Sitti Rahma, my mother My mother was born in Malita, Davao del Sur in 1918 to Sheikh Ismail Yahya, a Mranao Arab and Bai Rosa, a Buayanen/Maguindanaon princess and coconut plantation heiress. As my mother used to say, she was “born with a silver spoon in her mouth.” By the age of 12, my mother… Continue reading Hadja Sitti Rahma Yahya Abbas
What happened on Sept 21, 1972? Nothing of much importance. Just like any other day in the Philippines. I was in high school then. On that day, I went to school, as usual. What happened on Sept 22, 1972? Nothing of much importance. Just like any other day in the Philippines. I went… Continue reading Sept 23, 1972: Martial Law, my brother and Me
It's graduation time in the Philippines and my FB newsfeeds are full of photos of young people in their graduation regalia. They remind me of my own graduation more than a dozen years ago (MA in Media Studies) . So, I’m putting up my photo, too with the UP Newsletter’s full-page feature on me! From… Continue reading Studying Communication & Media Studies
Here's an article I wrote more than a decade ago about our great-grandfather Sheikh Yahya ibn Hadi and his descendants in Mindanao and Brunei: "I now know that wars do not end wars," said Henry Ford. For the Moros, wars are simply followed by more wars. Wars usually correspond to turning points in our lives.… Continue reading Sheikh Yahya ibn Hadi and his descendants
My name is Jamal Ashley. These are my given names. When I was in grade school and high school, I knew or heard of no one who had the name Jamal except for Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram of Sulu. But the Sultan's name was usually pronounced as Jamalul not Jamal ul-Kiram. Jamal is pronounced with the… Continue reading What's in a name?