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Meranao Culture

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Meranao Culture and Arts

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Inspiring Stories
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ARMM mulls activation of local school boards


Officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) are determined to harness local school boards (LSBs) in improving the state of education in the region.

Alfhadar Pajiji, regional Department of Education (DepEd) assistant secretary for special projects, said they recognize the essential role of LSBs in advancing the welfare of public schools in the ARMM.

The region is composed of the provinces of Sulu, Maguindanao, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, and Lanao del Sur, as well as the cities of Marawi and Lamitan.

“While the regional government is working at addressing issues in the education sector, the functions of the LSB cannot be underestimated and the need to make these boards functional is a challenge to the department,” he said.

Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, mandates local government officials to work on education sector concerns. Under the law, school boards should be composed of local chief executives, school superintendents and district supervisors, councilors, board members, treasurers, Sangguniang Kabataan chairmen, presidents of parent-teacher associations, and non-academic personnel of schools.

The LSB determines the annual supplementary budget needs for the operation and maintenance of public schools within the province, city or municipality, and serves as an advisory committee to the local legislative body on educational matters such as the necessity for, and the use of local appropriations for educational purposes.

“Having a strong, efficient and working local school board is the key to meeting effective delivery of education services, such as identification of priority schools to be rehabilitated, and facilities to be constructed,” Pajiji said.

The regional DepEd official cited the case of Naga City, which saw a dramatic improvement in its basic education after its then mayor, the late secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government Jesse Robredo, activated the city school board.

Robredo was among the local chief executives who advocated for the activation of the LSBs to improve education in the country. He noted that “local education governance reforms can be done” and that “empowered and functional local school boards have both the mandate and legal personality to serve as focal point for these reforms.”

Pajiji said regional DepEd is “encouraging local government units throughout the ARMM to help make local school boards more functional. The pressing problems we have on education such as the repair of dilapidated classrooms can be addressed more efficiently if we have active school boards.”

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said among the current challenges the region faces is the poor state of education and the regional government is taking various steps to reform and improve this sector.

The ARMM government has allotted a total of P2.3 billion for basic education facilities in the region from 2013 to 2015. Through its Department of Public Works and Highways, it has built a total of 332 school buildings across the region in 2013 and 2014. The ongoing construction of 819 additional classrooms is set to be finished by next year.
 
The region has 2,155 elementary schools and 304 secondary schools that are grouped into nine schools divisions, namely Maguindanao I and II, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur I and II, Lamitan City, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. (BPI-ARMM/APB/PIA-10)

Local execs in Lanao del Sur undergo orientation on DRRM

Local chief executives (LCEs) and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (DRRMO) from the different municipalities of the province underwent an orientation on disaster mitigation.

The DRRM Executive Orientation was conducted by the Office of the Civil Defense and the Provincial DRRMO on Thursday, September 29, at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall.

The orientation sought to impart the significant roles and responsibilities of LCEs, especially those newly-elected, in disaster management.

It also aimed to familiarize them, being chairpersons of their local DRRM Councils,
on the different plans, tools and information systems on disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation.

Meanwhile, Provincial Governor Soraya Adiong encouraged the local executives to work together to build a disaster-resilient Lanao del Sur.

She also reminded them of their duty to ensure the safety of their constituents in times of natural and man-made disasters.

Meranao Dulang


Food gathers people in solidarity. And Meranaos have a a unique way of arranging their cuisine during gatherings. Watch this video about the Meranao food arrangement called DULANG

DENR-10, Lanao del Sur ink agreement for INREMP implementation

Photo by: Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur


The Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Regional Office 10 forged an agreement to safeguard the watershed areas within the Lake Lanao River Basin.   

The memorandum of agreement (MoA) for the implementation of the Integrated Natural Resources and Environmental Management Project (INREMP) was signed on September 21 by Provincial Governor Soraya Adiong and DENR-10 Regional Director Ruth Tawantawan in Quezon City.   

It was witnessed by DENR Secretary Gina Lopez, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Abul Khayr Alonto and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Governor Mujiv Hataman.   

The MoA requires the development and implementation of the Lake Lanao River Basin Indicative Development Plan (IDP) and five Watershed Management and Investment Plans (WMPs), among others.   

INREMP intends to address unsustainable watershed management in four priority river basins which included the Lake Lanao River Basin.     

The project aims to reduce and reverse degradation of watersheds and associated environmental services caused by forest denudation and unsustainable farming practices. (APB/PIA-10) 

Radyo ng Bayan in Marawi to free wellness, dental services to public





The management of DxSO Radyo ng Bayan here will conduct a three-day community service program as part of its 53rd anniversary celebration.

