TRANSFIGURING MINDANAO: View Mindanaw-Sulu as a kolon or palayok

(Speech delivered for Rudy Rodil by his wife Bebot, during the launch of the book, Transfiguring Mindanao: A Mindanao Reader, at the Ateneo de Davao University on 22 June 2022. Rudy Rodil is one of 44 authors of the book) 

This Mindanao Reader is, to me, a historic testimonial of mutual acceptance among the peoples of Mindanaw-Sulu. 

Let me share the wisdom of Timuay Ramos, an Erumanen (Manobo) in Pikit, Cotabato. I heard him speak of this in a community meeting, said in Bisaya in 2003, and here I will express in my mixed English-Tagalog-Bisaya: view Mindanaw-Sulu as a kolon or palayok (clay pot in English) standing on three posts, represented by the Lumad, the Bangsamoro and the Settlers. 

At the launching of the book, “Transfiguring Mindanao: A Mindanao Reader” at the Ateneo de Davao University on 22 June 2022. Photo courtesy of IGY CASTRILLO

Balancing depends on mutual acceptance among the three peoples of Mindanao-Sulu. Tilting the kolon will break the region. 

But how? The Lumad is approximately 10 percent of the region’s population, the Bangsamoro is 20 percent and the Settlers is the dominant 70 percent. 

Balancing the kolon cannot be based on population. Please feel the heart, it is here where we are kapwa tao, this is here where we are equal. The key is mutual acceptance. We are panagsuon or kapatiran among the people of Mindanaw and Sulu, emerging from the Austronesian-Malayo-Polynesian roots, now creating a new history. 

My Peace Credo: Kalinaw Mindanaw! Lumad, Muslim, Kristiyano. Magkaiba, magkaisa. Isang Diyos, isang lupain, isang adhikain. 

Kalinaw Mindanaw!