PANTAW A MAREG: Meranaw Young Ladies Breaking Boundaries

Three young Meranaw females — all making their fathers extremely proud this Father’s Day.

Meranaws are slow to adopt changes, considering almost anything new with suspicion and deem them contrary to their beliefs and religion. But there is no stopping this young generation of Meranaw females to break boundaries, blaze the trail and prove their mettle in the academe. Had Meranaw women been confined in their lamins as before — to protect them from the outside world — we would have limited their potentials and we would not have seen that they are equally capable to conquer the world outside of their own communities.

Courtesy of SLAAP.

Rayyana Ayesha Macabalang is the first female Meranaw Summa Cum Laude at MSU Iligan Institute of Technology finishing BS Biology (General Biology) with a CGPA of 1.1839. Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is a discipline which generally finds lesser women students for a variety of reasons. Rayyana chose to be different, majored in Science and graduated with flying colors. She is also passionate about learning her religion Islam and spends most of her summers studying the Qur’an and learning the Arabic language. She is very active and focused on Islamic activities as well.

Indira Zainav A. Macud is the first female Meranaw Summa Cum Laude at MSU Main Campus, Marawi City finishing BS International Relations with a CGPA of 1.180 and is also the Class Valedictorian. Contrary to beliefs that a student can only be Summa Cum Laude if she shuns extra-curricular activities, Indira is the President of one of the prestigious and highly visible Academic organisations in MSU Marawi City, the Student League for Academic Advancement (SLAAP).

The last but not the least, Elinisha Rojan C. Guro, Accountancy, Business and Management, the first Class Valedictorian of the MSU Senior High School with an average of 97.88 Her multiple skills as a debater, orator, poet, painter, videographer, and digital artist lose prominence when considered that she had to be fully independent at a very young age and become the chef, budget officer, market supervisor, and cashier at home because her parents are away — her Mom was studying abroad while her Dad is a humanitarian worker. This also proves that the absence of parents is not a barrier for a student to be her best.

At a time when the anniversary of the Marawi Siege reminds us that while the aerial strikes may have ended, the suffering of the Meranaw people continues — these young Meranaws’ achievements in spite of their peoples’ pain is a happy respite and a cause for celebration for them. It is also the testament of the Meranaw people’s tenacity and their women’s grace under pressure. Their achievements are maybe their best Father’s gift to their respective fathers, but it is also their best Eid gift to their fellow Meranaws.


Meranaws, be proud! Be very proud!

P.S. I am Elinisha’s online mother and a proud member of SLAAP MSU.

(ELIN ANISHA “El Anisha” GURO of Marawi City is Director of  Mindanao State University Press and Information Office, on study leave to finish her PhD at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne in Australia. She finished her MA Media Studies at the New School, New York City as a Fulbright Scholar)