Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fun at Ozamiz City Hall and Gardens

I thought I was done gallivanting, but it was still daylight and I wondered where else my itchy feet should go! “See their city hall” said my PDA’s rough notes. Ha, oo nga naman! How could I ever forget that! So, to their city hall I went! And wow!

It’s a trike ride away from the fort (as anywhere else in the city actually). The city hall sits along a highway where tricycles are not allowed to just cruise along on some parts. So going there on trike is not a straightforward ride along that big road. The route has to pass some sidestreets and backstreets before emerging back in that highway and towards the city hall!

Its too big for a city hall!
While in most cases I would say that a city or town-hall is too small for its stature, this is one of the few that is the reverse. It’s a sprawling two-level building that looks more like a school than a city hall! Nice! But it’s a “morning building”, so I couldn’t get a good view as the sun was facing me. Plus, its always hiding! Yeah, their city hall seems to be hiding behind Rizal and a lot of trees! Am not complaining though. Its good that the place is abundantly green! The park fronting the long city hall building is big and surrounded by trees while in the middle are monuments of Rizal, a woman (is that maria clara?) and flowers and shrubs and grass. Only one thing missing in this beautiful park… wi-fi hehe!

There’s a giant caterpillar!
I couldn’t get a “whole” picture of the long city hall without trees and other things getting in the way. So I went to one corner by the highway and actually already far from the city hall entrance. Still not satisfied. Looking at my lowly shots, I instead notice a giant caterpillar crawling from the side to the main city hall entrance. I silently laughed at the comedy relief. The “caterpillar” is actually the green roof of that very long walkway from one side of the city hall towards its main entrance. It’s made of that more modern kind of concave roofing that from afar, it really does look like a giant caterpillar! I like it!

Garden of what?
I found this cute… see the picture? giant caterpillar is back there crawling towards the city hall... duuu! Now, as if the greens were not enough, I caught up with some city hall employees wielding their green thumbs. I saw that the garden was divided into many parts where kiosks or huts were erected. Not sure if those were temporary or forever. On approach, one of the women was first to make a sound saying “helloooo” to me. When I said “hi”, she immediately asked “where are you from?”. I said “Cebu” and then she said “oowwss!”. They laughed, so I said “actually Quezon City”!

They were still laughing when I asked “anong ginagawa nyo?” Another lady said “ayan mother Tagalog so taga-QC nga?” and the mother joyfully informed me (in English) “we are making a beautiful garden!”. And I further asked referring to a red signage “nganong Garden of Justice, na-a bay lain?” The other lady butted in again “oh mother bisaya, taga-Cebu nga!” and the mother replied again “yes, tanan nga departments have their own gardens”. I asked “so parang contest?” and she said “yes”. Since other kiosks and gardens were yet unnamed, I just imagined that soon there will be “garden of the mayor” or “garden of health" by the health workers or “garden of fire” for the firemen or perhaps “garden of crime” for the policemen! Ahh hehehe, I loved this encounter!

Ozamiz, Ozamis, Misamis
The lively exchange was in danger of flowing towards “about me” when some other lady asked what I was doing in their city. But I think I’m already good at tackling this question, so I said “just to see Ozamiz and take pictures of beautiful places like your city hall”. The jolly mother was quick to ask “how about beautiful people of Ozamiz like us, di mo pipictyuran?” I said “gladly” and all went inside the kiosk, posed and I took a picture of them. Like little children they all ran to look at their picture reviewed on my camera! Now I was having fun with the ladies!

Looking at the city hall, I asked if it was really OzamiZ with a “Z” at the end or OzamiS with an “S” at the end. Hah, I got a barrage of replies and related stories that many times, I had to ask them to repeat what they just said for me to grasp correctly. And now I already know…

Misamis was the name of the town and it was the capital of the province also named Misamis (just like Tarlac, Tarlac or Iloilo, Iloilo and so on). Then the town was converted into a city but renamed Ozamiz in honor of a past senator with that surname who comes from the place. Next they told me there had been debates as others liked the idea but others did not. That the late Senator Ozamiz (executed at La Loma by the Japanese soldiers) did not actually come from Misamis but from the town of Jimenez so it should be Jimenez and not Misamis that should become Ozamiz! Argh! The tip of my tongue tickled at this conversation with the “is”, “iz” and “ez” repeatedly pronounced. Yep, my brain got blurred too hehe!

Let’s repeat that… Ozamiz was previously Misamis town in the province of Misamis and that Senator Ozamiz was not from Misamis but from Jimenez, therefore it should be the town of Jimenez that must be renamed to Ozamiz and not the town of Misamis In Misamis! Ano daw?!

Anyway, they told me that the name Ozamiz prevailed but many folks still refer to their city as Misamis and others pronounce the new city name as Ozamis with the “s” at the end. Next a lady blurted that its not just a preference but a law that the name of the city is Ozamis and not Ozamiz. Another added that it was a compromise or consensus between the opposing factions to accept Ozamiz but change the last letter to “s” so that there will still be a touch of the original name Misamis! Whoa what a load of information I got there!

Thanking the women, I called it a day and started out to return to Royal Garden. An excellent day, I must say!

Oh Ozamiz, oops Ozamis, well Misamis!!!

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