The anniversary celebration, with the theme of "Radyo ng Bayan Marawi: Soaring High as Bona fide Media Partner for Change of the Government and the Bangsamoro Community,” will be held at DxSO Office at 4th street extension, Mindanao State University (MSU) main campus from September 24 to September 26.

Bae Soraida Sarigala, acting station manager, said the three day community service program will feature free wellness services, dental services and fingerlings dispersal in Lake Lanao.

The wellness services which include manicure, pedicure and haircut will be conducted on September 24 in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority - Lanao del Sur Provincial Office.

The free dental services will be provided on September 25 in collaboration with the Marawi City Health Office and the Philippine Dental Association-Lanao del Sur/Marawi Chapter. These will include tooth extraction, oral or dental check - up, medicine and oral hygiene education.

The last day of the community service program will be highlighted by tilapia fingerlings dispersal at Lake Lanao through the support of the Bureau Fisheries and Aquatic Resources- Marawi City Field Office.

Manager Sarigala said about 20,000 tilapia fingerlings will be dispersed on that day. (APB/PIA-10)

Gata Bridge to boost trade, travel in Lanao del Sur



The opening of the P32,024,994.62 Gata Bridge is expected to increase trade in the province by facilitating the transportation of goods and services between Marawi City and its neighbors.

Provincial Governor Soraya Alonto Adiong led the ribbon-cutting and turn-over ceremony of the newly-constructed 37.2 linear meter bridge, along the Marawi-Masiu National Road, in the section of Poona Bayabao town, September 18.

Governor Adiong said traders can now easily transport their goods and services to Marawi City and nearby municipalities which can help the local economy.

She said the bridge will also provide safety to public commuters and travellers.

The new bridge replaces a 50-year old dilapidated bridge.

Poona Bayabao Vice Mayor Lampa Pandi said accidents happened on the old bridge due to its worn-out state.

The construction of the new Gata Bridge was implemented and supervised by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Regional Office 10.

Engr. Mikunug Macabantog of DPWH Region 10 said the project was requested from the national government in 2014 by Vice Governor Mamintal Adiong, Jr. and his brother Congressman Ansaruddin Adiong. (PIO Lanao del Sur/APB/PIA-10)

Dulang Festival: Keeping the Meranao cuisine alive


Have you ever experienced Meranaos hospitality and their unique cuisine?

Meranaos are known for being hospitable and their warm hospitality is best reflected in a prestige feast called ‘Pagana Meranao’ where guests are entertained with traditional dance performances and treated to an extravagant banquet that features Meranao cuisine.

The cuisine is showcased in a native food arrangement called ‘Dulang.’ The arrangement contains traditional cuisine placed on brass food trays called ‘tabak.’ The food trays are covered with a Meranao tray cloths called ‘ampas’ and decorated heavily, following the traditional Meranao aesthetic, and with accents of gold or silver which symbolizes prestige and nobility.

Dulang is often served during special occasions such as dialaga (engagement),  kawing (wedding), graduations, kapapakaradiyaan (merrymaking), enthronements, religious festivity like Eid’ul Fitr and Eid’ul Adha, and even homecomings of people who had gone to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj.




The city government of Marawi highlighted this tradition during its 76th Charter Day Anniversary which focused on enriching Meranao culture through a Dulang Festival.

The cultural celebration, which aims to cherish Meranao culture, was participated by the 96 barangays of the city, public and private schools, government agencies, and civil society organization, among others.

The city government of Marawi highlighted this tradition during its 76th Charter Day Anniversary which focused on enriching Meranao culture through a Dulang Festival.

The cultural celebration, which aims to cherish Meranao culture, was participated by the 96 barangays of the city, public and private schools, government agencies, and civil society organization, among others.

In his keynote message, City Mayor Atty. Majul Gandamra underscored the importance the celebration to enrich Meranao culture and traditions.

He said the strong ties among Meranaos which are showcased during cultural celebrations also help in building a peaceful community.

The Dulang Festival featured the most beautiful, best-tasting and artistically-arranged Meranao cuisine in Marawi.




It contains dishes with unique blend of flavors and spices such as kuning (yellow rice), piyaparan (carp, mudfish, chicken, shrimp meat with coconut shavings), desserts like dodol (sticky rice in coconut milk) and browa (muffins), among others.

The Dulang is not complete without the Palapa, a Meranao condiment made of shallots, ginger, and chili peppers simmered in coconut oil. (SAMD/APB/PIA-10)