Ozamiz City

Ozamiz City

Ozamiz is a 2nd class city in the province of Misamis Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2007 census, it has a population of 123,137. A person born in Ozamiz is called an "Ozamiznon".

Name

The city of Ozamiz is named after José F. Ozámiz who served as governor, congressional representative, and later, the first (and to date, the only) senator from the province. He is also the great, great grandfather of Jamie Ozamiz. Prior to this, the city was known as "Misamis". Ozamiz is officially spelled with a "Z" in its last letter and not with an "S". This can be seen in its official city seal, City resolution no. 251-05 and Republic Act 321. The city government is also making an information drive nationwide regarding the correct and official spelling of Ozamiz city.

Barangays

Ozamiz City is politically subdivided into 51 barangays.

Ozamiz City is agricultural by resources, but it has become a "center for Commerce, Health, Transportation and Education" in this part of Mindanao, considering its strategic location and its peaceful atmosphere. It is 52 km away from Maria Cristina Falls, the main source of hydroelectric power in Mindanao. The city has an excellent harbor location, its local port is the principal outlet of mineral deposits, agricultural and forest products of the rich provinces of the two Zamboanga, part of Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental. The city comprises a total of 51 barangays wherein 23 are classified as urban and 28 classified as rural.

Transportation

Air

Air Philippines has daily flights from Ozamiz to Manila and v.v. Cebu-Ozamiz-Cebu flights via PAL Express using Bombardier Q400 , a 76 seater plane started July 1, 2008. Cebu Pacific Air, on the other hand, will fly to Ozamiz starting November 10, 2008 for Cebu-Ozamiz v.v. flights using ATR 72-500 , a 72 seater plane with connecting flights to Manila.

Ozamiz city airport, also known as Benigno Aquino Jr. Airport or Labo airport is located at Barangay Labo. The airport was closed in 1998 after Philippine Airlines (PAL) stopped the operation of their smaller Fokker and Sunriser planes because its runway could not accommodate jetliners and wide-bodied aircraft. PAL was affected by financial crisis and labor disputes during that period.Fact|date=June 2008

Extension and expansion of the airport runway started in 2005 using congressional funds of Misamis Occidental District 2 Congresswoman Herminia Ramiro. It was reopened to commercial flights on July 8, 2007 with Air Philippines now offering daily Ozamiz-Manila v.v. routes. The airport is expected to have a bigger budget from the national government in the coming months because of its strategic location, increasing volume of passengers and cargoesFact|date=August 2007.

Expansion and development of the airport particularly its runway, tarmac and passenger terminal building continued again in the 1st quarter of 2008. Ozamiz city airport also serves the cities of Oroquieta and Tangub, Municipalities of Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Sur and Lanao del Norte.

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There are several major shipping lines serving the Manila and Cebu routes namely: Superferry, Cebu Ferries, Trans-Asia shipping lines, Carlos A. Gothong shipping lines, Sulpicio lines and Negros Navigation. Daima shipping lines serve the Ozamiz to Mukas, Kolambugan, Lanao del Norte routes using their Roll on, Roll off (RORO) ferries that transport passengers, cars/trucks and goods across Panguil bay.

Land

Rural bus transit is the dominant public land transport to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro passing across the Panguil Bay and to Pagadian, Dipolog and Dapitan cities. The public mode of transportation within the city is by Motorcabs and pedicabs. Passenger vans are also available for Oroquieta, Dipolog and Pagadian routes.

