"The Maswarah is part of the support activities that the information management and strategic communication support group is giving to Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) and the member agencies of local government units (LGUs). This is our way of communicating with the people." says Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Director General Harold E. Clavite in forwarding the opportunity of conducting this event and in giving significant services for the IDPs.
The two-day event under the control of strategic communication support group addresses two sets of audiences which consist of the general public and the affected communities.
The main activity which is a part of the communication and messaging that PIA is giving to the affected families and communities especially to the children is entertaining and imparting values through their regular puppet show program.
Through the efforts of the Puppet Theater under the communications group of PIA-Central Office, they are able to touch the hearts and inspire the minds of the evacuees especially the children who are delightful to witness a live animation.
Children raise their hands happily while taking a picture with Islaw Kalabaw before the puppet show starts. Photo: PIA
"We want to give them an opportunity to be happy and find joy. Kasi ang mga bata they have suffered so much, they were in pain. And then this time gusto natin silang bigyan ng pagkakataon na maging bata ulit at ma-enjoy yung pagiging bata. Makikipaglaro tayo sa kanila at makikipagtawanan." said Clavite.
[We want to give them an opportunity to be happy and find joy. Because these children have suffered so much and they were in pain. This time, we want to give them an opportunity to what it feels to be a child again and let them enjoy. We will play and laugh with them.]
Clavite also said that the show contains good values and manners through the story that they have reflected and intermission numbers that will initiate interaction to the kids. He also explained that the show is an additional contribution in terms of psychosocial and educational intervention.
"Masaya ako na nakakita kami ng puppet show dahil matagal na itong na-trauma ang mga tao ko dito pati mga bata sa barangay. Kung masaya yung mga constituent ko, masaya na rin ako." said Basak Malutlut Chairwoman, Jamella Indol Saro who also commences the initial return of children in Basak Elementary School with the collaboration of the school principal, Noraida L. Arobinto.
[I am happy that we witnessed a puppet show because my people especially the children experienced a long-termed trauma. If my constituents are happy, I am also happy.]
In different evacuation centers, the IDPs also expressed their heart-warming messages and gratefulness because of the productions that the PIA has invested.
"Dito sa nagaganap na activities nito, nakakatulong din sa totoo lang sa amin lalo na sa mga IDPs at sa mga bata. Yung mga bata kasi, understood naman po na hindi na nakakapasok sa school dahil sa nangyari sa Marawi. Parang nabigyan sila ng buhay na maging masaya at nakakalimutan nila ang nangyari sa Marawi especially yung takot during siege. Ito yung tamang paraan para ma-solusyonan lalo na ang takot ng mga bata. Bihira lang po makakakita ng puppet ang mga bata. Ngayon na nandito, sobrang saya po ng mga bata ngayon." said Johannah Abdelfattah, barangay secretary and camp manager in Brgy. Bito Buadi Itoa.
[With this kind of activity, it is a great help for us IDPs especially the children. It is understood that the children are not attending classes in their school because of what happened in Marawi. They were given a chance to be happy and forget the happenings in Marawi City, most especially their fears during the siege. This is the right solution particularly in getting rid of their fears. They rarely see a puppet show and they are really happy that they have witnessed it today.]
Residents convene for the free application of birth, marriage and death certificate assisted by the Local Civil Registrar of Marawi City. Photo: PIA
The aspiration of Maswarah is to set a spectacle intended most especially to the children who are paving their ways to adjust with the setbacks that they have encountered. Through this, PIA featured moral importance for the children to appreciate the presentations.
"Kasi yung mga bata hindi na sumusunod sa magulang. Dapat po maging masunurin kami at hindi maging pasaway. Ngayon lang kami nakakakita ng puppet show at salamat dahil marami po kayong napasaya na bata at may natutunan pa kami." says Amira Banisil, 12, who is also an evacuee in Brgy Saguiaran expressed her enlightenment regarding the values that she learned of the show.
[Because the children are disobedient to their parents. We should obey them and stop being hard-headed. This is our first time to see a puppet show and we are really thankful because you made a lot of children happy and we learned something from it.]
Simultaneously, the Local Civil Registrar (LCR) conducted free civil assistance for Marawi residents to have authentic documents such as marriage, birth and death certificates.
"For the mean time, we are giving free assistance sa mga naapektuhan ng siege sa Marawi. Sa June pa kami nagsimula and ngayon nakipag-coordinate ang PIA sa Marawi LGU for this event then ang sabi ni Mayor na makipagcoordinate kami for the benefit of the people for legal purposes." says Anesah M. Busara, Assistant Registration Officer of Civil Registrar Office.
[For the mean time, we are giving free assistance to the IDPs who are affected by the siege. We started last June and PIA coordinated with LGU Marawi for this event. Mayor Gandamra instructed us to coordinate for the benefit of the people especially for legal purposes.]
At the same time, members of PIA-TFBM supervised a focal group discussion for the representatives of the different sectors of each community. The distribution of questionnaires will be assessed to discover the needs of the IDPs as well as their questions, comments and suggestions regarding the assistance and service of the government and other private organizations.
The PIA-TFBM targeted four (4) evacuation centers in conducting the Maswarah. These areas are Brgy. Basak Malutlut, Brgy. Bito Buadi Itoa, Municipality of Saguiaran and Brgy. Sta. Elena in Iligan City.
They also assure to continue the assistance and aim to get a new schedule of spreading amusement and inculcating positive substance in different evacuation centers all over the region through their programs. (JEMLacre/PIATFBM)