LGU Gensan Hosts 12th City Grand Iftar: Fostering Unity and Understanding

General Santos City (April 5, 2024) - The Local Government Unit of General Santos City, through the City Mayor's Office-Integrated Cultural Communities Affairs Division (CMO-ICCAD), hosted the Interfaith and Intrafaith Dialogue cum 12th Gensan’s Grand Iftar at Lagao Gymnasium on Friday, April 5, 2024.
Gathering more than 900 Muslim constituents from across the city, the event was themed “Patience. Acceptance. Gratefulness,” encapsulating values meant to extend beyond the holy month of Ramadan, as emphasized by Jocelyn Lambac-Kanda, ShC, Division Chief of CMO-ICCAD.

“In the face of life's challenges, the value of patience must be upheld,” Lambac-Kanda remarked, underlining the significance of these virtues throughout the year.

Islamic Scholars namely Sheikh Yusop Butucan, Sheikh Ashraf Alangan and Sheikh Eisa Javier gave their respective lecture anchored on the theme.

City Mayor Lorelie Geronimo Pacquiao graced the occasion, stating, “Ito'y pagdiriwang ng pagkakaisa at pagmamahal na bumabalot sa bawat taong narito (This is a celebration of unity and love that surrounds every person here).” 
The local chief executive expressed her full support for the event, highlighting its role in promoting unity, brotherhood, and understanding among the city's constituents.

Acknowledging the occasion as more than just a celebration, Mayor Pacquiao emphasized the importance in recognizing differences while fostering unity. 

Representatives from various Muslim organizations were present to demonstrate their support for the activity and engage in enlightening discussions led by resource persons.

In an inspirational message, Atty. Habari Lucman Balt, the Assistant Dean of the MSU College of Law, highlighted the significance of the holy month of Ramadan, emphasizing its role in deepening one’s connection with the Creator and fostering forgiveness and compassion towards others.

City Councilors Richard Atendido, Virgie Llido, Elezabeth Bagonoc, and ABC president Bobby Pacquiao were also in attendance, further underscoring the significance of the event within the local government.

Councilor Pacquiao, who chairs the committee on Muslim affairs in the Sangguniang Panlungsod, reiterated his commitment to supporting programs benefiting the Muslim community.

The 12th City Grand Iftar in General Santos City not only served as a celebration of religious observance but also as a platform for fostering unity, understanding, and mutual respect among its diverse constituents.