Exploring Butuan City

You know the drill; you plot your itinerary for a certain trip, try to get to the farthest place first  (from airport or bus terminal) and the nearest at the end of the trip. This would save you so much time in your trip and the hassle of being late for a scheduled plane or bus ride back home. But then, if you're such a slacker for "planning" then forget about what I said and bring out that Amazing Race-ish skills that you have. 

It was our 5th day on this trip and once again, for the 3rd time, we missed our boat ride from Siargao to Surigao. Good thing we found a nice guy who offered us a ride (for a fee of course) to go back to the Surigao mainland but on a different route

We arrived at Butuan City at around 3:00 p.m. We were about to scout the area near the bus terminal for a place to stay for the night when it started to drizzle. We went into an internet shop to check out where we could probably look for a cheap inn. After an hour and 15 pesos, we decided to stay on one of the cheapest inns there is in the city.

We hopped on a tricycle and paid 8 pesos each to get to our destination. It was the HCCB Golden Cottage (or the Holy Child's Inn). It's very near the Holy Child Colleges of Butuan and in fact it is the laboratory establishment for H.R.M. and Tourism students of the said college. We were offered a double aircon room for 400 pesos (we just added a hundred bucks for a TV 'coz Jay missed it while we were at Siargao). The room was basic; a double-sized bed, a dresser, cabinet, aircon and our expensive T.V. The toilet and bathroom is shared. 

HCCB Golden Cottage

no ensuite toilet and bath

After our late siesta, we went out for a walk with no particular destination in mind. We passed by the Agusan Provincial Capitol which was three blocks away from our inn.

Then we immediately saw Gaisano mall from the Capitol. We walked our way to check it out and found ourselves hoarding some flavored peanuts from the grocery. Their peanuts are really yummy, especially the sour cream one. There are also other peanut-based crunchies there. 

Next in order was to look for a place to have a decent meal. J was pointing McDonald's when I saw this jampacked grill house near the mall. It was the Pina's 2 Barbecue House We checked it out and saw that people were getting some barbecued stuff and passing it into someone who'd grill it for them. As we went closer I saw my favorite isaw. Hmm... I might as well find a competition for my favorite isaw in Surigao eh? 

And then we went to war zone and grabbed 14 pcs. of pork barbecue (3 pesos each), 10 pcs. tinae/isaw (2 pesos each), 1 pc. chorizo (10 pesos each), 1 pc. atay (15 pesos each), some soda and  a few pu-so/hanging rice (5 pesos each). We were that hungry! They also have this special sauce and the basic soy/vinegar/chili sauce (calamansi is hard to find during this trip, they usually use vinegar for that extra kick). 

I quickly grabbed an isaw when we got our grilled stuff. And the verdict? It's yummy but the isaw in Surigao was just so awesome that I couldn't stop raving about it. But the isaw here was nice. I might do an isaw-related post soon. The revelation was the 3-peso pork barbecue. It was tasty and tender. Very nice. The rest was just ok. But could we complain for 111 pesos all-in dinner?

111 pesos all-in!
On our 6th and last day, we asked the gracious security guard on places of interest around the city for we still have the whole day to spare. He cited some interesting places until he mentioned the National Museum. Now that's a nice place to start with. We went out of the inn and grabbed a bite on a local bakeshop. It was the Gold 'n Pearl bakeshop near the Provincial Capitol. I dunno how they do it but their breads and cookies were so yummy and priced at around 2 - 5 pesos. I am not even a bread-person but I enjoyed it. 

pandesal - 2 pesos /  dalagang bayan - 2 pesos/ moon cookies - 2 pesos
cheese bread - 5 pesos / cinnamon bread - 5 pesos
We got into a tricycle and went to the National Museum Region XIII Branch - Butuan. We paid 10 pesos each for that ride which was quite far from our inn. Someone welcomed and greeted us from the gates. And then the sad news, they were close for renovations. Ugh. 

