Sunday, September 2, 2012

Filipino Muslims end fast, celebrate Eid

SULU (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 19, 2012) – Thousands of Muslims gathered Sunday in the town of Maimbung where they feasted on free food and greeted peace and long life with each other as they celebrate the Eid ul-Fitr, which marked the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

Tuan Bash, an influential spiritual adviser in Sulu, said the celebration of Eid strengthens the unity and promote love and harmony among Muslims.

“This celebration if very important to us because this is the time where we thank Allah for all the blessings in life and share these blessings to the less fortunate,” he told The Manila Times.

He said locals celebrate the Eid with thanksgiving and festival after the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the Ramadan.

The provincial governor Sakur Tan and his family – as they did in previous years - led villagers in the breaking of fast with prayers on a small mosque in Maimbung, the seat of power of the Sultanate of Sulu.

Tan and his wife, Hajja Nurinisah, both philanthropists, ordered ready-to-eat meals, which arrived in truckloads in Maimbung to feed the town folks. Sulu mayors, including police and military officials and government leaders, also arrived to greet the First Family and to join the Eid celebration with the locals.

“We all give thanks to God for all these blessings. We are happy helping the poor,” the governor said.

Tan said he only wish for peace for everybody not only in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, but the whole country as well. “Peace is all we want not only in Sulu, but the ARMM and the whole country. Without peace, there will be no progress and development,” he said.

Tan also thanked President Benigno Aquino for his support to peace and development in Sulu. “We are recipients of many development projects now and our people are happy with all these blessings and we really appreciate the efforts of the Aquino government in helping us in Sulu and we would like to thank the President for all these development projects,” he said.

Last year, Tan prepared food for over 2,000 people in the coastal town where he lives and locals also put up stalls to sell their goods – from lobsters to root crops – because the Eid is also the time that Muslims spend more to buy gifts for their families and loved ones.

A show band called Mac-B, from Zamboanga City, commissioned by the town’s mayor, Samier Tan, also arrived in the town to entertain the locals. “Everybody is really enjoying and this is the time to thank the God and share our love to others,” he said.

The band was a hit among locals who enjoyed the electrifying performance of the group. Among the band members were Marvin de Jesus (lead guitar), Ahmad Nubhan (drums), Christopher Casimiro and Komz Ibrahim (bass), and Angelo Bangcal, Anthony Juni, Anne Perez and Sher-Ainnie Nuruddin, (vocals).

A long display of colorful fireworks capped the first day of the Eid celebration which usually lasts up to three days. (Mindanao Examiner)

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