Cagayan de Oro is the provincial capital city of the province of Misamis Oriental in the Philippines. It lies along the northern coastline of the island of Mindanao in the country’s southern portion. Dakbayan sa Cagayan de Oro in Cebuano and Lungsod ng Cagayan de Oro in Filipino was once recognized as Kalambangan or Malambangan on account of the hundreds of lambago trees of the hisbicus family, which can be used to line banks of its rivers. The name Cagayan was derived from an early Austronesian word caravan, meaning “river.”
There were already ancient Cagayanons living around the vicinity of Cagayan de Oro 50,000 years ago. Indication of prolonged human habitation was proven through the collected tools, implements, potteries and shards from the area.
The city is known as the gateway of northern Mindanao and home to some of the most scenic and exhilarating whitewater rafting. It originally started as a “hobby,” for local adventurers.
The development of this activity as a leisure sport began when the Northern Mindanao Mountaineering Society (NORMS) set their sights on exploring Cagayan de Oro River. There was no other way to this than to brave the currents on banana trunks, inflated tire tubes, and rubber rafts, and this was how they whooped it up during the mid-1980s to 1990s.
By 1995, they had mapped the channels, surveyed the river by sections and paddled the treacherous whitewater to perfection. They organized the Cagayan de Oro Whitewater Rafting Adventure (CDOWRA), now known as the Rafting Adventure Philippines (RAP) and offered commercial runs to local community. The basic course and the advance course offer the adventurers a huge adrenaline rush and a spectacular close-up encounter with the river’s lush and vibrant wildlife and amazing geological features.
By word of mouth, the adventure package gained a following not only among locals but also among adventuresome domestic and international tourists.
In 2002, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her then Tourism Secretary shot the rapids in Cagayan de Oro, it got an immense promotional boost, putting the city firmly on the forefront of the emerging adventure tourism industry.
In 2008, the City Council of Cagayan de Oro passed Resolution Number 8947-2008, declaring whitewater rafting as the primary “One Town, One Product (OTOP)” of Cagayan de Oro in recognition of the contribution this industry has made in promoting entrepreneurship and creating jobs for Cagayanons. More than an icon for tourism industry, Cagayanons have found in whitewater rafting an inspiration to sustain the rivers rich ecosystem, to keep its whitewater teeming with life and roaring with power.
There are also few things the city is famous for like the Macahambus Gorge and Adventure Park that gives thrill-seekers a chance to test the limits of their nerves, its tension free environment and the Cagayanons who are famous for being one of the nicest folks in the Philippines. A city that is heart warmingly cozy as the people.
Cagayan de Oro is a favorite destination among tourists and businessmen because of its numerous beautiful facets, stable peace and order, urban amenities, good banking system and strategic location. It has developed into one of the most dynamic in economics in the entire country and still growing and developing at a fast rate.
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