Misamis Occidental is a province of the Philippines located in the Northern Mindanao region with a population of 500,000 and 1,939.3 km2 area. It’s subdivided into 14 municipalities and 3 cities, the capital is Oroquieta City. The province borders Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur to the west and is separated from Lanao del Norte by Iligan Bay.
The economy depends firstly on fishing, secondly on coconuts, thirdly on rice. The province has 169 km of coastline fronting the rich fishing grounds of Panguil and Iligan bays. It also has the biggest area of brackish-water fishponds in the region. Tangub is a fishing port on Panguil Bay famous for seafood. Coconut is the chief crop. This is processed into oil, desiccated coconut, and coir, most of which are shipped to Cebu. Coconut processing is the main industry in Oroquieta. Other crops grown are rice, corn, abaca, coffee, cacao and rubber.
The name “Misamis” is believed to have been derived from the Subano word “Kuyamis” which is a variety of sweeto coconut – the staple food of the early settlers in this place. During the years the name persisted as an inference of the geographical location and upon the advent of the Spanish settlers, the word “kuyamis” easily gave way to the more convenient pronounceable but corrupted word “Misamis”.
Misamis Occidental comprised the original nine towns of Baliangao, Lopez Jaena, Tudela, Clarin, Plaridel, Oroquieta, Aloran, Jimenez, and Misamis. The original nine municipalities of the province of Misamis Occidental grew into the present three cities of Ozamiz, Oroquieta, and Tangub and the 14 municipalities of Aloran, Baliangao, Bonifacio, Calamba, Clarin, Concepcion, Don Victoriano, Jimenez, Lopez Jaena, Panaon, Plaridel, Sapang Dalaga, Sinacaban, and Tudela.
Misamis Occidental is located near the narrow strip of land linking Northwestern Mindanao, to the Northcentral part of the island. Shaped like a collapsible fan it is bounded on the northeast by the Mindanao Sea, east by the Iligan Bay, southeast by the Panguil Bay, and the west by the Zamboanga del Norte and Sur. The fact that three of its boundaries are bodies of water gives away water life as one of its natural resources and fishing as one of its main industries. Except along the coastal area, hilly and rolling land characterized the provincial terrain. Towards the western border, the terrain is particularly rugged.