Finding Hope in Desolation

By Jean E. Abarquez

hope in desolation
Photo by Nestor Banuag, Social Development Advocacy Coordinator

With the ongoing siege in Marawi, numerous Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have been inevitably crammed into evacuation centers, slowly being deprived of food and comfort as the war against the Maute terrorists, a violent extremist group, wages on.

In this war that has lasted for almost five months now, a home that was built with memories, a family that comforted them in times of pain and frustration, and a livelihood that sustained them throughout the years has been pulverized and what remains are concrete proofs of inhumane destruction.

Different from the life they had before, various people now look to evacuation centers as their shelters. However, these evacuation centers struggle to maintain these IDPs due to their numbers and in turn, these IDPs are deprived of basic human needs; no blankets to keep them warm at night, no water to quench their thirst and no sufficient food to alleviate their hunger. Continue reading “Finding Hope in Desolation”


Beyond the safe-zone

By Jessa Grace Labininay and Jeremiah Torayno

Since year 1986, thousands of journalists were killed in line of duty and according to the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), a total of 26 reporters died in covering conflicts around the world in 2016, a decline from a record-high 72 killed in 2015.

Despite the decrease in the number of journalists killed in 2016, the Philippines continues to be one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF) or Reporters without Borders, an international journalists’ organization considers the Philippines as the world’s second most dangerous country for media personnel and ranked it 127th out of 180 countries in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index with a score of 41.08 points from 2016’s 138th place with a score of 44.66 points.

The massive killings of journalists in 2009 in Maguindanao did not stop the reporters to continue in searching for truth behind a particular issue. And the latest dangerous issue to cover is the on-going siege in Marawi which started on the day of May 23, 2017. The clash between the Maute group and the Philippine Military ignited. This incident in Marawi, which later on became a crisis of the whole nation up until this present time, prompted the journalists to go and cover the war.

During that day, it was not only the Philippine military who performed its duty, but the media men as well. Among the journalists who covered the conflicted area were Cong Corrales- an author at Mindanao Gold Star Daily, Froilan Gallardo– a veteran photographer in Cagayan de Oro and Jiggy Manicad Jr.-a national news producer/reporter; shared their experiences and sentiments on journalists covering in war-zone.

On protocol and laws Continue reading “Beyond the safe-zone”

Before nightfall: Life amidst curfew

By Jeasselle Villalobos and Frances Apple Kahulugan

Curfew hours in Manila

With the rising statistics of any form of crimes among the minors and adults, a nationwide curfew was approved during former president Gloria Arroyo’s administration on April 28, 2006. To strengthen this law, President Rodrigo Duterte enforced the strict implementation of curfew in the country with a prime purpose of ensuring the safety of Filipino citizens, especially the minors.

Following the implementation of curfew, President Rodrigo Duterte, declared Martial law in Mindanao after Marawi City was attacked and burned by the Maute group on May 23, 2017. That accident reflected the situation in the neighboring places; with over 117 km distance from Marawi to Misamis Oriental the province strengthen the security and followed the martial law.

A strict order of curfew and checkpoints was passed in every city, town and barangay within Misamis Oriental had been observed to catch the maute group members and to prevent more accidents and killings. Continue reading “Before nightfall: Life amidst curfew”

#TabangMarawi: Call for Relief Efforts

By Kurt Anthony Chan

“We have to do something. What we’re doing is something historical. We are there not because we are able to cater donations. We are for peace in Mindanao, we are for the underprivileged. We are for the poor.” – Nestor Banuag Jr.,

Over 4 months ago, Marawi City has fallen into a crisis from the hands of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf jihadists groups. Fighting in claiming back the war-torn city from the ISIS-linked terrorist groups, the government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines continue dropping bombs in what may be the final stages in the military campaign.

While the military continue to fight these terror groups, local government officials, development workers and volunteers provide relief operations for the affected residents of Marawi and Lanao del Sur. With over four months from the attack, an increasing amount of internally displaced persons are crowding the evacuation centers affecting the sanitary and food security for the victims. Continue reading “#TabangMarawi: Call for Relief Efforts”

Battling the growth of prejudice among Kagay-anons

By Maria Monica L. Borja

Lights have been switched off, windows were closed, as men and women dressed in thobes and hijabs came knocking at the doors of some Kagay-anons to seek refuge.

“I feel saddened kay karon ang time nga mas nanginahanglan mi ug tabang sa people, so kung girefuse mi ninyo kay murag ginaignan ninyo ang world nga inani dapat ang buhaton, so what if everybody refuses us so wala nami madaganan, tanan na morefuse sa amo.  Kung balihon lugar, kung ang mga Kagay-anons ang manginanghanglan og tabang sa mga Maranao unya didto sila modagan sa Marawi, okay ra kung magstate sila ug justifiable reason, pero kung irefuse nimo ang tribe because of the recent happenings, medyo saddening siya,” Ar-Raffi Macaumbos, a Muslim student of XU cannot just leave his thoughts unspoken on what his fellow Muslim brothers and sisters have experienced.

Continue reading “Battling the growth of prejudice among Kagay-anons”