Mujahidat of Ordinary Fridays

by Adia Arianne A. Bangcola


On an ordinary Friday,
the Bangsamoro man prays at the Masjid and comes home
to a house well kept
to children well-fed
and a wife
not so well rested.

On an unordinary Friday, a virus attacks the world
and the Bangsamoro man cannot pray at the Masjid.
His wife however,
operates as usual.
He is safe inside a home
that is still well kept
with children still well-fed
with a wife still not well-rested.

When people think of the Moro,
a word borne from years of struggle,
they think of soldiers,
they think of men,
they think of war.

They say war
is a conflict
that has caused
a thousand deaths or more.

They say to be a
Moro of the Bangsa
is to be a fighter.

They say to be a fighter
is to be a man.

Women are nurturers,
they say,

But I wonder,
When a virus kills 150,000 people, is this not a war?

I wonder
in a present
where everyone
is required to stay at home
does not the woman,
so accustomed to
being a daily frontliner,
now become
the fighter of her household?

I wonder
if people realize
that this quarantine
is but another version
of the everyday battlefields
wherein our women
are already veterans?

That both
have always affected women
more than men

That to be a woman
is to already be at risk
not just of disease
but by
unequal opportunities
unequal access
inequality itself.

I wonder
when will people realize
that the Bangsamoro woman has been fighting
all her life?

That this pandemic is but a war
with narrower walls
and yes,
every man fights
every woman cares
but the woman of the Bangsa knows

there has never been a difference between the two.

That her every Rakaat in prayer,
is to pick up arms
Her every Takbir,
a general’s call
Her every InshaAllah for her family’s safety,
a war song.

With every ablution
she disinfects also her shelter
Every trip to the grocery is a comrade’s sacrifice
Every meal she puts on the table is her army’s rations.

That in times like this
the Bangsamoro woman
is the strongest soldier
a family can have.
Not because
she has conquered more wars
but because
she has surmounted more walls – underestimated
because of
her religion,
her culture,
her gender.

Because she can only be brought to her knees in Sujood
and never defeat.

That she,
and beautiful
and versatile –
she cannot be reduced to only
being a wife
or a mother.

She is as beautiful in home clothes as she is in a PPE
a social worker’s uniform
or behind a vendor’s stall.

When the crisis ends
they will sing praises
of their men’s valiant deeds
but what will ring in my ears is my mother’s quiet

for one more ordinary Friday
where the Bangsamoro man can come home
to a house
well kept,
to children
and behind it all,

a Bangsamoro woman.


The piece was a spoken word poetry entry submitted under the theme, ‘Bangsamoro Women during the Enhanced Community Quarantine’, and won 3rd place at a spoken word poetry competition sponsored by the Pilumbayan Organization.



Adia Arianne A. Bangcola Adia Arianne A. Bangcola is a young M’ranao poet and writer. Her spoken word performances of her original work has granted her distinctions in competitions organized by Pilumbayan, Inquirer, and the Film Development Council of the Philippines. She is currently pursuing medicine, and would like to work with children in the future.