Celso greets Muslims on Eid ul Fitr PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 August 2011 16:52

Mayor Celso Lobregat extends his sincere and warm greetings to the Muslim community in Zamboanga and other parts of the world in celebration of Hariraya Puasa or Eid ul Fitr which marks the culmination of the Holy month of Ramadan today, August 30.

Eid ul Fitr symbolizes the end of the month-long fasting during the Ramadan season. “It is a day when Muslims show joy and express gratitude for the health, strength, opportunities and blessings of life that Allah bestowed on them”, Mayor Lobregat said in his message.

He hoped that the celebration will exhort all peoples—Muslims and Christians alike—“to achieve our goal of moving closer together and bringing more progress and development for our beloved city of Zamboanga”.

Last Saturday, August 27, Mayor Lobregat hosted the 8th Pagbukah or breaking of the fast which was attended by over 350 people representing not only the Islamic faith but the other religious sects as well.

He is the only city official who has consistently initiated such an activity in the spirit of friendship and respect to the Muslim community.
Leaders from various sectors have commended Mayor Lobregat for his steadfast commitment to sustain harmony between the Muslims and the Christians in the city by hosting the yearly Pagbukah or the breaking of the fast in the observance of the Holy month of Ramadan.

Ustadz Abdulhamit Jameri, president of the Islamic Institute of the Philippines based in Rio Hondo said the Muslim community in the city considers the city-sponsored Pagbukah as a “big thing” for it displays unity and solidarity among religions.

He expressed gratitude to Mayor Lobregat and the city government for making Ramadan a yearly part of the city’s activities.

For his part, Prof. Ali Yacub, a respected Muslim leader observed that Mayor Lobregat has consistently hosted Pagbukah among the Muslim and Christian officials in the city. “Nobody had ever duplicated the mayor up to this time, there were others who tried but after that they faded away”.  

Mayor Lobregat in his message said  thatthe city government of Zamboanga joins the Muslim community in the City and throughout the world in the observance of the Holy month of Ramadan. He recounted that since 2004, “the city government has been hosting the beautiful tradition of Pagbukah during Ramadan as a show of respect and friendship and appreciation to our Muslim brethren”.

“For as long as I am mayor, we will continue to share meals in the coming years, as we continue to reach out to all our people regardless of group, faith and ideology,” the mayor emphasized amid loud applause from the crowd of guests.

He hoped that Pagbukah and the entire Ramadan season will further strengthen the unity and cooperation of the Muslims and Christians in the city for the betterment of Zamboanga. “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. Let us not dwell on the things that differentiate us from one another and focus on our shared values to work towards our common goals.” — Sheila Covarrubias