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‘Balikbayan’ celebrates the promise of Butuan’s urbanization


I like Butuan for its urbanizing “attitude”, not for its fantasize development, as some Butuanons like my proud relatives tried to convince me. I am sorry, I don’t see a developed city. Well, alright, a semblance of it, but there’s a long way ahead.

Look at Montilla Boulevard, particularly the area facing the old Chinese School, now Timber City Academy. What do you see? The same rundown sari-sari store-like establishments lining up.There is no sign at all of “asenso,” having the same condition and no leveling -up for many decades, not even after endless floods and fires. Where is development, Butuanons?

I am not saying it’s bad, it is just wanting. So wanting, in fact. I hate to say it, but why is Baan and other riverside villages is still the same through the years? The area looks promising for an urbanized commercial district with a historical touch-if we are pushing for a historical destination!

I don’t know why the so-called city’s visionaries and urban planners haven’t thought of this when it would have been a brilliant idea.

But nothing is lost or hopeless my dear city, in fact there is much promise.

I don’t know or care about the local politicians kind of egoist-laden vision what I care about and believe in are the private sectors initiatives. I see new restaurants, hotels and inns, ecotourism farms, schools, businesses like local herbal vitamins and supplements, sweets and delicacies, arts and crafts and many others.

Dinner time in Butuan is fantastic. There are already world-class restaurants locally initiated like Margies, O-Henry’s, Ocean Bounties, Calda’s, and so many good ones, even smaller ones sprouting in Guingona Subdivision area and nearby the city hall complex.

Sadly, there are no breakfast eateries to go to. No fine, healthy, homemade style carenderia  as one would seek. Do not be taken by fast food, not regularly please, invading the city or become, as my sensible nephew said, “masakiton.”

We all know people nowadays crave for instant foods and come up with all ailments, unknowingly and ignorantly caused by bad eating. But then we will be building new hospitals. Isn’t that a sign of development?

Editor’s note: The author prefers not to be identified. He is based in Europe where, according to him, eating healthy food is a way of life. He comes home every two years.

Contributed photo

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