Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso led Wednesday the groundbreaking of the first Manila Muslim Cemetery and Cultural Hall in the city.
Domagoso said this is to show gratitude to Muslims who are residents of Manila and to remind the youth and the generations to come “of our history, culture and tradition.”
“Today is history because we wanted to show the next generation that they should be reminded of who we are as Manilenyos, and this should not be forgotten,” he said in a speech.
Muslims, he said, have long been neglected by the city government even as Manila’s history shows that even before the Spaniards came, Manila has been the so-called “land of the raja’s”.
“Muslims brought greatness to us even before the Spaniards reached our shores. We were then the “Land of Rajahs” because rajahs ruled then the Kingdom of Manila, specifically the Rajah Sulayman Dynasty,” Domagoso said.
The city allocated some PHP49.3 million for the construction of a 2,400-square meter Muslim cemetery located inside the Manila South Cemetery, which will also include a cultural hall.
This will be exclusively used to bury or transfer the remains of deceased Muslim residents in the city.
Based on their tradition, a deceased Muslim should be buried within 24 hours from their time of death.
However, he said because there is no place for them here in Manila to bury their dead, they have to bring their departed to Bulacan, Taguig, or even to Mindanao.
“Ngayon ipararamdam namin sa inyo (we will make you feel) that you are recognized and a part of the city of Manila. Ipagpaumanhin nyo na sa panahong nagdaan hindi kayo nabigyan ng espasyo, pero maraming salamat hindi pa rin kayo umaalis ng Maynila (We ask for your understanding for the many years that you were neglected, but thank you because you continue to stay in Manila),” Domagoso said. (PNA)