Misamis Occidental: A Place Where Nature is Greener
Misamis Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Its capital is Oroquieta City. The province borders Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur to the west and is separated from Lanao del Norte by Panguil Bay to the south and from Misamis Oriental by Iligan Bay to the east. The province of Misamis was originally inhabited by Subanons who were easy targets of sea pirates from Lanao. Misamis is taken from the early settlement of the Spaniards at the entrance to the Panguil Bay.
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 in this place. During the years, the name persisted as an inference of the geographical location and upon the advent of the Spanish settlers. The word "kuyamis" easily gave way to the more convenient pronounceable but corrupted word "Misamis."
Misamis Occidental comprised the original nine 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 Ozamiz, Oroquieta, and Tangub and the 14 municipalities of Aloran, Baliangao, Bonifacio, Calamba, Clarin, Concepcion, Don Victoriano, Jimenez, Lopez Jaena, Panaon, Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Sinacaban, and Tudela.
In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Misamis Occidental, beginning their brief occupation of the province as part of World War II. In 1945, combined American and Philippine Commonwealth forces liberated the province, and with the help of recognized guerrilla units defeated the Japanese forces.
Misamis Occidental is located near the narrow strip of land linking Northwestern Mindanao, to the Northcentral part of the island. Shaped like a collapsible fan it is bounded on the northeast by the Mindanao Sea, east by the Iligan Bay, Southeast by the Panguil Bay, and the west by the Zamboanga del Norte and Sur. The fact that three of its boundaries are bodies of water gives 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 land characterized the provincial terrain. Towards the western border, the terrain is particularly rugged.
- Bucagan Hill – It has a concrete bell tower with four large bells from Germany. It is 92 meters above sea level. it is a picturesque hill overlooking Ozamiz City, Lanao del Norte and the Panguil Bay. A spiral road is constructed to reach the top.
- Carmelite Monastery – A retreat house with orchard farm overlooking the bay, located at Malaubang.
- City Hall Complex and Doña Prospera Park – Tagged as the biggest and most impressive city hall in Region X, it has a park in front of it.
- Cotta Fort Santiago – An old Spanish Port built in 1707 to protect this region from marauding pirates, it is only a few meters from the wharf. The Kota has a miraculous growing image of the Virgin Mary and has been the object of pilgrims in this part of Mindanao.
- Peoples Park – A government constructed park located near the wharf.
- Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral – A modern edifice which has the second largest pipe organ in the Philippines.
- Mt. Malindang Country Golf Course – A pre-war army cadre, it is now a beautiful golf course lush with well-maintained greens, located at the foot of Malindang Mountain. It is only a five-minute ride from Ozamiz proper.
- Naomi’s Botanical Garden – A garden wherein you can find the different species of flora and fauna. It is also an ideal venue for meetings and conferences with facilities.
- Osrox Park – Located at the heart of the city, this park boasts of an antique kiosk.
- Pipe Bamboo Organ from Germany – Housed at the Roman Catholic church, it is biggest of its kind in Mindanao and 2nd largest in the Philippines. This giant pipe organ is equipped with 1,936 pipes, a console with 3 keyboards, three stops and an electric bulb.
- Regina Swimming Pool – A natural swimming pool with cool, fresh water from the spring. Located at Barangay Bagakay which is 3 kilometers from the city.
- Rosella Swimming Pool – It is 1.5 kilometers from the highway and is a manmade swimming pool with available cottages for rent to tourists and local visitors.
- Tropical garden – An ideal venue for conferences and family gatherings with a swimming pool and bachelor pads.
- Ambak-ambak Falls – One can catch a great view from stone stairs descending where the water jumps and falls.
- Ciriaco Pastrano Hanging Bridge – It is a 75 linear meter hanging bridge elevated from the ground at almost 20 ft., connecting Barangay Layawan and Taboc Norte. It is overlooking the sea and the whole market area can be seen by passing through it.
