It has been a strong argument today that Moro intellectuals must actively participate in the formation of the Moro nation state, its activities as well as moving for its establishment. Meaning,Moro intellectuals must consolidate efforts for the betterment of the Moro people.
It is a comforting thought as well as agitating, however, one may seem to be at loss if one may want to define what is good for the Moro people? Many situations appear that Moro figures appear to be “doing good” but obviously not for the Moro people but for their own people.
Facing a dilemna today due to events that we have thought has been solved long ago, but recurring in cycles we may need to find answers to these recurrences.
One may recall that the government has several times “decimated” the doyen of terrorism in the homeland, the dreaded “Abu Sayyaf” after having nipped all its leaders, henchmen and ringl leaders. But recent media exposures on events says otherwise. It appears they are alive and kicking.
We say that we are proud to be Muslims after 300 years of Spanish oppression, and yet, we have not even have a single collective identity as a Moro people. Others may disagree with me, but if you are around taking a stroll in the city, “to speak Muslim” means to speak ones particular dialect (like there has to be an officially Muslim dialect acceptable. I speak chavacano with my Moro cousins and Convert cousins and feel no loss about it.)
At the grassroots level, there is no single joining politicization of a Moro identity. Muslim yes, bangsa moro… I disagree.
You may ask anyone from the street if he identifies himself as a Moro, he will always first define himself by his bangsa ( tribe) rather than as a Moro.
We do not have a singular unifying language. One that has the pecularities of unification, thus no national language. For the people of Zamboanga,Basilan, Sulu and Palawan…. Tausug appears to be the lingua franca of the Moros there. But if you go to Marawi and Cotabato, there are mixed signals, Maranao may be an influential language, but the Maguindanao dialect is spoken by the most populous group. And you would see mixed reactions from the Moro tribal minority groups in Northern and southern Mindanao on adopting either language as a Lingua Franca owing to the peculiarities of their own dialects.
A lot of Moro intellectuals have done good in their own personal, professional and institutional roles, but there appears not clear-cut vision of what they should do.
The homeland continues to be in utter disarray. There is a need for these intellectuals to band together irregardless of tribal orientation and biases.
Its a standing challenge, the Moro intellectual must define his role and vision for his people or his people will not have a future in the end.