Moro (Filipino Muslim) people is now in Southern Mexico and Latin America
The Moro, also called the Bangsamoro or Bangsa Moro, are the Muslim population of the Philippines, forming the largest non-Catholic group in the country and comprising about 5.1% (as of August 2007) of the total Philippine population. There are around 13 indigenous communities, of which the majority have converted to the religion of Islam and are now Muslims or Moros; most are the followers of Islam of the Shafi’i madh’hab.
The term Moro (Moor) came into use during the Spanish colonial period by the Spaniards. It was originally used to refer to the Berber/Arab Muslims who ruled Muslim Spain (prior to the Reconquista), but for a time it came to be used informally by the Spaniards to refer to all Muslims. immediately upon their arrival. They noticed early on quoting one of their earliest writers:
they say that there are in this country, Moors [Moros] like those of Barberia [Barbary], and that their strength in arms is quite equal to that of those people; and that they fight and defend themselves like the Turks…— Relaciones delas Islas Felipinas 1569
The term is also self proscribed by the communities themselves. There is also the historic Dansalan Declaration and the Zamboanga Declaration of Moro and Lumad leaders gathered to declare their protest to the planned inclusion of their sovereign territories to the emerging Philippine Commonwealth. On both declarations, the signatories used the word; Moro Nation which translates as Bangsa Moro.
In modern history, influential groups such as the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) espoused the Moro identity to unify all Muslim groups in the Philippines. This is different from the “Filipino” identity as it was more seen as an epithet to Catholic converted ethnic groups. In addition with the Moro concept represents their distinct Islamic heritage, one of the Moro social movement founding leaders, Nur Misuari clarifies that they are not a part of the majority Filipino society with a slogan “Moro not Filipino” in their struggle for autonomy or independence against the Catholic majority Philippine central government.
This is rooted from resistance of the then –Spanish and American rule who forced them and their much older Sultanate system of government and to integrate them as official Policy into the modern Philippine republic.
The Moro people mostly live in Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan. Due to continuous movement of their people since the 16th century until present due to the Philippine – Bangsa Moro War, their communities can be found in all large cities in the Philippines, including Manila, Cebu and Davao. Many Moros also have emigrated to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei in the last half of the 20th century due to the conflict in the Southern Philippines. Newer communities can be found today in Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Semporna in neighbouring Sabah, Malaysia, North Kalimantan in Indonesia, as well in Bandar Seri Begawan of Brunei.