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Misamis Occidental

Misamis Occidental
Nickname(s): Mis Occ
Motto: Where the color of nature is greener
Region (Region X)
Founded November 8, 1929
Capital Oroquieta City
 • Governor Herminia M. Ramiro (NUP)
 • Vice Governor Aurora Virginia M. Almonte (Independent)
 • Total 2,055.22 km2 (793.52 sq mi)
Area rank 60th out of 81
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 567,642
 • Rank 48th out of 81
 • Density 280/km2 (720/sq mi)
 • Density rank 24th out of 81
 • Independent cities 0
 • Component cities 3
 • Municipalities 14
 • Barangays 490
 • Districts 1st and 2nd Districts of Misamis Occidental
Time zone PHT (UTC+8)
ZIP code 7200 to 7215
Spoken languages Cebuano, Subanen, English, Tagalog, Maranao

Misamis Occidental (Filipino: Kanlurang Misamis; Subanen: Sindepan Mis'samis; Cebuano: Kasadpang Misamis) 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 Subanens who were an easy target by the sea pirates from Lanao.

The province is named after the early settlement of the Spaniards at the entrance to the Panguil Bay. The name Misamis is believed to have been derived from the Subanen word "Kuyamis" which is a variety of coconut, the staple food of the early settlers. 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".[3]


  • Geography 1
    • Subdivisions 1.1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
    • Religion 3.1
  • Economy 4
    • Resources 4.1
  • Tourism and attractions 5
  • Government 6
    • Former Governors 6.1
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


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.


Misamis Occidental is subdivided into 14 municipalities and 3 component cities.




The area of now Misamis Occidental was first occupied by Subanen and later Visayans settled in the coastal areas. The name Misamis is derived from Subanen word kuyamis which is a variety of coconut. During 1750’s was the time that the coastal villages in Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao suffers attack of bands of pirates, burn the houses and the crops, and carry away as many of the people as they could catch to be sold as slaves in Maguindanao, Sulu, Borneo or the islands now known as Indonesia. To counteract this terrible scourge, the colonial government in Manila created a flotilla and appointed a Spanish Jesuit missionary, Father Jose Ducos, as its commander. After several successful battles against the pirates, when some peace had been restored, it was decided to build a stone fort at the mouth of Panguil Bay, at a place called Misamis, and Father Ducos was put in charge of the construction. The construction began in 1756. It was officially called “Fuerte de la Concepción y del Triunfo.”[4]

1818 - Mindanao was organized into five politico-military districts, one of which was the Segundo Distrito de Misamis, the largest district in Mindanao. This area was composed of today’s Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Lanao, Zamboanga del Norte, and the northern part of Cotabato.

1850 - the town of Misamis became the capital of the district of Misamis until February 27, 1872 when the Spanish Governor General Carlos Maria 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 “Cagayan de Misamis.”

November 2, 1929 - Legislative Act No. 3537 passed, dividing the old province of Misamis into Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental, which took effect on January 1, 1930. Misamis Occidental comprised the original nine towns of Baliangao, Lopez Jaena, Tudela, Clarin, Plaridel, Oroquieta, Aloran, Jimenez, and Misamis. Don Jose Fortich Ozamiz became the first governor.

January 6, 1930 - the provincial council of Misamis Occidental, selected Oroquieta to became the capital town (cabecera) of the province.[5]

1935 - the Provincial Capitol Building, commonly called Capitolio, begun and became the seat of executive and legislative power of the province, in the town of Oroquieta.

In 1942, the Japanese Imperial forces landed in Misamis Occidental, beginning their brief occupation of the province during World War II. In 1945, combined American and Philippine Commonwealth forces liberated the province, and with the help of the recognized guerilla units, defeated the Japanese forces. During World War II, Misamis became the capital of the Free Philippines as the seat of government of the Free Philippines then was the Capitolio. The United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) under Col. Wendell W. Fertig based in Misamis Occidental, was the rallying point for the guerrillas in Mindanao. This was historically significant because it is the only time in Philippine history when its capital was in Mindanao, in the region then known as Misamis. The Free Philippine Government was then issuing Misamis Occidental emergency notes. Late President Quezon, upon knowing that Oroquieta was made a capital of the Free Philippines and that the town was issuing emergency notes, authorized the Printing of the Mindanao emergency note.

