Saturday, February 28, 2015

Abra Province, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Casa Real
Casa Real 
A facade of the first provincial capitol of Abra, located at Bucay, Abra. 

Gabriela Silang Monument 
Gabriela Silang Monument
Gabriela Silang popularly known as the "Joan of Arc" of the Ilocos, led the Ilocanos' resistance against the Spaniards in 1763, after her husband Diego Silang was treacherously shot on May 28, of the same year. Today, her monument stands at the town plaza of Pidigan to remind every one of the gallant stand and the ideals she and her husband fought and died for. 
Don Teodoro Brillantes Family


Don Teodoro Brillantes Family Museum 
A private museum which houses the collections and mementos of the Brillantes family with a strong reflection of the Spanish culture. 
Old Roman Catholic Church 

Old Roman Catholic Church 
The churches are among the traces of the cultural heritage left by the Spanish colonizers. These are found in the municipalities of Bangued, Tayum, and Lagangilang. In Lagangilang, the church is not located in the town plaza unlike the churches in Bangued and Tayum where the churches are located near the town plazas and the municipal halls. 
Old Roman Catholic Church

Abra River
Abra River 
This is the biggest, longest and most popular river among the numerous rivers criss-crossing the valleys of the province. It is where all rivers and streams converge together. This is an ideal place for swimming and fishing. 

Boliney Hot Spring
Boliney Hot Spring 
Boliney Hot Spring
Located at Bani, Boliney, Abra. It can be reached by jeepneys after travelling 32 kilometers of dirt road. The place is ideal for swimmers who love taking a bath in hot and cold water. Aside from its hot spring, the locality offers a vivid experience in mountain travel with a winding road cruise alongside and between mountain ranges. 

Tugot ni Angalo
Tugot ni Angalo 
Translated as "Footprints of Angalo" - the Adam in Abra mythology) - It is found in Kabaruyan, San Quintin. The "footprint" is a perpetual monument of Angalo. People claim this is a real giant footprint in San Quintin, around fifteen meters long, five meters wide and ten feet deep. On a clear day, it can be seen visibly even from a distance. 

Kimkimay Lake 
Kimkimay Lake
This is one of the several lakes of the province located at Taquib, Villaviciosa. It covers an approximate area of one hectare amidst hills bordering barangays Taquib and Callao, both in Villaviciosa. KimkimayLake, according to legend carried by word of mouth was formerly a dwelling where several families lived. These families were however engaged in many vices so they were punished by the gods by sinking their community, submerging it in cool water. Today, the lake is a favorite place for town picnickers using the lake as a swimming pool and place for fishing. This place can be reached from Bangued travelling along a 32 kilometer winding Penarrubia-Villaviciosa- Pilar Road which as similar to the famous.

Sibud-sibud Cave. Courtesy
Sibud-sibud Cave 
This is located along the newly -constructed road of Tineg. It can be reached after traveling a distance of around 33 kilometers with a traveling time of 1 - 1/2 hours. It is an ideal place for nature lovers. 

Limbo Lake 
Limbo Lake
This is the second lake located at Villaviciosa. Though not as popular as the KimkimayLake, it offers an ideal place for campers and hikers for it cannot be reached by jeepneys and buses. The distance to travel is however negligible. 

Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, is bordered by Ilocos Norte and Apayao on the north, Ilocos Sur and Mountain Province on the south, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur on the west, and Kalinga and Apayao on the east.

The first inhabitants of Abra were the ancestors of the Bontocs and the Ifugaos. These inhabitants eventually left to settle in the old Mountain Province. Other early inhabitants were the Tingguians, or Itnegs, as they are also known. In 1598, a Spanish garrison was established in Bangued to protect Christian Ilocanos from Tingguian raids. Originally the area was called El Abra de Vigan ("The Opening of Vigan"). During the British Occupation of the Philippines, Gabriela Silang and her army fled to Abra from Ilocos and continued the revolt begun by her slain husband, Diego Silang. She was captured and hanged by the Spanish in 1763.

