waI am not a pure Cagayanon. My family just moved here last 1990, when my mother was promoted as Educational Supervisor of Department of Education Culture and Sports in Region X. Butuan then was still part of this region so when my mom got her promotion we moved to this place.
When I was still a college student, during the fiesta celebration I never heard that it was called Cagayan Festival but Lambaguhan Festival. That was the beginning of my searching.Let me share to you what I learned from Cagayan de Oro history. It would be timely since this coming August 28,2010 is another year of CDO's festival.
I wonder how the Cagayan de Oro got its name and how lambago is connected with the Cagayan de Oro Festival? So I researched and I found the answers to my queries.
Long before Cagayan de Oro got its name, the early settlers of this city called the settlement Kalambagohan. They also named the river Kalambagohan. Kalambagohan is a vernaculars word that refers to a place by the river where lush lambago trees used to grow abundantly. Lambago scientifically known as hibiscus tiliaceus, a member of the Malvacea tree family that only thrives in low altitude areas like seashores, riverbanks and other areas reached by tidal streams. Elsewhere, lambago is commonly known as molabago.
The memories of the City riverine life and the verdant riverbanks of the old Cagayan de Oro River still glow even in the aging eyes of Sulpicia Echem Ubay- ubay, an 82 - year old native of Juliao – juliao, the old name of barangay Consolacion. Nanay Sulpicia recounted how in those days, Cagayan de Oro river used to be a great source of fun for children and adults alike.
As a child, Nanay Sulpicia recalled that the thick branches of the lambago trees living the the river bank served as their diving board as their would swim in the crystal clear waters of the Cagayan de Oro River. When asked to describe how clear the river was , Nanay Sulpicia matter-of-factly said that aneedle dropped into the riverbed could be easily found . The river was also the source of drinking water among riverside residents of the city in those days. Nanay Sulpicia also recalled how women in her times would pound lambago leaves and flowers and weed the juice as shampoo,which would leave their hair soft and lustrous.
Hermogenes “Dodoy “ Circulao , 71 years old and one of the early settlers of Isla de Oro , a sandbar formed from silt of the Cagayan de Oro River , cannot help but also recall how lush and thick the lambago tree were along the river bank . To him, the lambago tree does not only serve asan ideal shed for freshwater creatures, it is also a trusted herbal medicine among local folks, for common health problems like stomach pain, arthritis, muscle pain, and sprain.
At present various river activities have already flourished at the Cagayan de Oro River. Among them are the two river cruise and floating restaurants, a river taxi and adventure sports like white water rafting, river tubing and kayaking. A local entrepreneur also put up a riverside picnic area in Taguanao. All these are changing the riverscape of the Cagayan de Oro river and swing from the sturdy branches of lambago trees like Nanay Sulpicia and her friends use to do in Kalamabagohan. ( Yahoo.com search)