The year saw the start of the mass vaccination program against Covid-19, the reopening of the economy and the subsequent significant drop in Covid-19 infections in the region by yearend. Here is our PROGRESS WATCH: 2021 YEARENDER – a compilation of major developments, updates and news in and around the City of Golden Friendship and the whole of Northern Mindanao (Camiguin, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental.

MAJOR PROJECT COMPLETIONS

Among the many project completions for the year, we considered the formal virtual inauguration of the Cagayan de Oro Convention Center in September as a major milestone. After two decades, the facility was finally turned over to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA). The complex though is not yet done as many more components will be built at the site in the next phases.

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photo by DPWH

Gaisano also opened two malls this year – GAISANO GRAND MALL GINGOOG and GAISANO TUBOD in Lanao del Norte. Meanwhile, three other Gaisano malls are still under construction – Gaisano Uptown Mall, Gaisano Carmen Mall and Gaisano Valencia Mall.

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photo by LGU Lanao del Norte
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photo by Normin etc
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GAISANO CARMEN
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GAISANO UPTOWN MALL
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GAISANO VALENCIA MALL

Other large commercial project completions and opening are: PUREGOLD ILIGAN, CITI HARDWARE LUMBO – VALENCIA, and just recently WILCON DEPOT MALAYBALAY.

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photo by Stewart Maxino
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photo by Stewart Maxino
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photo by Stewart Maxino
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photo by Helen Arais
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photo by Prince Pacto

Other notable completions and openings are: OPOL GRAND IMPERIAL CASINO, NIKE CENTRIO (largest in Mindanao), SHOPKO JAPAN SURPLUS, MONSTER KITCHEN OZAMIZ, KARRJACKSON VALENCIA, KARRJACKSON 10-MIN AUTOMATIC CARWASH, HONDA WING SHOP GUSA, MG MOTOR AND CHERRY CDO SHOWROOM, among others.

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ONGOING PRIVATE SECTOR DEVELOPMENTS

Ongoing major private sector construction projects are ASPIRA TOWER 2, CASA MIRA TOWERS, SM CITY NORTH WING EXPANSION, ST. FRANCIS DOCTOR’S HOSPITAL and MEDICAL CENTER, ACE MEDICAL CENTER, LAGUINDINGAN TECHNOPARK, CHOWKING MASTERSON, STRONGHOLD TOWER, SR MALL JASAAN, VELMIRO UPTOWN, THE HUB AT BAMBOO LANE, MANDAUE FOAM BALOY, MITSUBISHI SHOWROOM BULUA, CM RECTO CONDOTEL AND RESTAURANT, METRO ARCADE AND MARKET, FICCO MIXED USE BUILDING, INTALIO ESTATES, CDO MEDICAL CENTER BUILDING 4, QUICKDRIVE, CITTA BELLA PRIMAVERA CITY PHASE 2, VILLA SANTA MONICA CONDO BULUA,

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Major industrial developments are: YAKULT EL SALVADOR PLANT, GMAC LOGITECH CDO

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screengrab from TRip ni Tonio video
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COMPLETED GOVERNMENT PROJECTS

Notable government projects completed are: BALINGSAG IP VILLAGE, ILIGAN CITY WET PARK, SAN SIMON EREID FACILITY, OPOL BOARDWALK, EL SALVADOR CITY COLLEGE, MANDULOG RIVER ESPLANADE, NEW BOYSTOWN CENTER UPPER PUERTO, MISAMIS ORIENTAL TOURISM COMPLEX, among others.

