Celso hosts 8th Pagbukah PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 28 August 2011 17:09

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday renewed friendship and ties with the Muslim community in the city as he led local government officials and employees in breaking the fast with in observance of the Holy month of Ramadan.

Dubbed as Pagbukah (If’tar in Arabic), the beautiful tradition of breaking the fast, has been an annual activity of the city government for the last 8 years through Lobregat’s initiative as a show of solidarity and respect for the Muslim community in Zamboanga as well as in recognition of their contributions to the development and progress of the city. 

In his message, the mayor focused on the shared values of Muslims and Christians in Zamboanga stressing that “for years now, Muslims and Christians here in Zamboanga live in harmony and peaceful coexistence, recognizing the contributions of our Muslim community to the City’s progress and development.”

He reiterated his call for all sectors not to dwell on the things that differentiate one another but to focus on the shared values to work towards common goals.
“May this occasion further strengthen our unity and cooperation for the betterment of our beloved City”, the mayor said before sharing the meal with the Muslim community at the Orchid Ballroom of the Garden Orchid Hotel yesterday afternoon.

Some 200 people from the Muslim community composed of Ulamas, barangay leaders, city officials, police and military officers and representatives from the academe and non-government organizations (NGOs) honored the mayor’s invitation and gave the chief executive the opportunity to address and greet the Muslim constituents in this blessed month of Ramadan.

Last week, Mayor Lobregat also had the opportunity of sharing an If’tar meal through an invitation from the Turkish community managing the Filipino Turkish Tolerance School and the Interreligious Solidarity Movement where he likewise emphasized on the values that unite the Muslims and Christians.

Based on Islamic teachings, Ramadan, the 9th month of the Islamic calendar is the holiest month of the Muslim year. It was in this month that God first revealed the Qur’an to Prophet Mohammad through Angel Gabriel. During this month, the Muslims observe the obligatory fast and take it as a time of intensive worship and reflection, of charity and self-control and doing good deeds. — Sheila Covarrubias