Cagayan De Oro: Gateway to Mindanao
This 412 square kilometer land is what will welcome you to Mindanao. This place will give you a feel of what you will be experiencing in Mindanao. The gateway to Northern Mindanao as most say, or more commonly called Cagayan De Oro or CDO, is a place that has been existent long before it realized its independence in the 80’s.
Worthy of it being called the gateway to Northern Mindanao, Cagayan De Oro is rich not only in history but as well as culture, and modernization projects that truly make the city a fast-progressing one. That is why there are a number of ways that the city can be accessed: By land, air and sea.
If you go by land, your trip will be filled with picturesque scenery of greens and flora – a reminder of how beautiful nature is. You will arrive at the Market City Bus Terminal, which is in the center of the city and very much accessible to wherever you need to go. By air, you will land at Laguindingan International Airport – an hour and a half flight from Manila and provides a different perspective from the top having a wide view of where blue waters meet green lands. If you prefer going through sea, you can also take a ferry and enjoy clear blue waters and arrive at the Port of Cagayan De Oro – the largest seaport in Mindanao.
Cagayan De Oro is also a city that has survived several occupations. Throughout the decades, monuments, shrines and infrastructure have been built within the city to constantly remind the locals and its visitors on where they came from and how they became the progressive city that they are now.
Cagayan De Oro, being dubbed as a gateway, shows that Mindanao has been well kept up with and has been substantially contributing to the economic development of the country.
Center of Commerce – Being the regional economic center of Northern Mindanao, access to resources to conduct proper business in the region is easy. That is why, Cagayan De Oro houses large multinational companies such as Liwayway Marketing Corporation, Del Monte, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco, Inc. and Nestle.
Automobile Industry – Of course where there is manufacturing, there are automotives. All types of car brands you can ever name have already set-up shop in the city. There are the more popular ones like Toyota, Mitsubishi, Honda and Nissan; as well as the more niche ones like Foton, Jinbei and Hino. Luxury brands such as BMW and Peugeot are also present.
Business Process Outsourcing – And where there is commerce, there is productive human capital, which BPO companies are maximizing. Large and known BPO companies like Concentrix and Teleperformance are already operating in the area. There are also a number of minor companies that have set-up shop and employ the residents of Northern Mindanao.
A city without its fiestas (feast) is not a city. Cagayan De Oro is definitely a city. They have their very own Himugso festival that commemorates their independence. This is a week-long celebration in June as this week marks their independence from Spain in 1898 and cityhood in 1950.
You can also expect a religious feast such as Higalaay Festival in honor of the city’s patron, St. Augustine in August and the Feast of the Black Nazarene in January and is one of the only three (3) sites in the country to conduct a “Traslacion”. Feasts involve parades, streets dancing, and competitions. These are the major feasts to look out for and this is also where you can see the full hospitality of the city and its locals.
A Visayas favorite, “pastel” originates from Cagayan De Oro. This is their take on the pastry bread with sweet custard inside. This is a popular snack that is usually brought home by visitors and tourists to their home towns. Cashew nuts are also popular in this area. As there are only a few areas in the Philippines where you can buy fresh cashews – CDO is one of them. One of the more recent desserts that has been making its rounds throughout the country is the frozen brazo – the popular Brazo de Mercedes that’s soft and fluffy on the outside, and sweet and creamy on the inside.
The city is also known to be part of the country’s enthusiasm for basketball. Case in point, they have two (2) basketball teams and are both members of the Mindanao Visayas Basketball Association. The city is also popular for volleyball, chess and of course white water rafting and kayaking that have their annual competitions in the region.
Documentation of History
The city is filled with memorial markers that tell the story on how Cagayan De Oro came to be. There is the St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral that was built in the 1600’s and has survived centuries of colonial takeovers, revolutions and natural disasters. There is also the General McArthur Memorial Park where there is a statue to commemorate General Douglas McArthur.
There is also Museo De Oro, located in Xavier University, that showcases artifacts from the Huluga caves and memorabilia of the Bukidnon and Maranao cultures. There is also the Museum of Three Cultures, that features Christians lowland artifacts of the Northern Mindanao region, Maranao antiquities, Butuan archaeological artifacts and lumad arts and crafts from the Higaonon and Manobo cultures.
Home of the Greats
Trivia: Did you know that 2015 Ms. Universe Pia Wurtzbach is from Cagayan De Oro? Truly a home of great personalities and not a stranger to beauty queens as at least two other Ms. Philippines Universe have hailed from the city. Cagayan De Oro also produces a number of professional boxers as well as popular artists and celebrities.
Sneak Peek to Adventure
A gateway to the beauty and the adventures of Mindanao, Cagayan De Oro offers experiences that pushes you to the limit or takes you beyond your comfort zone. One popular place that opened in late 2017 is the Seven Seas Waterpark located along National Highway. The formerly Wet Adventure Waterpark in the late 90’s is now bigger, better and bolder. Aside from having attractions for both the kids and adults, they have regular surprise entertainment to park guests.
Cagayan De Oro will not be complete without the white water rafting experience. The Cagayan De Oro river is famous for its 14 rapids especially during the “ber” months, which should definitely be tried by the adventurous ones. If you want a drier adventure, you can go to Macahambus Adventure Park where you can zip line across large trees a hundred feet off the ground. Or if you are more of the historic type of adventurer, you can check out Huluga Caves located at the Eastern side of Cagayan De Oro River. This eighty-foot high cave is where the skeletal fragments of a woman and a child were found and believed to have been living in the area in 377 AD.
Cagayan De Oro literally means the river of gold, and it was dubbed as such for a good reason. The city is indeed rich with history, culture and has now caught up and is leading in the development of the whole Mindanao region. Truly the city that is tagged with a first class status is something that should be sought after.