- Daminar Riverside Garden – Located by the side of the river and a swimming pool located at the center. It has cottages and a function hall.
- El Triunfu Beach – It has shade and cottages in order to accommodate and provide shelter to picnickers.
- Mt. Malindang Ranges – Mt. Malindang, a pristine natural beauty mountain is ideal for mountaineering especially during summertime. Mountaineering society organizations available and can be contacted regarding mountaineering schedule/activities.
- Misamis Occidental Enterprise Development and Research Center (MOEDRC) – One of the tourist spots of the province.
- Oroquieta City Plaza – Located in front of the Oroquieta City Hall and considered as the Mini Luneta Park of the city.
- Provincial Capitol – 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; fountain and basketball court in front of it and a children’s park on its side.
- Romero Beach – It is noted for its crystal clear and very fine beach cottages to accommodate picnickers.
- Sibucal Hot Spring – A natural hot spring located in Barangay Sibucal which is about 120 kilometers from the city.
- Tatongs Beach Resort – One of the accommodations of Oroquieta City where many tourists have stayed and is an ideal venue for meetings and conferences, with facilities and amenities including a swimming pool, bar, cottages, function hall and rooms.
- Hoyohoy Highland Park – The little Baguio of Misamis Occidental. From the top, a scenic view of the Panguil Bay and surrounding towns can be seen.
- Panguil Bay and its Fish Traps – Tangub City is called the city of fish traps, famous for the tiger shrimps found in its bay. These shrimps are exported to foreign countries like Japan.
- Maloro Beach – Noted for its crystal clear water and fine beach ideal for picnics.
- Sinanduloy Cultural Center – The most impressive cultural center in the province.
- Tangub City Hall – A modern architecture edifice with centralized air-conditioning which houses all the local government offices and is located in front of the city plaza.
- Mimolan Falls – Covered with thick forest that abounds with rare flora and fauna, it is located at Barangay Roxas, Aloran.
- Macubon Shrine Natural Spring – Seemingly endless deep well shrouded with mystery, spring and green-belt park.
- Oklahoma Beach Resort – It has the finest white sand and pristine clear waters, surely a breathtaker, with available cottages to accommodate tourists and local visitors.
- Palmera Beach Resort – A white sand beach with tantalizing clear water, ideal for picnickers.
- Sunrise Beach – Fine white sand and crystal waters ideal for picnics. Cottages available for rent to tourist and picnickers.
- Wet Land Park – Here, numerous varieties of fish hide and spawn.
- Bulawis Swimming Pool – A cool swimming pool with several mini falls and numerous springs located at Bunawan, Calamba.
- Cocos Island Beach Resort – A resort with complete high and facilities suited for parties, weddings and social events.
- Fuentes Village – A very fine beach with existing recreation and sports facilities, located at Lupagan, Clarin, Misamis Occidental.
- Visitation Beach – It is clear fine beach ideal for picnics and get-togethers.
- Nature’s Beach Resort – With tantalizing clear water, located along the coastal areas of Barangay Poblacion, Clarin with cottages for picnickers.
- Philcompak – Manufactures compak board out of rice straws and corn stalks.
- Rama Beach – Located at Clarin with beach cottages for picnickers.
- Lake Duminagat – Still unspoiled and situated at the midtop of the forest and hill, Lake Duminagat, a crater lake, boasts of natural ecology and wildlife. It is famous for its unique flora and fauna.
- Balanacan Hill – Overlooking Mt. Malindang at high elevation with a panoramic view of the neighboring provinces of Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte.
- Bacarro Printing Press – The oldest printing press since 1938, it was printing emergency money during WW II which was legal tender nationwide. Until this time it is still operating.
- Third Millennium Coconut Oil Mill – Located at Barangay Tabo-o, Jimenez, this factory processes copra for coconut oil.
- Century-Old Spanish Catholic Church – This church has all the characteristics of most Spanish churches, located at Barangay Taraka.
