A Quick City Tour In Butuan City, Agusan del Norte


Butuan City is situated in the north-eastern section of Agusan Valley, Mindanao. It is also the regional center of CARAGA and will be our entry point as we visit Surigao del Sur. Simply because Butuan's Bancasi Airport serves as a portal to the different provinces of CARAGA region.

As we land at Bancasi Airport of Butuan City, the first thing in our itinerary was to have a quick tour in different tourist spots and landmarks of this town. It will be quick because we need to head to Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur before nightfall. We had researched some good spots already before this trip but we chose to go and ask from the information section of the airport to gather some tips and advice. And I must say that it was a right decision we made. The guy in the information section was very knowledgeable of his town and really knew how to direct tourists like us. He even gave us a pamphlets that hold all the tourist spots and landmarks of Butuan City. Kudos!

National Museum - Butuan Branch

Touch down! (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
There are lots of historic place in Butuan so we decided to just visit the National Museum located in Doongan, Butuan City. In our thinking, visiting this place will saves us time. Simply because instead of visiting each historic spots of Butuan, this National Museum will showcase all the stories and artifacts of this city. Unfortunately, the museum is under renovation and all of the items were being kept in a protected area. Aw, that was not a good start for us. But just to make our visit worthy, we took photos of the vicinity instead. The place has lots of trees and plants that it forms a park-like area. Locals even visit the place to chill and relax. I can somehow relate it as a mini-Luneta Park of Butuan.

My college friend, travel buddy and a fellow travel blogger - Baron (author of Baron the Explorer
Checking out the place  (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
How to get there?
From Bancasi Airport, take a jeepney ride going to Gaisano Mall. As you arrive at Gaisano Mall, you may say "lugar lang" and the driver will stop the jeepney at the corner. Cool huh?! Then hire a tricycle going to the National Museum which cost 8.00 PhP/pax.

Banza Church Ruins

Remains of the church and its caretakers (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Located at Lilo, Brgy. Banza, Butuan City, Banza church was known as the most admirable stone structure of the region way back in the year 1625 and it was built by Recollect Friars. However it was burned down by Moro Pirates in 1753 and the church was turned into ashes and chunks of stones. The only remains left by that attack is its Bell Tower enveloped by Balete trees (also known as Banyan Tree). Today, the beautiful church before is now recognize as the oldest ruin of a stone church in the entire region of Mindanao.

Presenting the oldest church ruins in the Mindanao region (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)

Photo op at the bell tower of Banza Church Ruins (Photos from Byron Cantonjos)
How to get there?
From Gaisano Mall, take a R4 Jeepney going to the tricycle terminal near Langihan Bus Terminal. Then take a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at the ruins. Take note: Make sure not to direct your driver at Banza church. Make sure that you instruct him that you will be going to Banza Church Ruins. Banza church and Banza Church Ruins are two different structure. I know this because we've been taken to the church instead to the ruins. Lol.

Magsaysay Bridge

This makes land trips to Cabadbaran and Surigao possible (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
On our way to Banza Church Ruins, we passed through to an eye-catchy bridge. So we look at our pamphlets to see if there is a written information about that bridge. It was Magsaysay Bridge we saw and it is a special landmark of Butuan. Magsaysay Bridge was built in the 50s and was inaugurated by the late President Carlos P. Garcia. Magsaysay Bridge is the first wing that links the east and west banks of Agusan.

So after our visit in Banza Church Ruins, we ask our tricycle driver if we could stop in the middle of the Magsaysay Bridge before we went back to the terminal and have our pictures taken on Magsaysay. He agreed to our little favor. Cool Manong driver! I was a bit embarrassed during my turn to take a photo with the bridge. People we're looking at me like I was some sort of celebrity slash just crazy tourist. So I made it quick, immediately got back to our tricycle, and off to Langihan Premium Terminal - terminal going to Hinatuan.

I'm a bit embarrassed here... lol (Photo from Byron Cantonjos)
Well even though it was just a quick tour in the city of Butuan, I still enjoyed it. Aside from the place, the people there were also nice and very accommodating to tourists like us. Lots of interesting places to visit but we only have limited time. Too bad.

Breakdown of Expenses:
Jeepney (Bancasi - Gaisano Mall) - 15.00 PhP
Tricycle (Gaisano - National Museum, roundtrip) - 8 PhP per trip x 2 = 16.00 PhP
Jeepney (Gaisano - Tricycle Terminal near Langihan Premium Terminal) - 8.00 PhP
Tricycle Rental (Terminal - Ruins, roundtrip) - 100 PhP /2 = 50.00 PhP/pax

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