They say that a country’s hope lies in its youth. For the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, it gained another reason to hope.
Mishari Rashid “Teddyboy” Macaraya Lucman, son of ARMM Regional Vice Governor Haroun al Rashid Lucman and his wife Omaimah Macarayah, recently graduated magna cum laude from his BS Accountancy course at De La Salle University, one of the country’s most prestigious schools.
Teddyboy is the first Meranaw to achieve this feat at DLSU, his family said. Asked what drove him into taking BS Accountancy, he said he was inspired by his personal heroes: his parents, grandparents, and his late uncle, Atty. Dax Macaraya. They all have one thing in common: they are law advocates.
“Because of this, I grew up with a dream of becoming a lawyer someday, and to achieve this dream, I decided to take Accountancy because there seemed to be an informal consensus on it as the best preparatory course for law,” Lucman said.
He decided to enroll at DLSU “because of its reputation of being the premiere school for BSA in the whole country,” and in receiving the Vaugirard Scholarship, a full academic scholarship granted to public school students with high scores during the entrance exams.
As a Muslim who grew up in a conservative family and neighborhood, Teddyboy found that his greatest challenge in his college life was the practice of his five daily prayers.
“I sometimes had classes scheduled during prayer times, so I always have to find a creative way to perform my prayers. Most of the time, I try to go to the nearest vacant room and pray there. The hassle can be painstaking, but the relief and the happiness brought by prayers are far more overwhelming,” he says.
However, Teddyboy notes that his Meranaw background never hindered him from reaching his goals. The historical hardships of the Maranao tribe has let him realize life’s cruel realities at an early age, making him “hungry for progress, peace, and success.”
“It allowed me to have a vision that extends far beyond my own interests and a purpose that carries greater meaning. As a result, the sacrifices and struggles I go through become more meaningful and easier to bear,” he said.
He also notes their culture of “family first” gave him a great support system of family members believing and supporting him every step of the way. This granted him energy through “all the tests God has given.”
Teddyboy is now preparing to take the board exams for Certified Public Accountants in May 2018, then take a break from academics and “go somewhere where I can finish memorizing the Qur’an.” Then he would take up law, or pursue a master’s degree in Islamic Banking and Finance or Economics.
As advice to fellow Meranaws, Teddyboy said: “Given the circumstances surrounding the Maranaos of today, I think the best advice I can give them is to have Sabr (the Islamic virtue of perseverance).”
“We all have lost a residence, a livelihood, and even loved ones in this current war in our very own Marawi (City), but this is not enough to turn us away from our good values, principles and most especially, from our prayers and Allah,” he said. “Instead, let us turn this crisis into an opportunity for us to become better men and women.”