Bigotry, Not a Call For Peace!

People behind the advertisements “Call for Peace” promote discrimination instead of howling for peace.

I am just flabbergasted. The fact that only the Muslims are the instruments for their calls. A Muslim who speaks Tagalog and explains the reason why he came out from being a rebel, a Muslim who speaks in his dialect and tells as his good kismet after he had received the award for telling the militaries the where about of a felon, a young Muslim who appreciates the endeavor of the government in giving them the water facilities and some educational benefits. These are just among the many advertisements routinely aired on national televisions, done to promote the battle cry of the government for peace.

The intention is very clear. And anyone is aware of the reality that the government needs to initiate these moves. It’s just that the call is so irony and exaggerated.

Real Muslims love peace. We renounce war. Granting the verity that some had chosen to take the murky roads, to live on top of the law, but it doesn’t mean that Muslims are the only ones capable of doing such criminalities. Like what these television ads are showing to us. Wouldn’t it possible that a non-Muslim act on one of these advertisements and tell us that he want peace that’s why he chose to come out from being bandido, tadtad, NPA member and the likes. I mentioned these groups not because I revile them. They have their own reasons, their dogmas as what they call it. It is just that I want to emphasize that most of them are non- Muslims.

Religion is not the main issue here. Visibly, this television ad is bolstering this insult to the viewers. Any person, regardless of his status in life, religion and language, can be an instrument in the endorsement of peace. Not only a Muslim!



If God created us equally, then I do not see any explanation why this classmate of mine seems so unfairly treated by the people in school.

“Had the water system personnel prohibited you to take a bath?”, “Next time, bring with you your mat and pillow so that you can enjoy sleeping while I’m giving my lecture”. I always hear these words from our high school teacher in English who is considered as our second parent. Laughter inside the classroom follows next. Sometimes, it hurts him a lot, but as they say, reality bites.

I admit that sometimes he fails to take a bath and comes to school in crumpled uniform. He looks untidy. For this, he owes an explanation for this undesirable attitude and appearance. Yes, my teacher and my classmates always ask for an explanation. Yet for him, he also needs something – understanding.

When he was in grade three, his teacher told him that "education is as precious as diamond. Everybody should have it. If you have it, no one can take it from you". The advice inspired him a lot. That’s why he was able to finish elementary.

However, as they say, nobody knew what comes ahead. His father had suffered form tuberculosis and died several months after brought to the hospital. That turned his world upside down. He didn’t know what to do, where to ask for help. He wanted to look for his mother. My mother told me that his mother left them when he was five months old. She was rumored of having an affair with another man while her husband was out for fishing.

At an early age, he became a fisherman too, the legacy left by his father. He is the youngest among all the anglers in our barrio. They sail during the night and return home the morning after.

That’s it! His daily catch supports his needs, including his studies. Though it’s too meager yet he manages to make both ends meet. He fishes at night, goes home at three in the morning because he must sell his catch before sunrise. After taking a nap, goes to school, with crumpled polo and pants, and sometimes forgets to take a bath.

This is his story. And this is his reason. A very simple reason but only few had tried to understand.

Until now, he’s still guided by an inspiration. “Education is as precious as diamond…” “Therefore, I must get it” he said. He has to finish high school and pursue college. “I don’t care about what they say, my teacher, my classmates. I want to become a teacher”.

A teacher who will understand a student who is a fisherman, at same time. Like Jose.

Note: This article was written by the author when he was in second yer high school.