We either drain the swamp or we continue to stagnate

By : Alexander Mangorsi Mindanao Today/08:38:12pm 09/08/2021


By Alexander Mangorsi

(1st of 2 parts)

“O, YOU who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Qur’an, 4:59)

Anas ibn Malik, Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah, Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him, his family and companions, said, “Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, even if they are without faith, for there is no veil between it and Allah. (Musnad Imam Ahmad)

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” Buckminster Fuller

Dansalan City

From 1914 to 1959, there used to have one undivided Lanao Province with Dansalan City as its political capital.

It was only in 1959 in which the province was divided into Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur under Republic Act No. 2228.

Dansalan City (renamed Marawi City in 1956 under Republic Act No. 1552) began as a port area, a melting pot of all of the inhabitants from all towns and boroughs and the little villages within the larger four principalities of the Maranao Royal Kingdom.

The golden city then served as a flourishing hub for trade and commerce at the Moro heartland.

Known to be the last Islamized people of Mindanao after their brethren in Sulu and Maguindanao, the Maranao society had become the citadel of a Malayan-Arabic culture in the country and the only place where no Spanish’s footprint had survived.

Many at times, the Spanish had tried to invade the Lanao interior, but having some degree of advanced polity capable of protecting their territory and of governing their affairs and their strong refusal to embrace Christianity, the Spaniards had finally abandoned the “Dream” to colonize the Maranao fortress.

When talks of Philippines’ independence were being conceived in a foreign soil decades after the Spanish relinquished its sovereignty over the Philippines in a Treaty of Paris in 1898 to the Gringos for the price of $20 million dollars, the Lanao sultans, datus and leaders, along with their Moro counterparts in sulu and Maguindanao, strongly declared in a Manifesto ( Dansalan Declaration, March 18, 1935 ) and pleaded with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to exclude Mindanao and Sulu in the grant of independence to the Filipinos arguing that “the Philippines is populated by two peoples with two different religious practices and traditions.”

The Christian Filipinos occupy the islands of Luzon and the Visayas. The Moros (Muslims) predominate in the islands of Mindanao and Sulu.

“Our practices, laws and decisions of our Moro leaders should be respected… Our religion should not be curtailed anyway… All our practices which are incidental to religion of Islam should be respected because these things are what a Muslim desires to live for … Our religion is no more, our lives are no score.” Silva (1974).

However, the Americans did not accede to the request of suzerainty because, at this time, the Christian Nationalist Filipinos had established a better relationship with the Americans.

Thus, the Moroland drifted further under the control of the Philippine legislature, instead of remaining an American responsibility (Harber (1998).

Indeed, “our history, an indelible account of the past and despite its racking pain paved with the blood of our forefathers, cannot be unlived, modified and altered. Certainly, we also have a moral obligation and responsibility to preserve, in our living memory and in our contemporary polity, our predecessors’ glories, their braveries and gallantries in defending our land and the faith against the invading enemies so they could preserve and secure to this present-day Maranao generation, not a ruined and a defeated flock, but a proud and noble Maranao, “brave and skillful warriors, virtually unconquered.” (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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