Aquino has declared the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque in Tawi-Tawi as a
national historical landmark, being the oldest Muslim house of prayer
in the country.
President, in signing Republic Act No. 10573 last May 24, cited that it
is the constitutional mandate of the government to conserve, promote
and popularize the nation’s historical and cultural heritage like the
Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque which is located at Tubig Indangan Simunul
Mosque was constructed in 1380 A.D. and considered as one of the oldest
Muslim House of Prayer or Mosques in the Philippines.
new law aims to underscore the contribution of the Islamic faith to the
enrichment, vibrance and diversity of the Philippines’ culture and
also directs the National Historical Commission of the Philippines
(NHCP) to oversee and supervise the preservation of the Mosque; organize
and undertake a national fund campaign for the purpose of raising funds
from private sources to be used for the preservation and rehabilitation
of the shrine; include in the Commission’s program the
operationalization of the Mosque and eventually its needed funding in
the annual General Appropriations Act; and draw up the implementing
rules and regulations of the new Act. (JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR/30 May 2013)
ago there was no lake in Lanao. On the place where it is now situated,
there flourished a mighty sultanate called Mantapoli. During the reign
of Sultan Abdara Radawi, the greater grandfather of Radia Indarapatra
(mythological hero of the Lanao Muslims), this realm expanded by
military conquests and by dynastic marriages so that in time its fame
spread far and wide.
The population of Mantapoli was numerous and fast increasing. At that time the world was divided into two regions: Sebangan (East) and Sedpan (West).
The mighty sultanate of Mantapoli belonged to Sebangan. Because this
sultanate rapidly increased in power and population as well, the
equilibrium between Sebangan and Sedpan was broken.
dis-equilibrium soon came to the attention of Archangel Diabarail
(Gabriel to the Christians). Like a flash of sunlight, Diabarail flew
to the Eighth heaven and told Allah, "My Lord, why have you permitted
the unbalance of the earth? Because of the power of Mantapoli,
Sebangan is now larger than Sedpan."
"Why, Diabarail," replied the Sohara (Voice of Allah), "what is wrong with that?"
Lord, Mantapoli has a vast population countless as the particles of
dust. If we will allow this sultanate to remain in Sebangan, I fear
that the world would turn upside down, since Sebangan is heavier than
"Your words show great wisdom, Diabarail," commented the Sohara.
"What must we do, my Lord, to avert the impending catastrophe?"
this query, the Sohara replied, "Go right away to the
Seven-Regions-Beneath-the-Earth and to the Seven-Regions-in-the-Sky and
gather all the angels. I will cause a barahana (solar eclipse) and in the darkness let the angels remove Mantapoli and transfer it to the center of the earth."
receiving the mandate of Allah, Archangel Diabarail, traveling faster
than lightning, rallied the millions of angels from the
Seven-Regions-Beneath-the-Earth and the Seven-Regions-in-the-Sky. With
this formidable army, he presented himself to Allah, saying, "My Lord,
we are ready to obey Your command."
The Sohara spoke, "Go to Sebangan, and lift the land of Mantapoli."
leading his army of angels, flew to the east. In the twinkle of an
eye, the sun vanished and a terrible darkness as black as the blackest
velvet shrouded the universe. The angels sped faster than arrows. They
swooped on Mantapoli, lifting it with great care and carried it
(including its people, houses, crops and animals) through the air as if
it were a carpet. They brought it down at the center of the earth, in
accordance with the command of Allah. The very spot vacated by the
sultanate of Mantapoli became a huge basin of deep, blue water-the
present Lanao Lake.
waters coming from the deep bowels of the earth rose higher and
higher. Archangel Diabarail, seeing the rising tides immediately
returned to the Eighth Heaven and reported to Allah, "My Lord, the earth
is now balanced. But the place where we removed Mantapoli is becoming
an ocean. The waters are rising fast, and unless an outlet for them can
be found, I fear that they might inundate Sebangan and drown all Your
response, the Sohara said, "You are right, Diabarail. Go out, then,
and summon the Four Winds of the World: Angin Taupan, Angin Besar, Angin
Darat, and Angin Sarsar. Tell them to blow and make an outlet for the
the Master's command, the faithful messenger summoned the Four Winds.
