Ozamiz City Charter Day in the Philippines Date in the current year: July 16, 2024

Ozamiz City Charter Day in the Philippines Ozamiz City Charter Day (Araw ng Pribilehiyo ng Lungsod ng Ozamiz) is a special non-working holiday in the city of Ozamiz, Misamis Occidental, Philippines. It is celebrated on July 16 to commemorate the day when Ozamiz was granted cityhood.

Ozamiz is a third-class component city in the Philippine region of Northern Mindanao. Its history began in 1756, when the Spanish began the construction of the fort named Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo (Fort of the Conception and the Triumph) to protect coastal towns and villages in the region from being attacked by Muslim pirates. A town was officially founded next to the fort in 1757. Its original name was Misamis; it is commonly believed to be derived from the Subanen word kuyamis, a variety of coconut, although some sources claim that it derives from the Spanish word for the Mass, Misa.

Due to its proximity to the fort, Misamis was the most important town in Northern Mindanao in the 18th and early 19th centuries. In 1850, the town of Misamis was designated as the capital of the District of Misamis, one of five politico-military districts in Mindanao. It remained the capital until 1872, when Governor General Carlos María de la Torre y Navacerrada designated Cagayan de Misamis as the new district capital.

In 1898, Spain lost the Spanish-American War and ceded its sovereignty over the Philippines to the United States. In the early 1900s, Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines came under American governance. The Americans originally reduced the number of municipalities in Misamis Province by annexing the municipality of Loculan to the municipality of Misamis in 1903. However, this decision was reversed in 1920, when two former barrios of Loculan, Clarin and Tudela, were split from Misamis and became independent municipalities. Nine years later, the province of Misamis was split into Misamis Occidental, which included the town of Misamis, and Misamis Oriental.

In May 1942, the Japanese Imperial Army landed in Misamis Occidental. Lieutenant colonel Wendell Fertig established the command headquarters of an American-Filipino guerrilla force in the former Spanish fort in Misamis, but he had to abandon the town in June 1943 due to a massive Japanese attack. Japan occupied Misamis and controlled it until the end of the war.

On July 16, 1948, Misamis was converted from a municipality into a city, becoming the fourth city of Mindanao after Zamboanga, Davao, and Marawi. It was also renamed Ozamis after José Ozámiz, a Spanish Filipino lawyer and politician who served as the first provincial governor of Misamis Occidental and supported the guerrilla movement during the Japanese occupation.

July 16 was officially designated as Ozamiz City Charter Day in 1989. It coincides with the feast day of the Blessed Virgin of Cotta (Birhen sa Cotta), an 18th-century image of the Blessed Virgin Mary venerated as the city’s patroness. The celebration includes a special Mass and various events and activities that highlight the unique identity of Ozamiz and celebrate its rich history, culture, and achievements.

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Ozamiz City Charter Day, holidays in the Philippines, special non-working holidays, regional observances