“At an early age, about six, I experienced being in a war with my family. We were about to go home from Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, to Iligan City when suddenly somebody declared war and in a minute a house was burned, followed by another and so on. Knowing that I’m only six and witnessing these acts that disenfranchise us of the right to life, I was hysterical. I couldn’t internalize everything but my parents were beside me, never left me behind and showed to me that they’re strong and firm and that we could survive it. And yes we did. We were able to ride a native boat safely out of the place.”
This was an excerpt from the first essay contest I joined about five years ago, crafted from the experience as a child victim in armed conflict about seven years ago.