With the negative images being portrayed in different media platforms about Mindanao, it is quite understandable why people from other parts of the country will hesitate to come and visit this beautiful island. Here’s a summation of the top 6 misconceptions about Mindanao and a bit of defense about these misconceptions:
1.) There is always war in Mindanao
Big trucks, men in army uniforms and holding their rifles are a common scene. Mindanao is a big island. True, there are areas that are not quite good to stay and visit but majority of Mindanao is a paradise where there is freedom, peace and harmony.
2.) Bombings are very rampant
Well, Mindanaoans can’t deny it but it doesn’t speak the entire Mindanao per se. Bombings in Mindanao may be isolated to certain areas only. The bigger portion of Mindanao is safe; in fact, Davao City was named as the 4th safest city in 349 cities.
Perhaps one of the reasons why Mindanao has the negative image as a place where bombings and kidnappings are very rampant is because the media is giving much emphasis on it. It would have been fair if they too will highlight bombings and kidnappings in other areas aside from Mindanao where there are higher incidents as compared to what we have here in Mindanao.
3.) Kidnappings are as equally rampant as with bombings
This unlikely event happens anywhere in the country, right? Kidnappings cannot be confined to Mindanao alone because as you know, it also happens in other parts of the country.
4.) Majority are Muslims in terms of population
Most people who have never set their foot in Mindanao have this image that people living in the island are Muslims. Just like Luzon and Visayas, Mindanao too is made up of different smaller islands with different people, different beliefs and religion. Actually, majority of Muslims live in ARMM while those that live in other areas in Mindanao are living harmoniously with people of different religions. Therefore, it’s wrong to say that Mindanao is covered entirely with Muslim constituents.
5.) Mindanao is a mountainous area with little industrialization
Well, it may sound too much but hey, people who never had experience going here think that Mindanao barely has traces of industrialization. Mindanao has lots of cities and provinces with big buildings, malls, hotels and other infrastructures that other first class cities have.
Davao City at night. (Photo credit)
6.)Mindanao is not worth visiting
Perhaps of the three big islands of Philippines, Mindanao has the most promising places to visit. Pristine white sand beaches , virgin forests, majestic waterfalls , high-end accommodations, different species of flora and fauna and many more still abound this blessed island.
It’s such a shame that Filipinos are the ones portraying the negative images of Mindanao while foreigners are dying to step into this beautiful island. It would have been better if Filipinos are the ones who will help boost the tourism industry of Mindanao instead of giving potential tourists these misconceptions.