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photo by Maayong Iligan

ONGOING GOVERNMENT PROJECTS

Notable ongoing government projects are: BUKIDNON AIRPORT PROJECT, PANGUIL BAY BRIDGE, OZAMIZ MEGA ARENA, OROQUIETA BAYFRONT ARENA, JICA-FUNDED CDO RIVER FLOOD RISK MANAGEMENT PROJECT, BUKIDNON SPORTS AND CULTURAL COMPLEX, NEW MISOR PROVINCIAL JAIL INITAO, CDO URBAN DRAINAGE MASTERPLAN, CDO COASTAL HIGHWAY (GUSA-PUERTO), OPOL-CANITOAN DIVERSION ROAD, CDO-LAGUINDIGAN MOUNTAIN DIVERSION ROAD, NEW INITAO MUNICIPAL HALL, NEW OPOL GOVERNMENT CENTER, BALUBAL-INDAHAG ROAD, ILIGAN COASTAL ROAD, NEW MANGIMA BRIDGE, NEW PUERO PUBLIC MARKET, CITY HOSPITAL TABLON, CITY HOSPITAL LUMBIA, KIBAWE SPORTS COMPLEX, PAGASA-DOST PLANETARIUM, MACABALAN-BONBON BRIDGE, MACASANDIG-BALULANG BRIDGE APPROACH, CDO COASTAL ROAD PUNTA MACABALAN SECTION, BADIANGAN WATER PARK GINGOOG, NEW CITY MEMORIAL PARK, OZAMIZ-CLARIN INTERIOR BYPASS LINK, DON CARLOS MARKET MALL, BALUBAL SOCIALIZED HOUSING PROJECT, SMART GREENHOUSE MALAYBALAY, NAAWAN TOWN CENTER, USTP ALUBIJID CAMPUS, UPPER CARMEN,-PATAG-KAUSWAGAN DIVERSION ROAD, GINGOOG CITY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NEW PALA-O PUBLIC MARKET, MISOR SWIMMING POOL COMPLEX NAAWAN, NEW DAMULOG MUNICIPAL HALL, CDO MONOLITHIC COLD STORAGE FACILITY, NEW CDO APHITHEATER PROJECT LUNHAW, CDO ECO PARK, AGUSAN-BUKIDNON EAST-WEST LATERAL ROAD, GINGOOG-MALAYBALAY ROAD, NEW CDO EASTERN DIVERSION ROAD, NORTHEASTERN MISAMIS GENERAL HOSPITAL,

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photo by Trip Outdoor
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photo by Project LUPAD
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photo by Project LUPAD

UPCOMING PRUIVATE SECTOR PROJECTS

Upcoming confirmed private sector developments are: MANRESA TOWN and XAVIER UNIVERSITY MASTERSON CAMPUS, ALVEO LAND BAYVIEW HEIGHTS, SMDC CONDO COMPLEX, GOLDEN HAVEN PUERTO, SMDC MIXED USE DEVELOPMENT UPPER PUERTO, NCCC MALL MALAYBALAY, ROBINSONS SUPERMARKET OROQUIETA, GAISANO OROQUIETA, MIZMOR KAF GIMMEL HOSPITAL OROQUIETA, AMBON GLAMPING MT SINAI MANTICAO, CEBU LANDMASTERS-JOHNDORF VENTURES JOINT PROJECT, among others.

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Upcoming government projects are: NEW CENTRAL MINDANAO HIGHWAY, GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS CENTER MANOLO FORTICH, BUREAU OF CUSTOMS MCT NEW BUILDING, EL SALVADOR CITY PUBLIC MARKET AND TERMINAL COMPLEX, EL SALVADOR CITY BAYFRONT ESPLANADE, FOOD TERMINAL CLAVERIA, NEW MISOR PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICE, VILLANUEVA SEASIDE BOULEVARD AND PARK, CONSOLACION-KAUSWAGAN BRIDGE, KALAMBAGUHAN-VAMENTA BRIDGE, MACASANDIG-MACANHAN BRIDGE, NEW BFP REGIONAL OFFICE LUMBIA, NORTHERN BUKIDNON STATE COLLEGE,

