PIA News Service - Saturday, December 28, 2013

AgNor town lights up centennial tree

By Brian Jay Ceballos

AGUSAN DEL NORTE, Dec. 28 (PIA) - Dubbed as the country's centennial tree, the Bitaug Tree of the municipality of Magallanes this province was lighted-up with bright lights just in time for the Christmas season.

During the ceremony, Historian Mr. Florante A. More, said that the tree believed to have existed long before 1523 based on an existing set of maps which shows the island of Mindanao with its Northeastern side name Bitau and Betauo, undoubtedly referring to “Bitaug Tree” as it was then the custom of Filipinos to name places after the trees.

"This surviving Bitaug Tree also has been a mute witness to many Historical events, among others are the initial evangelization of Mindanao, the birth of Caraga as a Region during the Spanish Colonial Period, the struggle of the Agusanons against the Americans and the quadricentennial of the evangelization of Mindanao on September 7, 1997," said More.

In the lighting ceremony, second district representative Erlpe John M. Amante vowed to raise more money for the improvement of the tree and its facilities to accommodate more and more tourists.

It maybe recalled that Amante initiated the plan and successfully raised money from his own pocket and from the private sector to fund the lighting of the said tree. (NCLM/LGU-Agusan del Norte/PIA-Agusan del Norte)