PLAIN AND SIMPLE | All about Halal, etc

THE FIGURE of Muslims in Davao is not growing as fast as you want to think it is. But with the direct flight from Malaysia to Davao, this stat might change dramatically.

So the city and the region must prepare.

In its effort to be pro-active, the Department of Tourism in the region organized a Halal conference at a local hotel. Well- meaning citizens, media, resto owners, media, came for a day of education on Halal.

DOT point person Ms Pong Abas gathered friends in the media and those who are into food business, Muslims and Christian wanting to make business with the Malaysians and others.

T’was a day of learning especially for me as a Catholic. I’m involved in inter-religious dialogue so it wasn’t hard for me to understand the talk of the speakers on Halal. Halal is essential to the Muslim faith.

I’d like to stress here that a Muslim is not tribe; it is faith. A tribe is your social grouping like being a Boholana, Tiboli, Ilonggo, Bisaya, Kapampangan, Ilocano… the tribe is Maranao, Tausug, Iranun, Kagan, etc… and they profess the Muslim faith.

There are Muslims who are Ilonggo and Bisaya but they profess the Muslim faith.. They call them balik Islam, so don’ t call a Muslim by his faith but by his tribe… either Maranao, or Tausug or Maguindanao…

Much less like a Christian.. Don’t call him or her a Christian or a Catholic but by his  tribe:  Boholano, Ilonggo, Ilocano, etc. Bolanon na siya, pre.

So in that conference, we non-Muslims, learned so much about Halal particularly in food preparation. For us non-’Muslims, we find it really taxing and hard to prepare a Halal food. It’s they, the Muslims, who prepare their food. And it is not just part of their culture, it is essential to their faith.

Halal is an integral part of a Muslim’s life. It is their life and their faith.

There was somebody in the crowd who asked about restos who offered Halal foods but they really are not Halal foods. That’s sad. I think anyone who respects the faith of any tribe should not allow this to happen.

Be that as it may, the act of the DOT to hold this conference on Halal is very laudable. Even if that flight between Davao and  Kuala Lumpur was not established, each one of us in Davao should know about Halal. In our dream for inter-religious dialogue, we should learn to respect and learn each other’s culture.

Listening to the different speakers on Halal, you learn to understand the Muslim faith and their way of life. We thank DOT here in Region XI for organizing this event. For allowing non-Muslims to learn and understand Halal. We thank DOT for spearheading this event.

It is not just about business, but about human relations and human understanding and reconciliation..

Halal is about the Muslim faith. It is about cleanliness, hygiene, best food, and understanding the Muslim faith.

We thank Ms Zue Abas of the DOT for the invite. Ms Abas spent so much in promoting Malaysia as she was working with Tourism Malaysia. Now she is promoting Davao and Mindanao, her home.

Posted in Opinion