The legendary figure Pedro Javier Cuevas known as Datu Kalun to the Yakans, escapee from the San Ramon Penal Farm who through bravery and leadership subjugated Yakan chieftains and consolidated their forces into one, way back in 1878 and continued his reign up to 1899, founded Lamitan in 1886.
Datu Kalun aka “Pedro Cuevas”
Lami-Lamihan was born out of his reign. The meeting of Yakan chieftains – a blend of conference and merry – making was termed Paglami-Lamihan. Incidentally, Lamitan is derived from this term.
Fr. Stoffel wrote that “The town of Lamitan was named by the first Spaniards from Isabela who explored this area. When the Spaniards arrived the Moros were celebrating a native festival. The Explorers inquired the name of the place and the Moros thought they were inquiring about, and the replied Paglami-Lamihan. The Spaniards, misunderstanding their answer, thereafter called the place “Lamitan”.
The Lami-Lamihan festival highlights the preservation of the yakan culture heritage, customs, traditions, history, and showcasing the unique and world-renowned colorful Yakan cloth and cultural presentations.
Witness the famous Yakan war dance (Tumahik) performed by the natives, an event reminiscent of a glorious past when differences were oftentimes settled by personal combat; observe the graceful movements of the local beauties dancing to the pulsating beat through the accompaniment of the primitive agaong, kulintangan, gabbang and kuliang; enjoy the sight of an annual ethnic games; hear the unique blend of beatings of different musical instruments played by the natives; watch the graceful Yakan dance ensemble; witness the authentic Yakan wedding and see other interesting visual scenes.
The consistent observance of the foundation of Lamitan jibes with the national policy on upholding the rich cultural heritage of our people has already earned the recognition of the Department of Tourism and has been included in the list of Philippines Festivals and Events Calendar.