Cagayan de Oro’s first known name was Kalambagohan. The main town was known as Himologan, which was a hilltop fortress. This area, now known as Huluga, was where the first inhabitants (the island natives) settled. This was sometime in 337 A.D. and the area was quite far from the location of present day Cagayan de Oro.
The island natives praised and paid tribute to the Sultan of Maguindanao (Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat). However, when the Spanish Augustinian Recollect friars arrived in 1622, they persuaded the natives to embrace Christianity, and this angered Sultan Kudarat, who attacked the settlement along with his warriors. As a result, the island natives and their chief, Datu Salangsang, were convinced by the friars to move their settlement to the area now known as Gaston Park.
In 1818, Misamis became a province. Cagayan de Oro, then known as Partidos de Cagayan, became one of its districts. A number of years later, Partidos de Cagayan became a town and was named the capital of Misamis. Eventually, it began to transform into a growing center for commerce and trade, while also becoming Mindanao’s central seat of the Spanish government – specifically for Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental & Occidental, and for Lanao del Norte. Partidos de Cagayan then became known as Cagayan de Misamis.
After the Treaty of Paris in 1898, the Spaniards surrendered against the Americans by giving the Philippines to the US. This was what started the Philippine-American war. Cagayan de Misamis was eventually occupied by the Americans in March 1900. Along with Filipino resistance fighters, Gen. Nicolas Capistrano fought the Americans on April 7, 1900. They were unsuccessful.
In June 1900, the Filipinos, led by Major Apolinar Velez, eventually won against the Americans in what we all know now as the Battle of Macahambus.
In May 1945, after the Second World War, Cagayan de Misamis broke free from the Japanese forces, who occupied Cagayan in 1942. This took place practically a year before the Philippines gained complete independence on July 4, 1946.
Republic Act No. 521 turned the municipality of Cagayan de Misamis into a chartered city. Thus, on June 15, 1950, Cagayan de Misamis became Cagayan de Oro City.