In 1818, the Ilocos region, including Abra, was divided into Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. In 1846, Abra was created[3] as a political-military province with Lepanto as a sub-province. It remained so until the arrival of the Americans in 1899.

In 1908 the Philippine Commission once again in annexed Abra to Ilocos Sur in an attempt to resolve Abra's financial difficulties. On March 9, 1917, the Philippine Assembly re-established Abra as a province.

In 1942, the Japanese forces occupied the Philippines and entered Abra.

Abra was liberated by the Philippine Commonwealth forces and local Cordilleran guerrillas during the Battle of Abra in 1945, at the end of the Second World War.

The revolutionary Marxist priest, Conrado Balweg, who fought for the rights of the Cordillera tribes, began his crusade in Abra. After successfully negotiating a peace accord with Balweg's group in 1987, the Philippine government created the Cordillera Administrative Region, which includes Abra.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Butuan City, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Kahimanan Festival
The Kahimunan Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January in celebration of the city patron Sr. Sto. Niño. This celebration is a Butuanon version of the Sinulog festival of Cebu City. Kahimunan is a Lumad term which means "gathering".
Balangay Festival

Balangay Festival. Butuan celebrates its annual fiesta, the Balangay Festival, for the celebration of the city patron St. Joseph every whole month of May, with the exact feast day of St. Joseph on May 19. The city holds many events such as summer league basketball championship games, thanksgiving mass, and more.
Balangay Festival

Butwaan Festival
 Butwaan Festival. The newest festival is a feast day celebration of St. Joseph, patron of Butuan, which is held every 19th of May. This was created last 2013 as replacement to Balangay Festival during the specific date. Both festivals will still celebrates the feast of St. Joseph with Butwaan focus on the Church activities while Balangay will focus on the city government activities.
Abayan Festival
 Abayan Festival
The Abayan Festival, a part of the Cultural Festival, is held in celebration of St. Anne, patroness of Agusan River, which is celebrated every last Sunday of July.

 Palagsing Festival
Palagsing Festival
“Palagsing” is a local delicacy popularly made in Banza, one of the old poblacion of Butuan City. The popularity of making Palagsing in Banza is attributed to the abundance of Lumbiya (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) where Unaw or lumbiya starch is harvested from the Palm Tree. Another popular ingredient is young coconut meat taken from coconut trees. The mixture of unaw, young coconut and brown sugar make palagsing moist and chewy. They are delicately wrapped by banana leaves and are boiled for 30 minutes to create the soft consistency of palagsing. The Palagsing Festival usually held on Adlaw Hong Butuan Celebration every 2nd day of August.

Adlaw Hong Butuan
 Adlaw Hong Butuan
Adlaw Hong Butuan is the charter day celebration of Butuan, which includes a thanksgiving mass, motorcade, palagsing festival, street party recognitions of outstanding Butuanons and City Government Employees' Night.

Natural Attractions
Agusan River
The Agusan River is the widest and most navigable river in Mindanao. Natives who live on the banks of this river pay tribute to their Patroness, Senora Sta. Ana (Saint Anne) every last Sunday of July in the Abayan festival.
Agusan River

Man-made Attraction
Ramon Magsaysay Bridge
The old Magsaysay Bridge in Butuan, an arched-type steel bridge built during the early sixties spans the mighty Agusan River. For years this bridge serve as a lone vital conduit of the city to the rest of Mindanao island until its new more modern pair came at the city’s southern side. The bridge links the main urban center to eastern suburbs of Baan and Ampayon.

Ramon Magsaysay Bridge
 Balangay Boats
Balangay Boats
The Balangays (or Balanghai) are ancient boats that were found in Butuan. They were excavated in the Balangay Shrine, across the Masao River from Bood Promontory. They played a major role in Butuan because Butuan was, and still is, a port city. Since its discovery, the Balangays have become an icon of Butuan. The Kaya ng Pinoy, Inc. recreated the Balangay boats and have sailed it as part of their project, the Balangay Voyage. So far they have only sailed around Southeast Asia. They are planning to sail around the world.

