A community from Maguindanao – Day 2 Episode 3
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 🙂