Ahmad Sampang ibnu Hajiri, MD

A Personal blog by a Tausug medical student (now a doctor!) from Sulu and the stories that inspired him.
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My Tawi-Tawi Adventure

By  AhmadMD _     October 25, 2011    Labels:, 

Okay. Let us cool off a bit.

If you happened to live in the same road as me, and might have talk with me for some year, you would know that one of my greatest dreams is to visit all the Muslim Provinces of ARMM. I love to travel. I always treasure the times I learn something new every time I go to other places: I learn about the people and their lives; I would be fascinated by the views (be it cool natural scenes or even the 'uncool' slums and ‘squatter’s areas’; There are things that I can only see and realize when I am outside travelling. I see how (still) fortunate I am compared to those who’re suffering in hunger.  I see how wonderful Allah is. And I would be reminded and be grateful to Him in one way or the other for all the blessings I had. And so I told myself: “I will travel throughout Mindanao, and I will visit all the major Muslim places and see how their people live differently (or similarly) from our people in Sulu.

It was just a dream at first. I know I want to reach that dream, but I do not have the single idea on “How?” I then simply added that dream to my list of “soon to be decided matters”. But Alhamdulillah, there are always incidents that would give me the opportunity to travel. This time, as I am now temporarily working as an office assistant in an NGO, I was given the chance to visit Basilan and Tawi-Tawi: Places that are too close to my homebase (Sulu), yet too far for me to go (with my own expenses). That dream is slowly being realized, one by one. 

My recent visit to Tawi-Tawi was a no exception. It was so sudden that I was left stunned for some seconds after knowing I would be included in the trip. And much to my amazement is that I would be staying there for 6 days, all for free. (Who else would make this possible than Him? Alhamdulillah!) And so by October 16, 2011 my bags are all packed. I am standing outside the door of my friend and ate, Shalom’s room (a co-worker). And I am leaving on a Jet plane! (It’s not a jet plane actually. I’m just going with the song “Jet Plane”) *Sing chorus here*

(Click read more. I am not done yet :-p )

Flight 5J-839

[image: me in Airport]
At 6:10 am we are already in the airport waiting for boarding. I tried to remember when was the last time I traveled by plane. It was already 5 years now, since my last trip to Manila in fourth year high school. It’s not a new experience, but I just miss the thrill of going up, up, up high. I remember in my first flight I was so amazed—not scared—that I kept my eyes on what’s outside, looking at them as they go smaller and smaller as we pierce through the clouds. And really up until now. I still can’t believe that this heavy machine with all the people and all the cargos it has, would FLY! (Yeah, it might be the doing of those nerdy Physics guys).

My Travel Blog

I know you are already eager to know my adventure in Tawi-Tawi and you are now expecting that I would post them here. But I am going to (I really have to) make you wait a little longer. *evil smile* (Just a little longer I promise.) 
I have recently been added as a contributor in a website-slash-blog created by old friends in MSU Marawi entitled: “All Things Mindanao”. (Was I hired? No, there were no job applications and no salaries. Appointed? No, I was the one who requested to be part of the team. Uhmm proclaimed? Naah, it doesn’t matter anymore). You will learn more about Mindanao and different matters about her; read essays and insights from young journalists from MSU Marawi. 

And my part? I would be writing on TRAVELS. I would be posting all my adventures in different places around Mindanao. This will my Travel Blog, InshaAllah. Please visit our site: All Things Mindanao (and can you put it in your bookmarks, too?). My page would be in the “Fifth Musketeer” page (I am the fifth contributor)

Oh right, here are the places where I went for adventure (something you would surely expect to read in my Travel Blog):

1) The Mystical Bud Bongao (yup! We climbed the highest peak in Tawi-Tawi!)
2) Boloboc cave (with all its historical artifacts—and crocodiles—found there!)
3) Simunul Island (the serine life people are leading)
4) Grand Mosque (the very first Masjid in the country. The cradle of Islam)
5) Tondon Badjao Village (happy kids all around; they are great swimmers!)
6) Panglima Sugala Marine Sanctuary (Fish feeding and with crystal clear blue seas).
7) Sea side water villages
8) Bongao town
9) Island hopping
10) And a lot more!

Before I end this post, I would have to do something blog-friends are bound to do. I was tagged by Kai (or Ayah) and thus was compelled (haha) to do the following :

Rules: (I never it would be this hard. Really. Its Hard if you only have a few Blogosphere friends.)

1. You must post these rules.
2. Each person must post 11 things about themselves in their journal.
3. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create eleven new questions for the people you tag to answer.
4. You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post
5. Go to their page and tell them you have tagged him/her.
6. No tag backs.
7. No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You legitimately (AKA, really, truly, with all honesty)have to tag 11 people.

Answers to Kai’s questions:
1. What is the story behind your given first name? The name 'Ahmad' was already reserved by my father for his first son, way back when he was in his teens. Yup, that's how I got my name.
2. What pushed you to blog? Frustrations, my unpublished (actually the rejected ones) articles, and the inspiration to inspire others, too.
3. Are you earning from your blog? In what way? Nope. Not yet. Sooner I will. nyehehehe
4. Aside from your current field, do you plan on pursuing another? My field? You mean my field in Zoology? I thought you were asking about my grandfather's rice field. Yup, Insha'Allah I will pursue Medicine:-) 
5. Is there a blogger who influenced you? It's not 'is there' it's "are there". They are just so many to mention.
6. In connection to #5, who and why? Top on the list is Sir Neldy, with his inspiring advocacy in hearing the unheard voices of the Tausug People. Others, are purely coincidental. haha.
7. Do you know how to sew? Nope. Not even in our Home Economics in High School (oh I hate that subject. If not only that I was in the same group with my crush then, might have left the room.)
8. What’s your plan for the next 2 years of your life? I'm poor in planning. But the plans are to enroll in Med.School, and do my best! I will also continue my blogoholic world.
9. What’s your dream vacation? The Pacific Ocean! I wonder how it feel to be in the middle of nowhere!
10. What are you willing to sacrifice to pursue your dreams? I am willing to sacrifice my ballpen. (haha)
11. What do you think about Lilpink.info’s layout? Should I change it? Or let it be for a few months? Your Template is cool. Just let be there for some months.

My Questions:
[I am still preparing them]
I would Tag:
[I am still looking for them.]

Don't worry Ayah, I will post them sooner or later InshaAllah.


About AhmadMD _

Ahmad is a young Tausug Physician now serving as one of the Doctor to the Barrios (DTTB). He is a free spirit. He loves coffee. And fish.

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just saying. -Dr. Ahmad