There was something nice about being young: naïve and carefree, the world at that time is a blank canvass, an undefined and boundless potential. The mind is fresh enough to perceive ideas, that are shape not by experience but by unbridled imagination. My lack of experience was compensated by insatiable hunger for information. And so I remember reading everything readable I can lay my eyes on, including the Green Book of Qadafi, supposedly, a ‘Muslim’ version of the Red Book or the Das Capital of Carl Marx.
And yes, I wanted to change the world, well, specifically Mindanao. The Bangsamoro narrative was slowly introduced to my pscyhe during the Ramos-Misuari era and SPCPD and what not. Thus I saw my self, primarily as somebody from the Bangsamoro – hence I wrote under the pen name “albangsamori”. With Armed Revolution romanticized by Che Guevara and Che Guevara Wannabes, and being influenced by that, I was furious and indignant that Misuari had to make a peace deal with the government. This belief (that we need war to achieve change), which I now believe to be misdirected, was reinforced by misunderstanding the Islamic methodology of Al Amru bil Ma’roof wa nahtu ‘anil Munkar (Enjoining what is good and forbidding what is bad).
Once I was with a wise man, Mr. Ibn Hajr Turabin, a father of a friend. He told me for Muslims to get back their homeland, they have to buy Mindanao (or some of its portion). It sounded like a joke to me then, but now, to me at least, it makes more sense than fighting an unwinnable fight.
And so the years gone by, and to my disappointment, the world has still not change. My idealism has waned. I no longer wanted to write using the pen of ‘albangsamori’.
Having said all these, I am aware that this shouldn’t stop me from communicating my ideas about my homeland.