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Ceramics have been found in the area; Chinese probably having visited from the period of the Song to Ming dynasties.It was also possibly an old thriving port of the Srivijaya Empire with an overseas trading link to China, India and even to America.Early Spanish written documents in the 16th century already referred to the place as "Cagayán".The region of Northern Mindanao, which included Cagayan de Oro, was granted as Encomienda to a certain Don Juan Griego on January 25, 1571.In 1871, the "Partidos" became a town and was made a permanent capital of Misamis.On February 27, 1872, Governor-General Carlos María de La Torre issued a decree declaring Cagayan the permanent capital of Segundo Distrito de Misamis.In Cagayan de Oro, hundreds living near the banks of the Cagayan de Oro River were killed, with hundreds still missing.
More than 2,000 were rescued, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and at least 20,000 people were staying in 10 evacuation centers in Cagayan de Oro.
It also serves as the regional center and business hub of Northern Mindanao (Region X), and part of the growing Metropolitan Cagayan de Oro area, which includes the city of El Salvador, the towns of Opol, Alubijid, Laguindingan, Gitagum at the western side, and the towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva, Jasaan, Claveria at the eastern side.
The City of Cagayan de Oro is located along the north central coast of Mindanao island facing Macajalar Bay and is bordered by the municipalities of Opol to the west, Tagoloan to the east, and the provinces of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte to the south of the city.
After the troubled years, peace finally brought back the economic activities to normality under the guidance of the United States.
Consequently, from a purely farming-fishing area, Cagayan de Oro emerged into a booming commerce and trade center.