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FOOD WATCH

New restaurants, eateries, cafes, coffeeshops and related establishment also opened this year. Among them are: JOLLIBEE VILLANUEVA DRIVE-THRU, MCDONALD’S UPTOWN DRIVE-THRU, JOLLIBEE MANOLO FORTICH DRVE-THRU, FOREST CAFE, SHARMAINE’S PASTRIES AND CAFE UPTOWN, THE KOFITEA CAFE, CHINGKETEA TOMAS SACO, PHILVIET RESTAURANT, DALTAN’S KAMBINGAN BULUA, LAVEND FOOD, DEMETRIO’S PIZZA KAUSWAGAN, BACKYARD BBQ KAUSWAGAN, CAFE NIRVANA, DARU COUNTRY PARK AND RESTAURANT, NEW SANVILLS CAFE, THE WHITE HOUSE, SHRIMP WINGS NAZARETH, 4DABOYS UPTOWN, CHIRU CAFE, ZEKKO TART, DINAH’S FUDHOUSE & HIMSOG, JOSE PLANTS AND CAFE, PROJECT MOI KITCHEN + BAR, CHACHAGO CDO, YALLA HABIBI SHAWARMA HOUSE, BUGSAY SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, BLACK SCOOP CAFE, VITABELLA CAFE, J RAMEN DESU, SARSUELA’S CAFE, PAN-CHIC KINASANGHAN, KING’S FOOD AND MUSIC EXPO, TAGORO’S ABUHAN, SHRIMP HOUSE UNLIMITED UPTOWN, ABITRIA LECHON BAKA, KAWA EXPRESS, BROWNIES UNLIMITED, THE PATIO, THE SUSHI BOX, TAHOLICS OPOL, AVOCADORIA SM UPTOWN, MELSAYMADA, DARRNY’S BURGER, D’ ORIGINAL LA PAZA BATCHOY PATAG/PUEBLO, KAMTUNA, SUKI DESU UPTOWN, DEAR MANOK POLYMEDIC PLAZA, ECHOSTORE CDO, JACQUES BULALO HOUSE, TUNA REPUBLIK CORRALES, CASA BLANCA PARK AND RESTAURANT, HAB-HUB JR BORJA, TEASCAPE CAFE, THAI ME UP UPTOWN, ROYAL PANDA, TUNA REPUBLIK UPTOWN, CAFE CLEOFE, TUSLOB BUWA, THE GRATEFUL BAKER, SO HOT SPICY RAMEN LIFESTYLE DISTRICT, MAX MANGO DIVISORIA, TIGER BUBBLE TEA NAZARETH, T5, BAGSAKAN UNLIMITED STREET FOOD, TUESDAY CAFE, NORTH HARBOR CAFE, among others.

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Upcoming new restaurants include: CHOWKING MASTERSON, RAKI-YATA RAMEN SM CDO DOWNTOWN PREMIER, TOM N TOMS COFFEE, BLACK SCOOP CAFE UPTOWN, TIGER SUGAR CENTRIO, KRISPY KREME KAUSWAGAN, among others.

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TOURISM WATCH

New major tourism destinations and accommodation facilities also opened this year: DANSOLIHON VIEWDECK CAFE, FB DORMITEL SUITES, LUNA GIALLA, AMAYA VIEW NEW AMENITIES (SKYE WALK, AVIARY, GIANT SWING), BLUE CHILL’S RESORT, CAMP ARYAHORST, DAHILAYAN FOREST PARK NEW AMENITIES (RAINBOW SLIDE), MAT-I MOUNTAIN RESORT, LOHAS AQUA RESORT GLAMPING SITE, MUSHISO CAFE, CHALI RESORT AL FRESCO PLAYA, LAGINDINGAN BALSA BUKARA DOCKING SITE, VYM BOUTIQUE HOTEL, BENROSE HOTEL, KEMDA CORAL MOUNTAIN PEAK, WAY OUT GLAMPING SITE, THE SPOT, PAYAG NI KUYA, MANTRA CLIFF RESORT, JBM LITTLE PARADISE, GREEK HILLS, HIDDEN MICKEY SPRING RESORT, GINGOOG HILLS RESORT, CAMP ZION, AIKEEKO FARMVIEW RESORT, TAFEKS CAFE MOUNTAIN VIEW, ELSON’S PEAK, SAMSON STRAWBERRY FARM, PADALA VIEW, RANCHO TRES HERMANOS, BALINGASAG NATURE PARK, BAYABAS BOARDWALK, THE DOCTOR’S BASKET, THE SAYRE HIGHLANDS, NEWVUE GATES, ETHAN’S POOL, RIVER VIEW SPRING RESORT, LUNA GRACIANO’S A-FRAME HOUSE, PRECIOUS OVERVIEW FARM RESORT, KINABUHING DAGAT RESORT, TININGALAN VIEW DECK AT HALSEYLE HILL, HYDRO LEAF LETTUCE FARM, VILLA FELOMINA, EL UELO’S PLACE, FRANCIS POOL RESORT, JILA’S SMALLVILLE, MT. PINES SPRING RESORT, DON BENEDICTO LAGBAS KINAWA PARK, PATAG SA UMA, MT. MILLIONAIRE, KAMPO UNO MOUNTAIN RESORT, DANTE’S PEAK,

