The Inbox

Muslim women in remote Basilan town help foster unity

Text and video by Luis Liwanag, VERA Files

MALAMAUI, Basilan—Islam sets restrictions on how women conduct their lifestyles and function alongside men in society. But for a group of women residing in the remote community of Carbon in Malamaui in Basilan province, this seems to be a minor setback.

Click on photo to view video

Monarassana "Mona" Muctar, a college graduate, decided to leave her life in the city of Isabela to return to the island of Malamaui and form a group called Women Association for Islamic Learning and Awareness (WASILA).

For the month of Ramadan,  Mona and the other women of Carbon decided to devote their time to preparing food for the whole congregation for "Iftar," the meal eaten after sunset during Sawm, the fasting during the month of Ramadan in Muslim tradition.

According to Mona, it also promotes unity among the Muslim community as they eat and break their fast together.

"It also promotes the spirit of voluntarism among us,  as we believe that when you feed a fasting person, the reward from God is also  multiplied so why not grab the opportunity for the Holy month of Ramadan…which only comes once a year," Mona said.

Since people have not eaten at all during the day, they are often quite hungry by the time Iftar comes around.  The fasters are served a feast of fruits, dates and other starchy and sweet delicacies,  which starts with a hot bowl of arroz caldo, a porridge with bits of chicken and egg to slowly introduce nutrients into the empty stomach.

Mona adds that the women of Malamaui aim to learn and be aware of what Islam really is. "To attain peace…we have to start it at home where the women or the mothers are always around. When we as women…or  as mothers are educated on both Islam and western education our children learn the right virtues from us as their first teachers."

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

Loading...

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.

  • Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low
    Philippine economic growth slows to three-year low

    Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …

  • EM ASIA FX-Won near 2-month low on plunging yen, peso pares gains as growth weakens

    * S.Korea intervention spotted, won hits 7-year high vs yen * Philippine peso briefly weaker after Q1 growth disappoints (Adds text, updates prices) By Jongwoo Cheon SEOUL, May 28 (Reuters) - South Korea's ... …

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. The country's gross domestic product grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter, ... …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options