EDITORIAL | January 7, 2017
Inolog a papanok so dambangsa sa Butig.”
It is not that we care Aleppo less, but it is that we care Butig more. Butig is our history, our origin, our own homeland, and, as activist Drieza Abato Lininding said, “Butig is the cradle of Maranaw civilization,” all our histories and civilization originate from Butig.
Aleppo is a story of a far different Middle Eastern people that has nothing in common with the people of Butig, except our divine belief, maybe, which is Islam, and of course, as victims of conflict and terror.
Syrians, like the Maranaos, are Muslims too, but in no way can the Muslim Maranaos call Aleppo their own. Likewise, neither Muslim Syrians claim Butig as theirs. Butig is a entirely Maranao’s, Aleppo is a wholly Syrian’s. Maranao is of Malay-Polynesian stock, Syrian is Arab’s.
It is without doubt that every Maranao is traced ancestrally to Butig for no one can deny the truth to local narration that only those who were thrown down by birds do not hail from Butig. (Inolog a papanok so dambangsa sa Butig.)
The Philippine national epic Darangen talks of Bumbaran, the mystical kingdom of the ancient People of the Lake. And if we follow scholarly the evolution of what is now Ranao and the Maranaos, we can conclude that Butig was the seat of powers in the ancient Darangen. Which, maybe, is Bumbaran.
We hear of stories about a palace called Pendiaman buried in Butig uplands. Pendiaman is Penjaman to the Malayo which means Government Center. It is said that many people have been there and seen what’s inside which is full of relics, arts and decors of the ancient, and priceless treasures.
Would this not have connection why Butig is always subject of wars which many believe maneuvered by foreign players? That there is something in it the foreigners could not afford to lose? Or that Butig will serve as zone from whence the foreigners can launch their operations for control of the sons of Bumbaran and the nearby regions?
The Maranao People should be proud of their history. The Darangen Epic itself manifests that they are among the civilized peoples in ancient times. Peoples who have had epic histories are considered civilized or educated, at least in the past. They MUST NOT, therefore, allow foreign intervention to destroy their identity.
Unfortunately, this reality does not exist in the lexis of the many, especially the youth. In fact, they no longer believe in their authentic history. Instead, they eat the alien chronicle fed to them for the purpose of annihilating their own identity as a civilized nation.
Let us, Maranaos, therefore, be united to help save Butig. For to save Butig is saving our culture, our history, above all, our identity as Maranaos, the People of the Lake.