In a land area of 1,939.32 square kilometers, the diocesan territory covers the Cities of Ozamis, Oroquieta, and Tangub and the Province of Misamis Occidental.
Ozamis City is nestled at the entrance of the rich Panguil Bay in Northwestern Mindanao. It is bounded on the north by the Mindanao Sea; on the east by Iligan Bay and Panguil Bay which separate it from its twin city of Cagayan de Oro; on the south by the City of Tangub; and the Municipality of Don Victoriano on the west; Like many of the towns and cities of Misamis Occidental, it is straddled along the coast of Panguil Bay partly because of its extremely rugged terrain of the interior and its commercial activities which center around the coastal areas.
Oroquieta City is a 3rd class city in the province of Misamis Occidental, Philippines. It is the capital city of Misamis Occidental, nestled on the coast of Iligan Bay.
Tangub City is a 3rd class city in the province of Misamis Occidental, Philippines. According to the 2000 census, it has a population of 49,695 people in 9,480 households. Tangub is ensconed at the Southern curve of D-shaped Misamis Occidental province. It became the 50th city of the Philippines when chartered on June 17, 1967 under Republic Act 5131 and was formally inaugurated on Feb. 28, 1968. In 1969, Tangub City won the prestigious honor as the cleanest city in the whole country. The following year, 1970, the city was adjudged as "Best in Urban Planning".
Misamis Occidental is located near the narrow strip of land linking Northwestern Mindanao, to the northern part of the island. Shaped like a collapsible fan or a loaf of bread or the fourth letter in the English alphabet. It is bounded on the northeast by Mindanao Sea, east by Iligan Bay, southeast by Panguil Bay and west by Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.
Misamis Occidental is subdivided into 14 municipalities and 3 component cities with two congressional districts and 490 barangays. Misamis Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region, Region X.
Cities: Ozamis, Oroquieta and Tangub
Municipalities: Aloran, Baliangao, Bonifacio, Calamba, Clarin, Concepcion, Don Victoriano Chiongbian (Don Mariano Marcos), Jimenez, Lopez Jaena, Panaon, Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Sinacaban and Tudela.
As of year end 2016 the total population of the archdiocese is 641,000 of which 78.50 percent are Catholics.
By origin, Misamis was full of natives, particularly Subanos, the freedom loving people in Northern Mindanao. Shortly before the coming of the Spaniards, Misamis was threatened by the marauding pirates coming from the nearby provinces of Lanao. As a result, the Subanos migrated to the provinces of Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga del Norte, particularly Dapitan, the places where peace still reigned in their domains. Later, inhabitants from Bukidnon retreated to Misamis followed by the steady influx of settlers from Cebu and Bohol and formed one of the early migration to the place.
The name Subanen means "river people", which is derived from the word "suba" or river. The Subanon is also known in the Anglicized form as "Subanen."
Subanon, pronounced "Subanen," is the dialect of the province, used mostly by the members of the Subanon Tribe. However, most residents are Cebuano-speaking and can speak Tagalog and English as well.
The Diocese of Ozamis is within the confines of Misamis Occidental. The Jesuits were the first missionaries of Misamis. They were under the Jesuit Superior of Dapitan. Mindanao then was part of the diocese of Cebu.
The beginnings of organized missionary presence here was something of a historical accident. In 1754 pirates preyed upon the coastal communities of the Philippines burning homes and churches, destroying crops and carrying away people to be sold into slavery. Northern Mindanao was hardest hit. From it came the Captain General of the armada, which was created to patrol its waters, Father Jose Ducos, Jesuit missionary of Iligan. At Misamis he constructed the "cotta" whose ruins we see today. He named the fort in honor of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception whose feast is Dec. 8 and in commemoration of the victory (in Spanish "Triunfo" by which he called his flagship) over the Moors at the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa on 16 July 1212. Ozamis has kept these two feasts.
In 1768, at their expulsion, the Agustinian Recollects replaced the Jesuits. The Recoletos built churches in the centers of population.
Misamis prospered and in the mid-1800 was the center of Misamis District, which included present day Zamboanga del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao, Bukidnon and Camiguin. Later the center shifted to Cagayan and from then on Misamis steadily declined.
It was during the Philippine Revolution of 1896 and the years following that Aglipayanism got a foothold among the population. There were then no resident Catholic priests for long periods.
The 1920's saw the departure of the Recoletos. The Spanish Jesuits had come back but they only visited this area from their Iligan base. Father Gabriel Font will long be remembered for his tireless zeal during those years until 1932.
In 1927 when the American Jesuits came to take over from the Spanish Jesuits some towns of Misamis Occidental again had resident priests. Their labors bore fruit in certain developments. First, the settlement of legal questions concerning Church property. Second, the establishment of parochial schools and summer catechesis for children. Third, the birth of parish organizations and a return of Catholics to the Sacraments.
