OROQUIETA CITY is the capital city of Misamis Occidental, Philippines, located in the coast of Iligan Bay and the Bohol Sea. The place is a municipality until it formally became a city in the year of 1969.
Oroquieta was known as Barrio Layawan in Misamis Occidental from 1961 to 1879. Early colonist of the barrio found wandering animals along the barrios’ river, thus, the place is named to ‘Layawan’ which means a home for stray animals. In 1880 after Misamis was sub-divided into two provinces, Occidental and Oriental, the barrio’s name was changed to Oroquieta since then.
According to some people, the town’s name were acquired from a famous barrio is Spain. While others say early settlers found gold in the place, thus Oroquieta was derived from the words ‘ORO’ which means gold and ‘KITA’ which means to find.
On January 6, 1930, Oroquieta became a capital town, giving various earnings, livestock, farming, and other business opportunities to neighboring provinces which added population to the town. It is also noted in history books that Oroquieta became a capital of the free Philippines by the guerillas during the Japanese Occupation. During this time, the late President Manuel L. Quezon and late Sergio Osmeña, Sr. landed in this town after evacuating from Corregidor. The town was also authorized to print emergency notes since then. The late President Ferdinand E. Marcos also visited Oroquieta during the Japanese Occupation.
January 1, 1970 is a commemorative day for the townsfolk since Oroquieta became a city under R.A 5518. Approval came from the late President Marcos on June 25, 1969, signing rites were presented in the presence of the late City Mayor, Ciriaco C. Pastrano, together with the other newly elected councilors and other city officials.
Oroquieta City is known for its hospitality and peace loving people. The city is also a major agricultural trading centre, such as coconut and several ‘coconut-processing’ factories. Oroquieta is also a leading producer of copra since it became a city.
Oroquieta has natural plains and wide coastal attractions both on eastern and western side, with moorland and mountains.
Majority of the population originated in Bohol. The dominant language used is ‘Cebuano’. The city has a population of 59,843 people in 12,417 households.
COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Coconut-based industries, such as Coco Gold Manufacturing Industries which manufactures all sorts of coconut products for export and SPDA-Bunotex industry, converting coconut husk to doormats.
Oroquieta city has a humid climate with some rainfall throughout the year.
ARTS & CULTURE
The town is quite extraordinary to visit. This is where one can enjoy nature, waters, sitting at the park and cultural festivals. Annually, various pageants and parades are held in the main boulevard featuring groups of townsfolk elegantly clothed reflecting the town’s ethnic roots.
Fiesta Celebration October 7 – 16 – Marks the celebration of The Holy Rosary Fiesta, signifying the 9 days novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary. An open house feast is served with several foods to be enjoyed by the whole townsfolk.
Inug-Og Festival (Suban-on’s version of the Sinulog)
In lieu with the weeklong fiesta, an ethnic festival is celebrated on October 14. Street dancing featuring tribal dance is presented as a tribute to Oroquieta City’s patron saint, Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.
A Kite-flying festival that is held during summer time exclusive for all legal residents of the town.
Agricultural products such as coconut, rice, corn, fruits like Mango, Rambutan, Durian, Lanzones, and Pomelo; Fish and Poultry products.
Fresh sea-foods and multi-unit refreshment stand style food establishment which is called “Halang-Halang”, located at Public Plaza north side.
Halang-Halang menus range from Oroquieta-style pork and chicken barbecue, soft drinks, ice cream, sandwiches, and the famous “Puso” which is steamed rice wrapped in coconut leaves. Other delicacies are the famous pepper-hot soup served together with the “Puso” and Oroquieta-style chicken barbecue. The city is also famous for its “Bisaya Pepper”, a hot pepper that can only be found in Oroquieta.
The Council of Churches in Oroquieta City is made up of 38 religious orders, represented by priests, minister, pastor, deacon and other staff members. Everyone participates in the town’s societal problems, i.e. drugs, peace, order and religious conflicts. The religious orders acts together as one, and works with the city government hand-in-hand to foster great camaraderie and support system for the benefit of the whole city.
