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The Blogger

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I am a simple person who lives a complicated life; the irony makes my life interesting. I have a curious mind and I am always ready to be inspired. I like to be more informative and empowering and that's what I really want to bring out from my blog. "Anything and Everything" is the theme of my blog. I will incorporate information and empowerment in any sort of topic.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

My Hometown (History of Butuan)

Butuan is the capital city of Agusan del Norte. It is situated near the Agusan river. We all know that great civilizations flourished near rivers, and Butuan is one of those civilizations. Why did I say civilization?? Because there was already Butuan before Philippines existed. 

Butuan wasn't called Butuan yet...it was called Masao or"Masawa". The area was ruled by "datus" who were Indonesian and Malaysian in origin. Masawa and the current city of Butuan had a very big geographical difference - this can be explained through theories of soil erosion, changes in weather, rise and fall of water levels, etc. The people from these lands came to Mindanao through "balanghai boat" which was found from an excavation is an area near the current city proper of Butuan.

Masawa claims to hold the first advance civilization in the Philippines. By the 10th century, locals had established trading relations with people from Vietnam (Kingdom of Champa), Sumatra Indonesia (Srivijaya Empire), and China (Song Dynasty). This was testified by a written account from China during the Song dynasty, which stated trading relations with a land described geographically as the old Masawa. Artefacts were found from excavations around the area of current Butuan supported the claims. These artefacts were products from Vietnam, China & Indonesia - these are currently displayed in the Museum of Butuan. 

One very important and expensive artefact is currently not displayed in our own museum - the Golden Tara. This is currently displayed in a museum in the USA. After a storm in the 1917, a Manobo woman found it in the muddy bank of Wawa River. The Golden Tara was said to be Indian in origin. The ancient figure a tests to the presence of Hindu culture in our land back then; it was said to be during the height of the Srivijaya Empire.

Aside from that, the first Catholic Mass in the Philippines was held in Masawa. This was in the accounts of Pigafeta, the one who wrote for the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portugese who worked for Spain around the 1520's. 

My city, Butuan, has an interesting history. Too sad, many people living here are not aware of the glorious past of our ancestors. When I was in gradeschool, my mom brought me to a lecture about the history of Butuan, and that is when I learned about our history. Last year, I brought my boyfriend in the Museum of Butuan - I told him a brief history of Butuan that I know, and together we spent a day looking and appreciating the history of our homeland.


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