Cagayan de Oro; (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Cagayan de Oro; Filipino: Lungsod ng Cagayan de Oro); abbreviated CDO, CDOC, CdeO and or Cag. De Oro, capital city of Misamis Oriental province in the north-southern Philippines. It serves as the regional center for the Northern Mindanao (Region X), and is part of a growing Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro. It is bordered by the municipalities of Opol to the west of the city and Tagoloan to the east. According to the 2010 Census of Population in the Philippines, Cagayan de Oro has an estimated population of 602,088 (2.78%) inhabitants—making it the 10th most populous city in the Philippines.
The area was first inhabited around 377 C.E. (the late Neolithic period), island natives lived in a settlement then known as Himologan (now known as Huluga), eight kilometers from present day Cagayán de Oro. The natives were polytheistic animists.
In 1622, two Spanish Augustinian Recollect missionaries came in contact with the natives of Himologan and in 1626, Fray Agustín de San Pedro persuaded the chief of Himologan, Datu Salangsang, to transfer his settlement down river, to the present-day Gaston Park. De San Pedro later fortified the new settlement against Sultan Kudarat’s raiders.
In 1738, Spanish dominance was felt in Cagayán de Oro. When Misamis gained status of province in 1818, one of its four districts was the Partidos de Cagayan. In 1871, the “Partidos” became a town and was made a permanent capital of Misamis.
On February 27, 1872, Governor-General Carlos María de La Torre issued a decree declaring Cagayan the permanent capital of Segundo Distrito de Misamis. During this era, the name of the town was known as Cagayán de Misamis.
In 1883, the town became a seat of the Spanish government in Mindanao for the Provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.
On January 10, 1899, Cagayán de Misamis joined the government of Emilio Aguinaldo and celebrated its independence from Spain. It was the second time the Aguinaldo government was declared and the new Philippine flag raised on the Mindanao island.
By virtue of the 1898 Treaty of Paris, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States; this caused friction and resulted in the Philippine–American War. On March 31, 1900, Americans occupied Cagayán de Misamis and on April 7, 1900, battle erupted in the town center led by General Nicolas Capistrano and Filipino resistance fighters. This would later be known as the Battle of Cagayan de Misamis. The Americans won the war, and about forty years later, gave the Philippines its Independence July 4, 1946. The war years in Cagayan de Oro were prompted by the presence of the Americans in 1898. The Americans were initially and successfully repulsed by the Kagay-anons forces led by Mayor Don Apolinar Vélez at the historic Battle of Makahambus on June 4, 1900.
The American forces attacking Makahambus, circa 1900s.
After the troubled years, peace finally brought back the economic activities to normalcy under the guidance of the United States. Consequently, from a purely farming-fishing area, Cagayan de Oro emerged into a booming commerce and trade center.
In 1948, the barrios of El Salvador and Molugan with their sitios known as Sala, Sambulawan, Sinaloc, Lagtang, Talaba, Kalabaylabay and Hinigdaan were separated from Cagayan de Oro to form the town of El Salvador.
In 1950, the barrios of Opol, Igpit, and Lower Iponan were separated from Cagayan de Oro to form the town of Opol.
On June 15, 1950, President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 521, which granted the status of a chartered city to the Municipality of Cagayan de Misamis. This was made possible through the efforts of then Cagayan de Oro Congressman Emmanuel Pelaez.
Cagayan de Oro was then declared a highly urbanized city by the Ministry of Local Government on November 22, 1983.
The name Cagayán de Oro can be traced back during the arrival of the Spanish Augustinian Recollect friars in 1622, the area around Himologan (now Huluga), was already known as “Cagayan”. Early Spanish documents in the 16th century already referred to the place as “Cagayán”. The area of Northern Mindanao, which included Cagayán de Oro, was granted as Encomienda to a certain Juan Griego on January 25, 1571. It was Emmanuel Peláez who appended de Oro to Cagayán.
Cagayan de Oro is located along the central coast of Northern Mindanao region. It is situated in Mindanao, the second giant of the archipelago of all the landmass of the Philippines.
The southern portion of the city is bordered by the Provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte. The Municipality of Opol borders the city on the west and Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental to the east. To the north lies Macajalar Bay facing Bohol Sea.
It’s total land area is 488.86 km² representing 13.9% of the entire Misamis Oriental Province. It includes 25 kilometers of coastline and a harbor, Macajalar Bay. 44.7% of the surface of Cagayan de Oro is classified as agricultural land and 38.4% is classified as open spaces.
The city is frequently categorized and referenced according to geographic factors:
1st district (West area) – consist of 24 barangays which mostly are suburban.
2nd district (East area) – 17 barangays, including city proper barangays from 1 to 40.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, Cagayan de Oro has a tropical climate together with the rest of the Philippines. The average temperature whole year round is 28 °C (82 °F). The highest recorded temperature in the city was 39 °C (102 °F) on June 1998.
Cagayan de Oro receives an even amount of rain throughout the year. The driest month is April, while July is the wettest. Wet season in the city starts in June and ends in November. Drier season starts in December and ends in May. The city is outside the typhoon belt, but it is affected by the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.
Crime and law enforcement
Cagayan de Oro is the base of major military and police camps in the Northern Mindanao region. Camp Vicente Alagar, located in Barangay Lapasan, is the headquarters of the Philippine National Police in the city. It has jurisdiction over the entire region.
Camp Edilberto Evangelista, located in Barangay Patag is the largest military camp in Mindanao with an area of 129 hectares. It is home to the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. Camp Evangelista’s external jurisdiction covers the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions. Minor military camps are also located in Barangay Lumbia and Upper Puerto.
In 2009, the crime rate in Cagayan de Oro decreased. An annual accomplishment report revealed a crime solution efficiency rate of 97.18 percent in 2007. It exceeded the 85 percent crime solution efficiency rate goal set by the police.
As of the 2010 Census of Population in the Philippines, the population of the city was 11,477,344 making it the 10th most populous city in the Philippines.
About 44% of the household population in Cagayan de Oro classified themselves as Visayan (Binisaya or bisaya), 22.15% as Cebuano, 4.38% as Boholano, while 28.07% as other ethnic groups (2000 Census).
Cebuano is the city’s lingua franca, due to the influx of Cebuano speakers from the Visayas. English is mainly used for business and in the academe. Most of the local population is also fluent in Filipino.