THIS WEEK IN LOCAL HISTORY | 122nd Anniversary of Fiesta Nacional in Cagayan de Misamis

FEATURE
January 10, 2021

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The 10th of January 2021 will be the 122nd Anniversary of the first raising of the Filipino flag at the Casa Real when the five-man Concejo Provincial of the revolutionary government assumed office. 

The members of the Concejo were chosen in accordance with Aguinaldo’s decree of June 18, 1898.  On that occasion, the newly installed municipal head, Toribio Chaves y Roa recited the poem Pinahanongod, and explained the meaning and symbols of the flag. 

This historic event is celebrated in a marker installed by the National Historical Institute (now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, NHCP), in front of the Executive House (original site of the Casa Real), and mentioned in another found at the Hayes Street frontage of the Casa del Chino Ygua (acknowledged as the oldest existing residence in Cagayan de Oro) which  recounts how on January 10, 1899, patriotic Kagay-anons celebrated independence through a Fiesta Nacional as a sign of support for the Philippine revolutionary government headed by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo. 

The Kagay-anons gathered in front of Ygua’s house, marched around the poblacion playing music, made speeches at the Casa Real (the governor’s residence), fired cannons and raised the Philippine Flag for only the second time in Mindanao. (Montalvan, 2002).

According to heritage activist Antonio Julian Montalván II, the local townsfolk were buoyed by an edict from Aguinaldo to hold local elections in Cagayan de Misamis in December 1898 (which was not true for the rest of Mindanao).

“There were 2 distinct traits of that historic event,” Montalvan said. “There was the boom of cannonades (celebrating freedom from Spanish colonialism) and there was the participation of Higaonon indigenous peoples who came down from the hills.”

The float "La Libertad de Filipinas" symbolized that freedom and passed by the Casa Real from the street that was henceforth called Victoria to signify the victory of the Philippine Revolution. Later, Governor Jose Roa y Casas wrote to Aguinaldo and called the event the great "Fiesta Nacional" of Cagayan de Misamis.

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