"By the Will of Allah," he told them, "blow your best, and make an
outlet for the rising waters of the new lake."
four winds of the world blew, and turbulence swept the whole eastern
half of the earth. The surging waters rolled swiftly towards the shores
of Tilok Bay to the southeastern direction. But the towering ranges
impeded their onrush. The Four Winds blew, hurling the waves against
the rocky slopes but in vain; no outlet could be cut through the
direction, this time eastward, the Four Winds blew harder driving the
raging waters towards the shores of Sugud Bay (situated east of
Dansalan, now Marawi City). Once again, the attempt to create an outlet
failed because the bay was too far from the sea.
the third time, the Four Winds changed direction and blew their
hardest. The waves, plunging with ferocity, rolled towards Marawi. Day
and night, the Winds blew as the waters lashed against the shoreline of
Marawi. This time the attempt succeeded. An outlet now called Agus
River was made, and through the outlet, that water of Lake Lanao poured
out to the sea, thereby saving Sebangan from a deluge.
came to past that there was a high cliff at the outlet, and over the
cliff the waters cascaded in majestic volume. Thus, arose the beautiful
falls which, aeons later, was named Maria Cristina, after a famous
queen of Spain.
southernmost major island group of the Philippines, Mindanao, is home
to several tribes. One of these is the Yakan tribe, which lives on the
hillsides of the island of Basilan. The Yakan is a horse-riding hill
tribe and is one of the major indigenous tribes in Mindanao. The Yakan
is considered one of the 13 Moro groups in the Philippines.
Yakans traditionally wear colorful, hand-woven clothes. Yakan weaving
has become very popular in the Philippines. The Yakans turn the
pineapple and abaca into fibers, which they use as their basic weaving
material. Herbal extracts from leaves, roots and barks are used to dye
the fibers which they weave into tapestries filled with intricate
women are excellent weavers, and are famous for their beautifully woven
traditional costumes of cotton and pineapple cloth. The basic garment
for men and women consists of a tight-fitting upper garment with
tight-fitting trousers called sawal.
The shirt is open in front from lapel down to the waist, using up to 40
sequined or golden buttons. To close the shirt, a long string is
crisscrossed from one button to the other so that when tightly drawn,
the shirt closes from top to bottom. Usually the shirt remains open
since the string is often lost. Over the shirt, male and female wear a
tight-fitting jacket, which is exquisitely embroidered in the front and
back, with cuffs decorated with multicolored sequins.
difference in male and female apparel lies in accessories. Men wear
hand woven pis (head cloth) and a 15m-long kandit (belt or sash) made of
red cloth called gilim. The pis serves as "protection" from spears and
knives during combat, and may be fastened around the trousers. The women
wear a short skirt over the trousers, around which a rectangular, hand
woven cloth is tied. This cloth is the most expensive part of their
costume because it is woven in a tedious manner. Men and women wear the
saruk, the Yakan hat worn to make one look more attractive and elegant.
Some wear the hat over the turban and use it as a purse for betel nuts,
tobacco, and money. Yakan warriors wear a bulletproof shirt prepared by
hadjis and imams who write Arabic script all over the shirt (Sherfan
such as necklaces may be worn as charms. A crocodile tooth polished
with a hole at the base is believed to bring good luck when worn as a
necklace. The Yakan also wear amulets against bullets. These contain
unreadable symbols, are wrapped in black cloth, sewn in triangular form,
and tied around the neck. Belts made of snake bones are strung together
to protect them against bodily pain. One charm that protects them from
sicknesses due to evil spirits is the manik tegiyas - a necklace or
bracelet made of the fruits of a flower beaded together. The manik
sembulan is made of a bamboo stem cut into short pieces, strung together
either as a necklace or bracelet, and serving as added protection
against sickness inflicted by evil spirits. To gain more strength
against evil spirits, men and women wear the anting-anting. This
consists of a string with a piece of cloth containing beads as pendant