via the rappler
It frustrates me that my home is constantly threatened with hostility. Ambush attacks, exploding bombs in malls and public places, kidnappings and bomb threats are sadly the kind of things people in my place take in half alarm and half passively. Sadly, we have slowly become used to it. Bomb threat news are nothing out of the ordinary. It's a reality we face everyday. Sure, we take necessary precautions but it does not affect us as much as people outside my town take it.
I think it's rather fortunate I live outside the default war zones. So okay, they happen near Iligan city but they don't happen in my city (get it?). You know, we just get bomb threats and have bombs explode in public places occasionally (notice the operative word). Nothing much to worry. And oh, have ridos (family wars involving guns) once in awhile.
All these are part of our daily lives. It just that every year, on the average, bomb threats don't miss out. IT'S a SAD reality we live with everyday and it is sadder that we are somehow used to it. I love my place. I love Mindanao. It has a lot of wonderful, untouched places waiting to be explored and to be fully utilized to its full potential. But how? When peace is a running issue?
I long to see a peaceful and thriving Mindanao! I long to be asked where I'm from and not have my place be hurriedly stereotyped, 'YOU LIVE IN MINDANAO? REALLY? SO YOU'RE A MUSLIM? IS YOUR PLACE OKAY? IS IT SAFE? ARE BOMBS GOING OFF EVERYDAY?'. At first I get really annoyed and answer sarcastically, 'Yes, people in my area eat bullets for breakfast, we party with the army, and bombs are meh'. People are incredulously misinformed. It's like they live in another country.
But now, I know better. I do understand why they react so. Then again.. I wish I never had to explain each and every time.
Can we all live harmoniously, religious and cultural differences and all, like people in Malaysia? Just take a look at them.
I'm holding on to that dream, still. Always.