An Iranun man and a Maguindanaon teen age girl won the recent National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) 2018 National Qur’an Reading Competition (NQRC), with a score of 96.46 percent and 96.6 percent, respectively.
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Ustadhz Nuhman M. Pimbayabaya, an Iranun of Maguindanao province, the 2017 champion, topped the male category. Ustadhza Bai Raihana Ambangala won the female category. Pimbayabaya garnered a rating of 96.46 percent. Ambangala recorded a rating of 96.6 percent.
Each category had 19 participants. The champions each received a P20,000 cash prize, among other benefits.
In the female group, Jamila Saracan got the second place and P15,000 cash prize, the third place and P10,000 went to Monaifah Alawi.
For the male bracket, Mohammad Nadhir Asgar, Jr. emerged second place with P15,000 cash prize, while Yusoph Pandita was third place, with P10,000 cash prize.
More than 1,000 people from the Muslim communities in Metro Manila attended the event held in the Bahay ng Alumni at the University of the Philippines (UP) Campus, Diliman, Quezon City.
Meanwhile, NCMF Commissioner Abdulhadi Daguit said Pandita will represent the Philippines in the International Qur’an Reciters’ Assembly (IQRA) this year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, since the male champion and second placer had already participated three times in the Malaysian event, which makes them no longer eligible to participate.
The female champion will represent the Philippines in the IQRA event sometime this month of April.
Commissioner Datu Sheriff M. Abas, earlier appointed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte as chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), the guest speaker in the dinner reception for the contestants on March 24 at a hotel in Quezon City, cited the significance of the NQRC.
The NQRC held on March 25 is one of the main programs of the NCMF, which it inherited from the defunct Office on Muslim Affairs (OMA), to promote, enhance, and preserve the cultural heritage of the Muslims in the Philippines.
In the Philippines, the competition which includes regional level leading to the national event is handled by the agency’s Bureau of Muslim Cultural Affairs (BMCA).