Marawi Update as of May 28, 2017, 2:19 pm local time 

As Ramadan has begun, thousands of people displaced from the fighting in Marawi are celebrating the holy month away from their homes, waiting for the fighting to stop so they can go back. To those still in the city, they wake up to gun shots, airstrikes, and pray that it will be over soon.

As of right now airstrikes and ongoing fire fight are still going on, however there has been more emphasis on airstrikes. The Maute group have been rounding up and killing Christians. Some were fleeing Marawi to Iligan but were stopped by Maute members where they separated the Christian citizens from those who were Muslim. They were told to recite Islamic prayers to prove they were Muslim and those who couldn’t were taken and killed. Eight bodies have been found, in a ditch, tied up, with gunshot wounds to their heads with placards saying “munafik”, traitor, by them, less than a kilometer away from a security checkpoint on the Iligan-Marawi border. They were bakers from a local bakery according to two women who identified them.

Those still trapped in the city are desperately hiding their Christian friends in hidden rooms, teaching them how to recite Islamic prayers in case their homes are raided and they are found by Maute members, to help them not be captured.

People who haven’t left Marawi yet but are fleeing to Iligan have been told by the military to wave white flags while walking through the streets of Marawi to show the military that they are innocent civilians passing through and not Maute members.

So far, 19 civilians including the 8 men found in the ditch, are currently known to have died. Among the 19 dead include 3 women and a young child found by the military near one of the universities during a rescue operation.

With the ongoing fights between the Maute group and the military thousands of citizens from Marawi are now displaced, unable to go home after almost a week since the siege. Food, water, and supplies are desperately needed in many places where the evacuee’s have escaped to.


The Hidden Falls

Back in 2012, I found an old photograph (see last of photo of this post) of my mother and her friends swimming in a waterfall, and I immediately fell in love with the place. I asked her where it was took, and she said “Tinago Falls”. She talked about how—in spite its popularity—the falls was hidden far away in Iligan City, taking 400 exhausting steps to reach the paradise. 
Since then, I knew I wanted to go to the hidden waterfall. 

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Mixed Feelings for Eid 2017

Sad / I feel sad about it just because Ramadan has ended and I feel terrible because a lot of Maranaos won’t be spending Eid in their hometown because of the siege.

I am sad dahil natapos nalang ang Ramadan, hindi pa rin nai-distribute ng maayos yung rice na pinadala ng government. We have evacuees here in our home and obviously, they can’t be evacuees forever so they asked the government for relief goods. Somehow, they were denied goods (rice and other things). They showed their IDs to prove they are, indeed, evacuees but nada. Instead, they were told that the goods are FOR SALE. Hiyang-hiya naman ako sa big trucks na may tatak na Response Team. The people who managed the trucks had the audacity to say the truckloads of rice are for sale.

Happy / I’m happy just because it’s Eid. I’m happy that we made it through Ramadan despite all the things that happened in Marawi City and the threats Iligan City has been put on. I’m happy for the evacuees who fasted. It must’ve been really hard for them to fast in evacuation centers with no proper food or kitchen. I am happy because I get to look back at the good things I did during Ramadan and smile because it elevated my faith and brought me closer to Allah. I really can’t wait for the next one. In sha’ Allah

Mindanao is as important as Luzon and Visayas yet the situation is getting little to no attention whatsoever from the national government. I live in Iligan City, and we’re literally located an hour away from Marawi and this terrifies me a lot. I can never be calm until the authorities show the general public evidences of the problem being under their control. Words are not and will never be enough especially when they do not fit with the statements provided by affected individuals. What’s worse is that the president’s not in the country and is pursuing plans in Russia despite everything. If this is just a nightmare, then I hope someone wakes me up soon.


Dear friends, my Teach Peace Build Peace Movement family is in need of your kind donation for the victims of the on going war between the daesh maute group and Philippine Military in Marawi City. We will be heading to Iligan City soon for a relief operation, and let us take this opportunity to show our friends in the south that we are with them!

These are places that are not that safe at this moment, 11:23pm PHT:
-Marawi (Stable, still dangerous)
-Iligan City
Cagayan de Oro City
-Lanao del Norte
-Lanao del Sur
-most of the cities in Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental near the coast
-Zamboanga del Sur
If you know anyone or you are in these areas, STAY SAFE. Please, I care for you.
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Day 31 of Martial Law in Iligan City 2017

Today is June 24, a month and a day over since Martial Law was declared in Mindanao. I just want to talk about what Martial Law is like here in Iligan City in hopes to clarify happenings and lessen the worries of those Filipinos who are in other parts of the Philippines. 

Iligan City has been doing okay since Martial Law was declared. We are currently observing curfew. We hear the sounds of helicopters from time to time during the day but other than that, everything seems normal. Filipinos have nothing to worry about the military. It’s the Maute Terrorist Group that we all should worry about.

Yesterday, a lot of rumors spread around social media. People say that the terrorists are going to attack Iligan City on Eid, the last day of Ramadan. Many say that the schools (La Salle, St. Michael’s, and others) have panicked and that they had declared suspension of classes. There were also rumors that members of the Maute group were spotted in a local diner.

Nobody can really clarify and nobody really knows for sure but a lot of Iliganons are panicking because of the rumors. Maranaos and even some Iliganons have already packed in case a siege happens in Iligan. 

Read more about the Marawi City siege and its aftermath. Just click here.