Diocese of Butuan
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In a land area of 11,276.85 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the City of Butuan and the civil Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur. 

Agusan del Sur is a landlocked province bounded on the North by Agusan del Norte, on the South by Compostela Valley, on the West by Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon and on the East by Surigao del Sur. 

Agusan del Norte is a province of the Philippines located in the Caraga region in Mindanao. Its capital is Butuan City and it borders Surigao del Norte to the north, Surigao del Sur to the east, Agusan del Sur to the south, and Misamis Oriental to the west. It faces Butuan Bay, part of the Bohol Sea, to the northwest.

Butuan City is situated in the central part of the Province of Agusan del Norte. It lies flat along the banks of Agusan River following along course within the province of Davao del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Agusan del Norte. The city is a strategic center of the Northern Mindanao Region. The national highways from Misamis Oriental, Surigao and Davao traverse the city and meet at the junction of Barangay Ampayon, effectively linking the Northern Mindanao provinces together. 

Agusan del Sur occupies a portion of the Northern Mindanao Region bounded on the north by Agusan del Norte, on the east by Surigao del Sur, on the South by Davao del Norte and on the west by Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon. The entire province has a lone congressional district, which is composed of 14 municipalities and 314 barangays (villages). Its capital town is Prosperidad where the Provincial Government Center is situated.

Agusan del Norte is divided into 10 municipalities and one component city. The highly-urbanized city of Butuan, being geographically located in Agusan del Norte, is traditionally grouped with the province, although it is governed independently from it with 1st and 2nd districts of Agusan del Norte (shared with Butuan City).

Butuan City is politically subdivided into 86 barangays. Of these, 27 are classified as urban and the remaining 59 are classified as rural.

Population

As of yearend 2009, the total population of the diocese is 1, 268,713 of which 78.34947 percent are Catholics or equivalent to 994,030.

Five native tribes were found in the province, namely: Higaonon, Mamanwas, Talaadig, Banwaon and Manobo. Three of these tribes can be distinctly located the Manobos living along the National highway and the river towns towards the boundary of the Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte and Banwaons and Higaonons living in the western side of the Agusan River, in the municipality of Esperanza towards the boundary of Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon. The original inhabitants of the Agusan del Sur were the Negritoes and Mamanwas. The descendants of the latter still inhabit the innermost recesses of Agusan del Sur's forested area.

Language

Cebuano is dominantly spoken followed by Boholano and Ilonggo. Of the native tongue, the Manobo language is the most popular. Other popular languages are Hiligaynon, Butuanon, Surigaonon, and Kamayo. A good portion of the population, however, can understand and communicate in Filipino, the national language. English is usually used in conversations with tourists who cannot communicate in Filipino, and in government transactions. It is also the medium of instruction in schools.

History

Suffragan of Cagayan de Oro
Created: March 20, 1967
Erected: July 10, 1967
Comprises: the City of Butuan and the civil Provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur
Titular: St. Joseph. May 19

The Diocese of Butuan was created on March 20, 1967, comprising the civil provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur. Its titular patron is St. Joseph, whose feast is celebrated on May 19 each year. This diocese is a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro.

The name "Butuan" is believed to have originated from the sour fruit "Batuan"(Garcinia morella). Other etymology sources say that it comes from a certain "Datu Buntuan", a chieftain who once ruled over Butuan.

Butuan City is the regional center of Caraga Region. The regional offices of the different government agencies are located here almost all of it. It was the capital of Agusan del Norte until 2000 when Republic Act 8811 mandated the transfer of the capital to Cabadbaran City; however Butuan City still serves as the province's seat of government as many of the provincial government offices are located, including the provincial capitol.

Agusan Province was named after Malay word Agasan, meaning, "where water flows", probably because of the mighty river that traverses the whole area. Early immigrants from Borneo and Celebes came to the region in Balanghai or wooden boats. Nine such boats were excavated. One dates back to 320 A.D. The Malay settlers drove the aborigines, called Mamanwas, to the hinterlands.

By the time the Spaniards arrived, the natives were already trading with foreign merchants, as attested by 10th-century Chinese ceramics unearthed near Butuan. Some historians claim that Magellan held the first mass in the Philippines at the mouth of the Agusan River, and not in Limasawa, Leyte, on Easter Sunday, of 1521. Agusan was part of Surigao province during the Spanish colonial administration. By virtue of R.A. 1306 during the American regime, it became the independent province of Agusan. On June 17, 1967, Congress passed R.A. 4979 dividing the lone province into Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur.

Political

A Philippine province is headed by a Governor. A Provincial Council (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) is composed of a Vice Governor (Presiding Officer) and Provincial Board Members. A Philippine city or municipality is headed by a Mayor. A City Council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) or Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) is composed of a Vice Mayor (Presiding Officer) and City or Municipal Councilors. A barangay is headed by a Barangay Captain, who is also the presiding officer of the barangay council. The Barangay Council is composed of seven (7) Barangay Kagawads. A similar unit called a Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan) is headed by an SK Chairperson with a similar rank to a Barangay Captain. The council is composed of SK Members.

