Ilonggos treat us with respect

MUSLIMS celebrate the feast of Eid’l Fitr in LaPaz, Iloilo City on Wednesday. (Emme Rose Santiagudo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo and Dolly Yasa

THE Iloilo United Muslim Community recognized and thanked the Ilonggos for treating the Muslims with utmost respect as they celebrated the feast of Eid’l Fitr on Wednesday.

Sultan Sammy Hadjimanan, spokesperson of the Iloilo United Muslim Community said Muslims continue to flock both the province and the city of Iloilo because they feel welcome and they can freely practice their religion without fear.

“Wala sing pangamba bangod nakita naton na ang mga utod naton na mga Ilonganon, ang ila nga pagrespeto kag pagkabig sa mga muslim diri sa Iloilo, wala sing discrimination. 100 percent nga maayo nga pag-implement sang pagsimba diri sa Iloilo,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.

Hadjimanan said the around 3,000 Muslims living in Iloilo feel secure because of the peace and order in both the city and province.

“Mabatyagan nila ang peace and order diri sa Iloilo kag maayo ang pag-tratar sa aton especially sa aton tatlo ka mosques,” he said.

According to Hadjimanan, 95-98 percent of the Muslims living in Iloilo run businesses on clothing and mobile accessories in malls and other shopping centers.

“Almost 95 percent diri sa Iloilo ga-negosyo sa malls kag makit-an naton pwesto nila sang mga cellphone accessories and ready-to-wear (RTWs),” he said.

He noted that there is an increase on the number of Muslims who went to Iloilo following the siege in Marawi.

“Daw kada tuig may pag-increase labi na gid subong nga amo ni natabo sa Marawi so may mga paryente di sila, didto sila gaistar,” he said.

Hadjimanan is among the more than 800 Muslims in the city and province of Iloilo who gathered on Wednesday at La Paz Public Plaza to pray and celebrate the Eid’l Fitr.

It is one of the most important religious activities in Islam that is celebrated through prayers, gatherings, and feasts.

In Bacolod City, thousands of Muslims marked the feast of Eid’l Fitr at the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) grounds.

Dhar Al-Dhikr Islamic Center Imam Omar Betita, said Eid’l Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month-long observance of fasting and sacrifice for the Islamic faithful.

Betita said he is happy that the government decided to declare the feast day as a holiday, as it allowed their children and grandchildren to join them in the celebration.

Aside from the early morning worship service at the BCGC grounds, Betita said their community proceeded to their respective mosque to break the fast and to attend various activities.

In response to the “goodwill” message given to them by other religious denominations in the city, including the Catholic Church, Imam Abulkhaer Nadela Carcauga said he wishes to have good relationship with other religious groups and help maintain peace and order in the country.

Carcauga added he also wants to see both Muslims and Christians continue spreading peace and love to everyone.