Spent the night in Kabacan, Cotabato Province (not "North" Cotabato, as I was corrected) to visit Kuya John's family. It's a university town whose heart is the University of Southern Mindanao. Students will return for limited in-person classes on January. When we passed through, we only saw gardeners, farmers, and security guards in campus.
This is, I'm ashamed to admit, the first time I'm setting foot in North Cotabato. You'd think that North and South Cotabato (which decided to break off from the Cotabato Empire in 1966) would be beside each other, but they are not.
It's no small grace to catch up with Kuya John, now based in Sydney, and Ate Gladys, their parents, and Ate Gladys' kids.