Longing for Marawi, longing for home
There are things we miss about home that make us laugh and cry hard at the same time. Home, no matter how circumstances change, will always be home. This remains true for Salahodin, Cairanie, Naila, Lady, and Marjan, all children of Marawi City.
“I miss the comfort of our home in Marawi. Our house was not too big but I had my own space. Today, there are more than 20 of us cramped in one house and we’ve been sleeping on the floor for more than four months now. I’ve also seen my parents struggle to provide for us so we all had to adjust. I am happy that I have some of my friends from Marawi. Even if I have to hike for an hour to get to school, we find ways to make each other happy.”
“I remember father’s motorbike. It meant a lot to him, even for the whole family. He provides for us through that. I also miss home and our neighbourhood. In Marawi, I go out of the house and there are stores everywhere. Here, everything seems far.
I want to be a nurse. With our situation now, I don’t know how it will happen but I pray that it would. They say there is nothing to go back to in Marawi. Despite that, I still hope to go back one day. I know my family feels the same.”
Cairanie’s family currently lives in a madrasa with four other families.
“I miss eating fishball with my friends in Marawi. I miss biking and playing volleyball with them. It’s been hard making new friends here because we are all adjusting.
Above all, I miss Ummi (mother). She used to prepare my lunchbox every time I go to school. Now I only see her during weekends. Every time I miss her, I tell myself that I have to understand because she’s doing it so we can eat and get good education.”
Naila’s mom used to work in Marawi but after the clash broke out, she is now assigned in Iligan, about an hour drive from where Naila is staying.
Lady has the farthest look among her friends. She has a beautiful smile but every time she tries to show it, her eyes would betray her. There’s sadness, the kind of sadness that shows strongly when seen through the eyes.
“I miss having my parents around. I miss going home from school to my Ummi’s cooking. I miss my siblings and I miss the life we used to have,” she shares. On the 24th of May, a day after the fighting started, her family was able to escape. The fifth of six children, her parents took her to her aunt’s home so she could continue her studies.
“They went to my older sibling’s house in Tacloban City. I kept asking them to bring me but I know that they have to earn money first. I look forward to that day but I pray even harder for Marawi to be restored so we can all go back there.”
“I fainted when we were walking out of Marawi. I can’t remember why. Maybe because I was too afraid. They said I was unconscious for more than 20 hours. I woke up in a hospital and since then, I have always been there. I am not sure about my diagnosis but I’m sure it made things more difficult for my parents. My older sister would look after me while our parents look for money. I was only allowed to be discharged the other day. I missed school and my friends. I’m glad Salahodin, Cairanie, Naila and Lady have been keeping me company.”
Marjan is the 10th of 12 children. His father used to do rice farming while his mother had a sari-sari store. The family now lives with a relative’s house.
Salahodin, Cairanie, Naila, Lady and Marjan are temporarily living with relatives after being displaced from Marawi. Despite what they are going through, all of them said that they won’t hold grudges. They were taught by their parents to leave everything to Allah.
World Vision has partnered with Tapukan Farmers’ Movement for Progress and Concord, Inc. (TFMPCI) to respond to the pressing needs of about 400 displaced families in the area. After serving 2,000 families during the emergency phase, World Vision hopes to respond to another 3,000 families in the municipalities of Balo-i, Lumbayanague, Piagapo, Marantao and Munai.World Vision/October 18, 2017