Some sources reveal that the town got its name from the barrio in Spain where Father Toas Tomas Casado, the first parish priest, and General Domingo Moriones y Murillo, a hero in the Battle of Oroquieta, were born.
Another version is that Oroquieta had derived its name from the words oro (gold) and quita or kita (to find), in reference to the early inhabitants who had found gold along the river.
Layawan was the original name of Oroquieta, which was the barrio in the province of Misamis since 1861 until 1879. The early settlers then of the barrio were Boholanos. They found so many stray animals along the river, thus they named the place Layawan, which means a place of stray animals. A little later, Misamis was divided into two provinces, Misamis Occidental and Oriental. Then in 1880, Layawan changed its name to Oroquieta when it became a town.
Oroquieta became the capital (cabecera) on January 6, 1930. As capital town, people of various neighboring provinces came and inhabited in the place where they earn their living through fishing, farming, merchandising and other forms of businesses. Soon afterwards its income increased simultaneously with increase in population.
In 1942, Oroquieta was made the capital of the free Philippines by the recognized guerrillas and later the ongoing troops of the Philippine Commonwealth Army. (Personal interview with the late Atty. Vicente Blanco, Municipal Mayor during the Japanese Occupation) During this time, President Manuel L. Quezon, together with Sergio Osmeña Sr., a bodyguard and Major Manuel Nieto Sr., landed in Oroquieta after their evacuation from Corregidor to Australia.
The seat of government of the Free Philippines then was the Capitol. The Free Philippine Government was then issuing Misamis Occidental emergency notes. President Quezon, upon knowing that Oroquieta was made a capital of the Free Philippines and that the town was issuing emergency notes, authorized the Printing of the Mindanao emergency note.
Oroquieta was created a city under Republic Act 5518 and inaugurated as a chartered city on January 1, 1970. The charter converting the municipality of Oroquieta into a city were signed by President Marcos on June 25, 1969, in the presence of the then City Mayor Ciriaco C. Pastrano, with the newly elected councilors and other city officials.
Oroquieta City is bounded on the south by Aloran and the north by Lopez Jaena. On the eastern side is Iligan Bay, with Concepcion on the southwest and Sapang Dalaga on the northwest. Lowland plains and coastal lowlands are located in the City’s eastern side while highlands and mountains tower over its western side.
The City occupies roughly 26,393 hectares, the majority of which comprises the mountain barangays of Mialen, Toliyok, and Sebucal, averaging less than a thousand hectares per Barangay, the 47 barangays of the City outsize its urbanized counterparts.
Oroquieta City is politically subdivided into 47 barangays.
In the 2015 census, the population of Oroquieta was 70,757 people, with a density of 300 inhabitants per square kilometre or 780 inhabitants per square mile.
Hospitals and healthcare facilities:Misamis Occidental Provincial Hospital
St. Therese Hospital
Dignum Foundation Hospital
Oroquieta Community Hospital
Tamola-Tan Medical Center
Students coming from Lanao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental come to Oroquieta to pursue their college education.
Secondary SchoolsMisamis Occidental National High School
Talairon National High School
Oroquieta City National High School
Mobod Integrated School
Misamis Occidental Science and Technology High School
Senote National High School
Rizal National High School
Bunga National High School
City Officials 2016-2019Mayor: Jason P. Almonte
Vice Mayor: Lemuel Meyrick M. Acosta, IE
Congressman (1st District): Jorge T. Almonte
Joel A. Fernandez
Nilo G. Bation
Winston V. Catane
Jeselie C. Borbon
Ruvy D. Ala
Sol Jude D. Gamalinda, CE
Joel B. Aclao
Ret. Col. Isaias U. Claros Jr., AFP
Donna R. Iyog
Henry F. Regalado Jr.
Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) President: Alejandro J. Guantero Jr. (Ex-Officio)
Indigenous Peoples' Mandatory Representative (IPMR): Eddie E. Sarancial (Ex-Officio)