I have to be honest. 

I never appreciated this city growing up. It's either I was too busy getting experience or was not paying attention at all.

But don't judge. That's simply part of growing up.

Fast forward during college years.

The city has been a playground for my creative juices and became a major influence for my intellectual masturbation. This is where i was educated and eventually became a philosopher in my own rights.

But the beauty of the city wasn't revealed to me till late. I did hear a lot of great tales from my grandma as i grew up but these were tales of pre-war and post-war Ozamiz. None of which were told about during the 80's or the 90's.

It wasn't until i was invited for the #VisitOzamiz initiative of the city government, i even knew Ozamiz has much to offer.





BUKAGAN HILL AND THE BELL TOWER

  
Bukagan Hill towers 92 meters above sea level and is located at Barangay Malaubang. The hills is approachable by spiral road to the top where one can view the entire city, Panguil Bay and Lanao del Norte. Atop the hill perches a concrete bell tower with four large bells. 

The bells christened by their German casters as “St. Peter”, “St. Marien”, “St. Joseph” and “St. Michael” were purchased by Bishop Patrick Cronin, D.D. for the Immaculate Conception Cathedral for 15,000 Deutschmarks. Upon their arrival, they were found to be too heavy and too large for the cathedral's belfry. All in all, they weigh seven tons. The catholic community felt that it was very expensive to construct a special belfry for them considering that a lot of fund raising effort was made for the building of the cathedral and the installing of the pipe organ. The bells remained on the spot where they were placed for years.


It was through the efforts of Ozamiz City Mayor Fernando T. Bernad that the bells were finally given a place of their own, the Bukagan Hill. Mayor Bernad approached Bishop Jesus Y. Varela and asked him to donate the bells to the city for Bukagan Hill development. After consulting the people, Bishop Varela willingly donated the bells.

Mayor Bernad did not lose time in raising funds through the help of the Jaycees and other civic organizations. He then had a road to the top of the hill and the bell tower constructed. In due time the huge bells were transported and installed.

By July 16, 1948 the inauguration of the bells atop Bukagan Hill took place. Mayor Fernando T. Bernad's guests represented various sectors of the city. Among others, the guests were Bishop Jesus y. Varela (Catholic community), Captain Unte (Islamic community) Bishop Mauricio Serena (Protestant community), Rev. Arturo Bitos (Philippine Independent Church Community), Judge Cerefino Ong (Judiciary), Engr. Ernesto Garces and Engr. Vicente Tanseco (City Engineers), Captain Parojinog (Police Force) and Dr. Roman Pereyra (donor of the reconstructed guard house).

FORT SANTIAGO

Also known as 'Cotta', Fort Santiago is a pilgrimage hub. 

The Fort, which has been used uninterruptedly as a military stronghold ever since it was built in the 1750’s until now, is situated southeast of Ozamiz City (formerly the town of Misamis), a strategically located community at the mouth of Panguil Bay. The poblacion then is the present site of the Imelda Park, a stone throw from the western corner of the Cotta. The above-mentioned Panguil Bay had been described in the mid-eighteenth century as the “never ending source of Muslim pirates”.
 
Noted historian Miguel Bernad, S.i., said that the Cotta was built about 225 years ago as proposed by Father iose Ducos of the Jesuit for two reasons: to repel the Moro piratical raids which were at their height in the 1 750's, and to provide shelter for the ships of the Spanish fleet during that time.
 
Possibly the oldest structure in the area, it stands mute witness to the many events that took place in Ozamiz City. It was subjected to deafening sounds on at least two different occasions: first, possibly for a good number of times, from cannons and fusillades of soldiers under the service of the Spanish crown fighting against Muslim raiders, and second, from the numerous bombs on the eye of the last day of the Japanese occupation of Ozamiz City, December 10, 1945. 
From the point of view of the planned military occupation of the Philippines by the British before their conquest in the 1750’s, the Misamis Cotta was so important that it was marked as one of the three that must be captured to ensure contact with the Muslims, who were to be used in the fight against the Spanish government. The other two forts included were those of the Zamboanga and Basilan.
 
From the earlier historical records, it is known that before the construction of the Misamis Cotta, there were already in existence several forts in Mindanao. Among these were that of (1) Zamboanga, called Nuestra SeƱora del Pilar de Zaragoza; (2) Dapitan, located in a stony hill overlooking the sea; (3) Iligan, called San Francisco Xavier, made of squared stones, star-shaped and smaller in size that of Ozamiz, (4) Cagayan de Oro, called San Jose, triangular in shape, built on the beach and dominating the surrounding bay; and (5) Cateel, built of wooden planks with nipa roofing. The maintenance and support of the soldiers assigned to these forts, their supply of arms and ammunitions were quite a big drain on the Spanish Royal Treasury at the time. 

...to be continued (antok na ako)

Source: http://ozamizcity.com/

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