Musings, Thoughts & Commentaries
Mindanao is under martial law. Headlines shout the possible evolution of local militia into radicalized fanatics who seek global affiliations based on religion and economics.
Mindanao, the southernmost island of the Philippine Archipelago, has the resources and population to stand alone as a nation, with no contiguous countries to dispute the natural boundaries of ocean waters. Will Mindanao remain a part of the Philippines, or be absorbed into China—or Indonesia? Will it become an independent Islamic caliphate?
“Mindanao” by Freddie Aguilar, resonates with reality.
Listening to that song while sitting in a gazebo outside our home in Davao ten years ago inspired me to write “Rebels of Mindanao.”
Listen to “Mindanao.”
Sir Freddie became a friend. We met while he was on tour in the USA and later I hung out with him at his Ka Freddie night club in Manila. He sang the song on stage directly in front of me. I gave him a copy of my book, the last hard copy I had in the Philippines and told him “This must be in your hands.”
I showed Freddie a newspaper story about his marriage to his love, made controversial because she was Muslim and he had converted. Coincidentally next to their photo was a story about me and the movie I had written which had recently been released. He introduced me to his lovely wife and they both autographed the newspaper. I felt everything had come full circle.
Also with us at Ka Freddie that night were an actress attached to the next movie and a General of the Philippine Army—around the table we were a mix of religions, politics and nationalities that had found a way to coexist and to create.
I have written stories in fiction. I have been asked, indeed challenged, why, how dare an American write about Mindanao? I must. Who has heard of “Mindanao”? Where is it? Who cares? History has been forgotten. It is time to wake up.
Why cannot the world coexist without war; why does war, brother against brother, continue for five hundred years in the Philippines? What will be?
Tom Anthony is a West Point Graduate and combat veteran who spent his professional civilian career in global business all over the world. He has lived and worked in Austria, Italy, Spain, England, Iraq, Israel, and throughout Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Anthony also lived in Mindanao for seven years.
Copyright 2017 Tom Anthony.