On 31 July 1938 the Columbans officially took over from the five Jesuit pastors of 100,000 Catholics. The first Columbans were Fathers Richard Brangan, Thomas Callanan, Francis Chapman, James Corrigan, Patrick Cronin, Peter Fallon, Francis McCullagh, Vincent McFadden, Denis Murphy and Martin Noone. Some of them the faithful of the archdiocese are still happy to have among them.
The newcomers had barely settled in when World War II broke out. People moved from the coastal towns into the hills. Their priests moved with them and with them bore the toil and tension of those years. The Sisters were also with the people: the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and the Irish Columbans. The former had come with the Jesuits and the latter with the Columban Fathers.
The post-war period was distinguished by the determination to set up schools for every parish. Many new churches were built and old ones restored or replaced.
In 1948 by an act of Congress Misamis town became Ozamis City. By then the territory served by Columbans included Lanao to the east and Aurora, Molave and Pagadian to the south.
In 1951 the Prelature of Ozamis was erected out of Misamis Occidental and Lanao. Father Patrick Cronin, Columban Superior of Mindanao, was named its Apostolic Administrator. In 1955 he was designated its first bishop, a happy choice for no one knew and was known by the prelature better than he.
Monsignor Cronin saw to the construction of the present cathedral designed by Father Desmond Morrison and built by Brother Colman. The earthquake in 1995 had destroyed the old cathedral.
The development of the diocesan clergy had great impetus under Bishop Cronin. A minor seminary (St. Mary's) was established in Ozamis. Within his term was DXDD was set up, as were the structures to respond to urgent socio-economic needs.
Ozamis became a diocese Feb. 17, 1971. Bishop Cronin had become Archbishop of Cagayan. Bishop Jesus Y. Varela became the first bishop of Ozamis Diocese.
By the same document from Pope Paul VI the two Lanao provinces were constituted into the Prelature of Iligan. This remained under the Cagayan jurisdiction while Ozamis was transferred to Zamboanga.
Under Bishop Varela diocesan and parish structures were strengthened. He paid special attention to formation. Lay participation has had his full encouragement.
In 1977 Ozamis hosted the third Mindanao-Sulu Pastoral Conference (MSPC Ill) as scheduled despite the fire that two weeks before had devastated 21 blocks of the city. Ozamis has been active in the growth of MSPC in its thrust of building Christian communities since 1971.
Ozamis belongs to DOPIM (from the first letters of Dipolog, Ozamis, Pagadian, Iligan and Marawi). DOPIM is born of the earnest effort of five neighboring brother bishops to build community together and their people with them since 1977. One practical consequence of this experience of collegiality at base level is their common program for the formation of ministers, priestIy and others, for DOPIM.
From a historical perspective Ozamis' involvement in DOPIM is well in keeping with its roots. On Jan. 24, 1983 Pope John Paul II elevated the Diocese of Ozamis to an Archdiocese. In addition, the new Ecclesiastical Province of Ozamis was established, elevating it to a Metropolitan See and assigning, as suffrage's the Dioceses of Dipolog, Iligan, Pagadian and the Prelature of Marawi.
A Philippine province is headed by a Governor. A Provincial Council (Sangguniang Panlalawigan) is composed of a Vice Governor (Presiding Officer) and Provincial Board Members. A Philippine city or municipality is headed by a Mayor. A City Council (Sangguniang Panlungsod) or Municipal Council (Sangguniang Bayan) is composed of a Vice Mayor (Presiding Officer) and City or Municipal Councilors. A barangay is headed by a Barangay Captain, who is also the presiding officer of the barangay council. The Barangay Council is composed of seven (7) Barangay Kagawads. A similar unit called a Youth Council (Sangguniang Kabataan) is headed by an SK Chairperson with a similar rank to a Barangay Captain. The council is composed of SK Members.
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.
Ozamis City is either the destination or transit point of buses, mini-buses and jeepneys coming from various cities and towns in Mindanao. Within the city, pedicabs and motorcabs serve as the principal mode of public transport.
Annual per capita income (in Philippines Pesos) is 17,419 (as of October 2010 USD397).
Ozamis City is agricultural by resources, but it has potentials to become a commercial center in this part of Mindanao, considering its strategic location and its peaceful atmosphere.
Cebu and Manila are the major markets for Ozamis city's agricultural and aquamarine products. Its well established sea links to these areas facilitate transport of local produce.
Growing prawn in Panguil Bay is a major economic activity. Prawn is the city's leading non-traditional export product and shipped either fresh or processed to Europe, Japan and United States. The furniture industry is expected to have brighter prospects for growth in the coming years.
Literacy rate (simple literacy) is 91.99 percent.
The aggregate materials found abundant in Ozamis City are sand and gravel in pebble, cobble and boulder sizes. Quarrying of the non-metallic minerals is located along Labo River.are Pitati mat weaving, ceramic vases and potteries, cutflowers, ornamental plants, fruit seedlings.
An Oil Mill factory located at Barangay Tabo processes copra for coconut oil and a large industrial coconut processing factory is located in Barangay Tala-iron, Oroquieta City.