Datu Carlos Garcia Dominguez III

Proclamation of a New Datu in Marawi

On January 27, 2019, at the Marco Polo hotel in Davao City, Secretary Carlos Garcia Dominguez III was proclaimed Datu Carlos Garcia Dominguez III by HRH Sultan Firdausi Ismail Yahya Abbas, Sultan of Lanao, which to the Bangsa Mranaw ( Mranaw People) is the land of the four kingdoms of Lanao (Pat-a-Pangampong a Ranao,) extending from Lanao del Sur to the province of Bukidnon.

Gracing the event was HRH Sultan Mohammad Fuad Abdullah Kiram, Sultan of Sulu and Sabah and his son Al Mezzheer Kiram, the Rajah Muda. Sultan Fuad’s late father, Sultan Esmail Kiram I authorized the Philippines in 1962 to claim Sabah, and older brother, the late Sultan Mahakuttah Kira was the last Sultan of Sulu to be officially recognized by the government of the Philippines. Also in attendance was Datu Luis Agimuddin Delgado III, great-grandson of Sultan Jainal Abirin of Sulu and North Borneo, whose great grandfather was also Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo, Sultan Shakirullah.

Many government officials such as Secretary Abdullah Mamao, the Chairman of the Board and the President of the Social Security System , Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, batch mates of Secretary Dominguez at the Ateneo de Davao High School of 1961, which includes the Sultan of Lanao and President Rodrigo Duterte, some foreigners, Sultans, Datus and Bai-a-labis.

The ceremony was a showcase of colorful, exciting, mesmerizing and vibrating Maranao pageantry which truly impressed all those present who experienced the event in awe. It started with the colorful procession of the Sultans and Datus who stepped to the cadence of the ethnic sounds of the kolingtangs, the debaken (drums) and the agongs, preceded by the warrior sagayan dancers.

Datu Carlos Garcia Dominguez III

Once seated, the Sultan of Marawi, Sultan Subair Guinthung Mustapha, the sponsor of Secretary Dominguez, was confronted by the three sultans, one representing the fifteen Sultans who are the policy formulators and executors, another representing the twenty Sultans who are the guardians of the traditions, mores and customs of the Mranaw people and one representing the four Datus, who are also Sultans. who are the heart, the strength and the power of Marawi (Pat a Datu a pumugsupa sa Marawi).

They asked the Sultan of Marawi to ask the secretary if he will protect and safeguard the honor and the integrity of the Sultan of Lanao and of the Mranaws, if he will help the people return to their homes in Marawi, and if he will help them have means of livelihood in Mawawi. The questions were asked in the Mranaw language to which Secretary Dimunguez answered also in the Mranaw language. He answered “Oway Sultan sa Marawi”,yes to all the questions which brought the audience, which was large Mranaw, to cheered boisterously surprised appreciation. The last question was asked by his sponsor, Sultan Mustapha, “What is your token of respect, your tribute to the Sultan of Lanao?, to which Secretary Dominguez answered in Mranaw to the delight and outburst of the audience, especially the Mranaws. “What the Sultan of Lanao asks, for as long as it is within my means.” The Sultans were then asked how they took the answers of the conferee and all three responded that they were satisfied with the answers.

Then the conferee has presented the scroll of conferment which signifies his status as a Datu. It was followed with the presentation of the gold plated Kandit (Buckle) which signifies his stature as a Datu because only a Datu or a Sultan can wear it. Lastly, he was presented with the gold plated Gonong (Mranaw Dagger) which signifies his authority and duty to do what is right and enjoin what is wrong. Then finally he was brought before the Sultan of Lanao who proclaimed him Datu Carlos Garcia Dominguez III. Datu Carlos then made his declaration as Datu Carlos. Sultan Kiram followed with his remarks when he was presented the gift of the Sultan Of Lanao by Datu Jaime Ismail B. Abbas, grandson of the Sultan of Lanao, an oil painting of the legendary Sarimanok by Datu Norjan Ismail Yahya Abbas, son of the Sultan of Lanao.

The Pagana Mranw , the traditional Mrnaw banquet followed where the Sultan of Lanao gave a short speech which moved the audience. It was not a surprise to the great many as they know Sultan Firdausi was the champion orator of the U.P. College of Law and Captain of the undefeated U.P. Debating team during his student days at the U.P. in Diliman.

It was a truly wonderful and tantalizing event. It was truly an affair to remember. Sitti Khadija Rahma A. Abbas, CEO of the Sultan of Lanao Foundation, daughter of the Sultan of Lanao, a product of U.P. in Diliman, was the General Coordinator of the event who was assisted by her brother Datu Yasser Ismail Abbas and his wife, Bai Joanna B. Abbas who are both lawyers.

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