The first time we went to Brgy. Buru-un Evacuation Center, we had the opportunity to just talk with the families inside the center. We asked them how they feel, their coping mechanisms and their hopes in life. There are ideas that highlighted upon our small talks with them, we did the same thing as we went there for the second time around.
Refugee’s emotions towards their current situation
Marawi is once a peaceful community were the Maranaos lived and do their business. Staying in the evacuation center is like uncommon to them. Maranaos have their pride as the royal bloodlines among all of the Muslim Tribes. Accepting donations and to live in a gym is difficult for them to accept. Their social functioning was being disrupted.
“Mahirap sir, kasi dun sa Marawi makakain ka ng kung ano gusto mo, kaya mong bumuili, dito, mahirap kasi maghintay ka lang kung ano ibigay sa ‘yo.” (Its difficult, sir. Because in Marawi, we can eat whatever we want, we can buy [things], but here, it’s hard, because you will just wait what they will give you).
“Ako sir nag-drive ako, pero dito maghihintay lang nang kung sino man ang mag deliver ng relief good kagaya niyo”. (I drive [to make a living], but here, I’ll just wait for those who will bring us relief goods, like you).
They felt sad by the thought that their homes, established small businesses such as stall in a public market, sari-sari store and even a grocery shop were all gone. They are also saddened that some of their family members were no longer with them
“Yung bahay namin tsaka yung tinda naming sa palengke, wala na talaga yon. Sira na yung may nag bomba”. (Our homes, our small stall in the market, its gone. Its damaged by bombs).
“Nung nagkagulo na, kami lang ang umalis, ang asawa ko hindi. Kasi akala namin hindi tatagal ang gyera. Hindi ko na alam kung saan na siya”. (When the chaos begun, I and my kids evacuated, while my husband stayed because we thought the war would last just a day or two. I don’t know where he is now)
Most of the evacuees have the same sentiments and feelings on what had happened. They showed sadness for their loss of not just their homes and businesses, but also the lives of the one they loved and the City they treasured the most.
The Maranaos still uphold their pride no matter what happened. They still in the process of accepting on their current situation.
“Hanggang ngayon sir, hindi parin naming matanggap ang nangyari. Pero inisip nalang naming na matatapos na ito at makabalik na kami sa Marawi” (Until now, it’s hard for us to accept what happened. But we just put in our minds that sooner this [war] will end so that we can go back to Marawi).
“Wala na akong maiisip na iba sir, basta yung mga bata, ligtas kami. Masakit sa amin na wala na kaming babalikan sa Marawi. (I don’t mind anything else, as long as we, the kids are safe. It’s painful though that we have nothing when we go back to Marawi).
“Ako sir, nagpapasalamat nalang kami kasi may makakain pa kami araw-araw, at may nagbibigay gaya niyo. Yun lang yong importante para sa akin”. (For me, I just be thankful that we can still eat every day and there are willing to give like you).
It highlighted that they have different perspectives on the situation, some are still on the process, some developed resilience – ability to bounce back despite the hardships they have been through.
Hopes and dreams for New Marawi
The Islamic City of Marawi is now but a rubble. Buildings – commercial or residential in total wreckage. The Maranaos is still hopeful to start a new life from the scratch and rubbles.
“Mahal ko ang Marawi, gusto ko nang bumalik dun at mamuhay ulit” (I love Marawi, I want to go back and live a new life).
“Alam mo sir, ang Marawi para yang cellphone ngayon, kailangan ng i-reformat, yun la
ng yun.” (You know what sir, Marawi is like cellphone, it has to be reformatted, just like that).
“Naniniwala kami kay Presidente kasi, may dugo siyang Maranao, hindi nila kami pababayaan” (I believe in the President, he has a Maranao, he will help us).
“Syempre babangon sir! Ganon lang ang buhay. Basta kaya pa, tutulongan naman siguro kami ng gobyerno at ni Presidente” (We will stand back, of course! That’s life, as long as we could. The government will help us, and the President).
It good to know that though they experienced all of these, their faith in the government still intact. They showed resiliency that there is no other way but to get up and live a new life again in their new, reformatted Marawi City.
Global Impact Team Activities
The GI team in partnership with the Church So Blessed – Iligan City, in coordination with Atty. Sittie Jan Rahanna Ganda of National Commission on Muslim Filipino. The activities were focused on giving fun thru games for the children, youth and for the adult as well. We delivered also goods, food packs, malongs, and prizes.