Notable Attractions

* Cotta Fort and Cotta Shrine - The Cotta Fort was renovated and restored to its original design in 2006 through the effort of Ozamiz City Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog. It has become a major tourist attraction in the city. The feast of 'Our Lady of Triumph' at Cotta Shrine is celebrated every July 16 which is also the Charter City anniversary. The Cotta entertainment area has free live band concerts and other musical variety shows each weekend. Fireworks display's are held at Cotta during Fiesta and holidays. It can be seen across Panguil bay as far as Lanao del Norte. One of the enduring religious accounts of Ozamiz City is that of the image of the Blessed Virgin in the old Spanish Fort or Cotta that still stands today, guarding the entrance to Panguil Bay. The Fort was built in 1755 by Father Jose Ducos to serve as an outpost of Spanish suzerainty in Muslim Mindanao. Father Ducos placed the fort and the town that grew around it under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Immaculate Conception. A special chapel was built inside the walls of the fort and an image of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, in the pink and blue attire, was enshrined in the chapel. Outside the fort on the wall facing the bay there was carved also the image of the virgin. The image on its wall of the Cotta is believed to be miraculously growing and has been the object of pilgrimage to the City.

* Bukagan Hill - has a view of the city, Panguil bay, the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. A tourist in Ozamiz City should never miss seeing the tower of the four great bells at the top of Bukagan Hill. They are worth the sweat and tired feet if one attempts to go up the hill on foot or the different phobias one experiences as the vehicle goes up. Aside from the wonder of the bells one gets a bonus, the beautiful scenarios around including the panorama of Ozamiz. Based on the book of Bernad, Miguel S.J. entitled "The February Revolution and Other Reflections" published in 1986, 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. 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 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.

* Naomi's Botanical Garden and tourists Inn - sits on a 12 hectare property with a huge garden full of local and imported tropical flowers / plants and fruit seedlings. There are fully airconditoned private rooms, Function halls, tennis court, Golf range, ceramics factory, pottery and a bakery inside this sprawling garden.

* Mt. Malindang Golf and country Club - this is a pre-war army facility converted into a beautiful golf course lush with well-maintained greens, located in Bagakay at the foot of Malindang Mountain.

* Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park - located in Libertad Bajo, Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental. Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park (MOAP) Hotel and Suite Cottages are set under the lush green mangroves in a beautiful Aquamarine Park. The Hotel is located inside the Aquamarine Park - complete with a wildlife sanctuary, fishponds, hatchery, restaurant, function halls for conventions, a 500-seater grandstand located 3 klicks off the wharf of the Park. The grandstand is located within the Dolphin Island. It has a very big and wide pen, just like a big swimming pool in the middle of the ocean. You can swim, snorkel, kayak with marine animals, or ride our glass-bottomed boat to view corals, giant clams, and other sea creatures.

* Pipe organ at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral - A tourist attraction right at the heart of Ozamiz is the pipe organ found in the choir loft of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral. It is the only existing pipe organ in Mindanao and one among the few throughout the country. Based on the book of Bernad, Miguel S.J. entitled “How An Entire City Built An Organ”, History Against the Landscape, Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House in 1968, the city acquired such a beautiful pipe organ when an Irish Columban priest, Father Sean Lavery, who was in charge of the liturgical and musical development in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral realized the need for an organ, not just any organ but a real organ. His dream became also the dream of the people of Ozamiz City. With the help of the people, funds were raised through donations and a musical extravaganza organized by Father Lavery and Mrs. Julia Adelaida N. Abinales raised enough money to buy the pipe organ. Father Lavery asked the help of a German priest, Father Herman Schablitzki S.V.D., who came to Ozamiz City to get the specification needed to guide the organ builders in Germany. It took two years to build the organ. Father Schablitzki himself assisted by one carpenter and one electrician assembled the organ in six weeks. The installation of the pipe organ was completed on May 31, 1967. On this day, Father Schablitzki first played the organ dur­ing the Wednesday novena of our Lady of Perpetual Help. It was inaugurated on July 16, 1967; the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel observed all over the world and the feast day of Our Lady of the Triumph of the Cross observed in Ozamiz City.

Projects

Ozamiz city will continue to progress with the implementation of various infrastructures projects.

