About My Race
The question "Who am I?" is a difficult question to answer, especially if you are not yet sure of what "identity" you really belong.
Are you a Tausug, a Bangsamoro, or A Filipino?
The why's of existence
Even our existence is really difficult to prove, unless we rely on the age-old wisdom accumulated thru the years.
The philosopher Rene Descartes had had numerous nightmares, too, trying to figure out the answer to the conundrum "Who am I?" Until finally one day, he did find it!
"Cogito ergo sum!" he exclaimed. "I think, therefore I am!"
Faced with the difficulty of finding the solution to the existence conundrum, many people have learned to sought refuge on religion to have peace of mind, to have one less problem to bear.
Peaceful State of Mind
It is in this state of peace that life becomes auto-pilot, like doing routinary task, walking or washing plates, for instance. Just imagine if you have to think where to step on every step that you have to take. It should take hours, nay days, before you will arrive to the opposite side of the room!
We learn to simplify things to help us cope up with life easily. It is in these stages of life that we learn to put everything in a database-like compartments deep within the recesses of our minds. Those database are filled with hard-to-change schema.
"It can also be described as a mental structure of preconceived ideas, a framework representing some aspect of the world, or a system of organizing and perceiving new information." (Wikipedia)
People who can't have well-organized schema, however, tends to hold two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time. This is called in psychology as cognitive dissonance, a very discomforting experience.
"This stress and discomfort may also arise within an individual who holds a belief and performs a contradictory action or reaction." (Wikipedia)
We have really that problem, that mental stress, my friends.
Cognitive dissonance in Sulu
The Muslims, the predominant people in Sulu, need to live their lives in accordance with the Muslims' way of life. It is difficult to do that, however, inside the Philippine colonialistic and centric government.
The Philippine government strongly advocated the separation of the Church and the State, but the Muslims' ideals are founded on the idea that Islam is a way of life. Therefore, Islam encompasses all, including governance. So it is ideal that Shariah be made the ultimate justice system in the Muslim's system of governance.
Alright, the MNLF-GPH agreement had attained milestone in that, some portions of the Shariah were respected and institutionalized, but most of the Muslims demand for more. Thus, the Muslims seem not to respect the existence of local government units because they looked at them as the extension of "kuffar" Philippine government.
Are we going to accept part of the Shariah and then neglect the other parts?
The effect of the mental stress
Some people have really cope up with this problem successfully. But the majority have been having dire consequences of side-effects and withdrawal symptoms!
People with these symptoms are exhibiting violent behaviors and harboring sinister ideas. To these people, there is only one reason of existence: "to kill, kill, and kill!" until the Islamic governance finally succeed in its entirety.
The so-called "ASG", the revolutionaries, the other rebel groups and their supporters are included in these type of mentality.
They will do everything, by hook or by crook, for the Muslim governance to finally install itself in this troubled South.
United Nation's General Assembly Resolution No. 1514, December 14, 1960, states that: "All people have the Right to Self-Determination, Decolonization and Independence. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status, or freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development."
And, Tausug people are people of the Tausug Nation.
What is Nation?
A people, or aggregation of men, existing in the form of an organized jural society, inhabiting a distinct portion of the earth, speaking the same language, using the same customs, possessing historic continuity, and distinguished from other like groups by their racial origin and characteristics, and generally, but not necessarily, living under the same government and sovereignty.
OK, Quo Vadis?
"No matter what type the government we have," said a fruit vendor in KM2 in Tausug, "as long as I can still freely sell my fruits, I do not really care."
That is exactly how the majority of the Tausug people feel. As long as unity between every Tausug is elusive, we can only but dream of a brighter tomorrow, but dream we should not stop doing. Allah is still here, listening to us all.
The cure for the mental stress
Earlier, we established that the majority of the Tausug could be suffering from "cognitive dissonance" and we also described the level of recovery of each Tausug from the mental stress. But what really is the practical cure of the mental stress?
The radical way that could be a little less stressful is to go sailing on our separate ways together, to accept our differences, rejoice from it, and learn from it. For who knows, despite of our travelling on different waters, we shall still meet at the same destination someday, somehow.
It is just a matter of understanding each and every positions we have, their differences and their commonalities. Then work together, instead of being so antagonistic with each other. Everyone is dreaming for the same objective however disparate her means of achieving it.
Simply, tell the other person your thesis or intellectual proposition. Let her react to it. Then finally, solves the conflict between them by reconciling the common truths between your differing ideas and forming a new thesis that should be acceptable to both of you. If not, repeat the process until there would be smile on your faces, meaning you finally find an amicable settlement.
Life is too short to be filled with all the negative things -- rancor, hate, envy, jealousy, name it!
Let's join hands, therefore, and strengthen our love, friendship, and understanding within the sphere of our Tausugness. The Tausug are tough but lovable and fun-loving race in the world.
So wear that beautiful smile in your face all the time!