We have decided having a side trip with my family to Masao Island. Just a purely family affair having we call it bonding time for all of us – me, my wife, and my two little angels. Going to Masao Island is the only thing that I have in mind since it is the best place to refresh you, and become in love with nature again. This is how I love Caraga.
Masao Island is found in barangay Masao which is one of the 86 barangays of historic Butuan City. It faces Butuan Bay and at the back was Masao River. I think the only place in Butuan City that is a beach resort, and to think that Butuan has 86 barangays, so sad to think that only two are on the coastlines and one of them was barangay Masao where Masao Island located.
In history, its old name was Mazaua Island. Almost the same tone of Limasawa Island of Leyte that is both names fighting the history of where the first mass was held in the Philippines.
Happy Faces of People
I remember 15 years ago when I went to this island, it is just a quiet place to see – no cottages and few peoples roaming around particularly the fishermen and their family to search food in the sea. And now when I came back, peoples are everywhere and the shorelines were lots of cottages lined-up. Peoples are keep coming from the city and enjoy their journey here.
One particular development was the construction of bridge along the river that makes it easy accessible to the island unlike before it is just a wooden bridge. Those beach goers diverted from neighboring town beach resort to Masao Island since it is closer than anything else.
With my family we enjoyed so much just like taking vacation away from home. The peoples that surrounds can never compare the feelings when they came here. It’s all fun, and forgetting those hustles and bustles behind. People all walks of life diverge in one setting. Butuanons and caraganons are really peaceful and fun-loving peoples.
Although the setting was cloudy, I have here the dramatic shot.
The sand was fine but not fine white sand like what I did in Siargao. But capturing the beauty is not in the sand but the happy faces of peoples that surround us.
This town folk serenaded us with his invented bamboo-made xylophone.
My little angels on the loose…
The Tone of History
Two Butuan kings, Rajah Siagu and Rajah Colambu were brothers who ruled Butuan in pre-Spanish times. When these two Butuan kings met, they proceeded to Mazaua Island (now known as Masao) as their hang-out for fishing and swimming. They devoted their time in Mazaua Island as bonding time like we did with my family and the rest of butuanons.
When Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan came on March 29, 1521, they met and settled in Mazaua Island where they established the first ever recorded blood compact in the history of the Philippines. Then on March 31, 1521 before Magellan left, a mass was held offered by Fr. Pedro Valderrama before the two Butuan kings, and later on, became the celebrated First Easter Mass in the Philippines (not Limasawa of Leyte as disproved by Geo-morphologists and Archeologists).
The footnote of history between Masao and Limasawa of Leyte is when chronicler in one’s of Magellan men calling it as Mazaua. The name itself provided the changes at the end by calling it as “masao” instead of adding”li” in “limasawa” which is telling us as Masao today and not Limasawa of Leyte.
Sometimes I have to think, ‘history is a mystery’ to me until proven guilty.