The writer is a senior AB Communication and Media scholar majoring in Development Communication. She volunteers for #DuyogMarawi as a author. 

It was a second that Phil Valerie Malinis and Tenny Junson Andam might hardly imagine had come whilst they stood of their togas amongst greater than 2,000 similarly-clad college students of the Mindanao State University-Marawi City ready for their commencement rites to start out on July 13.

No doubt it was uncommon, this “bakwit” commencement that passed off not in Marawi, the place the battle between extremist gunmen and authorities forces that began on May 23 continued to rage, however on the gymnasium of the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology, near 40 kilometers away.

Everyone who marched that day was a bakwit, an evacuee from the combating that had rudely interrupted their tutorial life, simply because it had shattered life as ordinary and displaced a whole bunch of hundreds of residents of Marawi and adjoining cities.

On May 23, Tenny was on the College of Forestry and Environmental Science working on the schedule for his thesis protection. Phil Valerie, on the opposite hand, was packing her books for her Social Work board examination overview.

Because of the challenges college students of the MSU-Marawi campus have needed to overcome over the previous 55 years, “I survived MSU” is greater than only a cute slogan, it’s a badge of delight for alumni. But nothing within the rigors of educational life ready them for the phobia of abruptly discovering themselves in a battle zone, amid the explosions of bombs and the rattle of gunfire.

Although Tenny and Phil Valerie managed to unexpectedly pack their garments, they had been unable to gather sufficient meals to final by way of the 2 days they had been trapped within the campus. And so, as tens of hundreds of others, they determined on May 25 to take their possibilities and make for Iligan.

After 9 hours on the street, they lastly reached security and had been welcomed with heat meals by MSU-IIT’s College of Arts and Social Sciences.

When they’d regained their bearings, Tenny and Phil Valerie realized that, for all the issue they’d suffered, issues had been far worse for all too many others who fled Marawi. And so that they signed up as volunteers for the #DuyogMarawi solidarity initiative of the Ranaw Disaster Response and Rehabilitation Assistance Center and MiHANDs, serving to put together halal meals, distributing these and hygiene kits to displaced individuals in evacuation facilities in addition to those that had discovered shelter within the houses of kin and mates.

After years away from Barangay Saray in Iligan, the place he hails from, Tenny stated he is aware of how vital the heat of house is for those that are removed from it. “I felt their difficulties of being displaced. That’s why I decided to help,” he stated.

Phil Valerie, who has lived on the MSU-Marawi campus for 21 years and considers it residence, the M’ranaos as mates and neighbors, famous frequent downside within the reduction efforts for the evacuees is the language barrier. Many M’ranaos discover it laborious to talk in different dialects and languages thus, “I grabbed the opportunity to volunteer so that I could help in the translation and make communication easier between volunteers and survivors.”

Tenny and Phil Valerie, now members of the aptly named “Pagsidan” — which interprets to “bringer of hope” — MSU-Marawi Class of 2017, hope the dedication that allowed them to beat challenges, whether or not of schooling or of wars and different disasters, will serve them properly once more as they await the schedule of their licensure examinations this yr.

Source: interaksyon