After having been to Marawi City twice, the first, I failed to go to the Torogan, I felt the urged to go back and check the Torogan for myself and recreate in my mind how this humble abode, so rich in cultural heritage and legacy played a crucial and pivotal role in Mindanao.
The Dayawan Torogan served as the symbol of ancestry of royalty whose genuine affection for Mindanao remains high until today. Back in 1935, when the Republic is crafting the 1935 Philippine Constitution under the tutelage and patronage of America, the Dayawan Torogan serves as historic witness to the signing of the Dansalan Declaration that rejected the inclusion of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan in the Philippine islands should it be granted independence from the Americans. The historic signing was held in this regal house.
Prior to my coming to Marawi City, I read online written articles about the Torogan, probably to make me more informed as to its significant past and its glorious moment in history and its continued role in the present-day Mindanao and the search for peace which serves so elusive.
When a fellow blogger told me that he has an upcoming trip to Marawi City to see the Torogans, I easily booked myself in, took the bus and meet him up in Iligan City where we stayed overnight prior to our early morning journey to Marawi City, the only Islamic City in the Philippines.
As a former student of MSU-Marawi and an alumnus of MSU-IIT in Iligan City, I never felt threatened or scared with the prospects of coming up to Marawi City for I have had friends whose lives started from this peaceful Islamic City. We took the FX from Iligan City and after 45 minutes, we arrived at Marawi City with its cool weather is more inviting and relaxing environment as opposed to the humidity in neighbouring cities.
We had the chance to go to places like Tugaya and observed how greatly gifted Maranaos as craftsmen and weavers are.
The Lost Legacy
When we went to Barangay Dayawan in the coastal area of Marawi City to see the Torogan, I was prepping myself for the excitement which has been latently burning inside me since I arrived in the Islamic City.
It was raining and the cool breeze is making such excitement rise much higher. It was already 4.30PM and we are visiting the Dayawan Torogans and revisiting history and majesty which spans from years and centuries.
Sorry state of decay
The Dayawan Torogan was left to rot and decay by the very people and agencies tasked to preserve it considering its place in history and its over-arching influence in Mindanao by the Maranaos which spans culture, tradition, arts, craftsmanship and sheer royalty.
The Torogan, as a symbol of legacy and Mindanaoan aspirations must be preserved, restored and protected.
Having been named as a regional museum of living traditions as well as declared as a National Cultural Treasure by the National Historical Institute as stated in their information placard (while in the book by Dr. Madale, said declaration was done and granted by the National Museum), I was appalled at how the Torogan was left to rot and its advanced state of decay is eating away its very foundation in the historic past of Mindanao.
The columns of the Dayawan Torogan were vandalized by election paraphernalia. The apparent tests of time have eaten most of the columns and the floor of the Torogan has holes in it due to the rainwater coming in from damaged roofing.
The interior of the Dayawan Torogan was unfortunately left in disarray and in such horrendous disgrace. The once grand and regal, where royalty and pomp, pride and confidence is exhibited in its interior is now left with such decay. The decorations and regal clothing were left unceremoniously hanging from ceilings in utter disarray. Torn cloths which once were regal were now obviously seen when I went inside the Torogan.
The certificate depicting the importance of the Dayawan Torogan was left unceremoniously standing by the wall and worse, the surviving photo of the first occupants of the Torogan was unceremoniously loitered on the floor.
The Dayawan Torogan
When the NHI has declared the Dayawan Torogan as a “National Cultural Treasure”, it places it significance and importance among the ranks of those worthy of visit and praise, like those Christian Churches and other government buildings appropriately declared as such. The Dayawan Torogan is a far outcry from a declared site. It is in complete disarray; a sorry and sad state of decay is apparently seen.
The Dayawan Torogan is constructed in the early 18th century by Sultan Boowa Ayop, the founder of the Royal House of Dayawan. Further on, in the 19th century, it was strengthened and repaired by rebuilding the entire Torogan the then Sultan Conding with the assistance of Datu Cotawato and with the help of Datu Bacarat, Bae Dalomabi and Bae Cuyog.
The Dayawan Torogan is the symbol of early Filipino Muslim leaders’ influence on cultural heritage, architecture, arts, and craftsmanship. The Torogan was build not with a single nail as it was made by connecting its hinges together. The Okir, a Maranao craft was prominently installed in its walls and sides. By far, even in its decayed state, the Dayawan Torogan remains grandiosely regal.
The National Museum
Based on the Deed of Donation entered into by the heirs of the Dayawan Torogan and the National Museum on 11 October 1994, the legal heirs have donated ownership of said Torogan to the National Museum.
It is incumbent upon the National Government through the National Museum to save the Dayawan Torogan from further decay and ensure its timely preservation, restoration and continued protection. I am disappointed at how the National Museum have neglected such an important landmark, not only for Maranaos but for all those who claimed Mindanao our home.
As declared by the Barangay Chairman, in a brief meeting we had with him in his humble residence, that the barangay is ready to help the national government in the preservation of the torogan as it is a bastion of the Maranao’s greatest contribution to national history and its pivotal role in Mindanao.