- Palilan Beach Resort – Located at Barangay Palilan with beach cottages for picnickers.
- Azcuna Beach – Located at Mansabay, Lopez Jaena with existing sports facilities such as a basketball court, beach volleyball, cottages and sari-sari stores.
- Capayas Island – A unique island with tantalizing clear water ideal for picnickers.
- Barangay Peniel – Located 23 kilometers from the Poblacion, this barangay is a potential tourist spot with its panoramic view.
- Baga Falls – Beauty is hidden in slopes of rocks and vines. The water below is said to be mysteriously unfathomable.
- Dela Paz Beach – It is clear, fine beach, ideal for picnics and get-togethers.
- Verg’s Jungle Beach – Boasts cottages which are shaded by giant old trees.
- White Sand – This island serves as an immediate refuge for fishers and a usual destination for out-of-town picnickers.
- Bao-Baon (Seven) Islands – Each island is uniquely blessed with natural beauty, greeneries and fine white beaches.
- Nazareno Dam – A century-old dam, it is an irrigation canal which is considered as one of the best in the Philippines without the aid of the sophisticated machinery. The settlers of Plaridel were able to build this canal from Larangan River along a hill of solid rock.
- Imeldanita Falls – Located in Barangay Tabinas which is 1.8 kilometers from the Poblacion, this 60-foot-high waterfalls is framed in a green setting of trees and boulders.
- Naputhaw Island – A white beach with suitable deeps for sea diving.
- Pulang Bato – Ideal for the construction of cottages for tourists as an alternative for Dakak.
- Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park – One of the tourist attractions of Misamis Occidental located in the municipality of Sinacaban. It is a first-rate diving destination, complete with marine animals and wildlife including warm accommodations and complete facilities to handle family gatherings and live-in seminar/workshops, among others.
- Mountain Resort and Sports Complex – Located in Barangay Katipunan, to be developed into an international-standard mountain resort.
- Dolphin Island – A white island marvel situated at the MOAP, and is frequently visited by birds of foreign species. It has facilities for water sports and recreation like jet ski and kayaking. A fun place for the family.
- Bongabong Riverview Valley Vacation Resort – An ideal venue for meetings and conferences with facilities and amenities of reception hall and cottages. A children’s park and swimming pool.
List of Accommodations in Misamis Occidental
- Palace Hotel - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Royal Garden Hotel - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Plaza Beatriz Hotel - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Naomi's Botanical Garden & Tourist Inn Hotels/Resorts - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Minerva Hotel - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Badong Pension House - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Asian Tourist Inn - Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Sheena's Hotel - Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Rhapsody Inn - Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
- Century Pension House - Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
St. Gerard Lodging House - Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental, Philippines
How to get there
- By Air: Cebu Pacific Air's direct Manila-Ozamiz.
- By Sea: There are several major shipping lines serving the Manila and Cebu routes, namely: Superferry, Cebu Ferries, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Carlos A. Gothong Lines, Sulpicio Lines and Negros Navigation. Cokaliong Shipping Lines sail three times weekly Ozamiz to Cebu routes. Local shipping lines like Daima have trips from Ozamiz to Mukas, Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte routes through Roll-on/roll-off (RORO) ferries that transport passengers, cars/trucks and goods across Panguil bay.
- By Land: Rural Transit, Super Five Transport, & Lotradisco is the dominant public land transport to Iligan City, Cagayan de Oro City, & Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte ferrying across the Panguil Bay and to Pagadian City, Dipolog City, and Dapitan City. The public mode of transportation within the city is by trisikad/pedicab and motorized tricycle. Passenger Vans, Ordinary Jeepneys, & Multicab Jeepneys are also available for Oroquieta, Dipolog, Molave, Calamba, Jimenez, Bonifacio, Tangub, Don Victoriano, Tudela, Clarin, Plaridel, Lopez Jaena, Baliangao, Concepcion, Sinacaban, Panaon, & Sapang Dalaga routes.