VIRAL: Muslim graduates from Catholic school, shares inspiring view on faith
MANILA, Philippines – Donning her faith’s traditional head garb, 21-year-old Jomana Lomangco stood out as a proud Muslim woman among the new graduates of the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Asia’s oldest and largest Catholic university.
Lomangco, who graduated cum laude with a degree in Accountancy, recounted in a Facebook post on Tuesday, June 4, how she never felt discriminated as a Muslim in the predominantly Catholic UST. (READ: Breaking barriers: More than just Muslims)
“Never have I felt discriminated in the 4 walls of the university. Never have I felt less just because I’m a Muslim. Never did they leave me out just because of my faith," Lomangco wrote in her post. (READ: #EndDiscriminationNow: On being Muslim and discriminated)
She admitted that initially, people questioned her decision to study in a Catholic school, which they said might alter her faith and turn her into a Christian.
But Lomangco stuck to her Islamic upbringing and chose to see the common ground between Muslims and Christians instead. “To be of a certain faith, may it be Christianity or Islam, is to be human. And to be human is to respect and accept each other in spite of the differences in our beliefs,” she said.
“As a Muslim who took up a few Theology courses, I’ve learned to look at our similarities rather than our differences. And I think that’s exactly what this world needs,” Lomangco added. (READ: Muslim women: 'We are not limited because we wear a hijab')
As of this posting, Lomangco’s Facebook post has garnered 5,200 shares and 28,000 reactions, with mostly high spirited praises in the comments section.
Netizens commended her message of finding unity amid the seemingly great religious and cultural divide.
Nicolas Czar Antonio is a Rappler intern and a Psychology major at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He tweets at @Nicolas_Czar.