The Inbox

Hari Raya merry-making and goodwill transform Basilan

Click on photo to view video

Text, photos and video by Luis Liwanag, VERA Files

ISABELA, Basilan—This city became a haven of merry making as residents began the three-day Hari Raya festival marking the end of the monthlong period of fasting and prayer called Ramadan.

For those steeped in the lessons of the Quran, Islam's Holy Book, Ramadan and its end mean a strict adherence to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad and the various rituals that go with it.

For others, the festivities are like they are in other parts of the country—holidays that give people time for a trek to the cities from their island homes to participate in public gatherings, gambling and shopping with their young children.

The Samals and Badjao folk, one Basilan resident observed, flock to the city and in a happy-go-lucky and somewhat paganistic fashion, join both Christian and Islamic observance of their religions for some moments of fun. Afterwards, they all go back home to their lives as fishermen and regular townsfolk.

The festival of Hari Raya transformed the once politically-restive and tension-filled Basilan streets with the sight of non-stop merry making and goodwill, at least until the smoke clears and the fragile daily life resumes.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")

  • 5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus
    5 Unanswered Questions About Jesus

    As Christians worldwide gather for Easter to celebrate their belief in the death and rebirth of Jesus, researchers continue to delve into the mysteries that surround the man. The following are five questions about Jesus that, for now, at least, remain unanswered. In 2008, astronomer Dave Reneke argued that the Star of Bethlehem (a celestial event long associated with Jesus' birth) may have been Venus and Jupiter coming together to form a bright light in the sky. Other researchers have …

  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
    Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    Bernard Hopkins, boxing's ageless wonder at 49, is one victory from becoming the undisputed world light-heavyweight champion and already daring unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to a showdown. Hopkins, the oldest major world champion in boxing history, won a split decision Saturday over Kazak fighter Beibut Shumenov to take the World Boxing Association title and keep his International Boxing Federation crown. Money is great but history is something you can't get rid of." Now …

  • The return of Gigi Reyes
    The return of Gigi Reyes

    By Ellen T.Tordesillas This is going to be fascinating. Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back … Continue reading → …

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said. …

  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight
    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    Associated Press - 7 hours ago
    16-year-old survives in wheel well of Maui flight

    HONOLULU (AP) — Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen. …

  • Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    Associated Press - 44 minutes ago
    Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst

    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysia Airlines flight heading to India with 166 people aboard made an emergency landing in Kuala Lumpur early Monday after it was forced to turn back when a tire burst upon takeoff, the airline said. …

  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    AFP News - 18 hours ago
    Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal

    Bernard Hopkins, boxing's ageless wonder at 49, is one victory from becoming the undisputed world light-heavyweight champion and already daring unbeaten pound-for-pound king Floyd Mayweather to a showdown. Hopkins, the oldest major world champion in boxing history, won a split decision Saturday over Kazak fighter Beibut Shumenov to take the World Boxing Association title and keep his International Boxing Federation crown. Money is great but history is something you can't get rid of." Now …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options