Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I last posted an informative blog, because of my busyness, thus for this time I plan to join the #popcontest initiated by @karenmckersie. I hope y’all read this one till the end. :)
I have joined a contest before that was hosted by @destinysaid about “hope in humanity”. Luckily I got the most votes from the public. The entry I had was about “Marawi Siege”- a war between notorious Maute Clan and Armed Forces of the Philippines in Marawi City, Mindanao, Philippines, the largest Islamic community in the country, which has caused a massive damage to the place and great pain to humanity. I then thought of giving it a spotlight and share it to more people through a blog post for others to realize that despite the crisis that has happened to our place, humanity is still restored by the never-ending help and support of the people who have a big heart for their “kababayans” from different nearby places.
Last 2017, Marawi City was attacked by ISIS-inspired militants belonging to the Maute group because they wanted to have control over the place. The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, announced a crisis on the island of Mindanao and released soldiers to help those families and citizens who were held as hostages. The city became a war zone of the said terrorists and the soldiers. Before, the government already had struggled to free the city from the domination of terrorists that are affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS). There was an occurring issue about building a province for the ISIS group in the Philippines and Marawi City has always been their target.
Due to the strong presence of Maute group including foreign terrorists from other countries, the President of the Philippines declared Martial Law in the whole Mindanao Island. It all began in May 2017, when Isnilon Hapilon, the leader of the said group of terrorists, planned out the war and said to have pledged strong allegiance to the ISIS. During the war, the prisoners of the local jail were freed and they even hold citizens hostage in a church. Week after week, the war was getting more intense. Hundreds of casualties were reported including civilians, militants, and soldiers. Electricity was out and there was also a shortage of food. Safety was the main concern of all the citizens, as the city became horror at night. The war only came to an end when Isnilon Hapilon was reportedly killed together with some of the Maute men. Others are said to have managed to vacate the place and went to nearby places like Iligan City. That is why Iligan City has still curfew hours from 11 pm up to 4 o’clock in the morning.
These pictures reveal how the city was devastated caused by the atrocities done by the militant group, Maute. It’s indeed very hard to see the destruction left by the war. Almost everything in the city was destroyed and burnt down.
People of marawi fled the city and escaped from war. Some managed to walk through mountains and rivers just to hide and get rid of the gun fires and bombing. As they finally saved themselves, barangay covered courts and gymnasiums become their shelters for months. They only waited for supplies and donations to come to their place because nothing was left for them to use. Everybody was trying to hold back their tears because it won’t help them to recover. Thus, what they only wanted at the moment was how they are going to recover and rebuild what was lost.
Many organizations helped hand-in-hand to somehow give assistance to the IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and extend moral support to the soldiers who were deployed. Rotary International was one of the private organizations who has never failed to host activities and programs for the evacuees. They accepted donations either in kind or in cash for the Relief Operation Drive for the displaced people and families, educational support for the kids and as well as support for the soldiers who have risked their lives on the battlefield.
This was during the ABAG Relief Operation for the evacuees at Moneerah Integrated School. There were over 40 families being given with the packages. It includes relief goods, hygiene kits, and clothes.
In one of my previous blogs, I have introduced what Rotary International aims for and its mission to the world.
The Rotary International is a global network of adult and young leaders who are geared towards creating a difference in the world through humanitarian services. They created Rotaract club for young leaders who share the same values. Its main purpose is to gather together professional leaders from different countries and cultures to build bridges while making the world a better place to live in for everyone. There are already more than a million people who are members of the said organization.
As a member of the Rotaract Club, I have joined projects and collaborated with other organizations, of course, with the help of our Sponsoring club, the Rotary Club of Iligan Maria Cristina to help those who are victimized by the terrorist attacks. The program aims to show care and support not just to the affected individuals but also to the soldiers who became heroes of the war.
These photos were taken during the Relief Operation at 2 barangay covered courts where the victims evacuated. This was an initiative of the Rotary Club from Luzon, Philippines. They purposely went to give the donations that they have gathered. Packages include relief goods, hygiene kits, clothes, sleeping paraphernalia and kitchen wares.
This was during the Relief Operation for the IDP children in Hinaplanon, Iligan City. Packages include school supplies, clothes, hygiene kits and packed lunch.
Assisting during the Medical Mission at Saguiaran and Balo-i, Lanao del Norte. The Rotary International initiated the event together with the Department of Health who had brought the Dental Health Bus just for the evacuees.
Bringing the people back to their homes is not easy for their houses are destroyed and belongings have been looted and damaged. The Rotary International made huge efforts to supply the needs of the victims through different forms of assistance and donations coming from generous people from other places.
The crisis in Marawi last year has been said to be the most terrorizing event since World War II in the Philippines. It has caused a lot of damage to the city and to the country as a whole. But despite the effects of war, people are still people. What is left for others to do is to give aid and help those who have urgent needs. A big thanks to those who have extended their help from other places and gave any form of assistance. This may be just a small effort but this means a lot to the easy recovery of the people of Marawi. I should say there is still hope in the human race for we know in ourselves that there is still kindness left within every people. Evident enough in the showing of compassion of people who are blessed enough to help the displaced during the siege.
Thanks for reading! :)