DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 April) — “I enjoyed it very much,” Architect Ahmed Madani, son of Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said of his “very, very short” visit to some tourist spots in the Island Garden City of Samal and Davao City on Sunday.
Ahmed found time to make a quick visit while his father was meeting leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a downtown hotel here Sunday.
“It was very nice,” the 27-year old architect from Saudi Arabia said, adding he was able to “experience how people here in Mindanao move around.”
Madani, who listed in his linked.in account Arts and Culture, Environment, and Disaster and Humanitarian Relief as causes he cares for, said they visited two resorts in Samal – “Paradise Island and Blue something,” apparently referring to the neighboring Bluejaz Beach Resort and Waterpark.
He didn’t get to swim because there was not enough time. “We just checked it out and took some pictures.”
From Samal, he was brought to the Crocodile Park in Davao City. No, he didn’t try the crocodile meat but bought some “souvenir shirts with I love this city.”
“That’s about it,” said the architect who arrived in Davao City with the OIC delegation last Saturday.
His father met separately with leaders of the MNLF and MILF on Saturday afternoon at the Seda Abreeza hotel, hosted a seaside dinner at the Waterfront Insular Hotel for the two groups and met them jointly for four hours Sunday at the Seda, where they were billeted, before flying to Manila.
The OIC Secretary-General came to the Philippines for a four-day visit, two days of that in Davao, to help push for the harmonization of the peace processes with the Moro groups. It was the first time an OIC Secretary-General visited Mindanao.
“I am here to show that we are concerned, we are supportive. I am not here just to prove that I am the first Secretary-General (to visit Mindanao), I am here for the substance,” said the official of the 57-nation OIC. “We wanted to come here. Symbolically, we wanted to be in Mindanao,” he said. (Carolyn O. Arrguillas / MindaNews)