For those with an interest in the culture and history of CDO, the city has much to offer that can satisfy your curiosity.
This month we are going to focus on some very interesting places for you to poke around both virtually and in person.
After you have read this post and explored the links we invite you to explore in person.
The geographical centre of CDO in the days of its formation in about 1626 when a 26-year old Augustinian Recollect friar arrived in Cagayan from Portugal. His name was Fray Agustin de San Pedro. He persuaded the leader of Himologan, Datu Salangsang, to transfer his settlement down river, to the area of today’s Gaston Park and San Agustin Cathedral. Here, Fray Agustin built a church of native materials. Inside, he baptized Datu Salangsang and his wife, and later his people. The news of these conversions to Christianity and the likely loss of tribute payments resulted in Sultan Kudarat sending a fleet of warriors to drive away the Spanish missionaries and to regain the lost tributes.
Kudarat’s attacks prompted Fray Agustin to build a wooden fortress and watchtower in Cagayan to protect Salangsang’s people. He called the fortress Fuerza Real de San Jose, and it occupied an area now filled with Gaston Park and San Agustin Cathedral.
Fray Agustin’s defense of Cagayan earned him the title “El Padre Capitan”.
The then plaza eventually became an execution ground for Spanish criminals, during the Spanish occupation.
Then in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s it became a training ground for local revolutionaries during the American occupation.
Its current name was a tribute to Segundo Gaston who was Mayor of Cagayan de Misamis 1916–1922 and Governor of Misamis Province from 1923–1925.
It has been redeveloped in recent years, with the worn grass being replaced by red tiles, and in December 2015, the long-awaited Musical Fountain started running after some delays.
Here are just a few of the many photo’s of the park at various stages of its history. Click on the URL attached to each photo for more information.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Cagayan de Oro
With the Archbishop’s Palace adjacent is situated directly across the road from the park. Quite apart from the spiritual significance and history regarding the buildings themselves there is a is a side bar controversy.
A carved panel depicting a man being eaten by a large fish was moved from public display to the back garden of the Palace when it sparked debate as to what is was depicting. The story is outlined here You decide myth or reality.
The cathedral, dedicated to Saint Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, is the ecclesiastical seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. Construction began on the current edifice in 1946, but it was the last of a long line of wooden edifices and another stone one, that was the focus of Roman Catholic worship in CDO since 1626.
Each of the following images has information and other images attached to it. Click on “related images” and also “go to website” to avail.
Our final stop on this initial foray into the culture and history of CDO, is just a few hundred metres away.
The City Museum
Situated across the road from Gaston Park and adjacent to the Cathedral, in what was once the water supply for the municipality of Cagayan de Misamis.
This round water tower was constructed in 1921; it stored water for over 30 years until it was decommissioned in the late 1950’s.
It then sat abandoned until the then Mayor Constantino Jaraula came up with the idea of making it into a museum focused on the developmental history of the city, in 2008.
The transformation was completed in 2010 and the tower was developed into three floors of CDO history and historical artifacts that attract visitors from across Mindanao, the Republic and the world. Opening hours 9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday; allow at least an hour to explore all three floors thoroughly. The layout of the exhibits is still being adjusted to better develop time-lines and story-lines that are cohesive. Final fact; if you look closely at the tower from the front you will see it leans slightly to the right, leading to the adoption of its nickname “The Leaning Tower Of Cagayan de Oro”
Here is a more extensive history of the water tower and for a few more inside pictures to tempt you to visit
After your day of discovery get that cab back to the Kingston Lodge Hotel for a world class meal, from our extensive international menu accompanied by the beverage of your choice. Then rest in one of our modern well appointed rooms in preparation for another exciting day in Cagayan de Oro. For bookings call Ed and the team on (088) 858 5696 or visit our website here or our facebook page