LIST OF “BARANGAYS” (or communities)
The City is subdivided into 47 existing communities:
Ciriaco C. Pastrano (Nilabo)
San Vicente Alto
San Vicente Bajo
Oroquieta City features beautiful beach resorts, waterfalls, lakes and rivers which is good for nature-tripping and those who enjoy nature sightseeing. The city also provides modern facilities for the convenience of tourists visiting the town, in terms of restaurants, banks, hotels and commercial stores. Yearly, “Inug-og” and “Tabanod” Festivals is also celebrated.
Ambak-Ambak Falls will surely give you one of a kind relaxation for its fresh air, greenery background and one can surely frolic in this falls. The place is located 12 kilometers away from Poblacion area.
CIRCIACO PASTRANO (HANGING BRIDGE)
Man-made 20 feet hanging bridge that overlooks the sea and the market area. This bridge connects the communities of Layawan and Taboc Norte.
EL TRIUNFO BEACH
Various shades and picnic huts are provided for friends gathering and family picnics while enjoying bask of sun and water.
JOSE RIZAL PARK PLAZA
The Park Plaza is considered as “Little Luneta”, one of the best in Northern Mindanao. Located near City Hall and in front of Iligan Bay, the plaza is ideal for gathering, social and cultural activities. The Plaza also has a children’s park, tennis court, skating rink, good landscape and is able to broadcast music.
The city’s river was awarded as of February 2002 as the cleanest river in the Philippines. Various accolades have been presented to Layawan River since 1995 as a cleanest inland body of water.
This dam is currently a famous tourist spot. The dam is built for Irrigation purpose. And it is located in Dolipos Bajo community.
A National Park which homes endangered species such as the Philippine Eagle. The peak of the mountain is approximately 2,402 meters, 7,233 feet above sea level. The city park is accessible via Ozamiz, Tudela, and Oroquieta routes.
Trekkers will surely enjoy this trip starting from Oroquieta route that will lead through the Hot Sulfur Spring in the community of Sebucal. The route passes on several landmarks of water, spring and lake that feeds the Layawan River
Visitors has the option to tour Mahagnao, Malagsum, Casudsu-Ran, and Dabao lakes, as well as the Guinaban falls, plains and views of the Samar Island from the Amandiwing mountain range. One can enjoy nature sightseeing and trip to forest containing varieties of flora and fauna.
PARK PLAZA SEAWALL
Tourists and city townsfolk enjoys beautiful music and sightseeing of Iligan Bay from this part of the Plaza. Good for unwinding and relaxation.
PROVINCIAL CAPITOL BUILDING
It is considered to be one of the most beautiful and eye-catching capitol building in the Philippines since it was built in 1935. The building is located at Lower Lamac community.
This beach is famous for its clear crystal water and very fine sand. Special beach cottages are provided for all friends and family picnic gatherings.
SEBUCAL HOT SPRING
This is one of the most interesting spot to visit in Oroquieta City. A natural hot sulfur spring located in the community of Sebucal and just 30 kilometers from the main city. Most avid mountaineers and trekkers will truly enjoy the route starting from Oroquieta, seeing the nature in its splendid form.
Mount Sebucal is approximately 4,500 feet above sea level and the mountain is also noted for its constant change in temperature and feeling of thinner air to breathe. The hot spring can be reached by crossing the Layawan river 3 to 4 times, and the track passes thru a jungle where tiny leeches can be found attached to the leaves of tall grasses. The trek is very much fulfilling once arriving at the Sebucal hot spring, where one can set-up a camp and enjoy the calming effect of the spring.
Take a flight from Cebu to Dipolog or from Manila to Cagayan De Oro City.
The trip going to Mukas, Lanao Del Norte or Tabigi, Lanao Del Norte port would take you 4 hours ride from Cagayan De Oro bus terminal. Upon reaching the port, ride a barge (10-15 minutes ride) to reach Ozamiz City port. From Ozamiz City port, take a jeepney or bus going to Tangub or Oroquieta cities.