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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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    Philippine-American War Sites to Visit in Cagayan de Oro

    Kagay-anons actively opposed Spain’s ceding of the Philippines to the United States under the terms of their peace treaty signed on December 10, 1898. 

    In Cagayan de Misamis (as Cagayan de Oro was then known) the Spanish authorities surrendered to Misamis Governor Jose Roa y Casas and Cagayan de Misamis Mayor Toribio Chavez, who were both appointed by Aguinaldo.

    Thus, the townspeople of Cagayan de Misamis celebrated their independence with a Fiesta Nacional on January 10-11, 1899 when the Philippine flag was raised for only the second time in Mindanao.

    Unveiling of the centennial marker of the Battle of Cagayan at Gaston Park.

    However, the Americans were determined to stamp their authority as the new colonial overlords of the nascent Aguinaldo Republic and invaded Cagayan de Misamis on March 31, 1900.

    Kagay-anons led by Gen. Nicolas Capistrano wasted no time in attacking the US 40th Infantry Regiment garrison under Col. Edward A. Godwin  at what is now Gaston Park on April 7, 1900 in what is now known as The Battle of Cagayan but were repulsed with heavy casualties.

    Plaza de Los Heroes

    The Kagay-anons were again defeated during the Battle of Agusan Hill on May 14, 1900, when they suffered 38 killed, including their commander, Capt. Vicente Roa, after the I Co. of the same unit under Col. Walter B. Elliot attacked their fortified positions.


    However, the US 35th Regiment was repulsed by El Mindanao Battalon under Col. Apolinar Velez at the Battle of Macahambus Hill on June 4, 1900. It marked the first ever defeat for the Americans during the Philippine-American War.

    Gaston Park

    History buffs, students, teachers and researchers can tour the following sites in Cagayan de Oro which mark these encounters:

    • Macahambus Hill –An NHI historical marker at the site of the June 4, 1900 Battle of Macahambus Hill when Kagay-anons of the El Mindanao Battalon under Col. Apolinar Velez and Lt. Cruz Taal inflicted the first defeat of American forces in the Phil-American War.
    • Plaza de Los Heroes – A memorial to the Liber Troop of Patriotic Kagay-anons who opposed the Americans during the Philippine-American War located at the Pueblo de Oro Township. It lists the names of the patriots who fought against the Americans in the three battles in Cagayan de Misamis, and brief accounts of the three actions. 
    • Gaston Park –A historical marker commemorates the site of the April 7, 1900 Battle of Cagayan when Kagay-anon patriots attacked the American garrison in Gaston Park with heavy losses. 
    • Casa del Chino Ygua – One of the oldest existing residences in Cagayan de Oro where some of the Kagay-anons who fell in the April 7, 1900 Battle of Cagayan are buried in its backyard and where the Fiesta Nacional of January 10, 1899 originated from.
    • El Pueblo a sus heroes – Erected in 1931 by Cagayan Municipal Mayor Apolinar Velez in honor of the Kagay-anons of the 1st Company, El Mindanao Battalon led by Capt. Vicente Roa y Racines, who fell in the Battle of Agusan Hill on May 14, 1900, and whose bones were interred in the vault at the back of monument. 
    • Apolinar Velez Monument at Misamis Oriental General Comprehensive High School – A masterpiece by the late Jasaanon Sculptor Ramon Icayan Cabello, the statue honors Col. Apolinar Velez who led El Mindanao Battalon to victory over the Americans on June 4, 1900. Later, as Governor of Misamis Province, Señor Cayong founded the Misamis Provincial High School in 1909, now the  MOGCHS.
    • Agusan Hill – A  historical marker from the National Historical Institute (now the NHCP)


    marks the spot where Capt. Vicente Roa and 37 other Kagay-anons of the 1st Co., El Mindanao Battalon, fell during the Battle of Agusan Hill, now also known as Heroes Hill. 
    Delegates of the 2023 National Conference on Local History and Heritage & the 10th Local Historical Committees Network who wish to undertake this tour please book your reservations at 0917-106-6352.

    00 157th Birth Anniversary



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