Nhor Momin, 37, lives with her 9-year-old son in the municipality of Labangan, southern Mindanao. Like much of Mindanao, Labangan has long-suffered from various forms of conflict. In the 1970s, the area became a red-mark zone (highly volatile) due to fighting between the Philippine government and insurgents fighting for independence for Muslim people (also called Moro or Bangsamoro). Political corruption in subsequent years has led to further violence and instability, and rido—family or clan violence—disrupts the lives of hundreds of people every year.
“When I was young, we moved from the place where I grew up because of a conflict called rido. It’s, like, killing one member of the family, then one is killed back, then another killing. [Even after we moved] two of my brothers were shot because of this family conflict. One brother was killed in front of our house.”
“We’re all scared today, especially my Mom. We don’t let our remaining brother live with us because we are afraid of losing him, too. I am also scared for my son’s safety—every male in our house is a threat to them. I’ve been afraid my whole life and I don’t want my child to experience that fear. I want him to have a bright future.”
“I gave birth to my son while I was working abroad. I decided to go overseas because it was the only thing that I could do to help my parents; I was a domestic helper at the age of 18 and was away from my family for almost 10 years. That made me who I am today.”