Marawi siege-displaced teens, adults avail of free circumcision

MARAWI CITY – When Norania Bangcola, a solo parent, heard of a free circumcision program in this city, she and her 12-year-old son traveled almost 25 kilometers to avail of the service. The mother and child were among those residents here who were displaced by the 2017 terrorist attack that... Read More

Another batch of ‘halaws’ arrives in Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Some 506 Filipinos who were illegally staying in Sabah, Malaysia arrived in Zamboanga City on February 15 after police and immigration authorities there deported them.The Department of Social Welfare and Development - Region 9 immediately provided them temporary shelter and free... Read More

TIMELINE: The Bangsamoro peace process

MANILA -- In less than two weeks from now, the much-fought-for Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) will finally come to fruition after a decade and three administrations of work put into it.We call it the best step towards peace. And to start building peace in a community where corruption, conflict, and... Read More

Journey to peace at a crossroads with BOL plebiscite

ZAMBOANGA CITY — In an impliedly pivotal endorsement of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) by the National Ulama Council of the Philippines (NUCP), it appealed to the electorate to ratify the measure “in the name of peace, development and justice for all.”The NUCP, through its Ulama... Read More

Isabela urged to ratify BOL, join new Bangsamoro region

ZAMBOANGA -- An official of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) expressed optimism that Basilan province’s constituents will ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in the plebiscite which will be held on January 21.ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman expressed his optimism during... Read More

Wooden boatmaking embraces Mindanao life, culture

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- In a coastal barangay located 35 kilometers from downtown Zamboanga City, one could witness a craft that has existed in the region since time immemorial -- boatbuilding. The boatyard there is one of a handful that can be found along the city’s long coast, including in one... Read More

Tausug event organizers bring wedding dreams to life

ZAMBOANGA CITY – As more young Muslim Filipinos become mainstream professionals or entrepreneurs, many of them would prefer having big and glamorous weddings with their hard-earned money.This makes events coordinating a profitable business, with Hadja Kasma Abraham and her young partner,... Read More

Comelec urged to exclude 2 villages from BOL plebiscite

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Incumbent officials here set aside partisan rivalry and appeared before the Commission on Elections on Friday (Dec. 7) to file their opposition to the inclusion of two predominantly Muslim barangays in next month’s plebiscite to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law... Read More

How this Tausug artist was forged in the crucible of war

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- In February 1974, the proud town of Jolo was totally burned down and bombed to oblivion.On the eighth day of that month, hordes of Moro rebels attacked and occupied it, igniting intensive seven days of fighting before government forces retook it. Some 20,000 rebels, civilians and... Read More

Using radio, social media to advocate peace

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Anti-social terrorists make use of almost unchallenged information and communication technology like Internet platforms to spread their culture of violence.However, two Muslim peace advocates harnessed the reach and power of radio broadcast and social media to counter jihadist... Read More

Soldiering for peace in Mindanao

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Muslim and Christian peace-builders in this city soldier on as they celebrate the 22nd year of the Week of Peace here from Nov. 29 to December 5.The multi-sectoral parade that formally kicked off the celebration on Thursday, drew a few thousands of students and teachers from... Read More

Zamboanga City’s ‘Motherly Yours’

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The title of Lilia Macrohon-Nuno’s weekly radio program, “Motherly Yours,” is an appropriate and authentic description of her as an exceptional civic and community leader and benefactress of this city.As a woman Muslim convert, her genuine leadership is testimony... Read More

Shariah courts render ‘quick action’ on Muslims’ disputes

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- While couples in troubled family relationships who contracted marriage under the republic’s civil laws continue to chafe waiting for Congress to enact a divorce law, irreconcilable Muslim husbands and wives have had it easier to part ways.Presidential Decree 1083, otherwise... Read More

Muslims celebrate Prophet Muhammad’s birthday

ZAMBOANGA CITY – November 20 was a Muslim holiday in the cities of Zamboanga, Cotabato, Pagadian, Iligan and Marawi as well as the provinces of Basilan, Lanaodel Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur.The... Read More

Zamboanga muslim villages appeal to join BAR

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Barangay officials of two pre-dominantly Muslim communities in Zamboanga City were questioned by members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod over their respective resolutions petitioning for their inclusion in the soon to be Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR).In the resolutions of... Read More

Zamboanga City’s ‘addiction’ to betel nuts 

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Feeling blue or tired? Chew a “mama,” get high, and feel good.The “mama” here is not one’s tough mother, but the betel nut and leaf concoction or quid that is still popularly indulged on in Zamboanga City and the regions around it. Many Muslim men and... Read More

Muslims, Lumad ‘clash’ in basketball courts

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The mostly marginal social and economic condition of their communities make Muslim and Lumad boys vulnerable to violent behavior and illegal drugs.And amid this adversity, basketball comes to the rescue. Hadji Nasir Ismula, one of Zamboanga City’s tribal leaders, organized... Read More

More than just a Madrasah teacher

ZAMBOANGA CITY – If teachers are key to the destiny of their students and consequently their ever-unfolding society, then Abou-Benhar Sihabon is devoting his life to prove that dictum right. His success in his professional and personal missions is validated by the Most Outstanding Teacher for... Read More

How peace movement transformed a Muslim village

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The great Sta. Cruz Island, which lies four kilometers away south of the southernmost tip of the city, is famous for its awesome beaches.Members of the Sama Bangingi tribe live in a small village, according to their lore, on the island since time immemorial.Today, the village... Read More

How this PWD in Zamboanga sets his sights high

ZAMBOANGA CITY -- Teddy Kahil is totally blind. As he turned 46 this year, however, his accomplishments are near-extraordinary for a man of his condition, and he even continues to strive to do more for himself and his fellow persons with disability (PWDs).For starters, Kahil received the Apolinario... Read More