By Claire Gigje

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)–The culture of Meranaws is seen to be preserved despite the siege four years ago following the recent signing of a memorandum of agreement for the development of contextualized area-based competencies,

Technical Education and Skills Development (TESD) Lanao del Sur Provincial Office Provincial Director Aleida Mangata said that with the agreement, they will be able to develop competencies that will inculcate in the competencies the teachings of Islam recognized as holistic and such will be something to be proud of once approved at the national level.

“It will give us way para makatulong sa ating Bangsamoro sa [to help our Bangsamoro in] Lanao del Sur because our office sa [in] Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education wanted to help our beaders, handcrafters and all these people who are promoting the cultural identity of Maranaws,” she said during the signing of Memorandum of Agreement Friday, October 15.

Mangata further said they were not yet given a chance to help and developing the identified competencies encouraged them to serve scholarships to beneficiaries which they believe will pave the way for the recovery of the siege-stricken city including the province of Lanao del Sur and the Bangsamoro region.

She highlighted that if the developed competencies will be given approval and a training regulation will be fully implemented through the sealed partnership, skills experts and traditional workers will have their own livelihood while promoting the cultural identity of Maranaws not only in Mindanao but also in the whole Philippines.

Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary and TFBM Chairperson Eduardo Del Rosario emphasized, on the other hand, that at this point where everyone else is recovering from the impacts of the warfare years back, the continuation and institutionalization of the cultural identity remain significant while also pivoting on the livelihood component.

“When we say institutionalization, it will go on forever and we develop more expertise in the process. From the present skills of our community specialist, this will be further honed so that the next generation will be equal or even better from the present group of mentors that we have in the different communities of Lanao del Sur… It would mean permanence in the cultural identity of Maranws,” he said.

Under the agreement, four livelihood context-based curriculums will be developed, specifically for competencies on kapangantowiras (sequins and beadworks), kapangaol (weaving), and Meranaw brass and baor making. (CRG/PIA-Lanao del Sur)