Battle in the City of Golden Friendship - Cagayan de Oro
The City of Cagayan de Oro is also the capital of Misamis Oriental. It is also the regional center of Northern Mindanao. Tourists and travelers from time to time flock the city. Because of this, it is titled as the city of golden friendship. Ironically, before the peace, it went through a tiresome war that made its mark in the history of the Philippines.
For 276 years the Spanish Colonizers dominated the Philippines. But on the 10th of December 1898 the Treaty of Paris was signed by the United States and Spain in Paris. In the treaty it was agreed that the country would handed over to the Americans in return for a payment. The amount paid to Spain by the Americans was 120,000,0000 dollars. In other words, Philippines was bought by the United States from Spain.
In Cagayan de Oro, the Americans’ arrival was much received with restiveness and hostility by the Kagay-anons. They did not agree to the occupation of the US. And so a revolutionary group called “ Tercios Revolucionarios” was created and organized by the people of Cagayan. Its main leaders were people who are prominent even in today’s times. These people included known names in Cagayan de Oro such as Apolinar Velez, Nicanor Capistrano, Roa Y. Racines, Tirso Neri, and Cayetano Pacana.
The prominent leaders of this organization purposefully trained and prepared the Kagay-anons mentally and physically. Their main goal was to resist and push back the Americans from entering their town. But there was a setback to their plans as they have realized. Their men had only bolos and some rifles as weapons to fight the Americans. But nevertheless, these were the men who fought in the famous April 7, 1900 battle and that of Macahambus.
The invasion of Cagayan de Oro by the Americans came on 31 March 1900. They first bombarded the town and burned the flag of Macabalan. The fighters of the Tercios Revolucionarios were already prepared and trained even before the invasion came. But they waited until April 7 to attack the Americans. Their army was headed by General Nicolas Capistrano. Originally, they were camped at Gagno plateau at Bukidnon which is located 9km from Cagayan.
The ringing of San Agustin Church’s bell was the go signal for them to attack the Americans when they arrived. The Revolucionarios attacked in a systematized wave. The first wave were men with bolos only as weapons. Then next to them were the riflemen. They were then followed by cavalrymen. Their main plan was to make a sneak attack on the American soldiers. But because some of the macheteros(men with bolos) shouted battle cries, their plan was foiled.
The Americans were quick to react to the battle cries of the natives carrying bolos and so there raged a battle between the well-armed Americans and the Revolucionarios. When Gen. Capistrano realized impending defeat, he ordered for a retreat. The most intense fighting happened in the town’s plaza, which is now called the Gaston Park. But the Kagay-anons stood no chance against the Americans. After an hour they were defeated and the remnants of the Revolucionarios were chased away from the city.
Even with so little hope of winning, the Revolucionarios fought with much valiance. But still they were defeated. When peace returned to Cagayan de Oro, Tirso Neri became its first Mayor. There he ordered the opening of Divisoria.