Ozamiz City: The enviable destination of northwestern Mindanao
The city of Ozamiz is a second class city that stretches out along Panguil Bay in the northwestern part of Mindanao, Philippines. Although it is only a chartered city and not the capital of the Misamis Occidental province, Ozamiz is a prospering city that is the provincial center for health, transportation, education and commerce.
With the city’s convenient setting, it has become a historical, cultural and pilgrimage destination in this part of the country. Currently, several projects are underway to boost the development of the city and to make it an even more anticipated destination in the south.
Ozamiz City was formerly called Misamis by the early settlers composed mostly of the native Subanons, Jesuit missionaries and other Spaniards. Later, a steady influx of settlers from nearby Bukidnon, Cebu and Bohol provinces added volume to the settlement.
Because of frequent raids by pirates, a stone fort called “Cotta” was established to dispel raiding enemies. With the efficient defensive mechanism of the town, the seat of the Military Government of the then Northern Mindanao district was transferred from Iligan to Misamis’ territories. In the 18th century, the town became the capital of the northern Mindanao district until it was eventually divided into several provinces in the late 19th century.
Finally, on July 16, 1948, the town became a chartered city by virtue of House Bill No. 1656. The city was then renamed Ozamiz in honor of Jose Fortich Ozamiz who served as a governor, congressman and later, as the first and only senator from the province of Misamis Occidental.
* photo courtesy of this very talented wedding photographer in CDO
The city has grown steadily throughout the years. Today, several projects are already underway to add more vibrancy to the city like the implementation of the Panguil Bay Bridge and Bukagan Hill Development Project, coastal bypass road / boulevard construction, airport and seaport expansion, and the Misamis Occidental Special Economic Zone establishment. With all these constructions going on, a more powerful Ozamiz City will soon rise.
Ozamiz City has several notable attractions that make it a historical, cultural and pilgrimage destination in northwestern Mindanao. Its most prominent attraction is the Bukagan Hill which is home to the historical Four Great Bells purchased by the city cathedral. The hill also provides a panoramic view of Ozamiz City, the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, and the majestic Panguil Bay. One of its historical attractions is the Cotta Fort and Cotta Shrine which is reminiscent of the wartime days of the city.
Adding to its roster of attractions are Naomis’s Botanical Garden and Tourist Inn, which is a vast sanctuary of tropical flowers and fruits; Mt. Malindang Golf and Country Club, which is set in a well-maintained green environment; and the Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park or MOAP, which is a shelter for aquatic animals and plants. MOAP is also known for its offer of letting tourists or guests swim with dolphins. (Ozamiz Travel Guide by Mindanaoan.com)