MY, MY, MY MARAWI: How are we, MaraWE?

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews / 08 August) — This is my first column in months for beloved, I can’t seem to write, I have had bad dreams, and so I must write….

On our incoming 80th day of the Marawi crisis, the lingering question on when to return to Marawi remains unanswered. Another mortar incident on the Marawi outskirts towards border of Marantao town douses our hopes as bakwits to return, to set foot on our beloved cool sanctuary again.

In the faces of Manila’s ears who convened in posh Manila House, BGC (thanks to hosts and Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan) last weekend, I find hope and sincerity in their wanting to know HOW THEY CAN HELP. Not only in physical needs but also in just being a FRIEND.

Thanks Kaye for sharing these few words: JUST MAKE A FRIEND FROM MARAWI!

I shared baring my feet without sandals in the symbolic message of baring our soul to Manila to understand the feelings of half a million affected in this inhumanity.

The past weeks have alerted a few of us rescuers on so-called arrest orders for some 50 people. Some have alerted me and expressed concern. I am okay, I hope. How about the rest who think just because they have a name similar to a suspicious personality, they have to HIDE from all civilian service? We thank the AFP for the openness in all queries but we continue to fear about many aspects of uncertainty.

Today, we gather as civil society in Iligan City to firm up participation in the Taskforce Bangon. Beyond participating in government structures, we pay respects to all volunteers and non-government workers who work without any certain funding. They make do with minimal warm bodies and cash. I salute rescuer medical teams who accompany the living patients and the slowly-dying ones. We pray for continuing strength not to grow NUMB amidst many sick and depressed.

Fellow rescuer, retired Colonel Commando Pilimpinas is in Manila en route to an alumni homecoming of the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) . We hope he enlightens the security community about the intricacies and complexity of unpeace and peace work in Marawi and the Bangsamoro as a whole. He is after all, no propagandist as we all must be: we must have facts and details to STAND ON and Stand On we must as Filipinos

Thanks to artists in Manila and young women progressives for gathering singers for an ALBUM for Marawi. See you Saturday at the BGC. Everything might be organic there, even a moment with like-minded earth warriors who want to preserve the sanctity of peace is worth the time to leave Iligan, home for now.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Samira Ali Gutoc-Tomawis, Ll.B., co-founder of the Young Moro Professionals resigned as Commissioner of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission in late May, days after the Marawi Crisis started, citing personal reasons and policy questions. Samira is one of the organizers of the Ranao Rescue Team, a group set up to respond to the crisis. She had earlier served as an  assemblywoman, women sector, of the Regional Legislative Assembly, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and was former director, Al-Amanah Islamic Bank, Inc. and former director of the Marawi Resort Hotel, Inc.)