Having gone to Mindanao only for four days, I was unable to see many Muslims. In fact, I was totally surprised that they would be so few in numbers. Or so inconspicuous. But I know Muslims and I know that I simply did not see many of them.
Mindanao is constantly portrayed as a danger zone where terrorists abound. While I’ve never been to Mindanao myself, I find these allegations ridiculous–primarily because I would often romanticize what Mindanao would actually be like. When I was in Davao, I wanted to stay there. Not because we had an available driver and van to go around with. Not because I was served food at classy places all the time. Not because the room we slept in had the coldest aircondition in the world. But because I wanted to learn the real Davao. I still want to get to know the real Mindanao.
My short visit had barely scratched the surface. I need to go back. I need to go back. So that as an outsider, I may finally be able to understand Mindanao.