Transportation

  • How to get to Agusan del Norte
    Agusan del Norte is accessible by two (2) flights daily from Manila; by ship daily from Manila and Cebu via Surigao City and Nasipit Ports; and by aircon bus every hour from Surigao City, Davao City and Cagayan de Oro City.

  • Getting around Butuan
    Bright colored tricycles are common in Butuan. They go around and even outside the city proper. Jeepneys are used in the main city streets, with corresponding route numbers. Cars for rent are available upon request in most hotels and at the airport, but all are not metered, so remember to agree on the fee before boarding. Metered taxis' are also available in the city. Bus companies ply the routes from Butuan to other cities and provinces of the region.

    Trips via sea transport from the municipality to Cebu, Manila and Bohol are also available directly from Nasipit Port.

Economy

Annual per capita income (as of November 2008, in Philippines Peso) 14,841 (USD337 as of January 2011).

Mining, agriculture, fishing and logging are the major industries of the region. Other mineral products are gold, silver, copper, lead and chromite. Agricultural products consist of rice, copra, abaca and corn. Toog which is considered the biggest tree in the Philippines is found in Agusan del Sur. Rubber is another important product in this province.

Agusan del Sur is endowed with rich natural resources contained in its vast agricultural, forest, and marsh lands. Its vision: to become an agro - processing center and an eco-tourism destination. The large scale enterprises in Agusan del Sur deal mainly with logs and lumber productions and mining.

The province of Agusan del Norte's main industries are logging, fishing, and farming. Recent discoveries of gold deposits are attracting prospection and investors. Gold panning has become a lucrative "business" for all types of livelihood.

Butuan, like the Caraga Provinces, is primarily an agricultural province. It is also one of the leading rice producers after Bukidnon. Butuan is also a major timber producer in the region. There are 23 lumber producers and plywood plants in the city. Butuan's rattan is one of the best in the country. The city is a trade center for the Agusan river valley, where lumber, gold, abaca, and copra are produced. Butuan City major industries are banana, corn, wood, prawn, furniture, handicrafts, and coconut.

Telecommunication

The territory is equipped with modern telecommunications facilities which enable callers to reach any place in the world. Facsimiles and cellular phones are available. Long distance calls are serviced by the Bayan Telecommunications, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and PhilCom while wireless calls are serviced by Globe Telecoms, Smart Communications and Sun Cellular.

There are 5 internet service providers in the area namely: bayanDSL, PLDT myDSL, Smart Bro, Globelines Broadband and Sun Broadband.

  • Radio Stations
    The diocesan territory has 4 AM radio stations and 11 FM radio stations 2 of which are online station.

  • TV Stations
    There are seven TV stations in the diocesan territory service by nations leading broadcast network.

    Infrastructure 
  • Airport
    Bancasi Airport, also known as Butuan Airport, is an airport serving the general area of Butuan City, located in the province of Agusan del Norte in the Philippines. It is the only airport in the province and largest in the Caraga region. The airport is classified as a trunkline airport, or a major commercial airport, by the Air Transportation Office, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.

  • Seaport
    Butuan is served by 3 ports, namely (1) Masao Port, the (2) River Port in Poyohon along Agusan River and (3) The Nasipit Baseport.

    The Nasipit Port is the major port of entry in the Northeastern Mindanao region, with shipping connections to the major ports in the Visayas and in Manila. Located 25 kilometers away from the city center via a smooth paved concrete highway, transport time takes only 30 minutes. The port is one of the naturally protected seaports in the country

Education

As of October 2009, Literacy rate (simple literacy) is 88.21 percent.

Culture

  • Kahimunan Festival 
    The Kahimunan Festival is celebrated every third Sunday of January in celebration of Barangay Libertad fiesta with its patron Señor Sto.Niño.

    Kahimunan is a Lumad term which means "gathering".

    The main theme of the ceremonies in the Kahimunan Festival is a combination of the Butuan's pre-colonial culture and its affiliation with Christianity.

    During the street parade participants' line up the streets to present exotic dances and ceremonies where dancers are all dressed up in colourful costumes as they dance to an indigenous music. Theatrical performances of ceremonies and dances are highlighted as they decorate the streets with their exotic costumes and native ornaments such as baskets, spears and other accessories.

    The City Sports Complex in Libertad was likewise jam packed with people, devotees, local and foreign spectators to witness each contingents dance performance.

  • Balanghai Festival 
    Balanghai Festival is one historical event commemorated through a night of exotic performances, costumes in an array of colors and creativity, and dazzling floats. One can also take part in the festivals activities such as contests, exhibits, and many other events.

    Commemorating the coming of the early settlers from Borneo and Celebes, Butuan in Agusan del Sur is celebrating Balanghai Festival during the third week of May, coinciding the feast of Butuan's patron saint, Saint Joseph.

    The balanghai, also known as balangay and Butuan boat, is the first water vessel to have excavated in Southeast Asia, serving as evidence to the craftsmanship of the early Filipinos in attempting to transport on water.

  • Adlaw Hong Butuan Festival 
    The Adlaw Hong Butuan Festival is a yearly event in Butuan that celebrates its Charter Day. The festival pays tribute to Butuan's administrative s