Editorial

Morning After: A Way of Enriching Iligan

One of The Ranao Star articles that attracted numerous likes and comments from readers both online and of hard-copies was an editorial written over five years ago,

The story is the Maranaos spent thousands of pesos in their merrymaking in Iligan. And they are doing it not only on Eid’l Fitr or the morning after but in other Islamic festivities as well. And in flux.

It had been said that after the closure of some industrial companies in Iligan, the city could have been reduced to a mere barangay of Cagayan de Oro had it not been of the Maranaos who fill the Mall, the department stores and food courts and even wet markets.

Even at these challenging times when across the globe, nations and peoples are hit by a deadly pandemic Coronavirus disease that only God knows when it will disappear, Maranaos are still dominating many commercial centers as gallant spenders.

What if Iliganons and tourists also fill the food centers in Marawi and Lanao del Sur as they enjoy the view and the waters of the lake? How many Maranaos would profit in catering to the needs of the visitors? How much money would be circulating around the lakeshore towns to uplift the economy of the city and province?

Breaking the fast and feasting on Ed’l Fitr brought a feeling of a new life as one leaves the meditation and repentance of past sins during the month of Ramadan. It feels that there was a complete atonement of past transgressions and a new beginning for a clean and righteous life.

And as Eid’l Fitr is a feast of thanksgiving for having performed fasting for one whole month during Ramadan, one of the foundations of Islam as a religion, it is time to celebrate giving foods or any worthy offering to all but especially the needy. Since Iligan is the nearest city in the province of Lanao del Sur, it is the best choice for a venue of festivity.

In the morning after, the beaches and swimming resorts of Iligan were filled with merrymakers from Marawi and Lanao lakeshore communities. Some came as families while some came like whole clans. Some started from their home communities by clans while others just met in the recreation areas to realize that their relatives were also there. The latter was more dramatic as relatives kissed and embraced one another.

A keen observer would note that most Maranao families are very close-knit. They tend to gather around to enjoy for themselves the blessings in life. Perhaps their religious leanings may have something to do with it for almost all Maranaos are Muslims. Hence, the tendency of other Filipino tribes to think that a Maranao is a Muslim and a Muslim is Maranao. Of course, nothing is farther from the truth. A Maranao is one who belongs to the tribe that lives around Lake Lanao and the adjoining areas while a Muslim is one who submits himself to the will of Allah (s.w.t). Thus, a Maranao is not automatically a Muslim in the same situation that a Cebuano is not born a Christian. Of course, this is another story.

The story is the Maranaos spent thousands of pesos in their merrymaking in Iligan. And they are doing it not only on Eid’l Fitr or the morning after. It has been said that after the closure of some industrial companies in Iligan, the city could have been reduced to a mere barangay of Cagayan de Oro had it not been for the Maranaos who fill the Mall, the department stores and food courts.

What if Iliganons and tourists also fill the food centers in Marawi and Lanao del Sur as they enjoy the view and the waters of the lake? How many Maranaos would profit in catering to the needs of the visitors? How much money would be circulating around the lakeshore towns to uplift the economy of the city and province?

Perhaps it is time for the Maranaos to minimize their spending in Iligan and instead attract the Iliganons and other peoples in the lowlands to the rich fauna, flora, culture and traditions of the people around the lake. If Lake Lanao becomes a yachting resort and a tourist destination, there is a possibility that the pervasive poverty in the area will plunge.

But of course, this may not happen unless a widespread paradigm shift is worked out. First, Marawi must eliminate its image of being the kidnapping city in the country. One must no longer hear of the joke that: “Marawi is very peaceful. If you go to Marawi, you will rest in peace.” The Ranao Star

Categories: Editorial

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