Heritage Conservation Advocates
  Discussion and Recommendation

The one month exploratory work in Barangays Macasandig, Balulang and Lumbia in Cagayan de Oro City and in Barangay Walas in Bukidnon- Cagayan de Oro boundary as well as the archaeological data previously gathered in several sites in the Province of Misamis have provided evidences of a prehistoric culture that once flourished in the southern part of Cagayan de Oro City proper, specifically along the west and east banks of the Cagayan River. These sites yielded a considerable number of artifacts such as several pieces of metal age potteries in varying forms and designs and ceramic tradewares dating from the Song to Ming Periods. Therefore, extensive archaeological researches in this area might provide important information on the cultural chronology of Philippines Prehistory.

In 1970, the Huluga Caves complex located in the limestone cliff about 60 feet over the east bank of the Cagayan River in Sitio Taguanao, Barangay Macasandig were already visited by several researchers. The surrounding area of Huluga which means "to throw" or "to cast down" is believed to be the original place of settlement in the area. Several artifacts were found in these places such as flake tools, polished tools, 15 sided angular vessel, metal tools, porcelain sherds of Song and Ming dynasty of vestiges of probable Annamese and Thai potteries (Cabanilla 1970). After 20 years, the writer conducted an archaeological exploration in the same study area. The results of the exploration yielded few potsherds and skeletal remains as well as zooarchaeological materials and revealed that the cave areas on the east bank of the river as well as other sites in Upper Taguanao, Balulang, Lumbia and Walas were heavily disturbed by guano collectors as well as pot hunters or treasure seekers. However, there are still a few portions of the caves explored that are suitable for a systematic archaeological excavation. With regard to the open sites which yielded tradeware ceramic sherds, the soil matrix is already disturbed due to erosion and agricultural activities of the local inhabitants.

Of the 21 sites explored, there is only one site which has a great potential for systematic archaeological exploration. This is Kros Rockshelter situated on the west bank of Cagayan River in Barangay Balulang which yielded a considerable number of artifacts e.g. potteries of varying forms and designs. Several forms which are considered unique were recovered in this rockshelter.

It is recommended therefore that a systematic archaeological excavation be undertaken in Kros Rockshelter in Barangay Balulang as soon as possible as well as the immediate restoration of all earthenwares recovered from the site.


  Published by the Heritage Conservation Advocates, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, October 21, 2001. Republished online February 26, 2011.