Many ancient civilizations thrived in abundance beside rivers. The fertile fields of the Nile River formed the civilization that paved the way to Egypt and its neighboring colonies. The Yellow River or Huang He in China united tribes that were heavily engaged in agriculture. Settlements sprouted along the Indus River in Pakistan. Mesopotamia, the land between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates, was also home to flourishing cultures in ancient Iraq.
These civilizations shared common denominators. The river to them is a source of food, the spring for their agriculture, their filter that refreshes their land, and their channel for trade, cultural exchange, and communication. The rivers essentially cultivated their growth from separate clans into large powerful domains. This is how rivers are. They carry an essential role in the continuous development and progress of civilizations and naturally integrate themselves into daily human activities.
In Cebu, one of its many precious rivers is the 34.5-kilometer Butuanon River located at the center of the province, from Agsungot in Cebu City to Umapad-Paknaan in Mandaue City. Covering a total land area of 7,508.99 hectares, it goes through at least 17 barangays in Cebu City (upper stream) and at least nine barangays in Mandaue City (lower stream) before opening out to the Mactan Channel (see Figure 1).
The name Butuanon is said to have come from a plant people in the past call botan that used to grew abundantly along the river. Others say the name came from migrants from Butuan who were aptly called taga Butuan.