Parable of PMT-19 vis-a-vis COVID-19

Batanes to Tawi-Tawi

with Julmunir I. Jannaral

Happy 1st Anniversary to the Management and Staff of Philippine Muslim Today (PMT-19)! 

Looking back to the year 2020, COVID-19 Pandemic has newly started last year creating havoc to normal lives of the Filipino people, when the Maiden Issue of PMT-19 was also launched on June 19, 2020.

Editor-in-Chief Masiding Noor Yahya and this Columnist thought of launching a digital online newspaper as one way to ward off our boredom considering that the government due to the onslaught of COVID-19 pandemic had put several places in the Philippines under a state of lockdown where your movement is monitored by the Philippine National Police, members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); including the Barangay Tanod of every barangay.

Thus having in mind on how to elude boredom, we finally launched the maiden issue of the first National Muslim Digital Online Newspaper which is abbreviated as PMT-19.

Consequently we invited well meaning Columnists who are all experts in their own rights  and who are still with us sharing their words of wisdom unconditionally on without any single remuneration. They are with us through thick and thin until now. They are the likes of Atty. Mehol K. Sadain, who aside from being a legal luminary is also a Shari’ah Counselor. His column on Ijtihad is really worth reading especially for people who would like to enhance their knowledge on Islam. Thank you too Ronnie Lee who writes well an Essay as well as his narrative about the chronologically arranged “The Battle of Jolo” during the Martial Law Era.

We have also Dr. Benj Bangahan, a Tausug Medical Doctor who was a former faculty member of the College of Medicine of the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila. Dr. Benj’s medical column “My two-cents Rx” can be easily understood by layman as he made the medical terms easily to be understood. Aside from being a distinguished physician, he is also an author of the Tausug Dictionary where a person who is not conversant of this local dialect can easily search for the meaning in English Writing from down South in Tawi-Tawi is Dr. Johnny R. Lee, Ph.D. who writes about tourist spots like the pristine white sandy beaches of the Southern most province; and may his soul Rest In Peace (RIP) was our Columnist who writes about environment. Unfortunately he passed away due to this pandemic just this year. I am referring to Dr. Filemon G. Romero, a certified environmentalist and former Chancellor of the Mindanao State University-Tawi-Tawi.

The PMT-19 Management would like also to express our thanks to Maria Fhebie Ortil who writes her weekly Bangsamoro Halal Cuisine; as well as to Mark Twister Ortil though his stint at the PMT-19 was short live  but he was our Cartoonist when this Digital Online Newspaper Maiden Issue was launched on June 19, 2020.

Another Columnist who likes to punch his subjects due to his upper cut and blow by blow jab is Ali G. Macabalang with his long running Column the Punchline aside from being a Bureau Chief for BARMM and Region 12 based In Kidapawan City.

Another Columnist writing for PMT-19 needs no further introduction as I know the Filipino people from Batanes To Tawi-Tawi know him well. He is Atty. Homobono “Bono” Adaza who is very witty and humorous lawyer who writes about political issues on his column DILIMAN WAY.

Of course another Columnist who is nationally known is JPE or Juan Ponce Enrile. But he occasionally writes due to his vision as what he told this Columnist. Although he said, he really wants to share his words of wisdom with the readers of PMT-19.

There are other columnists who have a short live tenure with the PMT-19 for reasons that are known to them only the likes of Dr. Abdul Hanan Tago; and Atty. Bayan Balt.

Then among the new columnists, the PMT-19 Management would like to express the sincerest thanks to Imadodin Basar Dimao who writes also on subject matters pertaining to Islam.

However, before we forget we would like to salute and thank prolific columnist with his Southern Frontier column who also writes his words of wisdom in politics,  and governance. At this juncture, I am referring to Abdulghani “Gerry” Ajul Salapuddin. He was the former revolutionary leader of the MNLF in Basilan better known with his nom de guerra as “Commander Gerry”. He was also the former Governor of Basilan and former Representative in the Lone District of Basilan and eventually became the House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao. At present he is the Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) based in Davao City.

Then speaking of Basilan, the PMT-19 is still very much thankful to Gov. Jim Hataman-Salliman as the only provincial Governor in the BARMM who did not turn us down with our request for a Maiden Issue Message of this Online Newspaper.

Hence, as we celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Philippine Muslim Today we would like also to express our heartfelt thanks to the Chairman of the Board, Datu Yusoph Boyog Mama, (DYBM), the Masirikampo sa Marawi (Traditional Royal Ruler of Marawi) for giving us all the supports to sustain this Digital Online Newspaper; as well as to his son his Private Executive Assistant, Yusoph Champ Mama II.

Likewise to all other officers and members of the PMT-19 who are with us from the launching of the Maiden Issue until now. We would like to say Shukran to all of you!

For your Comments/Suggestions please write to my email address:


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