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Is Mindanao an island of death and bloodshed?

By Yolando Rosauro

Artwork courtesy of

Should I be disturb when people not living here perceive the island a place of death, destruction and bloodshed?

As a Christian middle-class Mindanaoan, who has not gone through the struggles, challenges and suffering of some people like the “bakwits” in the countrysides caught in the seemingly endless and useless battles of rebels and military, I am bothered, sad and frustrated because I see the truth as “distributed” or divided.

It is true in a sense to the poor victims in rural villages and not to the urban dwellers ,who face their own wars by remaining hard-up and tied to the feudal dictates of politicians.

Mindanao is indeed the land of contradictions. It is the land of beauty and diversity; of peace and volatile situations; of life inspired and also frustration.

There are times I am proud of her because I see the landscapes so awesome. I have been to most regions like the Surigao coastlines facing the Pacific so spectacular it can compete with the rest of the world as tourist destinations.

But there are moments I am sad and frustrated when I read the papers or see on TV about the encounters of the same, unresolved, ceaseless conflict that affect innocent marginalized people like the indigenous.

Like many others, I want it to end. But of course it won’t because of many selfish interests from both sides and sponsored by greedy leaders of all kinds.

What is left to Mindanao then? It has become the land of truth and untruth. It is the land of many divisions and insecurity.

Because of this, her children has become denial or searching for a reality. They are fragmented, confused and even angry. They want change but change has not come. It has become nothing but a dream, forever an aspiration.

They are hopeful that this current administration make a difference but it has not. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. Leaders, who arrogantly do not know or care much of the confusion and discontent of the people.

That adds the bad image of Mindanao. That is the truth.

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