Balangay Shrine Museum
Balangay Shrine Museum
The Balangay Shrine Museum, located in Brgy. Libertad, lays the graveyard of the Balangay 1 dated 320 A.D. or 1688 years old. The Balangay shrine museum is located at Balanghai, Libertad, Butuan City. This wooden plank-build and edge-pegged boats measured an average of 15 meters in length and 3 meters wide across the beam. To date, 9 Balangays have already been discovered in Ambangan, Libertad. Three have been excavated and others are still in Site.

 National Museum (Butuan City Branch)
National Museum Butuan
This museum is the repository of historical and cultural materials and artifacts that proves Butuan's prehistoric existence and rich cultural heritage. There are two exhibit galleries. The Archaeological Hall and Ethnological Hall specimens of stone crafts, metal crafts, woodcrafts, potteries, goldsmith, burial coffins, and other archaeological diggings are exhibited. At the Ethnological Hall are exhibits of contemporary cultural materials the Butuanon or every Filipino for matter used for a living.

Guingona Park
Guingona Park
Guingona Park is the native name used for that park. Due to changes of government, however, that resulted in change of name to Rizal Park. This came about because it was contended that Rizal went there and that they named the park after him. Recently, the government of Butuan City headed by Mayor Amante reconstructed the Park and put the name back to Guingona, as it was he who donated the said park some decades past.

Bood Promontory Eco - Park
Bood Promontory Eco Park
This historic hill is believed to have been the site where Magellan and his men celebrated the first Catholic Mass on Philippine soil and erected a cross when he landed in Mazaua on March 31, 1521. The highest elevation nearest the seaside village of present day Masao, Bood is a wooded area located at a bend in the Masao River (El Rio de Butuan), overlooking Butuan Bay and ancient Butuan as well as the serpentine Masao River. Today, the indigenous Hadlayati tree still abound lording over a clonal nursery and tree park, amidst fishponds and archaeological treasures. According to the chronicles of Spanish historian Pigafetta, the event took place in the afternoon of March 31, 1521 after the Easter Mass was celebrated in the morning of the same date. Two Butuanon brother kings attended these Easter ceremonies. Pigafetta also noted the surrounding fields and balanghai boats on the bay that could be seen from the hill. The eco-park was established to provide the people of Butuan and its visitors a place to rekindle the past amidst a relaxing natural setting.

BUTUAN CITY (Dakbayan hong Butuan) and often referred to as Butuan City, is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines. The city is the regional center of the Caraga Region. It is located at the northeastern part of the Agusan Valley, Mindanao, sprawling across the Agusan River. It is bounded to the north, west and south by Agusan del Norte, to the east by Agusan del Sur and to the northwest by Butuan Bay. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 309,709 people.

Butuan City was the capital of the province of Agusan del Norte until 2000, when Republic Act 8811 transferred the capital to Cabadbaran City.

The name “Butuan” is believed to have originated from the sour fruit locally called batuan. Other etymological sources say that it comes from a certain Datu Buntuan, a chieftain who once ruled over areas of the present-day city.

Butuan City has a land area of 81,662 hectares (201,790 acres), which is roughly 4.1% of the total area of the Caraga region.

The existing land use of the city consists of the following uses: agriculture areas (397.23 km2), forestland (268 km2), grass/shrub/pasture land (61.14 km2) and other uses (90.242 km2). Of the total forestland, 105 km2 is production forest areas while 167.5 km2 is protection forest areas.

The forestland, as mentioned earlier, comprised both the production and protection forest. The classified forest is further specified as production forest and protection forest. In the production forest industrial tree species are mostly grown in the area. The protection forest on the other hand, is preserved to support and sustain necessary ecological performance. Included in this are the watershed areas in Taguibo, which is the main source of water in the area,

The city is endowed with swamplands near its coastal area. These swamp areas are interconnected with the waterways joined by the Agusan River. Most of the swamplands are actually mangroves that served as habitat to different marine species.

