This week, I was supposed to head to Zamboanga for a work-related project. However, it was deemed unwise to push through with the event after fighting suddenly broke out there between rebels and soldiers. After several days of the worst fighting in years between the MNLF faction and government forces exchanging gunfire in coastal neighborhoods, thousands have been displaced, their homes in ruins, and lives lost.
Below are a few snapshots I took in the village of Barangay Mariki near Rio Hondo in Zamboanga City, communities which were deeply affected by the fighting. This is how I remember Zamboanga City the most: innocent children full of hope who find simple joys playing on their village on stilts. Now that life is starting to pick up again after the hostilities, my prayers go out for everyone’s swift recovery. Zamboanga will rise again.