Virtual Adlaw Kagay-an for Oro’s 70th Charter Day

By Mike Baños
June 15, 2020


Cagayan de Oro will have a virtual celebration of its 70th City Charter Day Anniversary on June 15, 2020 in compliance with the national government’s guidelines for modified general community quarantine,

In a memorandum dated 09 June 2020, City Administrator Teodoro Sabuga-a, Jr. advised all city hall department heads and chiefs of office that the city’s celebration of both the 122nd Philippine Independence Day on 12 June 2020 and the 70th City Charter Day on 15 June 2020 would be “simple, yet significant”, and would be limited to a few guests.”

Employees of your respective offices are not required to attend the activities on both days,” Sabuga-a added.

However, city hall department heads and chiefs of offices were directed to join the 6:30AM Holy Mass at the Saint Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral and the flag raising ceremony at the area fronting the executive building immediately after at 800AM.

 The City Mayor’s Annual Report by Mayor Oscar S. Moreno immediately follows at 9:00AM after the flag raising rites. However, the mayor’s report would be aired live over Facebook and Channel 45 of Parasat Cable TV thus city hall department heads and chiefs of offices may follow it from their respective offices, it being a special holiday in the city.

In its official Facebook page, Kagay-anons here and outside the city and the country were invited to join the virtual celebration to be aired live on Facebook, Parasat Channel 45 and radio stations in the city on 15 June 2020.

Adlaw Kagay-an

On August 2, 1999, the Cagayan de Oro City Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 4365-99 “Permanently adopting the name Adlaw Kagay-an for the City Charter Day.”

The resolution noted that since the signing of the City Charter in Malacañang Palace on June 15, 1950 had been commemorated ever since in the city as “City Charter Day”.

However, the council further noted that City Charter Day was a “rather anglicized name” compared to other cities which had already adopted Filipino names for their respective charter days such as Araw ng Maynila and Araw ng Dabaw.

“Since the Charter Day of Cagayan de Oro City is considered a significant historical milestone in the city’s history, and the national guiding principles of History from the Filipino point of view must also guide the city in the use of names for indigenous events and activities,” the resolution noted further.

Considering how historian scholars had traced the etymology of the term Cagayan to the Proto-Philippine language where the word kagay means “river”, and Kagay-an means “the place where there is a river”.

Thus, the city council jointly and unanimously adopted to permanently adopt the name Adlaw Kagay-an for the City Charter Day.

The resolution was sponsored by Councilors Maryanne C. Enteria, Noel S. Beja and President D. Elipe with then Vice Mayor John L. Elizaga as presiding officer, and attested by Teresita R. Bancoro, assistant city council secretary for the city secretary.

Higala-ay Festival

The Adlaw Kagay-an resolution marked the first instance where the first of the city’s two main holidays were renamed.

The city fiesta traditionally celebrated on August 28 in celebration of the feast day of its patron saint, St. Augustine of Hippo, has undergone at least four name changes in the last two decades.

Previously known as the Kagayhaan Festival, Promote CDO sponsored a competition in 2007 to find a more appropriate name that would reflect Cagayan de Oro’s ethnicity, heritage and history. After initially selecting Karambola Kagay-an, the NGO settled on Kagay-an after receiving negative feedback about the term Karambola.

However, the new moniker only lasted six years as the new administration of present Mayor Oscar S. Moreno chose to change the festival name to Higalaay Kagay-an in 2014, before finally dropping Kagay-an altogether in 2016 and changing it again to Higalaay Festival.

Spring Festival

Since 2016, the city has added two more festivals in its calendar, with one being celebrated every quarter of the year.

For the first quarter, the city celebrates its Chinese heritage and history by joining the worldwide celebration of the Spring Festival, otherwise known as the Chinese New Year and locally branded as the Cagayan de Oro Chinese New Year Festival.

Since the festival date changes every year according to the Lunar Calendar, the date of the city’s first quarter festival is movable and is spearheaded by the Cagayan de Oro Filipino-Chinese Community which counts no less than 23 Filipino-Chinese organizations in its ranks.

Himugso Festival

This is followed in the second quarter by the Himugso Festival which jointly celebrates the Philippines’ Independence Day on June 12 and the Cagayan de Oro City Charter Day Adlaw Kagay-an on June 15.

With the tagline Birthing a City. Birthing a Nation. Birthing Tomorrow,  Himugso is a celebration of the Cagayan de Oro City and the Philippines’ history and heritage and traditionally celebrated with exhibits, plays, walking and windshield tours of the city’s historical sites as the new generation is invited to look back at the people and events which made the freedom and prosperity they enjoy today possible.



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