Misamis Occidental

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Misamis Occidental
Flag of Misamis Occidental
Official seal of Misamis Occidental
Nickname(s): Mis Occ
Motto: Where the color of nature is greener
Location in the Philippines
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 08°20′N 123°42′E / 8.333°N 123.700°E / 8.333; 123.700Coordinates: 08°20′N 123°42′E / 8.333°N 123.700°E / 8.333; 123.700
Country Philippines
Region Northern Mindanao (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
Dialing code 88
ISO 3166 code PH-MSC
Spoken languages Cebuano, Subanen, English, Tagalog, Maranao
Website misocc.gov.ph

Misamis Occidental (Filipino: Kanlurang Misamis; Subanen: Sindepan Mis'samis; Cebuano: Kasadpang Misamis) is a province in the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region. Its capital is the city of Oroquieta. 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]


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 the 1750’s was the time that the coastal villages in Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao suffered attacks from bands of pirates, who burned houses and crops, and captured people 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]

  • 1850 - the town of Misamis became the capital of the district of Misamis until February 27, 1872 when the Spanish Governor General Carlos María de la Torre y Navacerrada 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.”
  • January 6, 1930 - the provincial council of Misamis Occidental, selected Oroquieta to become 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,[6] 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.


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.

Administrative divisions[edit]

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

City or
District[7] Area
(per km²)
No. of

Aloran 1st 118.06 26,630 225.6 38 7206 4th 8°25′00″N 123°49′11″E / 8.4166°N 123.8198°E / 8.4166; 123.8198 (Aloran)
Baliangao 1st 81.72 16,155 197.7 15 7211 5th 8°39′37″N 123°36′04″E / 8.6603°N 123.6012°E / 8.6603; 123.6012 (Baliangao)
Bonifacio 2nd 155.02 30,904 199.4 28 7215 4th 8°03′08″N 123°36′49″E / 8.0523°N 123.6137°E / 8.0523; 123.6137 (Bonifacio)
Calamba 1st 104.64 21,005 200.7 19 7210 4th 8°33′29″N 123°38′39″E / 8.5581°N 123.6443°E / 8.5581; 123.6443 (Calamba)
Clarin 2nd 84.5 35,573 421 29 7201 4th 8°11′59″N 123°51′42″E / 8.1998°N 123.8616°E / 8.1998; 123.8616 (Clarin)
Concepcion 1st 61.6 7,410 120.3 18 7213 6th 8°25′22″N 123°36′17″E / 8.4227°N 123.6048°E / 8.4227; 123.6048 (Concepcion)
Don Victoriano Chiongbian
(Don Mariano Marcos)
2nd 284.6 9,774 34.3 11 4th 8°15′56″N 123°36′16″E / 8.2656°N 123.6045°E / 8.2656; 123.6045 (Don Victoriano Chiongbian)
Jimenez 1st 81.43 25,234 309.9 24 7204 3rd 8°20′03″N 123°50′24″E / 8.3343°N 123.8400°E / 8.3343; 123.8400 (Jimenez)
Lopez Jaena 1st 94.7 23,767 251 28 7208 4th 8°33′06″N 123°46′03″E / 8.5516°N 123.7675°E / 8.5516; 123.7675 (Lopez Jaena)
Oroquieta 1st 237.88 68,945 289.8 47 7207 4th 8°29′07″N 123°48′21″E / 8.4852°N 123.8059°E / 8.4852; 123.8059 (Oroquieta)
Ozamiz 2nd 169.95 131,527 773.9 51 7200 3rd 8°08′49″N 123°50′43″E / 8.1470°N 123.8452°E / 8.1470; 123.8452 (Ozamiz)
Panaon 1st 46.8 10,176 217.4 16 7205 5th 8°21′53″N 123°50′24″E / 8.3648°N 123.8400°E / 8.3648; 123.8400 (Panaon)
Plaridel 1st 80 35,251 440.6 33 7209 3rd 8°37′15″N 123°42′34″E / 8.6208°N 123.7095°E / 8.6208; 123.7095 (Plaridel)
Sapang Dalaga 1st 93.93 19,431 206.9 28 7212 5th 8°32′28″N 123°33′59″E / 8.5412°N 123.5664°E / 8.5412; 123.5664 (Sapang Dalaga)
Sinacaban 2nd 99.09 18,597 187.7 17 7203 5th 8°17′07″N 123°50′35″E / 8.2852°N 123.8431°E / 8.2852; 123.8431 (Sinacaban)
Tangub 2nd 162.78 59,892 367.9 55 7214 4th 8°03′40″N 123°45′03″E / 8.0610°N 123.7509°E / 8.0610; 123.7509 (Tangub)
Tudela 2nd 98.52 27,371 277.8 33 7202 4th 8°14′35″N 123°50′43″E / 8.2430°N 123.8454°E / 8.2430; 123.8454 (Tudela)
 †  Provincial capital and component city      Component city      Municipality
  • Coordinates are sorted according to latitude.
(Italicized entries indicate the generic location. Otherwise, they mark the vicinity of the city or town center).
  • Income classifications for cities are italicized.
  • Italicized names are former names.
  • Dashes (—) in cells indicate unavailable information.


Population census of
Misamis Occidental
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
1990 424,365 —    
1995 458,965 +1.48%
2000 486,723 +1.27%
2007 531,680 +1.23%
2010 567,642 +2.41%
Source: National Statistics Office[2]

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 70 percent affiliation and the second most members are with the Aglipayan Church with 20% 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[edit]

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


  • 1st District: Rep. Jorge T. Almonte
  • 2nd District: Rep. Henry "Henz" S. Oaminal
Herminia "Hermie" M. Ramiro
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[edit]

  • 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[edit]


  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. ^ http://trc.dost.gov.ph/SocioEconomicBriefHistoryPage.jsp?provinceid=476
  4. ^ BERNAD, M.. Father Ducos and the Muslim Wars, 1752-1759. Philippine Studies: Historical and Ethnographic Viewpoints, North America, 16, dec. 1968. Available at: <http://philippinestudies.net/ojs/index.php/ps/article/view/2272/4273>. Date accessed: 10 Feb. 2015.
  5. ^ http://oroquietacity.gov.ph/index.php/history
  6. ^ "Republic Act No. 321 - An Act Creating the City of Ozamiz". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Province: Misamis Occidental". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: Philippine Statistics Authority - National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 
  8. ^ "Total Population by Province, City, Municipality and Barangay: as of May 1, 2010 (Northern Mindanao)" (PDF). 2010 Census of Population and Housing. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 28 December 2015. 

External links[edit]