Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory

Archdiocese of Ozamiz

Report An Error
Archdiocese of Ozamiz
  • Facebook Share
  • Twitter Share

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.


  • Airport
    Labo Airport, also known as Ozamis Airport and Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Airport, is an airport serving the general areas of Ozamis City, located in the province of Misamis Occidental in the Philippines. It is the only airport in the province of Misamis Occidental. The airport is classified as a community airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, a body of the Department of Transportation and Communications that is responsible for the operations of not only this airport but also of all other airports in the Philippines except the major international airports. The airport takes its name from its location, Barangay Labo in Ozamis.

  • Seaport
    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 which are Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.
    There are several major shipping lines serving the Manila and Cebu routes. Other shipping lines serve the Ozamis 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.

  • Roads and Bridges
    Farm-to market roads have been concreted stretching towards the remotest barangays allowing easy access for agricultural products to marketing channels.


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.


  • Telephone companies provide international and direct dialing capabilities with call forwarding and conference features. There are also telegraphic services available in the region (telephone company: Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company). Bayan Telecommunications offers internet service only. Wireless communications services are provided by Smart Communications, Globe Telecom / Globelines and Sun Cellular.

  • Radio Stations
    There are three (3) privately owned AM/FM radio stations and one (1) Catholic AM/FM radio broadcasting station under the Catholic Media Network-Veritas in the territory.
  • TV Stations
    There are two (2) cable television networks: Fil Products Cable TV Inc. and the Misamis Cable TV Network and two (2) television networks in the area.


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.


  • Dalit Festival (Tangub City)
    It is the city's simple way of saying "Mabuhay and Welcome to Tangub," which celebrates the feast of Saint Michael, the Archangel every 29th of September. Dalit means "offering," which presents the unique way of fostering, friendship, unity, and love of all Tangubanons to their visitors. The festival showcases varied activities and presentations, which include rituals and dances that depict the Filipino way of life.
  • Subayen Keg Subanon (Ozamis City)
    A week-long festivity marking the feast of Nuestra Señora del Triunfo dela Cruz (Our Lady of Triumph). The main feature is the Subayan Keg Subanon Festival Street dancing which highlights the lifestyles of the Subanons as depicted in songs, dances, and other forms of simulated social expression, participated by different private/public schools, 51 barangays, and government contingents, using creative costumes and props; they parade and mime along the streets, that gives way to the genuine, authentic Subanon culture and pageantry enacted for both show and benediction.
  • Harvest Festival (Tangub City)
    Showcases the products of the Techno-Demo Farm at Mantic, with different kinds of melons and watermelons promoted and sold. Other agricultural farm products promoted are sasso chicken (native chicken), goats, and swine. The festival is a venue to promote the agri-tourism program of the city, creating business-matching opportunities for the people of Tangub City.

  • The feast of Immaculate Conception is celebrated every Dec. 8 while every 4th Sunday of January is the Señor Sto. Nino Fluvial Parade held at Panguil Bay.
  • Balanghoy Festival is held annually at Cotta area.
  • Inug-og Festival - An annual October event in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary ("Birhen sa Santo Rosar

Help us improve the Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory

Asian Saints

Asian Pilgrimages

Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
Support Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory
UCA News
The Asian Catholic Dioceses Directory is the largest information database on the Church in Asia, brought to you by UCA News.
Union des Nouvelles Catholiques Asiatiques (UCA News, UCAN)
31 Avenue de Ségur,
75007 Paris.
[email protected]