Dayawan Torogan: The Endangered Heritage of Marawi
It was raining when we came back at Marawi City that November afternoon, back on 2011. It was cool but somehow the atmosphere was melancholic. Among other things we would like to see in the Maranao world, it is the traditional living quarters of the royal families called torogan. It’s a good thing that there are a few that survived time and elements just near the city, in the district known to locals as “Tuka” which sits beside the placid Lake Lanao.
The torogan is one of Maranaos’ lasting legacies in Mindanao. The trademark steep roofs and intricate jutting wooden carvings called panolong with its intricate carvings called okir have become synonymous to Mindanao’s culture of architecture. In fact, civil buildings such as the international airports of Zamboanga City and Davao City were all based in its likeness. The torogan is the sultans royal headquarters or office, the residence of his family, and a place where community issues and ceremonies are being heldmuch to like the royal palaces of the Western ideas. Given its prominent architecture, the torogan is the Maranao communitys most important structure.
|Some of the airports in Mindanao, inspired by the Torogran architecture.
|The old and seemingly abandoned torogan at the corner of the street. It still possesses the old trunk columns on top of stones. The said stones act as a shock absorption device during a tremor--a Maranaoan ingenuity in designing its buildings.
|Another shot of the old torogan
|Close up view of the wooden columns of the torogan
|The Dayawan Torogan (2012)
|It was raining when we went there. Notice the intricate okirs and panolong
|The underbelly of Dayawan Torogan
|The Dayawan Torogan, as seen from the cover or "The Maranao Torogan" by Dr. Abdullah T. Madale
Sadly on that rainy afternoon, we went to the torogan with the help of the barangay chief of Dayawan and saw its deplorable state of abandonment. While the intricate Sarimanok and naga panolong okirs still guard the torogan’s side, painted carvings are fading, bats living inside, wood rotting away and pieces of memorabilia lied scattered. What’s more heartbreaking, is the fact that it was renovated and even has a book of its own. But why was it abandoned despite giving it a lease of life by our taxpayers’ money?
|When we went inside, we were saddened by its state.
The torogans have become the Maranao’s lasting trademark in the Moro culture—a cultural legacy that was adopted even in non-Maranao territories and even beyond it—inspiring architects and artists to create masterpieces from the masters. Let us hope and take action in preserving this heritage, as it soon fades away in time and modernity.
|Our friendly guides from the community
I was actually surprised that the Dayawan Torogan is a declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
This article was written in early 2012, and the visit was made on November 2011. We hope that the torograns are well taken care of, five years later. We also hope that it will remain steadfast amid the crisis the city is encountering with, together with its residents. We hope that peace and order be restored immediately in Marawi City.