The Price of Peace (or The Price of War)

There is nothing like reading a book about war to make one contemplate about the definition of a certain 5-letter word.

Around 70 years ago, my country went through a war, which is the main reason a lot of wonderful buildings in Manila got razed to the ground.

My grandmother remembers World War II as that point in her young life when she and her family had to evacuate into the mountains to avoid being in the cross fires while the Japs, American GIs and Filipino guerillas had to play a wargame where real blood was involved.

the father of us all

l am not so naive (even if I am a girl) not to think that sometimes the only way to resolve a problem is to man up and then punch the other person’s nose. With all due respect to Gandhi and Nelson Mandela and Jesus Christ (who are cute enough to claim self-righteousness, in my opinion) — sometimes, there should be a statute of limitations as far as turning the other cheek is concerned.

***

So now, once again, a flaming issue in my country involve a certain province in the south where more than 40 Filipino policemen were killed to apprehend a certain Malaysian bomb maker (ha! one would say “terrorist” if one were not so afraid to offend Malaysia who is currently brokering a Peace Treaty between Filipino Muslims and Filipino Christians).

My mother’s brother, Rolly, was a soldier who had to risk life and limb to fight a war in a city called Zamboanga (and in another one called Cotabato) oh so many years ago. He had to do that because that was the only way he could earn a decent pay to help my mom and my aunt go to college.

Now Rolly has been retired from active military service. But the situation in the so-called Muslim Mindanao is not so different from what he had probably experienced 40 years ago.

Dapitan's gorgeous sunsets.

Dapitan’s gorgeous sunsets.

I have been to several areas in Mindanao for short visits. I found Dapitan to have one of the most wonderful sunsets I have ever seen. Lanao del Norte was quaint and exotic at the same time. I have never been to Sulu; but one of my friends, who sometimes live there, claim that that they have the most beautiful, jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring beaches that will just kick Boracay’s ass.

It pains me to realize that parts of my country are so broken that my government (or some war-freak guys in it) may be contemplating another all-out-war to keep them in order.

***

I am fed up to the ears of old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.  — George McGovern (some guy who could have been, but was not, an American President)

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