After exploring Iligan City, I checked out of the hostel and continued my journey. I took a bus bound for Ozamiz City and rode the ferry in Mukas Port going to Ozamiz. I had a great view of the city while the ferry traversed for 20 minutes across Panguil Bay. Total travel time from Iligan City to Ozamiz is about 1.5 hours. I went out of the port and walked for a few meters towards Cotta Fort.
Built in 1756 by Father Jose Ducos to serve as a Spanish outpost in the area, the Cotta Fort is a stone fort built along the shores of Panguil Bay which is now the Port of Ozamiz. It is rectangular in shape typical to many Spanish fortresses and has four bulwarks named as San Ignacio, San Fernando, San Jose and Santiago.
The west gate is the main gate facing the town which has an image in terracota of Apostle St. James (Santiago), Patron Saint of Spain. Below the image is the year 1756, the inception of the construction of the fort.
A minimal entrance fee of 5.00 PHP is collected upon entering the fort. It also has a museum, which unfortunately contains nothing but old pieces of woods and a couple of paintings. Sad to say, it's empty, there's nothing to see inside.
Since it's a weekend, a lot people were there enjoying some playful afternoon at the fort's huge grounds.
You can also see an old arsenal which serves as the storage of weapons during the spanish time.
As one of the four Spanish Forts built during Spain's occupation in the Philippines (Fort San Pedro in Cebu, Fort Pilar in Zamboanga City, Fort Santiago in Manila), this is one of the must-see places when visiting Ozamiz City.
HOW TO GET THERE
The fort is located near Ozamiz City Port. From the city center, you can take a leisurely walk to the fort for about 10 minutes or take a tricycle and the driver can bring you there.
This is a part of my trip to the cities of Marawi, Iligan and Ozamiz last September 16-18, 2011. Ozamiz City in Misamis Occidental is the 39th province on my list and a part my 10th solo trip.
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