* The PANGUIL BAY BRIDGE or the BRIDGE OF PEACE will connect Misamis Occidental and Lanao del Norte provinces. The bridge will cut short the travel time between the two provinces. At present, the Daima shipping lines connect the two provinces using their Roll on Roll off vessels crossing Panguil Bay. The bridge has been considered a national priority project of the govt. It is also the ultimate dream project of Mis. Occ. Governor Loreto Ocampos during his term.

* The OZAMIZ COASTAL BYPASS ROAD / BOULEVARD with a total length of 6.4 km will traverse 6 barangays from Barangay Malaubang to Barangay Catadman-Mangga. This on-going project aims to decongest the worsening traffic at the city proper where big cargo trucks and container vans going to and from the pier still ply the city main thoroughfares. North and South bound vehicles will utilize this coastal road once completed to avoid traffic at the city proper main streets. This project being undertaken by DPWH with a P400M budget is set to be completed in 2010. The reclaimed land area in 4 Barangays (Malaubang, Tinago, Sta. Cruz and San Roque) will be developed into a new commercial business district of the city.

* The construction of the new City Public Market has already started for a two storey modern public shopping center which will be completed in the last quarter of 2008.

* BUKAGAN HILL will be developed into a tourist attraction and a pilgrimage destination with a planned P10M budget in 2009. The Master development plan of Bukagan Hill includes construction of a huge statue of the Virgin Mary looking over the city proper and Panguil bay, installation of stations of the cross along the spiral uphill road, construction of a chapel and re-installation of the 3 huge European bells at the bell tower. This project is a joint effort of Mis. Occ. District 2 Cong. Herminia Ramiro, Ozamiz city Mayor Reynaldo Parojinog, Senator Richard Gordon and the Dept. of Tourism

* The on-going extension and expansion of OZAMIZ AIRPORT runway to accommodate bigger aircraft, construction of a bigger passenger arrival building, airport perimeter fencing, installation of luggage conveyor and a bigger parking area will be completed in 2009.

* Construction of the 5.8 km long CLARIN-OZAMIZ CIRCUMFERENTIAL-AIRPORT LINK and BARANGAY GANGO-BACOLOD-CARANGAN-BAÑADERO ROAD with a P247M budget.

* Improvement and beautification of the Osmeña-Roxas or OSROX PARK will be undertaken by La Salle University - Ozamiz, 50th Barangay and Rep. Herminia Ramiro in 2008.

* Expansion of the OZAMIZ SEAPORT with P300M budget will start in 2008 in order to accommodate more sea vessels and improve its services. Ozamiz port is one of the busiest seaport in Mindanao.

* The Misamis Occidental Special Economic Zone (MOSEZ) house bill was filed at the House of Representatives by Misamis Occidental District 2 Congresswoman Herminia Ramiro. Target sites include Ozamiz and Tangub cities wherein each local government unit will set aside 100 hectares of land to be converted into industrial zones. Factors that will make MOSEZ attainable include the newly expanded Ozamiz city airport, the P200 million expanded seaport, complete electrical and water facilities to be provided by Misamis Occidental Electric Cooperative Inc. (MOELCI-II) and Misamis Occidental Water District (MOWD) respectively, Ozamiz coastal road and reclamation area, manpower resources and the proposed Panguil Bay bridge.

External links

* [http://www.ozamizcity.com/OzamisNow.htm Ozamiz City Website]
* [http://www.batch2006.com/mindanao/visit_ozamiz-city.htm More photos and information on Ozamiz City]
* [http://www.nscb.gov.ph/activestats/psgc/default.asp Philippine Standard Geographic Code]
* [http://www.t-macs.com/kiso/local/ 2000 Philippine Census Information]
* [http://www.onlinemindanao.com/travel/travel%20ozamis%20city.html Visit Ozamis City]
* [http://www.royalgardenozamiz.com/index.html Royal Garden Hotel, Ozamiz City, Philippines] --- [http://www.royalgardenozamiz.com/index.html www.royalgardenozamiz.com]


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