NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 03 June) — Marawi City is another hometown to me. I spent four years of my vagabond life in the place as a young, fiery, ambitious and adventurous student of Mindanao State University (MSU) who lived, ate, played, loved and dreamed in the foggy, rolling cogonal hills of Barrio Kabingan, some 4 kms away from the heart of the city, we then called “downtown.”
After my ROTC years, I loved to explore downtown Marawi alone, window-shopping at Palitan, Banggulo and viewing double-program Tagalog movies now and then either at Nurrudin or Ramain theatre, alone or with someone special at that time. On Sunday mornings I would not miss the church service at the UCCP, located within the compound of Dansalan College. Cruising in my lonesome the narrow streets of downtown Marawi, which constantly overflowed with happy chattering people, is a pleasurable, never a scary memory.
I joined MSU foundation day parades that crawled from Kabingan hills down to the commercial streets of the city and back that advanced theme floats of colleges that proudly displayed their chosen beauties. Uniformed ROTC cadets would compete for public attention bearing their shiny real Springfield and M14 rifles (sans trigger pins), towed by their drum and bugle corps. It was fun and lovely.
Beautiful and picturesque Marawi City with its colorful malongs, endless streamers of welcomes and congratulations, infinite sea of smiling humanity, uncollected trash and all, was dear home to me in the past.
The place is now devastated and consumed by a barbaric and brutal war. The people are maimed, killed and torn asunder, scattered everywhere, and robbed of their homes and scanty belongings; their kids wantonly deprived of their future.
I am hurt and saddened.
This inhumanity of man to man ought to end.
The dumb and senseless war that ravages the City should now stop. I want my home saved. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)