“Always Remain Filipinos”

Perhaps one day we will learn to unite even in the absence of a common foe. That is the ideal we pursue. I pray the younger generations who have known nothing of repression may in time discover their portion of the Filipino spirit. I long for a day when Filipinos will not have to adjure their citizenship for material comfort, when they may pursue their dreams at home and no more in foreign climes.


We want to know whether the MILF legitimately represents the entire Bangsamoro people and if not, then why is our government negotiating only with this rebel entity? In the event that it is granted control of the transition government, we further want to know whether the MILF can guarantee a sustainable peace. Can it win the respect of the BIFF and other armed groups? Can it solve the problem of Datuism and other forms of turfing in the region? Is the peace panel justified in reposing trust in the MILF?


The government has got to exert more effort to draw us into this conversation; to educate us about Mindanao and its context: its search for justice, acceptance, and respect, and its various people groups who each have a stake in that vitally distressed region. I long to understand their cause, yet I also want to be assured that their quest for autonomy will not split this country apart. I want to learn but I confess I am also afraid that what I will be told may not be wholly the truth. Who will allay these fears? Who will help the individual particles of Philippine sovereignty understand all this?

A Whiff of Hope

… the Philippines’ two treasures are its music and its faith; and though we have a multitude of voices, we harmonize on those. In the mass today, both filled the Manila Cathedral and overflowed to the grounds beyond, binding the clergy within and the laity without in the unifying, healing Spirit of Christ.