Almost every town museum I visited was either closed or under renovations. I can also make a separate post on failed attempts in museums. But then the guy told us that we could go to Barangay Libertad to check out the Balangay Site museum. We hopped on a jeepney with an "airport" sign, paid 10 pesos each and head towards Barangay Libertad.

ako na ang malas sa museums
No one seemed to know where the museum is. We asked the driver and a few passengers but no, they don't have a clue where it is. And then I saw a signage on the street that leads to the museum. We then got on a tricycle and paid 20 pesos each for the one-way ride. 

good thing I saw the signage
We got there after almost 5 minutes. We asked our trike driver to wait for us and even invited him to come inside. The Balangay Shrine is a field unit of the National Museum. It is the actual site where they first excavated the remnants of the earliest watercraft, the Balangay or Butuan boat on 1976. These are large boats made out of wooden planks and pegs circa 320 A.D. 

After the first excavation, few others followed. This is an evidence on the ingenuity of our forefathers. There were also some burial coffins. These were excavated 16 meters away from the boat. The interesting thing about the coffins was that they found some multiple burials inside it but also showed that it was a primary burial (where you bury and leave the bones inside) and not a secondary one (where you collect the bones from other burial coffin/jar and transfer it). 

Evidence on materials used shows that it was from the 14th to 15th century. And then I was happy. Such an enriching experience. Thanks to the security guard who showed us around 'coz the curator seemed to be having a bad day and never even asked us anything. 

burial coffins
Our trike driver wanted to show us a river near the site and the other excavation sites but we got no time and we might be late for our flight back to Manila. Going back to the main highway, we looked around for a nice place to have lunch. And then we went inside the Sto. Nino shrine and found out that the images were covered for the Holy Week. Deja vu from our last year's trip in Siquijor

Holy week
Walking was of no avail. We passed by a public market, ukay-ukay shops and a church but no place to eat. We hailed a jeepney and promised to go down on the first eatery we see. And then we saw the Lutong Bahay ni Aling Cora restaurant

It was busy inside. We saw some fresh sea foods near the counter. Dampa-style, one could choose any of the displayed produce and let them cook it the way you want it. They also offer a la carte items so do check their menu. We got Chicken Barbecue for 85 pesos, Tuna Sinugba for 110 pesos, Avocado shake and Durian shake for 40 pesos each. I loved the chicken, it was so tasty even up to the bones. How do they do that eh? I also love the Durian shake. It was a far cry from our cheapo dinner but it was ok nonetheless. 

Tuna Sinugba

And so the series ends with food. What was remarkable on the whole trip was the isaw in Surigao, the jelly fish in Bucas Grande and the pork barbecue in Butuan. 2 out 3 are food. Alam na...


  1. Wow! ang sarap naman magfood trip diyan, di mahal food. May mararating pala ang P3. =)

    1. kagulat di ba michi? may bumili nga ng 100 pcs eh. may party ata. haha

  2. Ang ganda! nung lodge ang ganda parang old house! :-)

  3. Final post na ba to? Hehe. Gaano kalayo yang HCCB sa airport?

    1. hi gabz! yep last na to. from airport to HCCB siguro mga14-peso jeepney ride (baba ng gaisano) and an 8-peso tricycle ride...

  4. buti pa sa Butuan mura lang ang BBQ and ang ganda ng accomodation.

    1. oo nga eh. parang wala ng tres na bbq dito sa manila noh?

  5. hi manong! aba updated ka ha! :) may tatapusin lang akong post na isa pa. hehe

  6. ah ok.. sige abang abang na lang manong :)

  7. hindi pa ako naka-experience ng piso na malamig pa :) hehehe

  8. kumain din kami bbq jan! ang mura nga..

    but then again, mas nakakabaliw pa din yung sarap ng bbq sa surigao!

    1. iba ang isaw sa surigao - and it rhymes! hahaha

  9. I'm at awe with the price of food here. You guys ate well and paid so little. Nice. :)


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