FTF / #MindaNOWorNever: Butuan + Magallanes, part 2

12:00:00 AM

Our day in Butuan City was dedicated to history, and our next stop, Bequibel Shell Midden, was particularly interesting. Accidentally discovered when the government set out to build a highway, their excavation revealed a dumpsite of empty shells of freshwater clams. Carbon dating places those shells all the way from the Neolithic Period. Agusan River cuts across Butuan, and that's probably where the early civilization got their food. We visited all but one site, shells three feet thick, but apparently, there were more sites like that all over the city. It's pretty amazing.
She sells seashells...
After writing our names on the registry and making a donation, we headed to Butuan City Church Ruins. I expected something similar to the Old Church Ruins in Camiguin, so I'll admit I was a bit disappointed with what we saw: no actual "ruins" from the original structure, just a concrete memorial with a historical marker where the church was. But the drive wasn't a waste; the site was located right beside the river, and it was while we were there that we saw the passenger boats cruising by. We asked our drivers to drop us off at the ports where the boats were.
Memorial, not ruins.
For Php25, the boats will take a person from Butuan City to the neighboring town of Magallanes via the Agusan River. It was still pretty early and we didn't have anything else planned, so Hannah and I went on an impromptu river cruise. Haha!
In Magallanes, we took a tricycle to get to the Centennial Tree, the oldest tree in the Philippines. It was majestic, I tell you; the last time I felt that small beside a tree was in Siquijor, by the Enchanted Balete Tree. I'm glad to see that the government really took measures to protect it - the tree had its own historical marker, and a children's park was even built around it.
Gloomy day
Before we headed back to the river, Hannah and I took a quick detour - we deviated from the highway for some sand on our feet. Centennial Beach was a ten-minute walk from the tree. We didn't have any spare clothes so a swim was not an option, but it was a good time to rest for a bit, as we've been on the move the whole day.
Best I could do; the gates were locked.
Near the port was another shrine for Magellan (our historians really need to get their sh*t together), with a Spanish inscription, no less! It was gated, though, and it was closed so we had to take photographs from afar.
The side trip to Magallanes was totally unplanned, but we're glad we took it. We took the same boat to get back to Butuan. The sun was setting, and there was no better place to watch it from but where we were: aboard a boat on Agusan River. I know it wasn't the moon, but the song Moonriver just played over and over in my head until we got to the other side.
Last dinner in Butuan
After a quick dinner in Baron's (my friend Pauline told me that I just HAD TO eat there), Hannah and I plopped on our beds for a good night's rest. We had to get up early to head to Siargao.


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