ARMM Guv leads 'Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day'
TAWI-TAWI - High-ranking government officials led by Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao graced the 637th Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Day in Simunul Island in Tawitawi province. The November 7 event also marked the the start of the 28th ARMM Anniversary celebration.
Arab trader and missionary Sheikh Karimul Makhdum set foot in Simunul and introduced Islam in the Philippines more than 600 years ago. The first mosque in the country was built by Sheikh Makhdum in Simunul's Tubig Indangan village.
"Walang ARMM kung wala si Sheikh Makhdum, dahil hindi magkakaroon ng Muslim sa Pilipinas kung hindi dumating si Sheikh Makhdum," Gov. Hataman said.
Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office and National Security Adviser Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. were also present as guests during the event.
"My presence here carries the recognition and respect of our people for the introduction of a world religion that has spread its teachings and civilizations," Sec. Andanar said.
Simunul Town Mayor Nazif Ahmad Abdurahman expressed his gratitude for the presence of national and regional executives during the event that recognizes the "significant contribution of Sheikh Karimul Makhdum in nation building."
New officers of the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Management Board also took their oath of office before Gov. Hataman.
Ayesha Dilangalen, Secretary of Department of Tourism-armm, served as the chairperson of the board while Engineer Maritess Maguindra, Director of Bureau on Cultural Heritage, is the vice-chairperson.
"The Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque Management Board was created and established purposively to preserve and promote the Sheikh Karimul Makhdum Mosque as Bangsamoro's historical landmark," Engineer Maguindra said.
Speaking in the Samabajau language, Tawi-tawi Gov. Rashidin Matba said the provincial government, through the help of the regional and national governments, will continue ushering in development programs and projects in Simunul and the rest of the province.
The ARMM government has invested more than P3 billion worth of infrastructure projects since 2012 in Tawi-tawi. About P300 million of these were allocated for Simunul town alone.
"Noong nagkaroon ng Muslim at lumaganap na ang Islam, nagkaroon din ng identity 'yung mga Muslim dito nagkaroon ng autonomous region – kaya dapat lang na mahalin natin ang Simunul at ayusin natin ang Simunul," Gov. Hataman said.