July 16, 1948 - the town of Misamis became a chartered city by virtue of Republic Act 321, making the 4th city in Mindanao after Zamboanga, Davao and Marawi, also renamed Misamis to Ozamiz after a World War II hero José Ozámiz who hailed from the province of Misamis Occidental and who at one time also served as its governor and congressional representative of the Lone District of Misamis Occidental, Senator of the Philippines, a delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention that resulted in the creation of the 1935 Constitution for the Philippine Commonwealth Government.

May 2010 - the people of Misamis Occidental elected their first lady governor, Hon. Herminia M. Ramiro.


The dense population along the coast consists mainly of migrants from Cebu and Bohol. Thus the major dialects are Cebuano and Boholano. The native Subanens live in the interior uplands.


In 2013, Roman Catholicism remains the predominant faith of the people of Misamis Occidental having 77 percent affiliation while several Protestant Churches as well as Islam are the minorities.


The province economy depends firstly on fishing, secondly on coconuts, thirdly on rice. The province has 169 kilometers of coastline fronting the rich fishing grounds of Panguil and Iligan bays. It also has the biggest area of brackish-water fishponds in the region. Tangub City is a fishing port on Panguil Bay famous for seafood. Coconut is the chief crop. This is processed into oil, desiccated coconut, and coir, most of which are shipped to Cebu. Coconut processing is the main industry in Oroquieta City. Other crops grown are rice, corn, abaca, coffee, cacao and rubber.


Wood is the major forest product. Predominant species are the lauan group, apitong, tanguige yakal, and Philippine Mahogany. There is also an abundant supply of bamboo, rattan and various vines. Forest land in the province has an area of 66,002.46 hectares; 53,262 hectares of which are considered a national park (which has legal implications).

The province has a considerable deposit of clay especially in the municipalities of Lopez-Jaena and Concepcion.

There are also an abundant sources of sand and gravel.

The province is traditionally a net exporter of various commodities. Historical data from the Ozamiz Port District of the Bureau of Customs show that outgoing commodities, which is mainly of coconut products, far outweigh incoming cargoes.

Being a coco-based province, major manufacturing firms in Misamis Occidental are engaged in the production of crude coconut oil, cooking oil, lard, margarine, laundry soap and desiccated coconut. Other products are furniture, ceramics gifts toys and housewares, processed food like banana chips and marine products.

Locally fabricated agri-industrial machines and equipment are also available in the province.

Tourism and attractions

  • Pas'ungko S'g Mis. Occ. Festival of all Festivals - November
  • Binalbal Festival, Tudela, Misamis Occidental
  • Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park
  • Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel & Adventure Park, Tangub City
  • Fort Santiago, Ozamiz City
  • Immaculate Conception Cathedral Pipe Organ, Ozamiz City
  • Dalit Festival, Tangub City
  • Christmas Symbols Festival, Tangub City
  • Dampawan Festival, Concepcion, Misamis Occidental - September
  • Baliangao Protected Landscape and Seascape
  • Sapang Dalaga Falls
  • Mount Malindang Range Natural Park and Lake Duminagat



  • 1st District: Rep. Jorge T. Almonte
  • 2nd District: Rep. Henry "Henz" S. Oaminal

Governor : Herminia "Hermie" M. Ramiro
Vice-Governor: Aurora Virginia "Gigi" M. Almonte

Board Members:

  • 1st District:
    • Engr. Roy M. Yap
    • Edilma "Angging" C. Bulawin
    • Zaldy G. Daminar
    • Lovely Liezl "Lileth" B. Yape
    • Jim R. Delos Santos
  • 2nd District:
    • David M. Navarro
    • Edwin B. Florida
    • Dr. Gerard Teodorico "Boy" R. Olegario
    • Ricardo "Ardot" O. Parojinog
    • Simplicia "Bebie" O. Neri

Former Governors

  • Anselmo Bernad
  • Gella Caay
  • Loreto Leo S. Ocampos
  • José Ozámiz
  • Gedeon G. Quijano
  • Henry Y. Regalado Sr.
  • Atty. Ernie D. Clarete
  • Gorgonio F. Buaquiña II

. William Chiongbian . Benito Chiongbian . ____Sagrado

See also


  1. ^ "List of Provinces". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ BERNAD, M.. Father Ducos and the Muslim Wars, 1752-1759. Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, North America, 16, dec. 1968. Available at: . Date accessed: 10 Feb. 2015.
  5. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • Philippine Standard Geographic Code
  • Philippine Census Information
  • Local Governance Performance Management System
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