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photo by Project LUPAD
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RECREATION WATCH

RIVER VALLEY RANCH BIKE PARK is a new spot for mountain biking. For airsoft enthusiasts, THE HIDEOUT in Alubijid is the place to be.

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HEALTH WATCH

2021 is the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic. The government’s vaccination program kicked off in March and the number of vaccinated individuals gradually increased by yearend.

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COMPETITIVENESS RANKING

Camiguin emerged as the 3rd Most Competitive Province for 2021. Four of its municipalities namely: Mambajao, Mahinog, Catarman and Sagay all ranked in the Top 10 in certain categories of competitiveness.

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Meanwhile, for the third straight year, Cagayan de Oro City ranked 7th in the Highly Urbanized City Category in the Cities and Municipalities Competitive Index. Camiguin also emerged

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GOVERNMENT OFFICES RELOCATE

In July, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) transferred its Consular Office from Centrio Ayala Mall to SM Tower. And just recently, Philhealth also transferred its Carmen Business Center at Ororama Carmen.

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SPORTS NEWS

HIDILYN DIAZ won the country’s first ever GOLD MEDAL in the history of the Olympic Games in women’s 55kg weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics setting an Olympic record of 224 kgs.

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Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro’s CARLO PAALAM went home with the SILVER MEDAL in Olympic boxing. He received at least Php 20 million worth of rewards including a new vehicle, a new motorbike, house and lot and a lot more incentives.

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MISS INTERCONTINENTAL 2021

The Philippines’ Cinderella Faye Obeñita was crowned MISS INTERCONTINENTAL 2021 during the coronation night at Sharm El Sheik in Egypt becoming just the second Filipina to win the crown. Prior to her winning the crown, the 25-year-old senior tourism officer from Cagayan de Oro City was just a wildcard entry during the Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant.

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TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

DITO TELECOMMUNITY started its operations this year slowly covering several areas in Northern Mindanao.

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photo by Councilor Dok Daba

Meanwhile, homegrown OFOODIE app made by Cagayan de Oro-based Qomunica IT Solutions expanded to Uptown Cagayan de Oro partnering with several restaurants at Pueblo de Oro IT Park providing another convenient food delivery.

TRANSPORTATION

In July, Trans-Asia Shipping Lines Inc. (TASLI) unveiled MV TRANS-ASIA 21, the newest and largest Ro-Ro passenger vessel in the country to ply the Cebu-Cagayan de Oro-Cebu.

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photo by PSSS

Last May, Rural Transit Mindanao Inc. (RTMI) launched its new Cagayan de Oro to Cotabato route via Talakag and vice-versa. Travel time is 5-6 hours.

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In February, Bachelor Express started direct one trip daily between Butuan City and Malaybalay City. From Butuan City, the bus will pass by Gingoog City and Balingoan, Misamis Oriental and then turn left to Bukidnon at Puerto in Cagayan de Oro City. Bachelor Express utlized aircon buses with onboard CR.

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OTHER INTERESTING STORIES

DEATH OF KA ORIS

Jorge “Ka Oris” Madlos, the most wanted New People’s Army (NPA) commander in Mindanao was killed in an encounter following an airstrike in a mountainous area in Impasugong, Bukidnon on October 30.

