Misamis Occidental, Philippines · 3 hotels available
Ozamiz City may exude a provincial vibe, but its strategic location and peaceful makes it a surprising vacation hotspot.
Ozamiz is located in the province of Misamis Oriental, which is far down south in the Philippines. This city by the sea is close to the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, with Lanao del Norte just right across. Once an agricultural center, it has become a significant center of Commerce, Health, Transportation, and Education in Mindanao due to its good harbor location, its local port is the principal outlet of mineral deposits, agricultural and forest products.
It takes around an hour and 35 minutes to fly from Manila to Ozamiz City. You can hop on to either two of the flights going to Ozamiz City.
It takes about two days to arrive from Manila to Ozamiz City via ferry. You can choose to leave early in the morning or just after dinner at nighttime. Ships are docked at Manila Port’s Pier 4 and will arrive at Ozamiz City’s main pier.
Traveling from Manila to Ozamiz City by bus or car can be done via the Roll-On, Roll-Off (RORO) ships through Panguil Bay. Check out RORO schedules with the Philippine Port Authority (PPA).
Pedicab or trisikad, which is a sidecar mounted on a motor or bike, is the public mode of transportation within the city. However, you can also take passenger vans, ordinary jeepneys, and Multicabs converted into jeepneys for longer distances.
Right at the heart of Ozamiz City is the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral. The church houses the second largest pipe organ in the Philippines, and the only one of its kind in the Mindanao region.Explore the natural beauty of the coastal city at Misamis Occidental Aquamarine Park, which is 30 minutes away from the main airport. This government project is full of mangrove trees, which are breeding grounds for the park’s fish, shellfish, and sea fauna.
Visiting Fuerte de la Concepcion y del Triunfo – also known as Cotta Fort and Shrine - is a must as well. This Spanish-era fort, which was built in 1755, is home to a special chapel dedicated to the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception statue.
Learn a thing or two in pottery at Naomi’s Botanical Garden. This 8-hectare property sells the most beautiful, handmade pots, along with landscaping plants for those who have a green thumb. For the adventure enthusiast in you, there’s always Hoyohoy Highland Stone Chapel Adventure Park.
Ride one of the two longest ziplines in the country starting at Php600. Go on a trek at Bukagan Hill, which will provide you an awesome panoramic view of the city, neighboring Panguil Bay, and the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur. At the top of the hill, you’ll also see the four great bells, each weighing 7 tons and were named after St. Peter”, “St. Marien”, “St. Joseph” and “St. Michael.”
Seafood is king in Ozamiz. Dine on crabs, prawns, mussels, fish, and other fresh catch of the sea at Big Catch Restaurant. Try all of them with the restaurant’s house special sauce, along with “unlimited” rice. After a huge meal, cap it off with some freshly-brewed or freshly-blended coffee at Dewberry Cafe.
If you’re feeling a snack, visit Halohalo Arcade (formerly known as the North Pole) and try their special halo-halo, a refreshing snack made up of sweetened fruits, ube, ube halaya, ice cream, milk, and shaved ice. Also, try to indulge in tuba, a locally made wine from fermented coconut water.
Unlike the nightlife in Manila, happy hour usually ends in majority of the establishments earlier than 10pm onwards on weekdays to 12pm on weekends in Ozamiz City. But the way to get most out of the nightlife in Ozamiz is by hitting the videoke bars. Just stack up a pile of five-peso coins, and drop them in the videoke machine to play your song so you can sing your heart out.
However, the nightlife in Ozamiz City livens up when it’s the town fiesta or if it is the holiday season. The local government hosts many events towards the evening, which may include beauty pageants, dance competitions, and makeshift theme parks.
Accommodations in Ozamiz are pretty basic to average. Executive rooms at Plaza Beatriz in Port Road and Royal Garden Hotel at the corner of Burgos and Zamora Streets starts at around Php500 a night. Naomi’s Tourist Inn is perfect for backpacker groups. An air-conditioned room for 4 with television is at an affordable Php1,500 a night.
Be sure to have enough Philippine currency on hand. Although there are banking facilities in the area, even small hotel accommodations might not be able to accept debit or credit cards as payment.
If you’re looking to shop your heart out or want to bring some pasalubong, there are shopping centers in the heart of the city for the same price.
If you want an activity-filled itinerary, plan it around the city fiesta or during the Christmas season.