The Maranaw political swamp

By : Alexander Mangorsi Mindanao Today/07:10:36pm 09/02/2021


By Alexander Mangorsi

(1st of 2 parts)

IN recent years up to this day, our province and our city have been so well depicted not in the best of lights but more in its notoriety and reverse compliments being the poorest and economic laggard in the country despite its valuable human capital and plenty of natural resources and the enterprising values of the Maranaws.

This observation is practically accurate, sensible, and a realistic assessment of the saddest poverty situation in our community.

Impoverishment in this situation however requires a real difference between the Maranaws as individuals and the Maranaws as a community or as a collective polity.

The Maranaws as individuals

As individuals, I do believe that the Maranaws are far from being a candidate for the gloomy part of this poverty categorization.

In fact, the Maranaws are a highly active, dynamic, workaholic, ambitious, resourceful and self- directed individuals.

They were so gifted with the most enterprising and ingenious minds (baraakal) and the agility and talent to scout for every smell and aroma of opportunity wherever feasible and possible.

Stated differently, the Maranaws, as individuals, are completely charmed with the idea and the notion of every definition of “success and triumph” such that they would do everything, pull out all the stops and make every possible effort and even if necessary would pay any price just to acquire some degree of victory and conquest, power, recognition, wealth and influence in society.

In the field of education, they have advanced far enough in almost all fields of professional industry, in Engineering, Arts, Science and philosophy, Islamic Learning, Education, management, medicines and Law, and so on.

In business, (before pandemic) they have shown their prowess in import and export industry, in pearl, diamond, cellphones, golds, dry goods and all other exchange of goods, products, merchandise and services which are feasible for profit, consumption and commerce.

(The Maranaws have once seen its growing numbers of millionaires especially during the heyday of the bustling CDs industry of Quiapo and the peak of the cellphones and pearl businesses in Greenhills, home for the Maranaw millionaires.)

And even amidst this pandemic, a crisis with enormous and most devastating effect on every soul on earth, the Maranaws have been so resourceful that they have somehow managed to hurdle its most disparaging effect.

Such that with the rise and growth of e-commerce and virtual transactions.

The Maranaws, including those who are without formal education, have been very active participants in this immense, gigantic and massive online businesses, sales, trades, shopping and delivery services.

In a nutshell, the Maranaws as individuals have seen reasonably enough, ample, and adequate successes, achievements and accomplishments in all fields of human economic, technical and educational conquests especially outside their own place of birth.

In fact, the Maranaws are one of the main local forces driving the dynamic commercial growth and enterprises in areas of where they have reasonable economic presence.

It is only in the public sphere (politics) within the very heart of the Maranaws where they have tremendously failed to make their own breakthroughs.

The Maranaws and the Chinese

Unlike the Chinese, at a time when the mainland has been beset with poverty and lack of better economic prospects and investments, its Nanyang or overseas Chinese’s business networks have become the main and principal contributory financial force driving the dynamic growth in the mainland.

These overseas Chinese have played a pivotal role in developing China’s export industries, and in mediating its economic integration with South East Asia and all over the world in ways that have allowed China to grow fast while retaining key features of its Political structure.

As such, they have effectively given China a resource unavailable to any previous rising power.

By the middle of the 90s until today, China’s economy had turned around to become the world most exciting growth story.

But ours is different, the more the Maranaws as individuals have progressed outside the province, our community has become more and more laggard.

Maranaw politics needs some refresh

“Indeed, God will not change the condition of a people until they change their conditions.” Qur’an 13:11

Indeed, the Maranaw society needs some sparks of u-turn and policy change.

There has to be some integrity, transparency, moral values and principles-based politics and visionary leadership to be able to effectively grow and develop and finally embrace the ember of socio-political reform, and advanced infrastructures which are vital and crucial prerequisites to build a united, caring, harmonious, peaceful and a more hopeful and inclusive developed Maranaw society.

Truly, if the Maranaws want to be seen as a dynamic, prosperous and a progressive community, its politics, first and foremost, should be designed for the common good, for the collective security, shared voice and aspirations and prosperity of the Maranaws.

Certainly, Lanao politics should not only be intended and governed to ensure the unbridled rapacity, greed and avarice of the few Maranao political elites and dynasties.

There is no doubt, today's cycles of deeply seated or long-established poverty, destitution, violence, political corruption, social injustice, inequities and underdevelopment within our community are an inevitable outcome of our leaders' misrule, abuse, incompetence and unscrupulous patronage politics.

If the Maranaws truly aspire to attain some semblance of meaningful change, peace, prosperity, progress and sustainable development putting the welfare of the common people at the center of the development process, we deeply need men of principles with exceptional competence, personal integrity, and visionary leadership to help transform and reinvigorate Marawi City and Lanao del Sur and hence galvanize our people into a strong, ethical, united, progressive and developed community.

Unless the Maranaws have clearly decided to transform its politics from its dirty nature to a principles-based politics, the Maranaws will always miss its opportunity for growth and development. (To be continued)

(Alexander Tomawis Mangorsi is the admin of the Bangsamoro Policy Caucus Facebook page. The Bangsamoro Policy Caucus is an internet-based policy advocate for issues of indispensable relevance and significance to the common welfare and collective good of the Moro People.)

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