Sunday, August 23, 2015

33. Journey to Maguindanao

Book Review A la Borges*: Journey to Maguindanao by Juan de los Reyes (New Avenues Press: 2012)

The absence of published Maguindanaon literature for consumption of the general public seriously undermines Maguindanaos assimilation to the archipelago. We've scored the web for stories, songs, and poems from this ethnic group, and all we are led to is a thin volume of Maguindanao folklore published by the Notre Dame University of Cotabato, and it is not available to the public. No wonder the Maguindanaons are probably the most misunderstood ethnic group in the Philippines, leading to many years wasted, thousands of lives lost, and millions of pesos spent on the Moro wars. This absence is now filled by Journey to Maguindanao, which features a Tom Wolfe approach to the subject, immersed  in the details of day to day Maguindanoan life, and full of insight and respect for the Maguindanaons. The author shows us the subsistence life of the farmers, their clan wars, and the dependence on their leaders who are used to running in elections unopposed, and the violence the Moro wars have brought upon them. The book is a significant contribution to the dialogue of cultures in the archipelago and the world, and breaks ground for more books on Maguindanao that might actually be the key to peace in the south and not some law pass to make some President become a Nobel Peace Prize winner. 

*A review of books that have not been written by authors who have not been born.

No comments: