Moro-owned mall opens in Davao on Kadayawan

Fahad Zacaria, a Maranao born in Barangay Lakitan, Madamba town in Lanao del Sur province, named his 1,680 square meter business establishment "Lakitan Mall" in honor of his home place.

"Ang ibig sabihin ng Lakitan ay 'laging dinadayo' (Lakitan means 'frequently visited')," Zacaria explained, hoping that shoppers would regularly  visit his business site located along San Pedro street, in front of the regional office of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Mall administrator Jimmy Duyag said a convenience store would be put up inside the mall soon."A businessman has also expressed his intention to put up a Jollibee branch here," he revealed.

"A food court will be placed in the second floor," he added.

In a Kanduli, a thanksgiving celebration which is the Maranao’s traditional way of opening business, Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, who represented Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, congratulated Zacaria.

"Our city mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, welcomes this development. I also encourage other Muslim brothers to engage in business here,'' she sai

A number of Maranaos and Maguindanaos mostly engaged in selling novelties, malongs and other fabrics have been staying in Davao for decades already.

Ortiz estimates that some 140,000 Moro have been coexisting with Lumads and  settlers in the city. "Moro tribes comprise at least ten per cent of the Davao population," she said.

The lone Muslim councilor, Amilbangsa T. Manding, president of the Association of Barangay Captains, said he was glad Manding put up a business here. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo/MindaNews)