At the peak of the Marawi siege, I heard a lot of stories from my Muslim brothers and sisters that they were called different names. People were pointing fingers and shouting that Muslims are terrorists, uneducated, impolite, and have no space here in the city. Hearing those stories made me furious. I do not know how to react if people will also call me with degrading names. One time, after prayer, our family went to a convenience store to rest and have some snacks. Quietly and peacefully eating, a group of old men suddenly went to us and yelled very hurtful words. Just like the stories I’ve heard, they also called us terrorists, does not have values, and should be casted away. I was overwhelmed. I wanted to respond with anger but I just remained silent and gave them a smile. My family also remained silent. How I wish to live in a world where everyone would just respect and understand each other’s beliefs. I know I am a good person who do good to others. I pray the same for everyone else.

- Dianne Kathryn Datu

Related Stories

Meet Sheryan, an environmental advocate and a graduate of Eco-tourism. For her, we can only sincerely assert our culture and identity if we learn to protect the environment that sustains . . . Read More

It’s funny how my love for cooking made me into a barangay nutritionist. Back then, I only used to cook for my family. But here I am now, helping families become healthy one person at a . . . Read More

Who would’ve thought that I could graduate after all the discouraging words I got from people around me. The whole time I was studying, I keep asking myself why. I failed a subject once and from . . . Read More

Meet Noraiza, a survivor of Zamboanga Siege and one of the countless displaced by the conflict. Being a widow, she and her only daughter depend on each other in their pursuit for a better . . . Read More

Meet Jana. She sells goods in Quiapo and likes her hijab in black, pink, or white. But on special occasions, nothing but her most beautiful will suffice. “Kapag espesyal ang araw, ang pinaka . . . Read More

In the long life I’ve lived, I’ve had two husbands. The first one died from an illness. When I married my second husband, we already had our own children so we became one very big family. Almost . . . Read More