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Journeying through time: Exploring Mindanao's rich history

ILIGAN CITY (PIA)--The culmination program of the celebration of History Month transported students and faculty of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) back in time to explore the captivating history of Magindanao.

The History Department of MSU-IIT, in collaboration with the Bangsamoro Commission for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, the Office of Member of Parliament Lawyer Ishak V. Mastura, and the Sultan Kudarat Islamic Academy Foundation College, invited Lawyer Michael O. Mastura to give a grand lecture on his book entitled "The Rulers of Magindanao in Modern History, 1515–1903: Continuity and Change in a Traditional Realm in the Southern Philippines.

Mastura bears a direct lineage as a descendant of Sultan Muhammad Dipatwan Kudarat, a prominent figure in the history of the Magindanao Sultanate. He is an 82-year-old Moro scholar, educator, lawyer, lawmaker, and peace negotiator.

His book delves into a comprehensive narrative spanning from the arrival of Sharif Mohammad Kabungsuwan in approximately 1515, preceding the arrival of Spanish colonizers, to the establishment of the Moro Province by American colonizers in 1903.

It sheds light on the early history of Magindanao and how it emerged as a powerful sultanate in Mindanao. His insights are valuable to the understanding of Mindanao's history and its significance in the broader context of Philippine history.

The grand lecture aims to promote historical awareness and foster a deeper cultural understanding of Magindanao by delving into its leadership, governance, and socio-political dynamics that shaped this remarkable kingdom.

Elevating Mindanao's history

Jed Otano, the Center Head of the Mindanao Heritage and Indigenous Research Center of MSU-IIT, stressed the importance of the grand lecture, emphasizing the need for inclusive Mindanao and Philippine history. He noted that Mindanao's narratives have often been misrepresented or overlooked in favor of Luzon-centric history. The event aims to elevate and empower the narratives of Mindanao, particularly the history of the Magindanao Sultanate.

"This is one of the many efforts to elevate and empower the narratives about Mindanao and to consider the history of Mindanao, specifically the Magindanao Sultanate, as one of the local histories," he said.

Kristyl Berioso, a first-year student enrolled in the AB History program, expressed her gratitude for the grand lecture that left a profound impact on her as an aspiring historian.

She emphasized that there is so much to learn from history, even if it is not directly related to one's own culture. For instance, she found the exploration of the sultanate system intriguing, realizing that it existed before her time.

"The lecture brings a lot of perspective. It’s full of substance. It opened a lot of perspectives, especially when the questions were drawn. It gave me a lot of knowledge as well. It’s so amazing that we are going back to our origins and our roots," she said.

A photo exhibit was set up during the History Month celebration at Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology showcasing a collection of photographs from undivided Lanao during the American colonial administration, preserved by Commissioner Robert Alonto. (ADD/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

Exploring the past through photographs

A photo exhibit was also set up to showcase a collection of photographs from undivided Lanao during the American colonial administration, preserved by Commissioner Robert Alonto.

These photos present a glimpse of certain moments that happened in undivided Lanao in 1914, when it was first declared as a province, until 1959, when the undivided Lanao was divided into two, which are known today as Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur," he said.

The celebration of History Month highlighted the importance of preserving and sharing the stories and culture of Mindanao, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive representation of Mindanao's history in the broader narrative of the Philippines. (LELA/PIA-10/Lanao del Norte)

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Lou Ellen Antonio


Region 10

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