Sights in Butuan

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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Located in the northeastern part of Agusan Valley Mindanao, the city of Butuan is accessible by air and by boat. Hundreds of tourists come to this place, especially during the month of January, in time for the exotic dances and ceremonies of “Kahimunan Festival,” and in May for the “Balanghai festival” in honor of the city’s patron saint, St. Joseph. During ordinary days, visitors can enjoy the many interesting Butuan sights.

Balangai Shrine Museum

Located some five kilometers from the heart of the city, the Balangai graveyard serves as a reminder of the colorful rituals and traditions of ancient Butuan. The Balangai graveyard, with its wooden plank and edge-pegged burial boats, dates back to 320 A.D. Nine of the burial boats have been discovered in the area, and most of them are well preserved.

Banza Church Ruins

People who love stories of romance and adventure should never miss the Banza Church ruins when visiting Butuan. The ruins of the Banza church are said to be the oldest stone church ruins in Mindanao. The Banza Church was built in 1625 by the Spanish friars, but in 1753, Moro pirates raided the city and set the church on fire. Today, only the bell tower, which doubled as a look-out for pirates, remains of the once beautiful church.

St. Joseph Cathedral

Founded by the Jesuits in 1596, the St. Joseph Cathedral located in the heart of the city was the first Christian church in Muslim area of Mindanao. The church received its first blessing in 1597 and dedicated St. Joseph as its Titular Patron in 1622. During World War II, the church was partially destroyed, but it was rebuilt by the Dutch missionaries in 1954. Most of the original carvings of the church were destroyed during the war, but some of its artifacts survived the tragedy.

Butuan Regional Museum

The two galleries of the museum showcase the rich cultural heritage of the city. The museum’s Archaeological Hall boasts unique ancient pottery, stone crafts, metal crafts, woodcrafts, and the traditional burial coffins used by the people as early as 320 A.D. The Ethnological Hall, on the other hand, showcases the contemporary cultural materials of the Filipino people.

Agusan River Cruise

Your visit to Butuan City will not be complete if you do not take the balangai cruise along the Agusan River.  The balangai is the replica of the ancient boats used by the people to cross the river to trade with visiting Chinese merchants. Like its ancient route, the replica makes designated stops for visitors to sample local cuisine and buy exotic souvenirs from shops doting along the river bank.

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