In a time of great political upheaval and uncertainty, one man stood firmly for the rights of his people. Senator Tomas Lluisma Cabili, hailed by the Maranaos as “Sultan Dimasangkay ko Ranao,” was the lone delegate who stood against the First National Assembly by refusing to sign the 1935 Constitution, which failed to provide adequate protection for Muslims. Cabili never wavered in his conviction; his bold decision cemented his place in history.
To chronicle his life and legacy, genealogist Nasser Sharief and The Royal House of Cabili have co-written the coffee-table book, HRH Tomas Lluisma Cabili And The Royal House of Sultan A Dimasangkay Ko Ranao. It was launched on March 7, 2023 to coincide with Cabili’s birthday.
The 60-page hardcover book features personal stories and tightly kept photographs from his childhood, his years as an assemblyman, senator, and sultan to his last moments as the most-revered successor of People’s President Ramon Magsaysay, before he and 23 others perished in a fateful plane crash in 1957.
Its glossy pages serve as a retrospective of his works, his political journey, and his growth as one of Mindanao’s great thought leaders. Most importantly, the book compels readers to contemplate what Mindanao and the Philippines could have been and reconnects with people his ideas that were forgotten.
It also delves into the symbolic return of the Royal House of Cabili to its rightful place when His Royal Highness Tomas Cabili Jr. (also known as Tomas Pastor), was crowned as the second Sultan Dimaśangkay ko Ranaō by The Sixteen Royal Houses of Lanao.
Marawi is known to be the Holy Land of the Maranaos, a thriving community where trade flourished but was threatened by terrorism.
Cabili Jr. recounted in the book how the holy city’s sad fate resonated with him, as he witnessed the destruction of the very place where his father once walked and served as a revered leader for the Maranao’s. He returned to Mindanao to extend a hand, to share what he has — his intellect and knowledge, like his father before him.
“My father’s legacy is one of service, integrity, compassion, and dedication to the welfare of the Mindanaoan people. He was a dynamic force in fighting for Muslim rights, and may his lasting legacy continue to inspire people to promote peace and development in the region,” said Cabili Jr., who is also the president of the Tomas Cabili Peace Foundation.
The foundation’s mission is rooted in Senator Cabili’s vision for a better future for Mindanao and the country as a whole, and encourages others to pursue the same ideals.
Friends from near and far gathered and celebrated the milestones with the descendants of former Senator and Sultan Tomas Cabili Sr. led by His Royal Highness Cabili Jr. accompanied by his lovely and formidable wife Bai Remedios Salas-Pastor, the publisher of the coffee-table book.