September 01

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A community from Maguindanao – Day 2 Episode 3

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After lunch we visited an indigenous migrant community from Maguindanao, in the village not far from the health center. Maguindanao is a province located in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), a group of islands composed mainly of 5 Muslim provinces – Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Mindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. In this conflict area, these T’boli people were displaced and settled here around 10 years ago.

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They were kind enough to allow us into their homes – which I find fascinating. It’s the same fascination I had travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia a number of years ago – I find other people’s worlds that are vastly different from mine incredibly interesting. I try to get in their shoes (or flip flops…) and imagine what their daily lives must be like.

 

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Some of these families are just passing through, arriving for the harvest and will then return home. There are many things I am learning and admiring about the Filipino culture, but their hospitality and care and concern for others is really striking.

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There is a water pump, but some of the water is not safe to drink – and there are no toilets. Waste is discarded in the field at the back. So it is very difficult to imagine what their daily lives must be like as I  have never experienced a life without a toilet or clean running water, or lack of privacy, or healthcare within easy reach.

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Despite the challenges people here and in other parts of the Philippines face, it never ceases to amaze me how many warm, friendly smiles I see every day.

Episode 3 – An unexpected delivery….Speak soon, Alli 🙂