Bae Linda Eman – Mindanao Peace Builder PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 August 2012 00:00

“Ang Pilipino pala ay hindi ‘yun dahil Kristiyano siya o Muslim ako. Kundi ang pagiging Muslim-Filipina ay dahil ako ay Pilipina nakatira sa Pilipinas.” Bae Linda Eman

This is the statement of Human Nature 2012 Pilipina & Proud Honoree Bae Linda Eman that really struck me. And I hope that all Filipinos, especially we from Mindanao, will bear this in our minds, hearts and souls despite the differences in our culture and beliefs.

Pinay & Proud is a mall exhibit campaign organized recently by Human Nature and Beauty Bar about 15 exemplary Filipinas who are nurturing, courageous, inspiring, and beautiful inside and out. And Muslim-Filipina Bai Linda Eman of Lanao del Norte was cited for bridging peace in Mindanao. This is her peace story. My dream is to walk anywhere with my head up, without being judged as a terrorist; to show to the world that I am a Muslim-Filipina... I can love any person in the Philippines; they will accept me who I am, being a Muslim-Filipino."

"My dream is to walk anywhere with my head up, without being judged as a terrorist; to show to the world that I am a Muslim-Filipina... I can love any person in the Philippines; they will accept me who I am, being a Muslim-Filipino."

Bai Eman grew up thinking that peace can never exist between Christians and Muslims. Witnessing her uncle’s death in the hands of a Christian fueled the belief that Christians will forever be her enemies. Thus she spent her early days as a commander in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

However, in May 2004, everything in Bai Linda’s world changed. Driven by her immense love for country, Bai Linda decided to volunteer for Gawad Kalinga (GK). Once perceived as enemies, her GK experience allowed her to see Christians as brothers and sisters. She admired the passion and commitment of GK volunteers to serve the Filipino people without expecting anything in return. In Bai Linda’s own words, “Christians taught me how to be a good Muslim when I volunteered with Gawad Kalinga.”

Today, Bai Linda serves in GK as a full time Regional Coordinator for Southern Tagalog and Muslim Affairs. Through her courage and sense of patriotism, she was able to overcome her pain and become an instrument of peace, touching and changing the lives of Christians and Muslims alike.

“My dream is to walk anywhere with my head up, without being judged as a terrorist; to show to the world that I am a Muslim-Filipina. I can help anyone, I’m free to walk and I can be a friend to anyone. I can love any person in the Philippines; they will accept me who I am, being a Muslim-Filipino.”

Honored together with Bai Eman are Cheche Lazaro, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Eugene Domingo, Maria Montelibano, Akiko Thomson-Guevara, Rachel Grant, Noreen Bautista, Rose Cabrera, Ditsi Carolino, Aliah Dimaporo, Anna Oposa, Isabel Cuevas-Santos, Xilca Alvarez-Protacio and Maricel Valderama.

Tomorrow I will feature Congresswoman Aliah Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte another Human Nature 2012 Pinay & Proud Honoree.

Human Nature is our country’s premier local producer of natural, organic, and 100% free from harmful chemical personal and beauty products.  Their Zamboanga office is located at the second floor of GBPI II Building at La Purisima St. (in front of Metropolitan Immaculate Cathedral) where one can find these products and information about the Pinay & Proud Campaign.


By Dante Corteza