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Misamis Occidental

Capital: Oroquieta

No. of Towns: 16

Land area: 1,939.3 sq. km.

Location. Misamis Occidental is located near the narrow strip of land linking norhwestern Mindanao to the northcentral part of the island. Shaped like a collapsible fan or leaf of American bread or the fourth letter in the alphabet, it is bounded on the northeast by the Mindanao sea, east by the Iligan Bay, southeast by the Panguil Bay, and west by Zamboanga del Norte and Sur. The fact that three of its boundaries are bodies of water give away water life as one of its natural resources and fishing as one of its main industries. Except along the coastal area, hilly and rolling lands characterize the provincial terrain. Towards the western border, the terrain is particularly rugged. Misamis Occidental falls between 8 to 9 degrees north latitude and 123 and 124 degrees east longtitude.

Brief history. It was Legislative Act. No. 3537 passed on November 2, 1929 which divided the old province of Misamis into Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental. The Occidental comprised the towns of Baliangao, Lopez Jaena, Tudela, Clarin, Plaridel, Oroquieta, Aloran, Jimenez and Misamis. The original nine municipalities of the province of Misamis Occidental grew into the present three cities of Aloran, Baliangao, Bonifacio, Calamba, Clarin, Conception, Don Mariano Marcos, Jimenez, Lopez Jaena, Pana-on, Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Sinacaban, and Tudela and a total number of 479 barangays.

History has better words to speak for Misamis Occidental. Its principal city was originally populated by the Subanon, a cultural group that once roamed the seas in great number, the province was an easy prey to the marauding sea pirates of Lanao whose habit was to stage lightning forays along the coastal areas in search of slaves. As the Subanon retreated deeper and deeper into the interior, the coastal areas became home to inhabitants from Bukidnon who were steadily followed by settlers from nearby Cebu and Bohol. The natural outward curve of Misamis Occidenta provided the Spanish conquistadores with a promontory from which pirate craft could be spotted, and in 1757, Misamis Occidental had become the principal anchorage of the Spanish in the region. As the seat of military government in the south, Misamis Occidental was the site of an impressive stone fort or Kota. In the late 18th century, the town had grown in importance to become the capital of the Northern Mindanao province.

Topography. From the vast tract of ricelands along the coastal areas where the thirteen municipalities and three cities are located, the terrain is rising gently towards the hilly and rolling lands westward to Mount Malindang and Mount Ampiro. The soil in the rugged interior are suited to coconuts, which is the chief crop grown in the province. The second major crop is rice. Other crops like corn, abaca, coffee, cacao, also thrive both in flat and rolling lands.

Climate. The climate of Misamis Occidental belongs to the fourth type where rainfall is more or less fairly distributed throughout the year. The annual average monthly rainfall in the past twenty years was recorded at 182.5 millimeters. The rainest months are November and December; the driest are February, March and April.

Political Subdivision. The province consists of 14 municipalities (including the newly created Don Mariano Marcos municipality) and 3 cities namely: Ozamis, Tangub and Oroquieta City - the provincial capital.

Major industries. Fishing is the main industry, coconut is the chief crop and rice an important second.

Points of Interest

Natural

Bukagan Hills. Towers 92 meters above sea level and is located at Barangay Malaubang, the hills is approachable by spiral road to the top where one can view the entire city, Panguil Bay and Lanao del Norte. Atop the hill perches a concrete bell tower with four large bells.

Regina swimming Pool. A natural swimming pool emanating from the cool springs of Calusaran, Barrio Bagakay, 3 kms away from the center of the city.

Barangay Biasong (Lopez Jaena). A potential tourism asset into a fine beach resort.

Barangay Peneil (Lopez Jaena). Located 223 km. from the poblacion, this barangay is a potential tourist spot with its panoramic views to offer.

Bulawis Spring (Calamba). With several mini- falls and numerous springs, this spot has been developed into a swimming pool.

Camp Ceniza Resort (Oroquieta City). An ideal place for picnics, seminars, and trainings with its scenic views, trees, houses and floating pavilion. It is located at Barangay Canubay, which is 2 kms. away from the poblacion.

Cococ Bagakay Spring Source (Ozamis City). A potential tourist spot located just 2 kms. away from the city.

