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The City's history dates back many centuries before the Spaniards came to Cagayan when the territory was called Kalambagohan. Its main town, Himologan, was a hill-top fortress situated some eight kilometers south of the present Poblacion.
At the time when the first Spanish missionaries came in 1622, the people of Cagayan had tributary relation to Kudarat, the Muslim Sultan of Maguindanao empire in Cotabato. However, the people had not embraced Islam and instead, many became Christians after sometime. Because of this, Muslim warriors began to attack the settlement. As a defense strategy, the priests persuaded the people to transfer from the hilltop to a better location which is the present site of the Saint Augustine Cathedral. The Cagayanons were able to defend themselves for almost 250 years from Muslim harassment.
In 1738, Spanish dominance was felt in Cagayan. When Misamis gained status of province in 1818, one of its four districts was the Partidos de Cagayan.
In 1871, the "Partidos" became a town and was made permanent capital of Misamis. In 1883, the town became seat of the Spanish government in Mindanao for the provinces of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte. Consequently, from a purely farming-fishing area, Cagayan emerged into a booming commerce and trade center.
The war years in Cagayan were prompted by the presence of the Americans in 1898. The Americans were initially and successfully repulsed by the local forces led by Major Apolinar Velez at the historic battle of Macahambus in June 4, 1900.
After the troubled years, peace finally brought back the economic activities to normal under the guidance of Americans. St. Augustine School, the forerunner of the present Xavier University and of Lourdes College, was inaugurated in 1928.
On June 15, 1950 President Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act No. 521, which granted the status of a chartered city to the municipality of Cagayan de Oro.
Following these events, the socio-economic order underwent some far-reaching changes. Activities grew in scale and importance until it developed as the administrative center for the entire Northern Mindanao (Region X and XIII).
Today, Cagayan de Oro is one of the fastest growing cities in the country and was declared a “Highly Urbanized City” by the Ministry of Local Government last November 22, 1983.
articlel from the city of Cagayan de Oro verbatim
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