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Maranao lady lawyer continues a fine tradition

By TED KHAN R JUANITE
November 29, 2018 
Atty. Ramayana Pangarungan-Basman, a Maranao lady who continues a fine tradition. (FB Photo)
ILIGAN CITY: Her father and mother gave her a unique name that reverberates all throughout the ages: Ramayana, a title from an Asian Indian epic story. The daughter of an esteemed former Governor of the province of Lanao del Sur and a former assemblywoman of the province first district, “Mayan” as her friends and relative call her has been at the forefront of Marawi’s rehabilitation as a private individual. 
Mayan Says, the “Ramayana” is similar to the Maranao Darangen epic that has been presented in various art forms on stage. 
Moved by the destruction of Marawi after the 5-month war, Mayan took steps on her own initiative to provide relief to the IDPs, especially the women and children by calling on friends, relatives and even companies in Manila to help those who were affected by the Marawi Siege. 

“Together with some friends and associates we were able to collect food and non-food items for the IDPs and distribute these to the women,” she said. 
“I got in touch with Save the Children, and was able to collect toys for the kids and distribute these through the Psychology Department of MSU-IIT,” she added. But the irony of it is that her family, whose home that was built in the 1980s was also reduced to rubbles during the war since it was located at Ground Zero. 
“I felt numb when I saw the destruction. Nothing of value was left and the house was looted. I couldn’t cry. When you see the scale of destruction like this, you don’t feel the tears coming out,” she narrated. 
“But when I went on a pilgrimage to the Kaaba, I asked Allah to restore everything that was destroyed and gone, and then I cried,” remarked Ramayana. 
Her father, a lawyer, Saidamen Balt Pangarungan served as Governor of Lanao del Sur from 1988 to 1992 and was recently appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to head the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF). The agency is mandated to preserve and develop the culture, tradition, institutions, and well-being of Muslim Filipinos. 

Her mother, Princess Diamond Pacasum-Pangarungan, was a former assemblywoman representing Lanao del Sur first district. Like Secretary Pangarungan who belongs to royal clans in Marawi as manifested his being the present sultan of Madaya, Princess Diamond belongs to the well-known Pacasum Clan in Marawi and the Sarip Batua and Datu Pithailan sa Madaya. 

Without doubt, her lineage endows Mayan the inherent title of a royal Marawian so that her concern and love for Marawi and its people runs in her viens.

Mayan followed the footsteps of his father by taking up law and passing the bar in 2016. Since then she has been a practicing litigation lawyer with a prestigious law firm in Manila handling mostly criminal and corporate cases. 
In 2017, President Duterte also appointed Atty. Ramayana Saidamen as a Director of the Philippine Amanah Bank, or what is now Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines. 

On November 23, she met President Duterte during a homecoming of San Beda students at Greenhills. She told the President that she had filed her Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for city mayor of Marawi and if the President will help her, she would continue her candidacy. The President replied in the affirmative and immediately raised her hand.

Married to Datu Abdul Hakam “Tote” Macabando Maruhom Basman, son of the Al-Marhum Sheik Abbas Maruhom Basman and Bai Omilkhair Macabando-Basman, who had both been former Marawi city mayors, Mayan and her husband have grown up children, one of whom graduated from college already. 

Ramayana is continuing the fine tradition of her family, and said she feels she can do more for the people of Marawi. She has a lot of plans that include the preservation of Maranao arts and cultural heritage which can at the same time provide livelihood to the Maranao folks, helping the development of Lake Lanao that can be truly of great help to the people by the lake, the Maranaos, and in the promotion of peace and order, among others.

She is helping in advocating Senate Bill No. 1856 otherwise known as the MARAWI SIEGE VICTIMS REPARATION ACT OF 2018 filed on June 28, 2018 by senator Ejercito. This bill provides for reparations for those who have lost their homes, possessions or loved ones during the Marawi Siege.

As Director of Amanah Bank she has been instrumental in the provision of bank assistance to those IDPs affected by the war. 

Indeed, Atty. Ramayana can do more by continuing the fine tradition of his father and family. 

“The present Amanah Bank has received a boost through the appointment of a banker with great experience, Alex Bangcola,” she said. – RSP

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