This chapter describes the development of Lugait for how it got its name, its creation as a municipality in 1961 and to what it is today. The vast minerals deposits, geographic location and the availability of its in facilities motivated the CIC planners to include the municipality as one of the centers for industries in the province as well as in the region.
There is no historical record of how Lugait got its name except for a legend which has been handed down from generation to generation. Indigenous descendants until now are adept in narrating the said legend. Thus, in the streets, in “Tabu-an” (assembly) and wherever you wish, they will tell you a story that goes like this.
Being geographically close to the haven of pirates, the coast had been the highway of these cutthroats going to the eastern wing of the province. In most cases, the moro pirates pillage and plunder the place first before going to the adjacent places.
Armed with better weapons, the pirates would easily overpower the dwellers. Every attack made by the enemy claimed both lives and properties of the dwellers. The constant heinous attacks gave the people lessons; defenses should be made and weapons should be sophisticated. Thus, sentinels were posted at Salimbal point and in other strategic places. Bladed weapons were made and perfected. There was then a parade of sharp weapons, locally known as “badi”, “kampilan”, “kalis”,”plumengko”, “punyal” and “bangko” with iron heads.
The depths of their misery enraged and made the dwellers vindictive. All over the territory, the vow was one “LUGA” (to kill), “HATI” (sharp). If indeed vengeance finds its way, then the dwellers got it. Pirates who stepped in never had the chance to go home alive. Those who were captured were brought to a flowing well in Manga (now along Mabini Street). There, each captive was subjected to LUGA-HAIT. The proof of this fathomless anger and vengeance, the dwellers ate the flesh of their captives, a truly horrible chapter in the unwritten history of the place.
The vow (LUGA-HAIT) which became a rule in the village caused so much fear and forewarning in the enemy’s camp. Attacks were greatly reduced days after and peace began to reign. Pirates just passed by the place by the place, their fingers and faces always signaling the “kumpit” pilot to avoid the place they started to call LUGA-HATI.
The dwellers rebuilt from their ruins with defenses strictly maintained. In an assembly, the dwellers agreed to call the place LUGA-HAIT which in time became just LUGAIT. Thus goes the legend of LUGAIT.
As a government unit of the Republic, Lugait was one of the barrios of Initao, Misamis Oriental until 1984. When Manticao became a municipality, Lugait was the biggest population and revenue contribution.
The dawn of March 16, 1961 announced the autonomy of Lugait from the cradle of Manticao. President Carlos P. Garcia signed and announced Executive Order No. 425 which mandated the creation of the Municipality of Lugait. As early as its creation, Lugait opened its gates to industrialization. New opportunities were prevailing and the world around begun to know the pace through the flow of cement and G.I. sheets in their market. These commodities became the by-word for lugait.
Lugait is the westernmost municipality of the province of misamis oriental. It shares territorial boundaries with iligan city in the south and Manticao, Misamis Oriental in the northeast. It boast of a coastal line whose water and location prove worthy for anchorage and navigation. A private wharf, in fact, is now perched at salimbal point.
Categorized as among small towns in the province, it has a total land area of 34 sq. km. Most of this area is agricultural, although starting from salimbal point in poblacion, hundreds of hectares are converted into industrial land and another development of the same character also exists at the other side of the river. More agricultural lands are now yielding to other purposes, so that commercial, industrial and residential interest are manifesting. Currently, the local government undertakes revision of land use and zoning plans to serve the need of its 14,000 growing population and be able to adopt the rapid growth and development in industry and agriculture technology with due consideration to balanced ecology.