COTABATO CITY – All roads will lead to Al Nor Hotel and Convention Center in Cotabato City, as Maguindanao’s 2nd District Representative Ismael Mangudadatu marries former Miss Asia Pacific International 2018, Sharifa Akeel, today, August 25th.
The activity is considered the simplest muslim wedding of prominent people this year, involving the toughest and smartest governor of the land and the Muslim beauty queen with a Cinderella-like story of her own.
Both Congressman Ismael and Akeel have had great stories that gain them prominence not only in the country but also internationally.
Congressman Ismael “Toto” Mangudadatu gained the world’s attention when her late wife, Bae Genalyn Tiamson-Mangudadatu along with family members, and 22 journalists in Central Mindanao, were massacred and killed while attempting to file the gubernatorial candidate of his husband – against the decades-ruling clan of the Ampatuans.
The reported massacre was covered by the world media. Luckily, then unknown Buluan town vice mayor Toto Mangudadatu may have allegedly sensed the devil plans of the Ampatuan’s and instead told his wife to file candidacy for him.
That massacre which gave interest to the world media community because of the many journalists killed also paved the way for Toto Mangudadatu to fame – and he won as the newest governor, after the set of power was ruled by the Ampatuan’s for many decades.
Ms Akeel, on the other hand, gained prominence after she was crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas – Miss Asia Pacific International 2018.
CROWNED. Miss Sharifa Akeel is crowned Mutya ng Pilipinas, Miss Asia Pacific International 2018.
Akeel was a daughter of a very poor family in her hometown in Sultan Kudarat and she lived only in a shanty back then. But her winning of the prestigious crown made her realize her dream gradually – and she bought her dream piece of land and started building the family’s decent home.
“I’m so happy because at an early age, I’ve already paid in full the land property I bought for my family,” she happily stressed, adding that after buying a piece of land, the beauty queen is now focused on building a small home. “Bahay naman po ngayon ang ipapatayo ko,” she said in a previous interview with MB.
Many people in her hometown in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat province knew Akeel only lives in a shanty but she is proud of her family raising her as a great and empowered woman.
“I owe a lot to my supporters. I don’t want to close any door or opportunity that will come my way. We will cross the bridge when we get there. Besides, I am still young. I still want to know what I really want in life and find out my capacity as a person,” she said two years ago.
Miss Akeel was a former teacher and she proudly tells her friends that she grew up in a shanty in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat and she is not ashamed of her humble beginnings.
SHANTY HOUSE. Miss Sharifa Akeel is proud of her humble beginnings. This shanty is her family’s house when she joined Mutya ng Pilipinas in 2018, and won one of the top titles.
It was destiny that the beauty queen met Rep. Mangudadatu who was widowed by the passing of his wife Genelyn. Genelyn was among those 51 people massacred in 2018 at a secluded place in Maguindanao, after their convoy bound for the capital town Shariff Aguak, was held up and then killed mercilessly.
Rep. Mangudadatu’s romance with Akeel reportedly started in 2020. Both Toto and Akeel were seen on social media happily enjoying their moments together, which prompted the suspicion they have something – a love affair.
FINALLY THE WEDDING
The love affair that blossomed sometime in 2020 has grown into a real life get together of both Toto and Akeel.
Today, August 25, 2021, they are scheduled to finally tie-the-knot at Al Nor Hotel and Convention Center in Cotabato City, at around 10:00 in the morning.
There will be limited guests though, according to the couple, due to the threats of the deadly coronavirus disease and its mutations.
“Though we love to have our friends and relatives on our Walima celebration, yet, for safety protocol, we are allowed to limited guests only,” the invitation reads.