Guests applaud the compilers and editors of the Mindanao Muslim History: Documentary Sources from the Advent of Islam to the 1800s.  L-R: Mr. Ramon Beleno III, Ustadz Janor C. Balo, Ms. Maria Janua P. Cunanan, Mr. John Harvey D. Gamas, Dr. Anderson V. Villa, and Dr. Mansoor L. Limba.  Photo by Aivy Rose Villarba.

By Aivy Rose Villarba

In order to address the gap in Philippine history by integrating Muslim historical experience in the discourse, the Ateneo de Davao University Publication Office launched the Mindanao Muslim History: Documentary sources from the advent of Islam to the 1800s book last 31 May at the 7th Floor Finster Hall, Finster Auditorium.

The book is compiled and edited by John Harvey Gamas, Dr. Mansoor Limba, Dr. Anderson Villa, Utadz Janor Balo, Maria Janua Cunanan, Dr. Heidi Gloria, and Ramon Beleno III.

“It aims to achieve the objective by presenting primary documentary sources. These sources have been carefully chosen to highlight Muslim religio-political independence and the historical injustices committed against them,” Gamas said during the book presentation.

Historian, novelist, and Anthropology professor of Ateneo de Davao University Bro. Karl Gaspar, CSsR expressed that the compilation is most impressive because it includes important documents from way back the pre-conquest era to documents written in the 1800s.

Gaspar added that the book is very important and timely.

“Apart from material solutions, the Mindanao problem should also be addressed by acknowledging and rectifying the prejudices and biases rooted in historical injustices,” he said.

He also pointed our that the historical injustices committed against the Moro people persist in the manner that many Filipino Christians regard our Moro brothers and sisters.

“Strong prejudices and biases have evolved into very condescending myths. This book debunks all these myths,” he said.

The book is divided into three chapters: Islam and the Rise of the Sultanates in Mindanao, Spanish Colonial Intrusions into Mindanao, and the Decline of the Sultanates in Mindanao.

You may purchase copies of the book at the Ateneo de Davao University Publications Office (UPO) for only P350.00 at the 8th Floor Xavier Hall, Community Center of the First Companions, Ateneo de Davao University, Roxas Avenue, Davao City. You may reach UPO via landline at (082) 221-24-11 local 8213 or via email at


John Harvey D. Gamas is an assistant professor and chair of the International Studies Department of the Ateneo de Davao University. He obtained his Master of Arts in International Studies, major in European Studies from De La Salle University. He specializes in non-Western International Relations, focusing on Southeast Asian maritime history as the locus for theorizing the “international.” Currently, he is an active member of the International Studies Association (ISA), the Philippine International Studies Organization (PhISO), and the European Studies Association of the Philippines (ESAP).

Dr. Mansoor L. Limba is an associate professor of the Islamic Studies program and a member of the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia of the Ateneo de Davao University. He is associate editor of IQRA Journal and an International Fellow of the Vienna-based King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID). His research interests include international politics, history, political philosophy, intrafaith and interfaith relations, cultural heritage, Islamic finance, jurisprudence (fiqh), theology (‘ilm al’kalam), Qur’anic sciences and exegesis (tafsir), hadith, ethics, and mysticism.

Dr. Anderson V. Villa is an associate professor of the International Studies Department of the Ateneo de Davao University and the Editor of IQRA Journal. His research interests include international migration and immigration policies, migration and citizenship studies as well as ethnicity, conflict and peace studies. He also heads the Migration and Diaspora Section of the Ateneo Center for Politics and International Affairs (CPIA). He is a member of the Philippine Political Science Association (PPSA) and the Association for Asian Studies (AAS).

Ustadz Janor C. Balo is an assistant professor and program coordinator of the AB Islamic Studies of the Ateneo de Davao University. He is a graduate of the Zaid bin Thabit Qur’anic Institute of King Faisal College, Mindanao State University. He finished BS Psychology from the same university. In 2016, he received his Master of Science in Psychology, major in Industrial and Organization Psychology from the Ateneo de Davao University. He is a registered Psychometrician and a Shariah Bar exam passer.

Maria Janua P. Cunanan is a faculty member of the Political Science and History Department of the Ateneo de Davao University. She graduated from the Central Mindanao University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. In 2012, she was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines (TOSP) at the Malacañan Palace by former President Benigno Aquino III.

Ramon B. Beleno III finished AB Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University, and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Nueva Caceres. He gained his masters in Political Science major in Global Politics from the Ateneo de Manila University. For four years he served as chairperson of the Department of Social Sciences of the Ateneo de Naga University. At present, he is the chair of the Political Science and History Department of the Ateneo de Davao University.

Dr. Heidi K. Gloria is a professor emeritus of Ateneo de Davao University. She has an MA in History from the University of San Carlos, and a PhD in History from the University of the Philippines. She founded Tambara, Ateneo de Davao University’s multidisciplinary journal on the humanities and social sciences. She was the curator of the Davao Museum and a part of the World Archaeological Congress Council. Dr. Gloria has published on the ethnohistory, ethnoecology, and cultural change of Mindanao indigenous communities.

Watch the recorded live video of Our Stories, Our Struggles, Our Hopes: Launching of the Mindanao-Sulu Timelines and Mindanao Muslim History Book last 31 May 2017 at the Finster Auditorium, Ateneo de Davao University.

Share This