Heritage Conservation Advocates
Huluga Chronology
vis-à-vis Scientific Study, Preservation and Tragedy
By Lourd Ostique
Administrative Officer, Museo de Oro, Xavier University
August 13, 2003
January 6, 1975 – January 5, 1976
Dr. Linda Burton, under the auspices of the Department of Philippine Studies, Xavier University, conducted the training of some X.U. students in archaeological field methods, after which they where brought to the site to be initiated in their first fieldwork. Moreover, the aims which this undertaking would like to accomplish: (1) to survey all prehistoric and historic sites not only in Misamis Oriental but also in neighboring provinces within region 10; (2) to preserve sites and material culture relevant to the prehistory of Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao; (3) to salvage sites in verge of destruction; and (4) to mobilize the communities to support projects on preservation of antiquities in Mindanao.

Findings of Dr. Burton: “Huluga Open Site is about more than 80 feet high above the ground. It has an area of 50 meters north to south and 40 meters from the western edge of the precipice to the eastern slope. Inspite of the earlier work done in this area, there were still numerous artifacts found: obsidian flakes, chert flakes (mostly wastes), potsherds and porcelain sherds. A farmer-tenant, who has been squatting the area since 1947, tilled the soil and planted corn. The Neri family of Cagayan de Oro owned the land... “Gisok Caves is about 2 kilometers southeast of Huluga. This cave was apparently used as a burial place perhaps by the early natives, i.e., Bukidnons or Higaunons …” [Burton report, 1975].

Sept. 29, 1977

Jeffrey L. Bada of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, U.S.A. informed Dr. Linda Burton through correspondence of his findings as to age of Huluga artifacts; i.e. sample nos. SU-1 and SU-2. By a process known as acid racemization technique, it was established to be 450 years and 550 years respectively.

Publication of the History of Cagayan de Oro 1622-1901 by Mardonio M. Lao, Bustamante Press & Publishing House, Cagayan de Oro City (1980) hb 204pp. Dr. Mardonio Lao asserted that: “Huluga and Himologan must have reference to one and the same place based on the following points:

"First, both Huluga and Himologan are located in the interior part of Cagayan, along the bank of the Cagayan River. Second, both Huluga and Himologan have similar locations. Like Himologan, Huluga was (and still is) situated on an elevated area, seventy feet above the Cagayan River, and both are eight kilometers away from the present site of Cagayan de Oro. Third, the terms Huluga and Himologan, obviously show close linguistic similarities. Apparently, both terms were derived from the root word hulog, meaning to throw or cast down…The slight difference in the spelling of these two words today must have been the result of linguistic transformation that took place over a period of time.” (History of Cagayan de Oro 1622-1901, pp. 6-8)

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