Posted by: luvin | September 3, 2008

Moro Trophy

Yesterday I was talking to a friend, a journalist and a Maranaw. Our conversation as usual traversed the complex Mindanao culture, from the present MILF problem to the common problem which is empirial manila.

Our view of the present problem is that it is not really a disperate  situation as  propagandist of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front would like us to believe. The people of Mindanao have already been to hell, and unfortunate incidents such as today will never drive them crazy. We totally agreed that even if the demand of the MILF will be granted, the trouble in Mindanao will not go away after the signing. The blip with the MOA on ancestral domain is simply about consultation. And if not for the inept handling of the arrogant yet ignorant ‘peace adviser’ the problem could have been remedied. Had he paused a little, be humble about his mistake, and brought the ‘initialled agreed discussion points’ to the people of Mindanao, with sincere effort there would have been no adversarial reaction.

The attitude or aptitude of Esperon and Garcia, by sticking to their post, is one of ignorance and arrogance that represents the present breed of Philippine leaders. But why should I waste my time with them, when I already know that problem such as them will never go away, because of  their mistaken self belief have been formed by centuries of  fallacious upbringing. The problems with our corrupt and inept leaders is as old as the violent confrontational practices in Mindanao.

The  violent conflict resolution approach, when people would solve their misunderstanding with the use of guns, is a cultural practice that have govern their way of life for centuries,  is something that will not go away overnight. That is why it is impossible to disarm them-both the MILF and the civilians- because that would be similar to undressing the christians. It is like going around naked.

In Mindanao, specially in Muslim areas, if you don’t own a gun, you are doomed to be bullied, to say the least. That is why a gun is a cherished position. But is it the best trophy that a moro would like to have?

Aside from guns, there are other things that makes a moro proud. One is their diploma or degree. If you go around the muslim localities after the end of every school year, you will see banners congratulating Engrs. Datu…. for passing the board exam, or Atty Adel… son of Sultan… for passing the bar. I have observe how the muslim people would respect their professional brothers or sisters. It is something akin to the respect they pay to their Datus.

Another trophy, (it may touch the feminist sensibilities) is the marriage of a moro to a christian. A male muslim is so proud to have christian as his betterhalf. I even know of a royal family whose sons have christians as their wives. The children of this cross marriages is something that bring hope to this troubled land. The most popular son perhaps is the present Governor of a province in Lanao, Khalid Dimaporo. He is the bright product of an Ilaga supporter and the Barracuda founder. The best example that muslim and christian can co-exist.

The trend is for the male muslim to look for a christian wife and not the other way around. Muslim women in Mindanao are not yet as empowered as their christian sisters, though they are more empowered compared to their counterpart in other muslim countries. Thus seldom do I know of a female muslim of royal lineage whose husband is a christian. I know of one though, who ironically have also this Ilaga-muslim breed. Anthony Dequinia, the former congressman from the first district of Cotabato Province. His mother is a Tausug, and his father is one of the founder of the ill-famed Ilaga movement. The older Dequinia, together with Carlos Cajelo, Esteban Doruelo (and some others who I can no longer remember) founded the Ilaga movement. But inspite of the animosity between the moro and ilagas, one man became successful. Congressman Dequinia and Khalid Demaporo became symbols of hope for the integration that is aspired by many muslims in Mindanao.

It is unfortunate though that muslim ideologues would insist that they need a separate state of their own to realize their dream and practice their religion. The late Datu Toto Paglas whose wife is a non moro, have proven that it could be done outside the edges of the kris.



  1. I agree that intermarriage is one of the best solutions to the Mindanao problem. But this can’t be successful unless the root-cause of the Mindanao problem is not propitiously identified, recognized and addressed collaboratively by the tri-people of Mindanao, i.e. Muslims or Moros, Christians and Lumads.

    Many of us Christians view economic problem as the root-cause of the Moro rebellion. But when you think it without bias/prejudice, you would say that poverty is just the fruit of the real problem which is the “struggle of the bangsamoro people for self-determination”. The government and the Christian majority in Mindanao are well aware of this fact., if we trace it on history. But we are afraid that we may become second class citizen if the government will grant full autonomy to the Bangsamoro people.

    I think what we need is to give and take.

  2. […] Moro Trophy […]

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