The siege ended two years ago. But the Meranaw have not come home. Not that they don’t want to.
They have not been allowed to even see their past homes.
Marawi City’s Most Affected Area has been reduced to leaning walls, bomb holes, and bullet holes. It is eerily silent. Gone are the voices of the (Number of displaced people) that have been divided to temporary spaces of evacuation areas.
Each area fraught with its own politics, issues, and challenges. Some have water, some have tents, some have three families in a small space. Some just a roof.
Each day brings forth a different challenge. Each day longer away from home. The precariousness of displacement increases. The indefinite promises ultimately feels false.
The war has left permanent scars. The city, left to ruins. The Meranaw are left to dry.
They are left hanging, and the precariousness of their situation increases. Yet they continue hoping to return to homes that exist even only in memory.