ZAMBOANGA CITY (PNA) – Teaching the new generation about the correct Bangsamoro history and its struggle for self-determination will take center stage as the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will celebrate this year’s Bangsamoro Week of Peace starting on Monday.
“There is a need for the new generation to appreciate and learn about the struggle of our ancestors,” Amir Mawallil, ARMM’s Office on the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (OBYA) executive director, told the Philippines News Agency on Saturday.
Mawallil said the efforts to sustain the education on Bangsamoro history was part of the region’s continuing move amid threat of misinformation and historical misinterpretation.
“It is important to ensure that the young generation should know the correct history about the Bangsamoro. We draw our inspirations from our history,” he said.
ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman will lead the celebration of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace on Monday in Cotabato City, the seat of ARMM government.
“Our annual week of peace in the region is a time for us to remember the sacrifices and victories we share as Bangsamoros,” Hataman said in a statement on Saturday.
This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme: “Bangsamoro: Revisiting the Past, Continuing the Cause.”
“In a way, (the Bangsamoro Week of Peace) is an act of resistance against constant attempts to erase our people’s struggle from our nation’s history. The Jabidah Massacre which we will commemorate on March 18 is just one of the many facts we share as Bangsamoros, and yet others insist that it is fiction,” Hataman pointed out.
Leaders from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were invited to share messages of peace, along with representatives from different groups such as the security sector, women, indigenous peoples, and the youth.
A simultaneous Bangsamoro History Forum will be carried out throughout the region, which is composed of the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi.
Mawallil said part of the activities was the launching of theatrical play of Palanca awardee Rogelio Braga, entitled: “Ang mga Mananahi.”
The two-hour play will be staged in Cotabato City and Maguindanao province during the Bangsamoro Week of Peace celebration.
“But we will also bring this play to all over the five provinces, even after the week of peace,” Mawallil added.
The play focuses on the wives of the MNLF fighters and its quest for peace in Mindanao. At least 40 percent of the cast are Bangsamoro youth.
“We are involving arts in our platform to educate the new generation of the Bangsamoro history,” Mawallil said.
Mawallil said his office was establishing Bangsamoro Theater Group composed of 100 percent Moro actors and actresses.
He said this was part of its campaign to empower the youth, especially those in conflict-prone areas in ARMM.
The training process, he said, would include culture of peace orientation and learning the Bangsamoro history. On top of this, the OBYA is also working to bring the Bangsamoro history education on social media — a current platform, which the youth is actively involved.
“By using all these media platforms, we can effectively capture our targeted audience,” he said. ARMM has been leading the celebration of the Bangsamoro Week of Peace for years.