Pangarungan Family, Marawi Residents Welcome the New, Truly Grand Mosque

Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current

It turns out after the completion of the Crown Jewel of Marawi that it beats handily the Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah-funded Cotabato Grand Mosque in Cotabato City, seat of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). That’s, to be sure, a grand feat, the Bolkiah Mosque beaten to size and number of worshipers by the sheer magnificence of the Marawi Grand Mosque, which was funded mainly through donations of Maranaos and other well-meaning individuals.

By EDD K. USMAN

Short link: https://wp.me/paaccn-eTK

(SDN) — AFTER heartache and pain, relief and ease of mind should come naturally. Sort of the law of nature.

That’s as far as the Islamic City of Marawi’s beloved Grand Mosque is concerned as its magnificent reiteration rises from its ashes like a Phoenix.

It does not mean, however, that the Siege of Marawi of 2017, the five months of physical destruction and mayhem and psychological torture from May to October, was already forgotten.

No, the unseen scars in the hearts and minds of every Marawian, in fact, of every Maranao, and their fellow Moros to a greater extent, shall exist for a long time.

Was it George Santayana who said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”?

Not when the tens of thousands of people displaced from their abode and properties still have no home to return to. But one thing is certain, the People of the Lake as the Maranaos are called, are resilient and will continue to strive for their lost homes and properties. That’s as sure as the sun rises every morning and the moon night after night.

And it came, a time for joy, of thanksgiving, of brief respite from the heartache and pain of losing everything. Of prayers unanswered!

On December 2, 2021, after a long wait, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Chairman and Secretary Eduardo del Rosario turned over essentially to the suffering people of Marawi the rehabilitated and rebuilt Grand Mosque. To be particular the turnover is from the TBFM and the Pangarungan Family, or you may say, Pangarungan Clan.

Among the dignitaries at the event included City Mayor Majul Gandamra, Hadji Abdul Pangarungan (president of the Marawi Grand Mosque), local politicians, community leaders, and Marawians.

It was a day to remember, a day that at least residents were able to take a respite from their search for closure.

A member of the Pangarungan Family, lawyer Saidamen Balt Pangarungan, secretary of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), delivered a speech at the turnover ceremony, fittingly.

He recalled President Rodrigo R. Duterte inaugurating the Grand Mosque a while back.

“A little over a month ago, our beloved  President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had inaugurated this very mosque. What he urged us to do is to continue to foster cooperation among concerned stakeholders so that Marawi will be able to build back better and stronger.”

The Pangarungan scion made plain the presidential words were heard loud and clear.

“We, the Pangarungan Family, are taking the President’s marching orders to heart by becoming stewards of the centerpiece of religious, cultural, and historical significance to the heart of my fellow Marawians, as the Marawi Grand Mosque is appropriately dubbed as the ‘Crown Jewel of Marawi’”.

It turns out after the completion of the Crown Jewel of Marawi that it beats handily the Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah-funded Cotabato Grand Mosque in Cotabato City, seat of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). That’s, to be sure, a startling feat, the Bolkiah Mosque beaten to size and number of worshipers by the sheer magnificence of the Marawi Grand Mosque, which was funded mainly through donations of Maranaos and other well-meaning individuals.

Let’s hear it from NCMF Secretary Pangarungan.

“The Islamic Center or the MARAWI GRAND MOSQUE, consists of 3 floors with a basement. It has a total floor area of 9,484 square meters, which can accommodate up to 20,000 worshippers at any given time. This gives the Marawi Grand Mosque the distinction as the ‘biggest mosque in the Philippines’. This capacity makes it bigger than the Sultan Bolkiah Mosque or the Cotabato Grand Mosque which has a building or floor area of 5,000 square meters or almost one-half of the Marawi Grand Mosque’s floor area.”

Secretary Pangarungan paid tribute as well to the people of the province of Lanao del Sur, not the least Marawians.

“In behalf of the Pangarungan Family, (A) we honor today the great people of Lanao and Marawi for their valuable contributions and donations in funding the construction of this mosque; (B) we pay tribute to the late Senator Ahmad Domocao Alonto and Gov. Abdul Gafur Madki Alonto in steering the administration of the mosque in four decades and in graciously returning the mosque to the Pangarungan Family. For there affable acts and sense of justice, we offer the vice presidency and two board seats of the mosque to their heirs; and (C) our salutations to our patriarch Datu Pangarungan Disalongan in leading the original construction of this mosque in his own choice land at the Pangarungan Village where it now stands.”

ISecretary Pangarungan made sure to credit the President and del Rosario for the revival of the Islamic House of Worship which was battered and heavily damaged to becoming unusable, an innocent and silent victim of some of its “jama’ah” (worshipers), such as the astray militants who waged an unjust war, in the process causing the destruction of a part of Marawi and the dislocation of some 200,000 of its population.

Grand Mosque a beacon of Marawi City

“Let me reiterate once more our profoundest and sincerest thanks to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, to TFBM chairman Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario, for the splendid job of beautifully repairing the mosque, together with all the men and women of Task Force Bangon Marawi. You have embodied, in the months of rebuilding the Marawi Grand Mosque and 15 other mosques damaged during the siege of Marawi, the aspiration of every person who calls Marawi their home and you delivered!

“You have translated to the ground the President’s concern and love of the Muslim Filipinos of Marawi. These efforts will forever remain not only as a beacon of public service achievement but will also be remembered fondly by the people who have been given hope and restored by the task force’s accomplishments. Again, thank you Secretary Del Rosario for turning over the Marawi Grand Mosque, and administering the oath of office of its new Board of Directors,” he said.

Secretary Pangarungan recalled the seed that planted the first Grand Mosque over 50 years ago. He was in high school then.

The first Grand Mosque with its battered domes, victims of some militants’ irrational behavior. (Credit to photograph’s owner)

He said it was Salvador Lluch, the first governor of the undivided Lanao, who suggested to his great-grandfather Datu Pangarungan Disalongan to build a grand mosque in his land in Marawi.” Lluch assured full support.

“Datu Pangarungan obliged and built the Islamic Center of Grand Mosque in his choice land at the Pangarungan Village where it now stands. The people of Marawi and Lanao enthusiastically contributed and donated the build the mosque,” he narrated.

Datu Pangarungan, Secretary Pangarungan said, personally chose Atty. Domocao Alonto, his favorite adopted son, to administer and manage the mosque. After his election as senator, Atty. Alonto relinquished the reins to governor Madki Alonto, his young brother.

The management of the Grand Mosque then went to Datu Pangarungan, as it was the wish in 2003 of Senator Alonto to return the Islamic House of Worship to the Pangarungan Family through Abdul Pangarungan.

Secretary Pangarungan said he was offered by the governor to manage the mosque but declined because of his law practice in Manila. “I recommended my grand uncle, Abdul Pangarungan as president and the late governor agreed.

He said his great uncle was consequently elected and re-elected to president of the Islamic Center until today by the Board and General Membership of the Jameo Mindanao Al-Islamie Islamic Center of Marawi which was incorporated precisely to run the Grand Mosque’s affairs.

And so it came to pass a grander Marawi Grand Mosque, a beacon of the city, now has risen to a magnificent structure borne out of the love and aspirations of the people of the Islamic City under the wings of the Pangarungan Clan. (✓)

_________

Featured image is the new, and truly Grand Mosque, magnificent reiteration of its old self. Images supplied.

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