Sunday, December 21, 2008

Random thoughts for the week

During last week's sessions on mainstreaming cultural integrity and gender equality, I picked up a few interesting thoughts:

1. The government legal system of conflict resolution - i.e. filing a court case - does more harm than good in bringing back the "warring" parties into each other's good graces, so to speak. First off, it's not the accuser and accused who are facing each other - but their lawyers. Second, the point of the whole mitigation is not really to unite the warring parties, but to make sure that the one at fault pays for his/her wrongdoing. 

2. In debating clubs, students develop their argumentation skills. But does winning an argument resolve conflict? This practice of aiming to always come out the most convincing only helps in insisting on the validity of one's own arguments. And then what? The real test lies in being diplomatic, cooling tempers, agreeing to disagree but not getting so wound up about it.

3. Mindanao's not TRIPEOPLE (i.e. lumad, Muslims, and settlers). Rather, Mindanao's more like MULTIPEOPLE. Teduray, Bago-bo, Tausug, Yakan, and so on. There are those who don't want to be called Bangsamoro and not even Muslim. So what do we call them? A speaker suggested: call us by our tribename - Iranun if we are Iranun, Maguindanaon if we are Maguindanaon, (and so on).

4. Take note too that while the Mindanao tribes can be mighty different, there's often only a very thin line of differences between them. Take the Sama and the Badjaos for instance. They look the same, speak the same language, and not all of them follow Islam. So what's the difference? The Badjaos live on houses in the water while the Sama live inland. 

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