By Ali G. Macabalang
Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal “Bombit” Alonto-Adiong Jr. has inaugurated in Wao town a masjid his late namesake father had desired but failed to construct in lifetime.
“This is another self-actualizing success. Our father had long desired but did not realize it for reason or another in his lifetime,” Gov. Adiong told the Philippine Muslim Today news by phone in the vernacular on April 25.
He was referring to the full completion of “Masjid Abdulmalik” in Wao town he personally opened for public use on the second week of Ramadan this year after “more than two years of family-funded construction.”
Abdulmalik is the Islamic name adopted by late Governor and Congressman Mamintal Adiong Sr. after performance of fist obligatory hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) decades ago, the son said when asked of the rationale behind the name of the new masjid (mosque)
Dr. Alinadir “Allen” Minanalng, Integrated Provincial Health Office chief, and fellow public servants joined Gov. Adiong in an ocular inspection of the masjid last April 8, and posted some photos in Facebook alongside his impression.
“We visited Masjid Abdulmalik, a beautiful Islamic structure built…for the fortunate people of Wao. I was amazed by the architecture and the workmanship that could qualify it as a tourist attraction,” Dr. Minalang said.
On April 21, the governor returned to Wao and formally opened the masjid with a dhohor or noon prayer, according to supporters, who posted more photos of the panoramic small masjid.
In the interview, Adiong described the masjid construction as another “fulfilled dream” by namesake father, who had served as Congressman of Lanao del Sur’s First District from 1992 to 2001 and as governor in succeeding years until his fatal cardiac arrest on July 3, 2004.
When elected governor in 2001, the elder Adiong told reporters he would “end the isolation” of Wao and Bumbaran (now Amai Manabilang) towns by building a road linking them to their mother province and Marawi City. Past leaders in the province hesitated to build such a road for fear that it would open the gate of settlers to the whole province.
Since their creation of Wao and Bumbaran, officials and residents therein had to spend eight to 10 hours of land trip passing through Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte provinces and several cities before reaching the capital city of Marawi.
“This is awkward and affront to community growth,” the late governor once lamented in a press briefing before he had ordered the launch of construction road works from Mulondo towards Wao.
In 2016, the governor-son announced the completion of road construction to fill in the six-decade vacuum, saying that pavement concreting would follow phase by phase.
As of press time this week, road concreting works were 95 per cent completed, with four concrete bridges still being rushed for completion by July this year, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The late governor was a licensed civil engineer and contractor before joining politics. He had once served as DPWH assistant secretary, something some Maranao compatriots described as his motivation to build the vital road.
The governor-son, also a licensed civil engineer, “did not find it hard to pursue his father’s dream road,” a Lanao Sur-based scribe said. AGM