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Living In Butuan City As An Expat

    Cebuano Cebuano English English Filipino Filipino

    Living in Butuan City & Guide To Living In Butuan City As An Expat: The place that is fondly called the ” Timber City of the South” for Butuan City’s economy is primarily anchored on the logging business.

    However, many expats had been lured by the city’s natural charm and the outpouring hospitality and friendliness of the locals.

    If one considers moving to Butuan City, it is better to know the place before packing your things and rushing to go to the city.

    This guide to living in Butuan City as an expat gives an insight into the place, its people, its history, food, and everything you need to know. Let us have a quick tour of the place by delving into some facts about Butuan City.

    Getting Acquainted With Butuan City

    You can appreciate the place by digging into some facts, historical significance, artifacts, customs, and traditions of the people living in the area. The best way to blend into the locals is to think, act and be accustomed to how the locals live. 

    The Philippines is an archipelagic country wherein waters separate each region. This is why the natives speak the country’s diverse culture, tradition, and dialect.

    The dialects that are common in Butuan City are Cebuano/Bisaya and Butuanon. But it should not put you on guard thinking that you will not be understood in Butuan City, for most people here understand and talk in English.

    If you look at the land area of Butuan City, you may see that about 4.1%  of the total area of 81,728 hectares of their land is in Caraga Region. This is because the land area has been divided and classified as agricultural land, forest land, and pasture land.

    To propel urbanization in the place and at the same time preserve and maintain ecological balance, the forestland is being divided between protection forest area and production area. Therefore, you can make an intelligent guess that it is in a production area where various tree species are being grown for the sole purpose of logging services and industry.

    But the trees grown in the protective area are not for commercial use but for ensuring the ecological balance. Inhabitants of Butuan  City attributed the abundance and continuous growth of the trees to the Agusan River.

    As part of the guide to living in Butuan City as an expat is to expose you to the rich historical significance of the place not only to the Philippines but most likely to the world.

    Butuan City’s Historical Significance

    Before the coming of the Spaniards, the natives of Butuan City were already into trading and commerce. Proof of such commercial activities is the trading relationship of the people of Butuan City to Champa, which is now known as Southern Vietnam.

    It also has business linkages to the Shrivijava Empire of Sumatra. The historical record shows that these trading relations occurred as early as the 10th or 11th century.

    The different archeological finds unearthed in Butuan City may no longer be a mute witness of the rich culture and the degree of civilization of the place.

    Just take a look at the ceramic wares and balangay (an edge-pegged wooden boat) found in the place is a strong indication of the participation of Butuan City in the famous Maritime Silk Roads. Putting the place into the history books as to its importance to the Asian Maritime Silk Road.

    The historical finding of the nine balangay boats that are approximately built around the 10th to 13th century is a strong manifestation of the boat craftsmanship of Butuan City and the booming boat building technology and seamanship of the locals.

    Such craftsmanship is still visible to the recent balangays constructed by the younger generation. It only shows that the skill in boat building was being handed down to different generations.

    Foods In Butuan City

    This guide to living in Butuan City as an expat would introduce you to the place’s different sumptuous and local cuisine. Butuan City was being known for mouth-watering native dishes.

    The exciting part is that each place in the archipelago has a unique food they can claim as their own. Buruan’s pride is the “palagsing” which is a delicious delicacy.

    Palagsing is not made from root crops common in some dishes and delicacies from the other areas of the country. Instead, this delicacy is made from lumbiya. The lumbiya is a starch harvested from the palm tree or young coconut meat taken from the coconut trees.

    The lumbiya starch (from palm trees or coconut meat) will be blended with brown sugar, and banana leaves are being used to wrap the mixture that will be put on a pot to be boiled for about thirty minutes.

    To enjoy local dishes and delicacies, you must let your taste budget be accustomed to these dishes and delicacies. This may not be the same as taking a bite of chocolate chips and brownies or pancakes, but palagsing has a uniquely delicious taste that you can only savor when you stay and live in Butuan City.

    Cost Of Living In Butuan City As An Expat

    To summarise, the cost of living in Butan city as a foreigner ranges between $950 – $1250. However, living costs can be lower or higher depending on the individual lifestyle.

    The monthly rent ranges from $182 – $250+ for a one-bedroom apartment in the city’s business center. However, it is lower if you decide to live outside the city center for the monthly rent would be around $129+.

    To give you an idea about the cost of living in Butuan City, you may want to look into the following prices for each commodity:

    $1.67 Milk – $1.04 Bread – $1.50 Fresh eggs (12) – $3.64 Cheese – $0.10 Small Water.

    A mid-range bottle of wine usually has a tag price of $4.67, the Philippines is famous for its beer, and you can enjoy sipping a bottled beer for the cost of $2.38 for a 0.38 liter bottled beer. In addition, you can grab a pack of Malboro for the price of $1.39.

    If you go to the market, you can find fruits and vegetables wherein apples are being sold for about $2.31 for a kg, oranges for 1kg is $2.31, for 1kg of potatoes you have to pay $1.63, lettuce is being sold for $1.03 per head, banana which is one of the tropical fruit of the country is being sold $1.15 for 1kg.

    A staple food in the Philippines is rice which for a kilo is $1.03, and it will be perfect for a chicken viand which fresh chicken can be bought for $3.72 per 1kg; if you prefer red meat, you can buy a beef round for 1kg for the amount of $5.09.

    Is Butuan City A Safe Place For Foreigners

    Butuan City has previously been dubbed one of Mindanao’s safest places. Davao is on the top list as the safest place in the Mindanao Region, and Butuan City may be considered second to Davao. Based on the police record, it has the lowest crime rate compared to other urbanized cities of the country.

    Experts suggest terrorism, local rebel groups, or bandits are not operating in this city. Therefore, you can be assured that you will enjoy the life of the city of Butuan without any fears or apprehensions as to any acts of terrorism or attacks from the rebel or bandit groups.

    However, some advise staying within the safety of Davao city as a foreigner as safety outside of Davao city is not as strong. The U.S., U.K., and other governments worldwide have a fantastic guide of living in the Philippines, including areas that should be avoided.

    There are always safety concerns living in Butuan city as a foreigner, and it is best to be extra vigilant in all situations.

    Is Butuan City A Good Place To Retire As An Expat

    Butuan city has a lot to offer expats, especially the retiree community. The city is not as big or busy as other areas, and thus it offers a much quieter way of life. Depending on your lifestyle, Butuan city may be the perfect option.

    Takeaway: Butuan City As A Foreigner

    Ready to heed off to Butuan City and have a good retirement? The city is easy to be reached by plane or ferry boat. If you are in Manila, you may fly via Cebu Pacific or Philippine Airlines, which will take about two hours with a direct flight to Butuan City.

    It is easy to reach the place if you are already in Davao City, Surigao, or Cagayan de Oro with a public bus. However, if you are in Cebu City, it may take about thirty minutes to arrive at Bancasi Airport.

    Once you are in Butuan City, different forms of transportation are available such as tricycles, vans, and mini-buses The fare rate varies depending on the distance of the place from the point of origin to its destination.

    The estimated cost of living that we have provided can guide you to the place to rent in Butuan City. Compared to other cities in the Philippines, you may consider this place a good place to retire as you will enjoy life at a low cost of living.

    The city is a perfect blend of agriculture and industrialization. Moreover, Butuan City is strategically located with linking roads that connect the city to the other major cities in Mindanao, such as Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Malaybalay, Surigao, and Tandag.

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