Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hijab and long sleeves

Last week in Jolo, Sulu during the Selected Khutba launching, it was the first time I wore long sleeves and a hijab (head scarf worn by Muslim women). Though the get-up was hot and uncomfortable inside the crowded air-conditioned room, I persevered. At the end of the event I was told by one of my colleagues that the (male) Muslim Religious Leaders were happy with what I wore. That’s nice I thought. But inside I was happy I wasn’t one of them (no offense meant). It’s just that hijabs and long sleeves are too uh, limiting. I admire women who have gotten used to them and wear them like second skin, but I don’t envy them.

Several days before I flew to Sulu, friends tried to dissuade me from going. They were afraid that I’d get kidnapped like Ces Drilon, like the cooperative members in Basilan, or like that nursing student in Zamboanga City. (I wonder what has happened to her.)

“You’re really going? Aren’t you afraid?” I was asked over and over again. Their concern was amusing at first but after the 20th query, I was smiling crocodile smiles if you know what I mean. My female bosses were going with me and they weren’t afraid so why should I? But when somebody told me that women who get kidnapped definitely get raped too, I couldn’t sleep.

To make a long story short, I went - again - to what everyone perceives as a more dangerous Sulu and I'm glad to announce that I don’t regret going. Ces Drilon would probably have said the same – if she hadn’t been kidnapped. Call me courageous or call me reckless. On the plane from Jolo to Zamboanga, I was happy to be going home and watch The Dark Knight.

1 comment:

feRn said...

hahaha! retard! Peace... LoNg time no see aahhh... musta na?