Filling material needs of the city are extracted usually from the riverbank of Taguibo River. Others are sourced out from promontories with special features and for special purpose.

The fishing ground of Butuan is the Butuan Bay of which two coastal barangays are located. It extends some two kilometers to the sea and joins the Bohol Sea. These are the barangays of Lumbocan and Masao.

Agusan del Sur, Philippines

Tourist Attractions 
Mt. Magdiwata
MT. MAGDIWATA (San Francisco). This mystical mountain stands 633 meters high, perfect for mountain climbing to regular mountaineers. It is San Francisco’s sole-source of potable water supply and is a recipient of the DENR’s reforestation program dubbed as Billion Tree Act. It has an area of 1,658 hectares covered with lush forest and an array of wild, rare tropical flora and fauna. A scenery of nature in perfection, the mountain’s peak offers a panoramic view of Agusan del Sur and its neighboring provinces. From a distance, Mt. Magdiwata poses as a backdrop of San Francisco.
Binaba Falls

BINABA FALLS. A 10-minute motorboat ride from the mini-wharf of the Gibong Recreation Center where the crystal clear water displays the nakedness of natural uninhibited wealth. 

MT. DIWATA HOT & COLD SPRING. Surrounded by nature’s preserved forest, the area is a 4 kilometer hiking distance from the Maharlika Highway. It offers not only an impressive scenery but a natural medicine to tired urbanites and nature lovers. 

Agusan Marsh
AGUSAN MARSH. The largest marshland in the Philippines holding up to 15% of the country freshwater. This mystical wetland is the home of indigenous Manobo people who live in clusters of wood and bamboo houses built on rafts of floating logs. For bird watchers, the marsh is a good area for destination. Purple herons, storks, sea eagles, wild ducks and other migratory wetland birds from the Southeast Asia Region will be seen during the months of November to January. Exotic flora and fauna and other endangered species like the dinata, a soft-shelled giant turtle, and sailfin lizard also exist in this wildlife sanctuary. 

Lake Himbang
LAKE HIMBANG. It is more than an hour drive from the Maharlika Highway going to Lake Himbang in Talacogon. The lake is an alternative destination of Agusan Marsh. The thrill of riding a motorized small boat or a wooden-boat (made of a log) while admiring the tranquility and view of the lake plus a relaxing meal at the floating cottage are some of its attractions, which you would never want to miss. 

MT. DIWATA PARK AND CAMPSITE. A preserved watershed forest three kilometers from San Francisco, it is known to have a virgin tropical forest areas. 

Sports Activities / Special Interest 
MOUNTAIN CLIMBING / TREKKING (Mt. Magdiwata, San Francisco). A minor climb with a height of about 633 meters above sea level, it provides a scenery of nature in perfection. 

BIRDWATCHING (Agusan Marsh). Being a home to migrant birds during winter time, flocks of birds such as purple herons, storks, sea eagles, wild ducks and many endangered species can be seen in the area particularly during the months of November, December, and January. Agusan Marsh is accessible by boat through the Simulao River at Bunawan. 

Events and Festivals 
NALIYAGAN (June 12-17, Government Center, Prosperidad). The festival depicts the Agusanon culture and heritage. Natives from far-flung areas of the province participate in the festivity by displaying their skills and gracefulness in a natural way. A trade fair showcasing the province own products also takes place at the Naliyagan Plaza. 

SANTIKAN (June 12-15, Trento). Santikan is a Manobo word which means the striking of two hard objects to create fiction or fire. It is to this essence that the festival is highlighted by different friendly competitions throughout its duration. 

KAHIMUNAN (First Sunday of January, Bayugan). Local version of Sinulog of Cebu, the main attraction of this particular festival is the street dancing. The dances are focused on Agusan del Sur indigenous culture. 

