WATCH: Marawi clashes tear apart families, friends on Ramadan
LANAO DEL SUR – As Ramadan begins, clashes in Marawi continue, tearing families and loved ones apart during what Muslims consider their holy month. Carmela Fonbuena files this report.
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: Another day, another fire breaks out. On Day 5 of the Marawi crisis, almost all of the residents have evacuated the city.
Hayef, a student at MSU-Marawi, is not one to run away at the sound of the first gunfire.
HAYEF, REFUGEE: Sa aming Maranaos mostly, such as myself, we are not thinking if we're scared or if we're accustomed to this. We just wait for this to end, and it didn't.
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: After 3 days, he finally jumped into a dump truck going to MSU's campus in Iligan City to escape government clashes with the local terrorist groups.
HAYEF, REFUGEE: Actually, I'm gonna thank this evacuation center. Their accommodations are good. I feel at home.
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: But behind Hayef's cheerful attitude is sadness. It is Ramadan, but he is not with his family.
HAYEF, REFUGEE: It's my first time to have my Ramadan far away from my family. I'm comfortable here. But it's different being with your loved ones.
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: Ramadan is a holy month celebrated by Muslims worldwide, a celebration of their faith.
LTGEN CARLITO GALVEZ, WESTMINCOM COMMANDER: I ask for your forgiveness. We did not want this to happen. We will rush to bring back the normalcy so they can go back during Ramadan.
CARMELA FONBUENA, REPORTING: It is the fervent wish of Hayef and his fellow Muslims from Marawi City.
Carmela Fonbuena, Rappler, Mindanao. – Rappler.com