Saturday, May 28, 2011

Lamitan, Basilan

One of the most shocking events that the Philippines had in the opening of the new century was the Lamitan Siege. It was a story of a rescue operation gone wrong amid shocking allegations of corruption between government officials and rebel-kidnappers.

The Chronology of the event that transpired were etched in a wall in a place where it all happened. The marker is located at the side of the gate at the back leading to the Basilan Church.

Here are some photos I have taken of the place:

Metal Thorns

Lamitan Church
When one speaks of Basilan, the word "Danger" usually comes to mind. You may blame the hyped news about conflicts on the place where criminality is usually magnified. And of course, the notoriety of the Basilan Siege added another mark to the already negative image of this place.

Pieta @ Church's Facade

Lamitan Siege Marker
Other than the infamous Siege, what I remember most about Lamitan is its back-and-forth status of its City hood. It was in 2007 where the people of Lamitan overwhelmingly voted for its City Hood, however, oppositions from League of Cities restored Lamitan into being a municipality. A couple of rulings from the Supreme Court (including the reversal of its earlier ruling) has finally reinstated Lamitan as a City. At the moment, Lamitan is classified as a 5th Class City with a population of about one hundred thousand.

Morning Bloom

Embattled Clinic
Lamitan is predominantly a Muslim territory but there are also lots of Christians in the area. There is a modest Christian Church there just beside the hospital clinic where the Gracia Burnham and her husband were treated. Although there is lack of more popular establishment there, the place nevertheless has carinderias and eateries in the outskirts. Although, most foods there are Halal, there are pork viands available as well. But hey, it won't do you any harm if you try eating what they are eating. Fish and beef are the more popular choices for meals here.

Jeep and Marker

All in all, you still need lots of precautions when traveling to Lamitan. Although the city proper is relatively small and can be toured in a little more than a couple of hours, there is also a jungle there where more adventurous souls can wander into. But that venture I did not take for now.

More of Basilan on my next posts.


  1. Sad, but all too true! Things like this have happened so many times in the history of most of our countries. Great post, Oman! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  2. wow, you went to Basilan? did you travel with Dominic? i've heard of the beautiful beaches here. i planned of visiting Basilan when my cousin, an officer of the Phil. Marines, was assigned here (now he's in Cotabato). but everyone i know discouraged me to go.:p

  3. great captures Oman. salamat nga pala sa pagpagamit sa camera mo.

  4. Hmmm. Living dangerously now?

  5. I admire you for your courage to go to this place. I have issues about safety so lat place sa Pilipinas to na pwede kong puntahan.hehehe

  6. were you there for business? even as far as here i have heard of the things that happened there.

  7. when Im not traumatized anymore, ito yung place na ppuntahan ko!

    daya di nyo ko sinama!!! =)

  8. It's time to get to know Basilan more. I guess we're all looking forward to this series from you and Dong Ho.:)

  9. The best ang unang photo. Wow! Can't wait for more photos. :)

  10. Hindi ko alam kung ano yung Lamitan Siege. You're right, its name is synomymous to danger. I'm looking forward to this series!

  11. I agree. I always associate this place with danger. Kidnappings are real problems there. Everyone there seems to know someone who has been kidnapped.

  12. I agree. I always associate this place with danger. Kidnappings are real problems there. Everyone there seems to know someone who has been kidnapped.

  13. It's a sad truth about Basilan. Though it's still a beautiful place. I just wish the corruption in government should be eliminated, or at least mitigated.

  14. I really think this place is beautiful and there is more to it that just what the news say.