AS AN anonymous Chinese proverb goes, “Feed a man a fish and feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.”
Majority of the Philippine populace, especially those who are living in Mindanao, are alarmed with the sporadic spread of innovations brought about by both the precedent and current administrations.
Not only do these developments give a glimpse of the future, but it also provides the downside of hopes and “promises.” Not to mention that the major contributor of the ever-consistent change is bounded by history.
The indigenous people, or the Lumad were believed to be the first dwellers in the island – ceramic burial jars, Chinese celadons, shell bracelets, beads, and gold ornaments were found in the caves, evidences that the civilization started long before Islam came.
When Christianity came, a seemingly corrupted ideology of separation had stepped in.
After claiming the country’s independence, the Philippine government had encouraged the non-Muslims to move to Mindanao.
Just when the Non-Muslims started transferring their abode down south, the Muslims have felt that they have been in descending social status, a secondary citizen next to the Catholics and Christians. The call for peace in nation-building is sometimes turned down because of this – not by faith, but because of the fact that these two religions have something between them that needs to be settled.
The Chinese proverb mentioned is a series of questionable reality at risk – was the separation of religion intentional? Was the purpose of moving a religion southward beneficial? Did the Philippine government deserve a gesture of gratitude from the people of Mindanao?
There is also a contrast that can realize this divide. Apart from the Muslims and Christians
having this commotion, there is also an obviousness that is generally known, and that is the view from the people of the north.
The transformation of Mindanao cannot be equated only with a financial status, but it can also be tested among the old hands that tilled the soil of both perpetuity and ignorance.
Because of this soil, the people were taught to hate each other.
And ironically, the ideas that were fed after the freedom became the hunger for dependence. (Kurt Ivan Bue)