Cotta Beach (Ozamis City). The beach area where Fort El Triunfo is located. It boasts of its cottages and sea walls and the clear blue sea.

De La Paz Beach (Panaon). It is a fine beach, ideal site for outdoor fun.

El Truinfo Beach (Oroquieta City). It is lined with shades and cottages to accommodate and provide shelter to the picnickers.

Gina´s Beach (Panaon). Noted for its clear waters and a very fine sands.

Imeldanita Fall (Sapang Dalaga). Located at Barangay Tabinas which is 1.8 km. away from the poblacion. It is a 60 ft. high waterfall and is framed in a green setting of trees and boulders.

Lake Duminagat (Jimenez). Still unspoiled, Lake Duminagat boasts of a natural ecology and wildlife. It is famous for its unique flora and fauna.

Panguil Bay and its Fish Traps (Tangub City). Tangub City is called the City of Fish Traps and is famous for the tiger shrimps found in its bay. These shrimps are exported to foreign countries like Japan.

Romer´s Beach (Oroquieta City). Noted for its crystal clear waters and its very fine sands with cottages to accommodate picnickers.

Sibucal Hot Spring (Oroquieta City). A natural hot spring located at barangay Sibucal, which is about 10 kms. away from the city proper.

Verg´s Jungle Beach (Panaon). Noted for its cottages which are shaded by giant trees.

Religious

Old Spanish Catholic Church (Jimenez). Located at Barangay Taraka, this church has all the characteristics of most Spanish churches.

Pipe Organ from Germany (Ozamis City). It is housed at the Roman Catholic church. It is the biggest of its kind in Mindanao and second largest in the Philippines. The giant pipe organ is equipped with 1,936 pipes, a consloe with three keyboards, 30 stop and an electric bulb.

Man-made

Ceriaco Patrano Hanging Bridge. It is a 75 linear meter hanging bridge and elevated from the ground at almost 20 feet, connecting Barangay Layawan and Taboc Norte. It is overlooking the sea and the whole market area.

City Hall Complex and Doña Prospera Park (Ozamis City). Tagged as the biggest and most impressive city hall in Region X, it has a park infront of it.

Imee Marcos Park (Oroquieta City). Located infront of the Oroquieta city hall and is considered as the MIni Luneta Park of the Misamis Occidental.

Nazareno Dam (Plaridel). An old country dam; it is an irrigation canal which is considered as one of the best in the Philippines. Without the aid of sophisticated machineries, the settlers of Plaridel were able to build this canal from Langara River along the hill.

Historical.

Forth Santiago (Fort of Sra. de la Concepcion of del Triunfo de Pangusi). An old spanish Fort (KOTA) built in 1707 to protect this region from all pirates, is only a few meters away from the wharf. The KOTA has been declared as a historical landmark..

Oroquieta Agro - Industrial School Mini-Park (Oroquieta City). Noted for its natural ecology and wildlife, it is located in Clarin settlement which is 18 kms. away from the city proper.

Provincial Capitol (Oroquieta City). Adjudged as one of the most beautiful capitols in the Philippines in 1973 and voted second in the beautification project of Mrs Marcos under the Park category. It has circumferential road, a park planted with flowers shrubs, a fountain and a tennis court infront of it and a children´s park on its side.

Consoil Factory (Jimenez). Located at Barangay Tabo-o, this factory processes copra for coconut oil.

Red coconut Factory (Oroquieta City). A large industrial coconut processing factory located at Barangay Talairon.

Festival

Tabanog Festival. The simplicity of Oroquieta´s folks is best mirrored in the favorite pastime, like flying. With the winds of summer. Perhaps the only festival in those islands that makes so simple a pleasure as kite-flying a source of community every making.

Binalbal Festival. Held in Tudela, every January 1. It is a unique revelry for the New Year.

Special Interests

Scuba diving

Snorkeling

Mountain climbing

How to get there. The easiest way to get to Misamis Occidental is from Cebu. There´s a plane that leaves every morning from Cebu and from Manila thru Aerolift every other day for Ozamis. If you want to take a boat, Cebu is also the most ideal starting point, as ships leave twice weekly. Upon reaching the province, it won´t be difficult to get around, as buses regularly ply the Ozamis - Oroquieta route.