Heritage Conservation Advocates
Photo of Antonio J. Montalvan IIMoreno's date with history
By Antonio J. Montalván II
Inauguration of Oscar Moreno, mayor of Cagayan de Oro City

Oscar S. Moreno has personally chosen what is the most historically apt venue for the inaugural of a Cagayan de Oro city mayor.

The kiosko at Divisoria was known in the early days as the Tribuna, a forum for addressing big assemblies of the Cagayan citizenry. Its location at the center of the city is not unintended. As the heart of the 1901 Plaza Divisoria, it is also the city’s soul. Here lies the posterity of momentous events of the past that shaped the history and culture of the Cagayan de Oro people.

Moreno’s inaugural this Sunday June 30 will take place near the same spot where the country’s first president Emilio Aguinaldo addressed the great throng that welcomed his visit to Cagayan de Misamis on October 5, 1924. On that day, Cagayan citizens came out in droves to listen to the man whose cause they fought for only a quarter of a century earlier during the Philippine-American War in Cagayan in 1899-1901. The men of Cagayan who came to listen to Aguinaldo talk from a make-shift stage that faced Calle Mindanao (today Tiano Brothers Street) came dressed in what was de rigeur of the day – white suits and hats. After Aguinaldo’s Divisoria rally, he retired to the house of Apolinar Velez where luncheon was served in his honor.

It was also from the Tribunaon National Heroes Day of November 30, 1955 that the three Tiano Brothers were officially recognized by the city and given honors for their individual valor, for a country that they did not die in vain for. Here their bereaved mother Emilia Bacarrisas Tiano received the posthumous honor for her three fallen sons. The Tribuna is sacred ground rendered from the heroism of the brothers Tiano.



From the great Tribuna echoed the orations of the city’s historical titans – Emmanuel Pelaez who became Vice President, Justiniano R. Borja who remains the city’s greatest mayor, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel who became Senate President, to join with the cause of the common folks whose aspirations and dreams for a beloved city they continue to cherish. Moreno will re-live history this Sunday.

It was here only a few moons ago that the people of Cagayan de Oro exercised their constitutional right to recall the only dictator in the city’s history, Vicente Emano who is not from Cagayan de Oro and had no love for Cagayan de Oro, under the very shadow of the maverick JR Borja cast in stone by the National Artist Napoleon Abueva who Emano thought he would follow in history by his becoming the “second JR Borja.”Dictators have crazy dreams.

The inauguration of Oscar S. Moreno this Sunday is not just the inauguration of a new mayor. With this event, we restore back the glory of the old Divisoria and the Tribuna, so that the people of Cagayan de Oro will enjoy the benefits of this open space of history and culture as intended by those who designed it for that noble purpose. End

Published by the Heritage Conservation Advocates, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, August 3, 2014.
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