KAAMULAN (September 23, Salug, Esperanza). This is a yearly convergence of all tribal leaders in Agusan del Sur. The festival highlight is the performance of authentic tribal rituals by the tribal priests. 

Agusan del Sur is a landlocked province of the Philippines located in the Caraga region in Mindanao. Its capital is Prosperidad and borders, from the north clockwise, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, and Misamis Oriental

Agusan derived its name from the local dialect, "agasan", meaning "where the water flows", referring to the Agusan River that splits the land and meanders south to north in a 250 kilometres (160 mi) rush to Butuan Bay. It is third largest river in the country and served as highway for the Spanish colonizers in gaining access to inner northeastern Mindanao.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Esperanza, Agusan del Sur, Philippines

Tourist Attractions/Festival
Kaamulan Festival
KAAMULAN FESTIVAL. Held every 23rd day of September at Salug, Esperanza. A yearly convergence of all tribal leaders in Agusan del Sur. The festival's highlight is the performance of authenthic tribal rituals by the tribal priests.

Esperanza is a first class municipality in the province of Agusan del Sur, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 51,897 people.  
Tilapia Cages

It renowned as the "Tilapia Capital of the Province" and has an official moniker of "The Home of Cultural Diversity."

Esperanza is politically subdivided into 47 barangays namely Anolingan, Bakingking, Bentahon, Bunaguit, Catmonon, Concordia, Dakutan, Duangan, Mac-Arthur, Guadalupe, Hawilian, Labao, Maasin, Mahagcot, Milagros, Nato, Oro, Ling-ling, Poblacion, Remedios, Salug, San Toribio, Santa Fe, Segunda, Tagabase, Taganahaw, Tagbalili, Tahina, Tandang Sora, Agsabu, Aguinaldo, Balubo, Cebulan, Crossing Luna, Cubo, Guibonon, Kalabuan, Kinamaybay, Langag, Maliwanag, New Gingoog, Odiong, Piglawigan, San Isidro, San Jose, San Vicente, Sinakungan, and Valentina.

Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, Philippines

Town Attractions/Festivals
Bagat Festival
BAGAT FESTIVAL. Held every 6th day of November of the Municipality of Sibagat. The term bagat is a native term for "encounter". It is convergence of natives of surrounding areas of Wawa and Sibagat and highlighted by Manobo dancers and industrial fair.

Sibagat is a first class municipality in the province of Agusan del Sur, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 30,985 people. The town is 29 kilometres (18 mi) away from Butuan City.

The word Sibagat is from the word "bagat" which means meet or meeting place. According to the oral history, the river near Sibagat which is also called Sibagat River is the place where the warring tribes meet and fight. Sibagat River is tributary of a bigger river, the Wawa river. The losing tribe would retreat downstream to the Wawa River and disappear.

Sibagat is politically subdivided into 24 barangays namely; Afga, Anahawan, Banagbanag, Del Rosario, El Rio, Ilihan, Kauswagan, Kioya, Magkalape, Magsaysay, Mahayahay, New Tubigon, Padiay, Perez, Poblacion, San Isidro, San Vicente, Santa Cruz, Santa Maria, Sinai, Tabon-tabon, Tag-uyango, Villangit, and Kolambugan.

Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Bayugan Rotonda
Bayugan Rotonda is the most prominent landmark simply the widest circular park in Mindanao.

Wawa Bridge - largest steel bridge in the province. The bridge serves as the road boundary of Bayugan City and Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.

Pinagalaan Falls

Magkiangkang Cave – a spectacular cave located at the mountainous barangay of Magkiankang.

Rizal Park Plaza – largest park in the province
Gethsemane Falls

Narra Avenue – the widest road in the province. The Avenue serves as the main road of the city and is a six lane road. At night, Narra Avenue is the brightest and most lit road in the province.

