Eleven years ago, my brother brought me here to show this blessed place hoping that I’d be convinced to stay for good. I was hesitant at first not only because in my years of a happy-go-lucky kind of life, living in Lanao never crossed my mind for I was enjoying my life in Cagayan de Oro City then. All I thought was that this place was home of lawlessness and poverty. But my brother’s constant prodding made me visit Tubod, the seat of the provincial government, the center of commerce and the banana capital of the province and to my amazement, I immediately fell in love with the richness and beauty of the place and the simplicity and camaraderie of the people. After several visits, my husband and I decided to take our chances here with Baroy, the clay town of the province, as the place of our residence.
My work as a division coordinator has allowed me to catch a glimpse of the wondrous verdant sceneries in Sultan Naga Dimaporo and Sapad-Nunungan, the majestic cathedral falls in Kapatagan where the rich ricefields abound. The fisponds of Lala and Kapatagan produce the delicious “alimango and pansat” and the plush natural resources as you travel to Tagoloan, Matunggao, Pantao Ragat and Pantar make one feel angels reside there. Linamon, Kauswagan, Bacolod, Munai and Maigo’s fruits and vegetables are among the best in Mindanao. Salvador, Kolambugan, Poona Piagapo, Tangcal and Magsaysay offer a wide array of rootcrops, corn and coco products while Baloi’s durian can compare with that of Davao’s.
The Provincial Capitol and the Mindanao Civic Center proves that the provincial government has been working with determination to make this province an economic giant in the country.
I fell in love with this place that is inhabited by three ethnic groups: the Christians, the Maranaos and the Indigenous People because despite diversity, the people have established a culture of peace which the provincial government headed by Governor Mohamad Khalid Q. Dimaporo, Representative of the First District Imelda Quibranza Q. Dimaporo, Representative of the Second District Fatima Aliah Q. Dimaporo and the department of education headed by Schools Division Superintendent Maria Luisa B. Mutia are advocating.
The term Lanao comes from the Maranao word “ranao” which means a body of water. “Maranao” is taken to mean lake dweller. Maranaos are the natives of the place, occupying the land around Lake Lanao which is situated at the center of then undivided Province of Lanao. The Maranaos are of Malay-Arabic descent. They settled the area long before the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. They have a distinct culture which sets them apart from the other Filipinos. They have their own language, customs, traditions, religion, social system, music and architecture.
Schools here teach young children the value and importance of peace through the yearly conduct of the Peace Village Residential Experience.
My prayers are for hostile people to truly understand the essence of peace so that our tourism will flourish and so that our young children will grow up to become productive and successful leaders who will lead this country with pride and dignity.
- Maria Eva S. Edon