Today I thought of Genalyn (a repost)

Along the road to Ampatuan, Maguindanao. (2009)

Today I want to write about Genalyn.

I imagine that she fell in love with her husband, swept away enough to marry someone who is not Christian like herself. I am only assuming she wasn’t Muslim by birth because her last name does not sound Muslim. Tiamson. I could be wrong but what do I know.

I imagine that she admired her husband, spoke about him with pride. Bore his children. If they have children. I tried to read all the articles I could google about them. I couldn’t seem to find any information if Genalyn bore children. Even that is sometimes classified information for a family involved in a ‘rido’ -my friend tells me. So I don’t know.

What I do know is this – Genalyn trusted the rules of engagement – even of clan wars – she is now part of a clan that is engaged in this war. So she said yes to the request of her husband or perhaps volunteered to file the certificate of candidacy herself.  Smoothed down her blouse, perhaps, and said to herself, we have the media with us – a lot of them, there is no way they will harm us women – we are protected by many blankets of safety.  By our gender, by the ancient rules of engagement, by the concept of coverage and the sheer number of us.  I am protected, by this car, by my faith, by my love for my husband.  I am brave, I will defy on behalf of my husband and his clan.  We will challenge them – and when my Toto wins – I will say to our clan – I was responsible for taking us into power – because I filed the certificate of his candidacy that morning of November 23- as she clutched her cellphone tight.

It was meant to be just another exciting narration for her. Just another story for the next family meal. She will breathlessly tell her Christian relatives how nervous she was that morning, but she and her intelligent husband outdid the enemy by sending even her sisters-in-law, pregnant both -because that made them more sacred and higher in the ranks of the untouched.

I imagined she would tell her Mother or friends from high school how triumphant she felt with the accomplished certificate in her hand, driving back -3rd car of the convoy – back to Buluan to hug her husband and say, I filed it, Toto! We are challenging them! And she was part of it. Really part of it.

I imagine she was proud and willing to take this task on – because it had probably been so rare that she was asked to be involved in the political affairs. The affairs reserved only for the men of the clan. She must’ve felt closer to her husband, just a bit closer to an aspect of her husband’s life.  She must’ve felt like a wife- a bearer – she must’ve felt (something she has been probably searching for) like a true Muslim woman – fierce and brave and emboldening herself for love and purpose. She combed her hair and powdered her face. Thoughtfully decided on what to wear. I am sure of that, she is a woman not unused to the public eye. She must be beautiful.  I don’t know, I have not seen nor found a photo of her online or anywhere else.  I imagine that she is beautiful though – for powerful men are known to gravitate towards great beauties. I only imagine this, of course.  What do I know. All I know is that the morning of the 23rd of November – she was sent.

And so- she went.

I am thinking of Genalyn Tiamson-Mangudadatu especially this morning.  I am not sure why.

Gang Badoy
30 November 2009

Note: I reposted this because today the Supreme Court will run a test webcast for the Maguindanao massacre trial.


About gangcentral

My name is (actually) Gang. View all posts by gangcentral

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