1: I can tell the difference between Pakistanis and Indians.
2: You can? Noooo. How?
1: Like the Indians are a bit darker and they wear a string around their wrist.
2: No man. It’s not like that. You’d think that maybe, but it’s not true. We come from the same place. The majority of Pakistan is dark skinned.
1: But the Muslims pray, especially at my work, so I know.
2: Yeah some do. So you’re Filipino no?
1: I am.
1: Palawan, Philippines.
2: Where’s that?
1: It’s on the west side. It’s near Malaysia.
2: Malaysia? Wow.
1: Yeah people even go there for the day
2: Like for the day?
1: Yeah. It takes a few hours by ferry.
2: Cool. I want to go. Especially Mindanao. [Grin]
1: I heard so many bad things about that place growing up.
2: Serious? Like about the Muslims?
1: Yeah. You know, like it’s one of those things you don’t say out loud, but those people kind of thing, you know.
2: Like they have a bad impression?
1: Yeah something like that. You just get a bad impression of them and where they live. But I like Muslim people.
2: Oh. Why?
1. In Palawan, I had some Muslim friends.
2: Like they were locals?
1: Yeah of course, from Palawan. And they would always tell me to come along with them.
2: It wasn’t a problem?
1: Not at all. I still remember, I have good memories. They were good guys.
2: And they spoke Tagalog?
1: Nah, they spoke their own language. But we all spoke Cuyonon.
2: Oh right. But you know Tagalog too right?
1: Yeah, Tagalog is the central language. But yeah, there are so many languages in the Philippines.
2: I know the Muslims speak like Tausug, and other languages. They are the original faith group in the Philippines. They had a sultanate in 1450. A kingdom from back then!
1: Oh okay.
2: But that impression you are talking about. It’s something real. I bought something off this guy online and he was from Mindanao. And he was Christian. But he was telling me how the Muslims of the Philippines have been neglected. So there’s a conflict.
Watch: Muslim in Mindanao and the mistrust and marginalization between locals and the government.
4:23 – 1: Do you think food from Mindanao is part of that national narrative of Filipino food?
2: I think there is a long way to achieve that. It needs a little more awareness, promotion.
2: The mainstream Filipino to appropriate food like this. This is the southern version of Bulalo. So I think it is not right to do that.
1: Right, so taking their own names of dishes they are familiar with….