27 Jun History Of The First Bridge In Cagayan de Oro City (City of Bridges)
With just one search using Bridge in Cagayan de Oro City thru Google one can already see the number of bridges that serves as connecting roads from the West part of Cagayan de Oro, to the East.
What makes this more interesting is that these bridges are not that far apart from each other. In fact, from one bridge in Cagayan de Oro City to another, a drone can be used to cross, even with its range limits.
The First Bridge
But like every collection, there needs to be a first.
So what is the first bridge in Cagayan de Oro City? We’ll answer that with a little history.
According to Fr. Francisco Demetrio S.J., in his book entitled “Cagayan”, the first bridge in Cagayan de Oro City was built in what we now know as Ysalina Bridge (Or Carmen Bridge), and it was a bit unstable and made of Bamboo at first. It was built around 1888-1890 by the labeled “Bridge Builder” Major Juan Zanon, a military governor of the Misamis Province.
Not long after, they found a need to built a stronger and more stable bridge as more and more found a great use for faster means of transport crossing the river, and also given our frequent visits of strong winds and bad weather. From bamboo, Carmen Bridge was then reconstructed to carry a better design and structure and became a hanging (or suspension) bridge, as inspired from one of the hanging bridges in Claveria.
The 128 Meters long hanging bridge was named “Puente del General Blanco” after incumbent General Ramon Blanco y Erenas (Governor and Captain-General from 1893 to 1896.)
The said bridge in Cagayan de Oro City was paid by donations from several local families, with P5,000 in gold coins, and was built to be the longest suspension bridge in the Philippines at one point.
From then on, several improvements have been made, making it a suspension bridge to a fully concrete bridge as seen on the famous inauguration photo dated August 26, 1931. (photo below)
If you ask locals, a lot of them will say that the bridge has kept its original form, but actually one major reconstruction was made after the war. (See photo Above).
Passing by this famous bridge in Cagayan de Oro City, it will be hard to notice the difference, but the top foundation has actually been reconstructed and improved for durability and appearance purposes. From the previous Flat Top design that the bridge carries, a more stable Curved Top has been made as part of the reconstruction.
City of Bridges?
Now flash forward 86 years and we now have 8 bridges in Cagayan de Oro City in just one strip (not including the other bridges along the city).
That’s 8 bridges in between 9.66 km
I guess that makes Cagayan de Oro a likely candidate for the title “City of Bridges”.
Do you agree?