Bayug (Hamogaway) Falls – located at Brgy Hamogaway, the falls is now known to be a tourist attraction in the city.
San Lorenzo Ruiz Diocesan Shrine

Kahimunan Festival
KAHIMUNAN FESTIVAL. Held every 1st Sunday of January at the City of Bayugan. The festival is a local version of Sinulog of Cebu. The main attraction of this particular event is the street dancing which portray tribal life of Agusan del Sur.

Bayugan is a city in the province of Agusan del Sur, Philippines. It has a population of 99,361 according to the census of 2010. The city is classified as a fifth class city according to Philippine Statistics Authority (Republic Act No. 7160). Being the only city in the 1st Congressional District and the only city in the province of Agusan del Sur, Bayugan serves as the growth center of the province.

Located at the northern part of Agusan del Sur, Bayugan is the "cut-flower capital" of the province owing to its lucrative cut flower industry. The city's climate, especially in the highland barangays, is conducive to high yield cut-flower production. The city is also one of the major producers of rice and vegetables in the province, even providing the needs of neighbouring municipalities and provinces.

The name "Bayugan" is a Manobo term for pathway, since then the natives called the place, Bayugan. Another version states that "bayug" trees grew abundantly in this place. It was also believed that the natives used to make this place their meeting spot and that the means of gathering the inhabitants was by knocking on a hollow piece of wood which they termed as the "bayug."

Bayugan is bordered by the Municipality of Sibagat and the province of Surigao del Sur to the north; the Municipality of Prosperidad to the east; the Municipality of Esperanza to the south; and the Municipality of Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte, to the west.

The city is geographically situated below the typhoon belt but is usually affected by depressions forming in the typhoon regions of Visayas and the province of Surigao del Norte. The climate map of the Philippines based on the modified coronas classification shows that the city falls under Type II. Which also is the weather classification of the province of Agusan del Sur.

Type II climate has no dry season with very pronounced wet season of heavy precipitation. Maximum rainfall generally occurs from December to January although there is no single dry month. Its average monthly rainfall is 161.6 millimetres (6.36 in) and average temperature is 32 °C (90 °F). Areas characterized by this climate type are generally along or very near the eastern coast thus are open to the northeast monsoon.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte, Philippines

Tourist Attractions
Lake Mainit
Lake Mainit: Situated 80 ft. above sea level with a mean depth of 128 meter, the lake is a confluence of 28 rivers. Its area of 17,430 hectares with a total shoreline of 50 kilometers covers part of Agusan del Norte (Jabonga, Kitcharao, Santiago) and Surigao del Norte (Mainit,Alegria and Sison). It is known for its pidjanga, gabot, banak, haw-an, gi-ngaw,igi and kasili and is natural habitat to some endangered Philippine flora and fauna. Migratory birds from Russia and Japan and native flowers –pagosi and tabukali are its unique attractions.
Lake Mainit

Kitcharao is a fourth class municipality in the province of Agusan del Norte, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 17,377 people.

The Municipality of Kitcharao was created under Republic Act No. 3842, sponsored by Congressman Guillermo R. Sánchez. It was once a barrio of Jabonga. Through the initiative of the then Vice Mayor Francisco M. Tuozo of Jabonga, a resolution was sponsored petitioning Congress for the creation of the Municipality of Kitcharao.

The inhabitants of the municipality came from various regions in Luzon and the Visayas, hence the presence of Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Leyteños, Ilongos, Warays, Cebuanos, Boholanos, and a few indigenous groups known as the Mamanwa or Kongking.

On August 29, 1963, the first Municipal Officials were inducted to the office by then Governor Democrito O. Plaza. Félix Q. Basadre, Sr. was the appointed Mayor, Marceliano Morada as Vice Mayor and all the councillors were: Mariano M. Napalan, Sr., Gaudencio Pojas, Pencionico Bermúdez, Juan Tidalgo, Agustín Patagan and Uldarico Atuel.

The same set of Municipal Officials was elected in the ensuing regular election on November 1963.

In 2005, Barangays Crossing and Songkoy were created.