City of Norfolk, Virginia, USA (2008)

Cagayan de Oro and its sister city of Norfolk in Virgina, USA, have two things in common. One is that both are port cities. The other is General Douglas MacArthur.

Norfolk is Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s mother’s hometown, and his final resting place. Cagayan de Oro was where the decorated general landed on his retreat from Corregidor and flight to Australia.

MacArthur Memorial Marker at Cagayan de Oro Port

The site is marked by the MacArthur Memorial Marker, a gigantic replica of his famous “scrambled eggs” cap (so called because of its perpetually creased appearance), which houses a model of the patrol torpedo (PT) boat in which he made his escape. Its inauguration on 13 March 2008 was organized by then City Mayor Constantino G. Jaraula, himself a fan of the general, and coincided with the 66th Anniversary of MacArthur’s landing.

The event was attended by former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, representatives of the Joint United States Military Advisory Group (JUSMAG) led by LTCOL Frederick Riker; former US Ambassador John Maisto, representing Dr. Henry Howard, president of the US Water Llc and one of the major donors of the marker; and Dr. Juan Montero II of the Norfolk Sister City Association in Norfolk, Virginia (source: The Philippine Star).

MacArthur Landing Reenactment

An elaborate reenactment of MacArthur’s landing was staged at the Cagayan de Oro Port on its 75th anniversary, 13 March 2017. The performance ended at the site of the former Del Monte airstrip in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon where MacArthur was said to have boarded a plane for Australia.

LTCOL Patrick Panjeti of the United States Navy attended in behalf of US Ambassador Sung Kim. The event was organized by Cagayan de Oro’s MacArthur Commission and the city government under Mayor Oscar S. Moreno.

Professional and Student Exchange

Subsequent interactions with Norfolk consisted of an adult educational exchange program in 2017, and the First Cagayan de Oro-Norfolk High School Student Summer Visitor Exchange Program in July 2018.

Six (6) students underwent a screening process to participate in the 15-day exchange, which involved staying with a host family and participating in the Young Global Citizens Forum. The students received glowing commendations for their presentations, and workshops in which they taught the Higaonon dance “dugso,” the Filipino game “takyan,” and the ancient writing system “baybayin.”