The Badjaos in Iligan

The Sama Dilaut, most commonly known as Badjaos to outsiders, are referred to as “sea gypsies” as they are known to live in the seas, aboard boats or by the shoreline in houses with stilts. Originally mostly from the Sulu Archipelago (Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, although they part of the Sama group of peoples also found in neighboring countries), many were displaced by the war between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front in the 1970s. Their plight exposed them to pirates, smugglers and extremist groups. Thus, many of them moved to settle in the shorelines of different cities and beg in the streets for survival. Without government programs to support them – like clean water, sanitation services and livelihood opportunities – they are vulnerable to diseases, malnutrition, racial discrimination and abuses. Photojournalist Jojo Sescon visited the Badjao community in Iligan City, by the shoreline of Barangay Tambacan, on Thursday (1 December 2022).

Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews
Photo: JOJO SESCON for MindaNews