Places and cities have legends and histories where they have first started. Oroquieta is believed to have been named after a small town in Spain, where two prominent personalities of the city were first born: Spanish Friar Toas Tomas Casado and war-time hero General Domingo Mariones y Murillo, hero of the Battle of Oroquieta. There were others who claimed that Oroquieta got its name from many gold founds in the vicinity of the town and are derived from “Oro” means gold and “kita” means see or found. However the oldest name of Oroquieta City is Layawan which remains to be a barrio of the province of Misamis from 1861 to 1879. At present, Oroquieta City has 47 barangays.
When I reached the lovely and peaceful City of Oroquieta on a Saturday from my weekend solo backpacking trip from Tangub City and Ozamis Cities, I found myself embracing Oroquieta as a much peaceful, orderly and slow-pacing community. People are generally cordial and the plaza is where the people converged, is just as peaceful and orderly. I went there by night and the day-time of Sunday.
In embracing Oroquieta, noticed that in the City Plaza, there are two important landmarks which remains to be the symbol of history among its residents. Its own Municipal Band Stand, locally named as “kiosko” built from 1925-28 and the kiosko serves as the municipal band’s platform. I just can imagine the grandeur and romanticism that were so famous in olden times when the band played music by the sea. When I visited the Kiosko on a Sunday morning, I can hear the bells ringing from the Cathedral fronting it, as if transporting me back to history and its grand time.
The second attraction I have noticed is the old statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, Philippine National Hero. Erected in 1917 and is being commissioned by its Representative, Hon. Ramon B. Neri. This made embracing Oroquieta a journey worthy of affection and admiration. The kiosko is the most grand I have seen in Misamis Occidental.
Embracing Oroquieta City is one journey in my lifetime that leads me to Misamis Occidental’s grandest communities. Undeniably, peaceful locality also among the localities in the province. This City hosts the Provincial Captiol, one of the best adjudged Capitol buildings in the Philippines in 1973. It was built in 1935.