We learned a lot of things during the Marawi crisis. We were surprised by the intense fighting, which we thought would just last for a few days. We did not expect that it would last more than five months. It is so disheartening to see our lives being affected so much. We are now trying to rebuild and start all over again.
We are thankful that our university was spared from the destruction and our students were able to continue with their classes even during the crisis. We take pride that MSU accommodates both Christians and Muslims as students. Imagine the effect if the MSU was damaged and torn down. The military met our utmost expectations. They have not only secured our university from the ISIS-Maute Terrorist Group, but they also assisted us with all the help that they could offer. Our students were able to attend school last June, even at the height of the crisis. They guarded our university for everyone’s safety. The military personnel now are far more different from the military we used to know during the Martial Law era of the 70s. Those who survived the trauma and suffering that they endured during the war in Mindanao remember the abuses committed by the soldiers then. Now, the soldiers are more professional, and they respect the Maranao women. We are thankful to the AFP, especially the Philippine Army, who never left us. They are one with us in rebuilding and helping us recover from the crisis. Our university will continue in our quest to educate our students as instruments of peace and to mold them into becoming good community leaders.
(This entry is part of Chapter 4: Envisioning the Future of Marawi City.)