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COMMUNITY PANTRY

Community pantries opened in several areas and had a good run for a few weeks.

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3 BROTHERS ORDAINED PRIESTS IN CDO

On a very rare occasion, three brothers were ordained as new Catholic priests at St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro City on September 8, 2021. Archbishop Jose Cabantan led the successful ordination of REV. FR. JERSON REY OLAYVAR AVENIDO, CSS, REV. FR. JESSIE JAMES OLAYVAR AVENIDO, CSS and REV. FR. JESTONIE OLAYVAR AVENIDO, CSS, all from the Congregation of the Sacred Stigmata of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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TAGOLOAN MAYOR TAKES A BRIDE

Tagoloan Mayor Gomer A. Sabio’s second marriage in April received a lot of buzz in social media.

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C-130 MILITARY PLANE CRASHES IN SULU

A C-`130 crashed during landing in Sulu in July. At least 17 military personnel died in one of the worst military aircraft disaster in Philippine history.

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CLOSED FOR GOOD

Landmark stores JRJ Deep Fried Chicken, Calda Pizza and Biema Shoe Shop closed for good.

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LGBT COUPLE TIE THE KNOT IN VILLANUEVA, MISOR

Chikita, who is gay and Gab-gab, a lesbian, exchanged “I Do” and stood as man and woman in their church wedding held last November 27, 2021 at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. Their unique relationship and wedding photos became trending in social media.

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QUEEN JONAXX BECOMES 1ST WATTPAD AUTHOR WITH 5 MILLION FOLLOWERS

Cagayan de Oro City’s Jonah Mae Panen Pacala or more popular known with her pseudonym “Jonaxx” made history by becoming the first Wattpad author to reach 5 million followers. Queen Jonaxx as she is often called by her followers, is the most followed Wattpad author worldwide.

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SEPTUAGENARIAN FINALLY GRADUATES FROM COLLEGE

It’s never too late to finish college. Seventy-year old Lutgardo L. Labad proved this after graduating from Liceo de Cagayan University with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in the Perming Arts Major in Theater, and finally attaining his Mama and Papa’s dream.

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VIRAL DANCING HOTEL GUARD

Gene Fernandez, the dancing hotel guard from Cagayan de Oro went viral in social media due to hs TikTok dance routines.

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BUKIDNON TRIBAL DATU BECOMES NEW IBP NATIONAL PRESIDENT

Lawyer Burt Miquiabas Estrada or Datu Manhan-ayan of the Bukidnon Tagulwanen Tribe, an Indigenous Community in Malaybalay City, Bukididnon became the new National President of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and Chairman of the 25th Board of Governors of the IBP.

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BUKIDNON TRIBE’S FIRST EVER LICENSED PHYSICIAN

Joeffrey Solin-ay Mambucon became the first member of Tigwahanon-Manobo tribe of San Fernando, Bukidnon to become a licensed physican after passing the October 2021 Physician Licensure Examination (PLE).

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CRIME WATCH

Four high profile murders were recorded during the year.

On January 24, 2021, Rev. Fr. Rene Regalado was shot dead by unidentified gunmen near the Malaybalay Carmel Monastery in Pal-ing, Patpat, Malaybalay City.

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On November 11, 2021, Barangay Carmen Kag. Roland Sherwin “Tawee” Uy, a son of Cagayan de Oro City 1st District Congressman and mayoralty candidate Rolando “Klarex” Uy was shot dead together with his 73-year old caretaker by unidentified suspects at a quarry site in Barangay Pagatpat, this city.

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On December 2, 2021, Dr. Raul Winston Andutan, Medical Director of Maria Reyna Xavier University Hospital (MRXUH) was fatally shot by unidentified riding-in-tandem suspects along 12th-29th Streets in Nazareth while driving his Toyota Fortuner on his way to work.

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On December 22, 2021, Lopez Jaena Mayor and Misamis Occidental vice gubernatorial candidate Michael Gutierrez was critically wounded following a shooting incident (sniper) at a Christmas Party in Tangub City attended by several local politicians. He died a few days later.

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