Fetalvero: Focus on the children

Noemi C. Fetalvero

BANGON Marawi is a song composed by a soldier assigned to fight against the rebels in Marawi City. Sgt. Ronie Halasan said in an interview with news reporters that he was inspired to compose the song to boost hopes for the restoration and swift rebuilding of the embattled city.

Buildings and residences may be rebuilt and restored but will Maranaos recover the lost heirlooms allegedly stolen and destroyed by air strikes? Muslims are known to be sentimental about heirlooms. They pride over things they inherited from their ancestors: silverware, dinnerware, jewelry, books, antique furniture, jars etc. These things of special value form part of an inheritance handed down from generation to generation. Muslims consider these things priceless owing to their sentimental value.

Prior to the siege in Marawi, Maranaos were hopeful that these heirlooms would be inherited by their children and grandchildren. However, this is no longer possible under the circumstances and therefore, heartbreaking.
Just like in any other war, we lose material possessions and should be prepared for their eventual loss. But we are never prepared for we hang on to these as if it is all that matters. There is a passage in the Bible that tells us about moth destroying material things and thieves stealing these in the middle of the night.

I had my share of heirloom from my mother. I managed several garage sales and I parted with some of the things I brought home from the United States but had difficulty letting go of the stuff I inherited from my mom. I could relate to what our Muslim brother and sister are feeling right now.

Lessons learned from the Marawi crisis are many but a single lesson stands out and that is to focus more on the children that you saved when you left your beloved city in so much rush. Yes, focus on the children—the true wealth of our nation. There is much more to restore and rebuild, more than the infrastructure and that is the self-esteem, trust and confidence in the government, moral values and faith in God or Allah. These are the important aspects in our children’s development that need immediate attention.

Our health workers should also help in restoring the health of our children. Health hazards in living in evacuation centers jeopardized the overall health and physical development of the children who were exposed to viral and bacterial infections.