Monday, April 27, 2015

Misamis Occidental Province, Philippines

By James Barcelona
Tourist Attractions
Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago (Cotta) in Ozamis City. This fort is an officially declared historical landmark. It was built in 1756 by Jesuit Fr. Jose Ducos as defense against marauding Muslim pirates.

Bukagan Hill
Bukagan Hill in Malaubang, Ozamis City. Atop this 92-meter hill are four massive bells named “St. Peter”, “St. Marien”, “St. Joseph” and “St. Michael.” The bells were intended for the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. However, the bells were too heavy at 7 tons for the cathedral's belfry.

Nuestra Señora de la Conception
del Triunfo Shrine
Shrine of the Nuestra Señora de la Conception del Triunfo (Our Lady of Triumph). The miraculous Image of the Immaculate Conception is carved on the walls of the Fort. Its size is enlarging over time. Pilgrims from all over the country visit it.

Pas'ungko S'g Mis Occ Festival 
of all Festivals
Pas'ungko S'g Mis Occ Festival of all Festivals. This festival commemorates the Founding Anniversary of the province. It is held every 1st week of November. Pas’ungko is a Subanen word for ‘thanksgiving’.

Dalit Festival
Dalit Festival of Tangub City. This festival celebrates the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel every 29th of September. Dalit means ‘offering’.

Siatong Falls in Mount Malindang Range

Sapang Dalaga Falls of Sapang Dalaga. Formerly called Baga Falls.

Siatong Falls
Misamis Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Shaped like a collapsible fan, it is bounded on the northeast by the Mindanao Sea, on the east by the Iligan Bay, on the southeast by the Panguil Bay, and on the west by the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. The province consists of 14 municipalities and 3 component cities with Oroquieta City as the provincial capital.

Sapang Dalaga Falls
The province of Misamis was originally inhabited by Subanons who were an easy target by the sea pirates from Lanao. The name “Misamis” is believed to have been derived from the Subano word “Kuyamis” which is a variety of sweet coconut – the staple food of the early settlers of the place. Upon the arrival of the Spanish settlers, the word “Kuyamis” easily gave way to the more conviently pronounced but corrupted word “Misamis”. 

The dense population along the coast of the province consists mainly of migrants from Cebu and Bohol, thus the major dialects are Cebuano and Boholano. Subanon, pronounced “Subanen”, is the dialect used mostly by the members of the Subanon Tribe. Most residents can also speak Tagalog and English. 

The fact that three of Misamis Occidental’s boundaries are bodies of water makes fishing as one of its main industries. It has 169 kilometers of coastline fronting the rich fishing grounds of Panguil and Iligan Bays. The province also has the biggest area of brackish-water fishponds in the region. Tangub City is a fishing port in Panguil Bay famous for seafoods. Misamis Occidental’s chief crops are coconut and rice. Coconuts are processed into oil, desiccated coconut and coir, most of which are shipped to Cebu. 

The most visible tourist spot in Misamis Occidental is without doubt the Dolphin Island or the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP). Dolphin Island is an offshore man-made island inhabited by dolphins of various species. Visitors don’t just enjoy feeding the dolphins but are also allowed to swim with the dolphins. 

Of course, there’s more to Misamis Occidental than Dolphin Island. Tangub City is home to the best Christmas lights decoration every yuletide season earning the title as the “Christmas Capital of Mindanao.” Cultural attractions in the province include the Pipe Organ from Germany, housed at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, which is the biggest of its kind in Mindanao and the second biggest in the Philippines.

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