Lanao can offer competitive Halal Tourism destination

Abdul Hannan
Magarang Tago

Recently, I was able to discover various untapped Islands within lake Lanao. 

The author standing in front of the iconic Mesjid in Bacolod Kalawi Lanao del Sur. (Abdul Hannan M. Tago)

Thank to the administration of the iconic Masjid “Mosque” of Bacolod Grande, a municipality of Lanao del Sur located in its western side, for inviting me to deliver Jum’ah congregation “khutbah” sermon.

The Masjid became landmark not only for the neighborhood but also for the entire Lanao Del Sur. With expansion outside the Mosque, it attracts visitors and those who pass by traveling to Malabang or Cotabato City from Marawi City. 

Writer Abdul Hannan Magarang Tago poses at the top of the Bacolod kalawi iconic mosque.

The expansion on the lake side allows visitors to take rest and enjoy the fresh wind coming from the second largest lake in the Philippines surrounded by mountains.

Following my Friday sermon during which I emphasized the opportunities that the place can offer in terms of business, I travelled to the Balt Island which belongs to Bacolod that took us by small powerboat 15 minutes only. 

On board you can view the magnificent structure and its background mountain. Just imagine if cable cars installed from that high elevated area down to that island. 

Traveling alone is so exciting and refreshing with wonderful climate ranging from 20-25 degree, the island is untapped that can generate income to the localities. 

Establishing hospitality facilities, restaurants and even resorts where tourists can stay and enjoy the atmosphere. 

This will create job opportunities to hundreds of Maranaos and their products. Muslim friendly countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei would try to explore and discover the area as new destination. 

Through information dissemination and marketing strategies using social media and other platforms would attract Gulf countries who are also eyeing the area for investment. They would wish to help the area through business and tourism Industry.

The said countries are looking for new destination that can provide Halal food and Muslim friendly avenues. Here in Lanao, similar to Muslim countries, we only consume Halal products.

In Saudi Arabia as the first global destination because of its Islamic sites and sacred places. We have here in Lanao a big number of Masajid while Tugaya produces artifacts and handmade products as souvenir. 

Security remains concern of the tourists. The newly-created Bangsamoro Autonomous on Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) can provide security. The region is now enjoying peace and stability while national government is reinforced by the former rebel soldiers. 

We need only effective communication and connectivity including airport. In my meeting before with the Arab most influential and richest businessman in the world, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz, he asked me where the nearest airport to the area was. He promised that he would be willing to invest in the area after four years. AHMT


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