RUN FREE ON BIRTHDAY SUIT.
While the Badjaos is considered to be part of the 13 Moro ethnolinguistic groups in Mindanao, some of them are still animists.
On one of my travel assignments with @travelbutler.ph, I was able to visit the Badjao village proudly supported by a Catholic faith-based organization, the Claret Samal Foundation Inc., (CSFI) in Maluso, Basilan.
I don't practice any religion, but I personally believe that kindness can make the world a better place -- so when I heard about their coexistence, I got curious.
I've always wondered about the Badjao culture and lifestyle: Why they prefer the sea as their home and why some left the seas to beg in the land.
My life partner once told me her experience during the Zamboanga Seige; she said that Badjaos didn't want to stay at the Sports Complex evacuation center but preferred to stay at the boulevard. They automatically distanced themselves with other evacuees because for generations they've been shunned upon -- so they believe and live as citizens of the lowest class.
My life partner's experience was corrborated by Cultural Researcher Wendy Parojinog of CSFI. Wendy said that one of the objectives of CSFI is to introduce thr Bajao to the community where they can show their culture without forgetting their identity, beliefs, and traditions. Wendy added, "The Badjaos here don't beg on the streets. They have work. They create and weave beautiful pandan mats. They are a few who already graduated college."
I believe that the Claretian Missionaries are making waves in the Badjao community in Maluso, Basilan. And this is an example why coexistence and kindness should rule the world without forcing one's religion and beliefs.
Katotohanan “Every long lost dream led me to where you are. Others who broke my heart, they were like Northern stars pointing me on my way into your loving arms. This much I know is true: that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.” (Rascall Flatts, Bless The Broken Road)
Happy birthday, you. Thank God you were born today.