The simplicity of life began here

I was in the nearby vicinity of the so-called place of the freedom fighters in Basilan - Al-Barkah municipality; a place where only few outsiders dare to visit. A bloody ground for the Filipino soldiers. A dwelling abode of the peaceful group who never longing anything in this world than the word freedom.

Banuwa Buhelebung is just few kilometres away from Al-Barka municipality. This place was one of the communities I dwelt in my earlier life. It was here where I learned the simplicity of life; where you directly witness the suffering of a simple people who only dreaming to bring more food to their kitchens.

From Zamboanga city to Isabela I boarded Anika ship for an hour.  In a ship, I was indirectly welcome by the Yakan smiles and kind words and entertained by the melodious tapping of a Bajau coin diver on his self-invented drums. 

It was rainy day in Isabela city when we arrived at the wharf. I headed directly to the bus terminal riding a tricycle for only 20 piso. I stopped nearby fully air-conditioned Coach of the Biel Company. Enable to experience this new development I boarded the coach and we managed to reached Lamitan for only an hour.  I reached banuwa Buhelebung for 20 minutes riding a motorcycle for only 120 piso.

Before I proceed to the final destination, my cousin offered me a sindul, traditional sweet soup made of red mongo and sago. The sindul was delicious. After that my nephew brought me to Banuwa Dayuh to meet more relatives.

I was entertained by a warm welcome of my relatives. They ask me with typical questions before I told them of my purpose visiting them. As I took the Shariah currency from my pocket the topic shifted to ideological discussion. In reality, they do not have any ideas of Darul Islam and the dinar and dirham. What they had in mind is more on Philippines politics and appreciating the federal system exemplified by Malaysia.

I shifted the topic from politics to environmental issue and went off to the newly cemented bridge to enjoy the richness of Allah’s creation. The serene sky, the greenest mountain, and the cleanest seawater were there waiting for anyone to feel the truly freedom.

From that bridge Al-Barkah municipality is clearly seen.  I hope this place will be economically develop soon. May Allah send me back to this place and give me more time to explore valuable things there.