Revisiting History in Butuan

The trip to Butuan in November 2016 would be the last official trip for the year.  I am not one to go to a place and not explore and enjoy it, however short the stay.  It’s my first time too in this city.  What is in it that we can relish and be part of our good memories of the city?  I did a little research and found that there are few tourist spots to go to in Butuan.  If we want the kind of enjoyment I always look for, we have to travel some more….. to another province actually, Dinagat Island… yes, the conclave of the Eleos, the ruling clan of the province.   One of the scions of its ruling clan is the controversial   Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr., the “supreme master” of cult group Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA)  who has been a fugitive for graft and parricide.  Time wouldn’t permit travel to that elusive paradise though.  Maybe, next time…. For now, we will contend ourselves with what Butuan has to offer ….

Butuan has seen over 1,683 years of recorded history. It was the original site of the first Easter mass in Philippine soil. It was the site of the first formal hoisting of the Philippine flag in Mindanao. And it was the home of the “Balanghais“ or Butuan Boats, famous pre-historic native boats in Southeast Asia.

Butuan is situated in the northwestern part of the Caraga Region (Region 13). It is the seat of government of the region and serves as its trading center as well. The city’s strategic location makes it a natural gateway to the different prime destinations in the region.

It’s a three-day trip, an average length of stay for an official trip.  Our schedule was constrained because of flight schedules.  I told my colleague who made the arrangements for the trip that  I do not want an early morning since from past experience I couldn’t sleep the night before the trip.  However, there are limited flights to Butuan daily.  Our activity is schedule on the second day.    We had to book our flight going there a day before and back a day after.  And so there was nothing that can be done but book the earliest flight at 5:10 am… sleepness night again 😦

On the day of our flight, I was up and about around 3:30 am and thankfully I was able to book a Grab car fast.  After the more than an hour flight, we landed in their airport and were met by our regional office’s welcoming party.  We boarded the vehicle bringing us to the resort.

The one thing going for this trip was the accommodation which is a resort, the Almont Inland Resort.   On its website, the resort looks nice with all the amenities.  I had mixed feelings because based on past experience, some hotels/resort use their best looking pictures in their promotional materials.  Once you get there, the real deal is unmasked.  So please don’t blame me.

When we got there,we saw that the place actually looks good.  The architectural design is a mix of modern and rustic.  The receptionist had to check if we can already check in.  While waiting, we were ushered to the resto together with one of the big bosses of our office who was in the same flight as us.  The breakfast buffet was spread out since it was around 7:00 am already.  We were starving and so we had breakfast …. The food is, well, edible.  It doesn’t actually look appetizing.  I had scrambled eggs, some dried fish and other viands….. I like the puto maya and thick cocoa drink together.  The rest of the fare are so so….

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