THE PROVINCE AT A
Located at the Northeastern part of Agusan Valley
sprawling across the Agusan River is Butuan City known for itís
colorful history and culture. BUTUAN is believed to have
originated from the sour fruit "Batuan". Others opined, it came
from a certain "Datu Buntuan", a chieftain who once ruled
Butuan. Scholars believed, it came from the word " But-an",
which literally means a person who has a sound and discerning
disposition. Whichever theories appear credible depends on the
kind of people residing in Butuan, for whatever is said about
them, Butuan continues to live on.
Butuanís history, culture, arts and people date back to the 4th
Century as showcased in museums and festivals, makes Butuan an
exiting source of cultural artifacts in Mindanao. As early as
the 10th Century, according to the Chinese soong Shi (history),
people from Butuan had already established trading relations
with the Kingdom of Champa in what is now South Vietnam. By the
11th Century, Butuan was the center of trade and commerce in the
Philippines. The best evidence to prove this fact is the
discovery of 9 balangays (The BUTUAN BOAT) and other
archaeological finds in the vicinities of Butuan City ,
particularly in Ambangan, Libertad near the old EL RIO de BUTUAN
and MASAO river.
Welcome to a City that has seen over 1,677 years of recorded
history! The original site of the First Easter Mass in
Philippine Soil. Here, the present nurtures the past and
vice-versa. While the future waits promisingly in the wings.
Agusanดs Prehispanic cultural history is traced back
to the great influence of the Majapahit Empire through the
discovery of an eight inch tall image of a woman in pure gold at
Maasam, Esperanza, in the early 20ดs and 60ดs. The coming of the
Spaniards was a visit to Rajah Siagu, a native chieftain along
the Limasawa. Spanish galleons dropped anchor after an apparent
long and weary journey commanded by Pernao Magalhao to visit his
place on the occasion of Easter Sunday, on April 6,1951, the
first mass in Agusan and for that matter in Mindanao was
celebrated. Spanish troops came with friars who converted the
natives into Christians. Administration of the affairs of the
government was later centered on the church.
The revolt of Luzon had repercussions in Agusan who also took up
arms against Spaniards. After the signing of the Treaty of Paris
on December 10,1898, the Americans took over the civil
government and again Agusan took arms this time against the
American soldiers. But bolos and spears were no match to
powerful guns, so in January 1900, Agusan yielded. This was then
followed by peaceful road to self government which was halted by
the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec.7, 1941. The day
of liberation came and in 1945 Agusan was very busy picking
herself up for rehabilitation.
A very interesting sideline in the history of the province is
her name. In the long time past Agusan was only known as "AGASAN"
or "Where the Water Flows. In the ensuing years, the archipelago
was discovered by a Portuguese navigator flying the Spanish
flag. The greatest impact on this severe winding river was when
it laid itself as a highway for the penetration of the Spanish
explorers. These intrepid "Conquistadores" had their penchant of
corrupting pronunciation and the place where the "Water Flows"
or "Agasan" came to be called "Agusan" to the civilized world.
The population of Agusan del Sur predominantly
consists of migrants from the Visayas regions and, therefore,
the Visayan dialects are widely used by the populace. Of the
Visayan dialects, it is Cebuano that is spoken by about 67% of
the total population. In the native cultural communities, "Manobo"
dialect is the most popular among the native tongues. Other
native tongues are Banuaon, Hiligaynon, Kamayo, and others.
There are only few foreigners in the Agusan Del Sur, majority of
whom speak Chinese. The rest speak English, Dutch and Spanish of
whom are the priests.
The large scale enterprises in Agusan del Sur deal
mainly with logs and lumber productions and mining. This area
had establishments consisting of logging firms; a lumber yard;
rice and corn mills, and others. Commercial establishments has
been growing steadily but most of the business activities are in