This day, our humble city celebrates its 59th year as a Chartered City. In this light, I will share a bit about this place I call home – Cagayan de Oro City. For the record, I am somehow blessed at the same time cursed to live near the very heart of the city (Divisoria). I have lived in the Neri ancestral house since I was born and this gave me a unique view of the city in its finest and darkest moments. But in all of the sights and sounds and the soar and noise of my city, I can share 3 good things about my city!
This is city has a great balanced mix of urban and rural living. Cagayan de Oro boasts as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. The province it is in, Misamis Oriental also possesses a running economic dynamo – growing more than the national GNP in 2008. With this economic statistics comes rapid urban development centered in the city proper. I am now seeing hotels and commercial buildings sprouting around which is redefining the city skyline, particular in the Limketkai area where it is now becoming the high-end commercial hot bed of the city. Aside from the standing malls of blue and white, the city is also covered with lush green trees, hills, and mountain ranges which surround it. I can attest with our family’s farm just south of Camamanan. It offers the freshness of the mountain interior yet the city can be seen from afar. Even in the feeling in the air, I can still sense an intimate baryohanon spirit especially in the Divisoira park where young and old alike sit on the benches and talk about anything under the sun.
One of the things I noticed about CdeO is the small streets that we have. I guess this was born out from the Kalesa days. I believe that these small streets and small blocks attributed to an intimate sense of community among the people living in Publacion. This fact maybe one good reason why Kagayanons are said to be “friendly” people. We grew up literally close to each other.
Lastly, the river is one iconic symbol of my city. The river that comes from creeks, streams, small water ways up the mountains collide and collate into one growing flowing body of water. This I believe gave the city its life. (I can’t imagine CdeO not having the river. It could be a very dead place.) Just like the river, the city is a unique combination of north and south, east and west, rural and urban meeting in one point, withstanding the test of time and formed a community where I now call my home.
With this simple sharing, let us do our part in making Cagayan de Oro a shining city at the mouth of a might river ready to step forward and move towards its future.