Thank you for your article on the Ninth Ray Bill (June 13, 2018).
The sun on the Philippine flag may soon get its Ninth Ray, thanks to the Senate Bill 3307 in Congress.
Sen. Dick Gordon proposed such act to give recognition to the Muslims, highlighting the preservation of freedom they fought for and their neglected contribution to our history.
I did not know that such a bill had been sitting in Congress for many years, and these days, with the Bangsamoro Law pending and Muslim holidays recognized in the national calendar, I feel that this topic is very timely.
The topic is certainly food for thought during Eid’l Fitr, a worldwide observance by our Muslim brothers and sisters. Also known as the Festival of Fast Breaking, it marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan when the new moon is sighted after sunset. Talk about sun rays and new moons!
There are many aspects of that bill that Filipinos should talk about. Some claim by changing it, our flag may lose its historical context, but Gordon believes it would foster greater unity among Filipinos regardless of their religion.
It can’t be denied that conflicts in Mindanao have troubled our countrymen for decades. I believe that bill can be considered as a big step in reuniting the country where we all can begin with the recognition of the significant deeds made by Filipino Muslims, taking into example Maranao warrior Amai Pakpak.
Datu Ramos, legal counsel for the Bangsamoro Civil Society, thanks Senator Gordon for his consistent advocacy of recognizing the heroic struggle for freedom of the Bangsa Moro people.
Some of the members of the Muslim community feel absolute happiness upon hearing the inclusion of ninth ray in the Philippine flag. To quote Datu Norodin Alonto Lucman, it makes them feel good “to be part of the Republic.”
I believe the bill is a way by the Philippine government to honor the Muslim community, because they, too, believe our Muslim heroes left a mark on our national history. At the very least, they must be given due recognition in the most heraldic manner.