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Maguindanao tribal group prays to goddess of fire to end Australia bushfires


Photo courtesy Froilyn Mendoza
Photo courtesy Froilyn Mendoza

COTABATO CITY — A women-led tribal group in Maguindanao has offered ritual prayers calling on an indigenous goddess of fire to help ease the raging bushfires that have devastated parts of Australia for months.

Dozens of members of the Teduray-Lambangian Women’s Organization, Inc. (TLWOI) gathered in a ritual site in South Upi, Maguindanao early Monday to seek the fire goddess Frayag Sarif's intercession to bring rain to Australia amid the bushfires that have caused huge damage to property and claimed the lives of at least 24 people and countless wildlife.

Froilyn Mendoza, the lead convenor of the group, said that they are very worried about the big infernos that they see on social media and on TV, considered more severe than usual even during Australia's season of bushfires.

The kanduli, or ritual gathering, is a cultural practice of the Teduray-Lambangian group every time they are hit by drought or El Niño. During the kanduli they offer traditional delicacies and rice and offer prayers in front of bamboo poles with colorful flaglets.

The group also prayed to the Gods of Nature for the de-escalation of the growing tensions between the United States and Iran, after a US drone strike at the Baghdad airport killed Iran's top military official, Qassem Soleimani, and his subordinates.

“We pray for peace,” they said.

The group is concerned that World War III is a possibility if the situation is not resolved, and that allied countries can possibly be dragged into this global tension. — BM, GMA News