– Yesterday we had a community Iftar at San Rafael Mosque in Ma-a, Davao City. The place is a Kagan/Kalagan community. There were at least 80 families in the area.
It was the 2nd Iftar that we scheduled for this Holy Month of Ramadhan for our interfaith Duyog Ramadhan. Hon. Mabel Acosta, a close friend and partner in community engagement actively joined us together with her staff in the office.
Whier we were there at the community, we found out that there are 8 Muslim communities in Ma-a. These communities are compose of different Muslim ethno linguistic groups living in Davao City, like us, trying to find a safer place to raise our children and live a better life. Kagan / Kalagan are the Islamized indigenous people of Davao region. According to their old datu, they are one of the native inhabitants of Davao. But unfortunately, they are dislocated and residing in a place where they do not have the title of the land. Like most stories we hear, this happened because of the influx of settlers from Luzon and visayas who were aware of the laws and development of the city. As a result, IPs are marginalized due to urbanization and reasons we all hear during our activism days.
I know there are so many stories and communities like this here in Mindanao. I know there are even more depress and marginalized communities in Maguindanao and ARMM. We can only do what we can do. We can hear their stories and learn from their resiliency and hope that the our future generation can address this social injustice that haunt us right before our very eyes.