We were invited last May 22, 2014 (well, actually just a proxy for GMA News in Sulu) to graze the Joint Anniversary Celebration of the Philippine Marines in Sulu. It was held inside the Camp Bautista, Bus-Bus, Jolo, Sulu.
This is Sulu Kris reflection after the event.
|The CHD gentleman and ladies.|
We enjoyed the gathering. There were lots of Tausug food being served, the Tiyula Itum was particularly tasty. And there were lots of wonderful people in attendance, too.
|With the food and the Tiyula Itum.|
|With the US Marines contingents in Sulu.|
|With Board Member Butch Izquierdo.|
There, one could instantly notice that the Marines are human, too. They are not Dragons, Hydra, or Chimera as earlier described to us by our folks at home. Marines smile, laugh, and cry too like everyone of us.
|Food Food Food.|
The Sulu Kris is now hoping to know more about them. The Philippine Marines are also for peace, similar to the advocacy of our forefathers -- everyone is for peace.
|They who call the shot.|
But unlike my forefathers, we the young generations, no longer choose the implement of war to gain peace. They are many other weapons that can be used to attain that objective. We can use the area of intellect that had been completely disused before, but only the sheer brunt of force.
In order to get what we want, we need to change tact. The childish attitude of tantrums should now be shed apart. It's time to re-educate the people to act in a civilized manner, worthy of the modern man. The using of people to attain one's sinister motive should be put to an end, sooner than later. The pain and suffering is already enough.
To listen to the call of people, who are out of this place, who are abroad, and their warlike ideas would only jeopardize the local people even more. Nothing can be lost with them, they are not the ones who are suffering, but the people on the ground. But I don't know why they are the people who sounded the horn of war the loudest!
Crush that Thor brain, my child! Be real, be pragmatic.
*** *** ***
Marines (read: Army, for that matter) were the dreadful, the horrible, and the gruesome people during my childhood. I was raised with that kind of thinking. Our old folks admonished us young kids to stay away from the Philippine Marines, and never go even a millimeter closed with them.
|A US marine killing a chicken. Photo Credit: The dailymail.co.uk|
Our old folks told us countless of gruesome and macabre stories about the Marines. . . .
Marines are murderers.
Marines are rapists.
Marines are devil's incarnate.
Marines are the Satan.
Not a thing was said if the Marines had been good people, too.
|Philippine Marine shakes hand with US Marines. Credit: Wikimedia.|
You can easily understand that if you know that Sulu in the Southern Philippines has the longest running revolutionary movement in the world -- three hundred years and counting!
People in this part of the world had become Muslims first and foremost, then established the first Sultanate in the 13th century in Sulu, which had become the first government in the now-called Philippine archipelago. The Islamic ideology creeped up from the Southern tip of the archipelago to the Northern tip. The Tausug, the inhabitant of the Sulu Sultanate had been known as great marauders of the sea and great navigators. They controlled almost all the land and seas between Indonesia and Brunei.
But by the 16th century, the Spaniards surreptitiously arrived to expand their domain in Europe (to make it more palatable, to search for some spices) and tried their might to erase the history of the Muslims from the land. The Spaniards changed the name from can-you-remember-what to "Philippines," in honor of King Philip of Spain. They assumed they had conquered the entire island, but little that they knew, they had not. They should know better than that!
|The barong is one of several significant weapons of the Moros in the southern Philippines. (Wikipedia)|
The Moros or the Muslims, (specifically the Tausug and the Iranuns and other Muslim tribes, including the Lumads, too) in Mindanao valiantly resisted all aggressions of the Spaniards in this part of the world. The Spaniards had not really succeeded in all their campaign against Sulu and Mindanao. Evidence: the majority of the People down here had remained Muslims, unlike their Northern people counterpart, who had been unceremoniously Christianized. And so, the Philippines had been dubbed as the only "Christian country in Asia." And are we proud?
But in fact, that is wrong, maybe Christians are predominant in this country because of the Spaniards forceful conversion. But as I said earlier, Spaniards had not succeeded in conquering the whole Island. It was the Moros in the Philippines that fought against the every aggression by the Spaniards. As a matter of fact, the Moros had resisted any form of foreign aggression towards them, including the American, the Japanese, and until now, the Filipinos.
The Filipinos are now considered modern-day usurpers of Mindanao. As a matter of fact, the Treaty of Paris wrongfully annexed Sulu and Mindanao to the Map of the Philippines, and both were included in the purchase in 1898, when the Spaniards "surrendered" to the Americans.
The Moros did not want that unlawful annexation, that was why the revolution is still alive until today. The Moros wanted it's Right to Determination given back to them, and it include to remain as a Muslims with strong Islamic faith to rule their day-to-day affair and politics.
Are the present Philippine Marines cool people, too? Yes, they are, because they are human, too.
|Philippine Marines during the singing of the National Anthem.|
The unending conflict between the two warring people just bring about poverty to the Island of Sulu. It is not the Manila City that is bombed daily, but the Province of Sulu. It is not Manileños and Manileñas that suffer from the daily brunt of war, but the Tausug, the Sama, and the Iranuns.
We are, we are all the casualties of war -- our livelihood, our future, our children -- and it needs to be stopped. Three hundred years is already a long fight to suffer from, and sometimes, some rests and relaxations are also needed.
We hope that the peace deal between the MILF and the Government of the Philippines can put closure to the unending conflict.
Please pray for us. Amen!