My Community at Glance
My province (Sulu) has always been regarded as one of the most conflicted areas in the Philippines, not to mention one of the poorest province, low literacy rate and high mortality rate. Well, all these are in surveys conducted very often which in fact are very true. I could attest to these facts. Even if at young age when I was growing up in Panamao, I could already feel the conflict and poverty then. My hometown is about 8 hours drive by land to the main town of Jolo. Access to water and electricity until to this very day is difficult, people rely only on rainwater or if its not rainy season we had to walk and fetch water kilometers away from our house. This is story is true and common with remote areas like Panamao. This is what is going on in my specific community. Jolo, the main town on the other hand as far as I can remember has not changed. In terms of infrastructure there are no huge buildings like malls, roads are getting smaller and smaller due to increasing population and vehicles. Honestly, no traffic rules and so accidents in often. There maybe some projects by the international donor agencies such as the USAID, AUSAID and the like but because of the peace and order situations, maintenance of all of this is not sure.
With all these problems that the province is facing, I still have in me the hope that perhaps one day it will all be well and Sulu will be one better place to live. Personally, what I can do for my community is to get involve, I used host benefit shows when I was still working in a local radio station, and do volunteer work at a nearby day care center. All my effort had been recognized by certain groups and they endorse and encourage me to apply for a leadership training at Illinois, USA. And so I did and luckily I was chosen to be one on the participants. Prior to the training my passion has always been in cultural awareness, because I have witnessed new generation of tausug to be slowly forgetting their culture and identity as a tausug. I even made a project proposal related to it. But when I came back after the training and again experience and see what is going on in my community, it made change my project. I wanted to focus now more on conflict resolutions, that are why we are currently establishing an Non government organization related to resolving conflict and attaining peace. It will not be easy for me to organize but I am determine to do and I know there will be people in my community who have the same passion like mine in attaining peace.
There are still so many things that I need to learn and I am just beginning to be empowered. I am confident that there will be organizations who could help build my community in all means possible. In a place where no one can barely us cry for help, we desperately need WorldPUlse to help us make them hear and listen to us.