January 1985 Vol. VI, No. 2
10 July 2022
Rural-to-urban migration has become prevalent in the Philippines in recent years–and this is also true for Maranao Muslims. Matuan, in this journal, seeks to understand their why–why Maranao Muslims migrate to urban centers despite the idea of having contrasting beliefs with urban Christian residents. Contrary to popular belief, the war that was being waged in Mindanao was not the primary reason as to why Maranao Muslims moved to the cities. It was their pursuit of better economic opportunities that prompted them to move, with their belief that with the war being waged, the economy will suffer more drastically. Based on the results of Matuan’s study, both conflict and economic reasons are intertwined in their motives to migrate. Data also suggests that the increase in migration to Manila between the years of 1972 to 1981 will only continue, given that the economy in Muslim Mindanao is in a worse condition today than in previous years. The respondents of Matuan’s study also point out that they would like to return to settle back home again, but only a few probably will. This is because they only get meager earnings from agriculture in Lanao, and only a few of them had access to tertiary education. Most of the migrants are better off economically in the cities. In addition to this, the study also reveals that 8 out of 9 male migrants married Christian women. In summary, livelihood and economic opportunities are compelling reasons for Maranao Muslims to migrate, even to areas which house people with vastly different beliefs.
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