By Rocaya Sumndad Otical Yahya
City Mayor Majul U. Gandamra has declared Friday, April 16, 2021, as a special non-working holiday in celebration of the Islamic City of Marawi Day which falls on April 15 this year.
In Memorandum No 23, Series of 2021, Gandamra declared April 16, 2021 a special non-working holiday to give ample time to the constituents of the city to observe the practices during the Holy Month of Ramadhan and to provide and avenue to commemorate the Islamic City of Marawi day.
Gandamra then enjoined all government employees and city constituents to celebrate this momentous event in a manner befitting the said occasion and with compliance to the minimum health protocols implemented in the city.
Forty one years ago, on April 15, 1980, the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Marawi passed Resolution No. 19-A renaming Marawi City to Islamic City of Marawi to give credence and recognition to the fact that at least 92 per cent of its population were Muslims.
Marawi City was a municipality named Dansalan, capital of the defunct undivided Lanao province in the Philippines from 1907 to 1940, first under the government of the Moro Province, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, the Commonwealth, and finally the Republic.
According to one of the late well-known Meranao scholar Dr. Mamitua Saber, Marawi City got its charter in 1940. The granting of a charter to the old Dansalan Municipality was jointly conceived by Commonwealth President, Manuel L. Quezon and Assemblyman, later Senator Tomas L. Cabili.
The changing of the official name from Dansalan to Marawi was through Congressional amendment of the Charter in 1956 sponsored by Senator Domocao Alonto.” This is embodied in Republic Act No. 1552 dated June 16, 1956.
Under the impact of Islamic awareness and consciousness, the renaming of Marawi City into Islamic City of Marawi was proposed in Parliamentary Bill No. 261 by former Assemblyman Jamael Dianalan, brother of former late Mayor Omar Dianalan.
Professor Talib Benito in his thesis work entitled:, “the Renaming of Marawi City into Islamic City of Marawi: An Attitudinal Study Among City Residents in 1983,” revealed that the bill was read before the Batasan floor during its second session on July 24, 1979, and was transmitted to and received by the Committee on Local Government and Community Development on August 2,1979.
The bill was expected to be finally deliberated and adopted by the Congress until it just went to oblivion after a revolutionary government was declared and imposed by the late President Corazon Aquino. RSOY