the breathtaking view of the Agusan River.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Butuan Regional Museum, Doongan

Sundial, inaugurated by then President Fidel V. Ramos on September 11, 1983. A project of the United Architects of the Philippines-Butuan Chapter

Mahogany Tree

Batuan Tree

Repository of historical and cultural materials and artefacts that showcased Butuan’s pride and proves its pre-hispanic existence as well as its rich cultural heritage.

The museum has two galleries namely, the pre-historic and the Archaeological Hall which exhibits specimens of stone crafts metal crafts, potteries, gold smithing, burial coffins, different artifacts recovered at different stages/periods of man’s existence, the Golden Tara that signifies Butuan’s relation with Indonesia as well as other ceramic wares found in association with beautiful guild ornaments and beads among burial coffins. It also has on exhibit a bronze pestle (a foreign object in its time) dug up in March 2001 in Pinamanculan- a place believe to be an isle so obviously its brought by foreigners trading with the locals.

The Ethnology Hall features the cultural communities of the Manobo, Mamanwa, Higaonon and the lowland Butuanons, a showcase of the rich cultural heritage of Butuan.

Butuan Regional Museum is a branch of the National Museum entrusted by law as the repository & guardian of the Philippines’ national & cultural heritage particularly the historical materials and artefacts that proves Butuan’s prehistoric existence and rich culture. It also enhances the preservation and maintenance of archaeological finds that could be useful to scholars, students and researchers on Mindanao culture. It promotes public consciousness and awareness of the origin of the provinces and cities of the region.

The Regional Museum in Butuan City will soon undergo renovation. Recently, the Sangguniang Panglunsod approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Democrito D. Plaza II to enter a memorandum of agreement with the National Museum who will be tasked to conduct cultural mapping, to be able to identify Butuan City’s cultural and historical interests.

The cultural mapping will be made in all 86 barangays to include in identifying their culture, food, games, and events that could trace back the history of Butuan.

It has a budget of more or less 2.6 million pesos, part of which will be allocated to renovate the now dilapidated building of the Butuan Regional Museum, putting at risk the artifacts put on display.

City Councilor Ramon Carampatana, Chairman of the Committee on Tourism also revealed that the National Museum already approved the construction of one additional gallery for the Butuan Regional Museum.

A plan is also in progress, between members of the Butuan Global Foundation, Inc and the Butuan Regional Museum to restore the labels of each tree around the museum that contains the date it was planted, and its scientific name, among those are Narra Tree, Batuan Tree, and Mahogany Tree.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bonbon Shell Midden

Reaching the area can be made in either from the fully cemented circumferential road that traverses from Diosdado Macapagal Bridge or from Libertad, national highway. The shortest way though is to ride the motorized trisikad, parked at the corner of Libertad national highway-Bonbon road just adjacent to the City Sports complex, and turning left from the Bonbon proper, you have to go across a bad road; the distance from the national highway is more or less 3-kilometers.

In archaeology, the term shell midden analysis refers to the study of marine shell valves that were once used as food by prehistoric peoples. Once the meat was extracted, the remaining shells were sometimes used to make ornaments such as beads or carved into fishhooks. However, most of the shell was simply thrown away as waste. It was not uncommon for prehistoric peoples to discard unwanted refuse at centralized trash sites. Over many hundreds of years, shell refuse and soil would build up at these trash sites, resulting in the formation of mounds on what was once level ground.

Discovered in Purok 2A-Tuway, Barangay Bonbon is a mound of shells running up to two meters deep occupying an area of about half a hectare and what is now an additional historical sites, named as “Bonbon Shell Midden”

The materials found in the site underwent radiocarbon dating analysis in Japan. But National Museum archaeologists who made an in-depth study of the site in February 2009 have its prognosis that the materials go back to late Stone Age. That effectively pushes back in time the cultural chronology of Butuan's early settlement, and eventually alters data on Philippine history.

Aside from freshwater and brackish shells, the excavations yielded stone flake tools that bore traces of human interventions, including deposits of human and animal bones. At the moment, two human tibiae (long bones of the arms) and parts of the hand are in Japan for C-14 analysis.


From the national highway in Libertad, one has to ride a trisikad and pass through at least 12 kilometers of cemented road to reach Balangay Shrine.

Relic of the oldest Philippine watercraft – Balangay 1, carbon dated age 1630 years before present (110 years), measured 15 meters in length and 3 meters wide across the beam, discovered on September 3, 1976.
Circa – 320 A.D. as determined by the Gakushuin University, Tokyo, Japan

The Balangay Shrine Museum, a one-storey building that serves as a unit of the National Museum, where it houses two of the three ancient boats discovered and excavated from 1976 to 1986.

Put on display are other cultural materials associayed with the boat like human and animal remains, coffins, pots, jewelries, hunting tools, and ceramics. The main attraction is the relic of the oldest Philippine watercraft called Balangay-pronounced as Ba-lang-hāy, now popularly called as the Butuan Boat.

The Balangays are large, wooden plank-built and edge-pegged boats. This method of construction is typical to Southeast Asian boat making. The planks are one continuous piece carved to shape and made of hardwood identified as Heretiara Litorales, locally known as Dongon. The boat was 15 meters in length and 3 meters across the beam. Only in Butuan, in no other locality in the Philippines or in Southeast Asia for the matter, has there been such rare and extensive recovery of these maritime vessels and the cultural relics associated with an affluent seafaring people in this part of the globe.

The National Museum in Manila houses the other boat. No other remains of the ancient boats, locally known as balanghais, were found elsewhere.

These archaeological findings became one of the country’s National Treasure by virtue of Presidential Proclamation no. 86 by President Corazon C. Aquino, and the sites where they were discovered as archaeological sites.

At present, the Balangay Shrine is at a "dilapidated" state, threatening the restoration of what is perhaps the most important evidence of pre-Hispanic Filipino civilization. The Butuan Global Foundation is said to donate half a million pesos to renovate the building hopefully within 2009.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mutya Hong Butuan 9 Official Candidates

#1 Aries Castillo, 16 years old, #2 Cristy Marie Orcullo, 16 #3 Shahani Mongaya, 18 #4 Anna Lou Pedrosa, 18 #5 Mariane Plaza, 16 #6 Catherine Rose Lim, 20 #7 Lou Jaye Bongato, 17 #8 Sharmaone Alisa Basinang, 16 #9 Sheena Grace Cubillas, 20

Of the 20 pretty Butuanon ladies who make it to the final screening last April 4, the lucky 10 were finally chosen and became the official candidates for the Mutya Hong Butuan 2009, but recently, one candidate backed out. The candidates attended photo sessions and trainings on Speech & personality Development,Table Etiquettes, and for the first time, the candidates received Health Awareness Lecture with Dr. RJ Villanueva, sponsored by Butuan DOTS Clinic as part of the World TB Day. The ladies were lectured about TB Awareness, Fitness Enhancement and Sex Education.

Mutya Hong Butuan beauty pageant is just one of the many activities lined up for the month long celebration of the Balangay (pronounced as ba-lang-hay) Festival in May.

The 9 Pretty Faces will be seen for the first in public during the opening ceremony of the Balangay festival on May 1 at the Rizal Park after the motorcade, and to be officially introduced to the public on May 2 during the Mutya Presentation Night at FSUU Gym.

The coronation night is scheduled on May 17.