Around Ozamiz City

Roaming the sidestreets of Ozamiz City

The remodelled puerta (gate) of the Fuerza de la Nuestra Señora de La Concepción y Triunfo, also called the Cotta

The remodelled puerta (gate) of the Fuerza de la Nuestra Señora de La Concepción y Triunfo, also called the Cotta

I’ve been in and out of Ozamiz for quite a number of years but it was more of either in transit to Tangub City, where we used to have a farm lot and where my father is from, or either going to Dipolog or Pagadian. Or cross Panguil Bay to or from Kolambugan in Lanao del Norte and I am always amazed at the view of the Malindang Range with Bucagan Hill near the coast during the approach to Ozamiz.

Of course, I’ve been to the Cotta, and sometimes pass by one or two old houses en route to the bus terminal or airport but it was only last year when I decided to go around the city and explore the side streets. Ozamiz City is not that big and most of the time, I take the pedicabs, the traysikads. It’s a great way to explore the tightly packed city center and eco friendly too, if you don’t want to walk.

The Fuerza de la Nuestra Señora de La Concepción y Triunfo, popularly known as the Cotta was first constructed in the 18th century as a means to prevent the Iranuns and Maguindanaos from crossing Panguil Bay in their slave raiding activities. During World War II, it was used by the Japanese and today, its now a park with a small museum. Lazy afternoons at the bastions are usually populated by lovers.

At one of the walls is the Cotta Shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the same title with devotees coming here to offer prayers and light candles. The setup is similar to Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City but smaller.

Ozamiz City boasts as having the biggest pipe organ in Mindanao found at its modern cathedral. Although I find the exterior uninspired, stepping inside is a different matter with the play of light and shadows making it a beautiful interior. The pipe organ is at the choir loft just above the main entrance.

After visiting both, I have to say that, well, that’s all. Why not have halo-halo at the former North Pole? Or some spaghetti burger at some sidestreet? But I still wanted to explore and having remembered some old houses, I hailed a traysikad and told the driver that I’m interested to see these.

There’s not much, actually. For Spanish colonial era structures, there’s only two: the Cotta and the massive Rodruiguez House which is a good example of a bahay-na-bato, not common in Mindanao. The first level is built of cut coral stones while the second level of wood. It’s kind of unusual that the haligis, main posts that support the entire house and usually made from whole trees are outside the first level. The structure has sliding windows with translucent capiz shells and ventanillas below it.

There is another heritage structure, the white Angbetic House with its beautiful carved transom ventilation and intricately carved arches along the house’s volada (second level) which might have been built within the first three decades of the 20th century. Other houses are in the streamline moderne style then those built starting in the 50s till the 70s.

After exploring, I had my caffeine fix at The Coffee Lounge.

Typical pedicab in the city locally called the 'traysikad'

Typical pedicab in the city locally called the ‘traysikad’

Venerating an icon of the Virgin Mary as the Nuestra Señora de La Concepción y Triunfo. This is also called the Cotta Shrine.

Venerating an icon of the Virgin Mary as the Nuestra Señora de La Concepción y Triunfo. This is also called the Cotta Shrine.

The Ozamiz City Cathedral known for its pipe organ

The Ozamiz City Cathedral known for its pipe organ

The massive Rodruiguez House

The massive Rodruiguez House

A mid or later 20th century house with its santan in full bloom

A mid or later 20th century house with its santan in full bloom

A pink house that just attracted my attention while going around the sidestreets of the city

A pink house that just attracted my attention while going around the sidestreets of the city

Another old house around a corner

Another old house around a corner

Beautiful Angbetic House

Beautiful Angbetic House

An old house at a quite corner

An old house at a quite corner

GETTING THERE: Ozamiz City is the economic and financial hub of the province of Misamis Occidental. It is reached by flights from Manila and Cebu, passenger boats from Iligan and Cebu and is connected to major cities in Northern and Western Mindanao with bus trips from the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Pagadian, and Dipolog.

This trip made possible by Philippine Airlines.Check their website Philippine Airlines for tickets and promos. Like their Facebook page and follow them in Twitter.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    February 19, 2015 @ 11:51

    Roaming the sidestreets of Ozamiz City: The remodelled puerta (gate) of the Fuerza de la Nuestra Señora de La … http://t.co/0m8kRGVK0U

  2. RJ Kulotzkie (@rjkulotzkie)
    February 22, 2015 @ 23:56

    Yow Kristine Marie Pateño. You’re city oh. City of Oz. 😀 http://t.co/kMLqiBnG6z

  3. @swingspeed_
    February 24, 2015 @ 21:50

    Roaming the sidestreets of Ozamiz City http://t.co/4xzx06iZ2c – our ancestral home!

  4. Estan, Ang Langyaw (@LangyawMedia)
    February 25, 2015 @ 7:05

    Interesting #heritage houses and structures in #ozamiz City #mindanao
    http://t.co/8QLn5y1yCQ #architecture #design http://t.co/oHdo1LmEn8

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