By Rexcel John Sorza, IOL Correspondent
Tamano was installed as the largest president of the University of the City of Manila
MAINLA — Filipino Muslims are celebrating the appointment of a lawyer as the first Muslim president of the largest government-funded, tuition-free university in the Philippines.
"I am very happy with Adel Tamano's new post as the University of the City of Manila (PLM) President," Baibonn Sangid of the National Youth Commission and Young Moro Professionals Network told IslamOnline.net.
"He is competent and the title is well-deserved."
Tamano was formally installed as PLM president on January 31, becoming the 17th president in the university's 40-year history.
"Being appointed to that position is historic," said Khalid Dagul, 24, a call center agent.
"It's almost impossible for a Muslim to be given that position but here comes Adel."
Sulu-based Warina Sushil Jukuy of the Jihad Al Akbar Organization was also jubilant.
"As a Muslim, my reaction to Adel's appointment is a gusty Masha'ALLAH!"
"It serves as proof that Adel was indeed appointed based on merit and not on his creed, race or way of life as a Muslim, much less not on his ethno-linguistic identity as a Moro."
A son of the first Muslim Senator Mamintal Tamano, he was the first Filipino Muslim student on a Harvard Law scholarship.
He obtained a master’s degree in public administration from the University of the Philippines.
He was a professor of law at the Ateneo de Manila University, Far Eastern University, the City University of Manila, and the Mindanao State University.
Tamano served as the spokesperson of the United Opposition which contested last year's national elections.
Many see Tamano as a good role model for young Filipino Muslims
The appointment of Tamano, the youngest PLM president, is making him and Filipino Muslims proud.
"I felt happy, I was definitely elated," he told IOL of his appointment.
"I also felt honored and, of course, proud for the Muslims and the Moros."
Proud was the refrain in the reaction of every Muslim interviewed to comment on the appointment.
"Indeed his appointment makes everyone proud and happy surely," said Sangid of the National Youth Commission and Young Moro Professionals Network.
"We are celebrating, we are happy and we are proud that a Muslim like him has gone that far," agreed Dagul, the call center agent.
Many hope the appointment will be a motivation for the Muslim minority in the largely Catholic state.
"Tamano's achievement is so much for an inspiration for us young Muslims," said Dagul.
"We need this kind of motivation because the world has become so competitive. Plus we have to weather the discrimination, the bigotry and all of this stuff."
Muslims make up nearly 8 percent of the total populace in largely Catholic Philippines.
The mineral-rich southern region of Mindanao, Islam's birthplace in the Philippines, is home to 5 million Muslims.
Sangid sees Tamano as a good role model for young people particularly the Moros.
"He is brilliant, rational and straight-forward. Hopefully more Moros will follow his footstep."