I was born and raised in a Catholic family, studied in a Catholic school from primary to college. Because of this, I was only exposed to the teachings of the Catholic church.
Growing up, I had so many questions about my religion and I started to research, travel and been exposed to other religions and people I meet over the years for the past 10 years. To be honest talking about religion is a very sensitive topic.
Not everyone would want to discuss their faith and beliefs especially to people they’re not closed with. On the other hand, this is one of the many topics I would love to talk about among my friends because I have a unique set of friends and that’s what I love about being a Blogger and a Traveler.
I have a wide range of opinionated and open-minded colleagues and friends.
Here in the Philippines, we have a small percentage of the Muslim community and the majority are Catholics.
Muslim History in the Philippines:
Before the Spanish colonization period, Filipinos are Muslim. It is not surprising because our neighboring countries like Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia are Muslim countries. The Spanish Government ruled over our country for 300+ years and one of their imparting cultures was their religion – Christianism.
And the only major island in the Philippines that remained Muslims is in Mindanao.
If you wanna know more about our history and to understand deeply the Islam, there is one recommended tour community/agency that emphasizes and gives Muslim Tour in Quiapo, Manila. Meaningful Travels PH invited me to experience this unique tour that I have never experienced before.
Quiapo Tour with Meaningful Travels PH
Info: The Golden Mosque was built in the 1970s by the Marcos’.
Our call time was around 8-9 in the morning and I came first since I came around 8:30 am. I decided to have breakfast at a nearby canteen, close proximity and about a few yards away from The Golden Mosque Quiapo.
After having breakfast, I met our tour guide and other participants of the tour at a Cafe that serves local hot milk tea.
After that, we started our tour by visiting clothing shops around Quiapo. These stores are selling apparel, hijabs, malongs, scarves, and prayer mats/carpets from Mindanao and other Asian countries like Indonesia and Malaysia.
Shawls and clothes are sold at a very affordable price ranging from 100 pesos 350 Pesos for dresses and some shops sell it for 400 to 450 Pesos depending on the style and textile used. Square pants for men are sold for 150 Pesos only.
So cheap and very comfortable as the textile is somehow cotton and very airy.
After visiting several shops, we stop at a shop where we get helped from Muslim ladies to properly put our individual scarf on our head before we enter the Mosque. Muslims are very strict in their mosque and all women who will enter should be wearing:
- Long sleeves
- Pants or Skirts long enough to cover the whole legs
- Women should not wear tight-fitting clothes
- Women should be wearing hijabs or veil.
Now we can enter the Muslim Village, as we women are wearing veils and proper attire.
We also visited the school for Muslim children where they were taught to learn the Islamic language so they would be able to read and understand their Qoran. At the school, there are several levels just like the typical school in the Philippines.
Pre-school, primary to advanced lessons of Islam. The kids go to their classes every Saturday and Sunday until they finished and graduate after several months of learning, understanding, being able to write and practice the teachings of Qoran.
Things to remember before entering a mosque
- Men and women should be wearing proper attire
- All should remove their slippers, shoes before entering the mosque
- There is a designated place of worship for men and women
- Men and women do not pray side by side
- Observe silence while inside the mosque
- No eating, drinking and sleeping inside
We only had a few minutes to see inside the Golden Mosque as their afternoon prayer will be starting in a short while so we had to leave quickly. After the tour, we’re all excited for our lunch. As we will be eating Halal food around the Quiapo area.
Rice serves at 10 Pesos only, and food choices are ranging from 40 Pesos to 100 Pesos only. Most food here is spicy but still tolerable for Filipino palate.
After our lunch, we also take a chance to see their local market. Most food, delicacies are from Mindanao, and some are from Indonesia and Malaysia.
Some veggies here are my first time to see.
It has been a fun learning experience with Meaningful Travels PH and I highly recommend this tour to our fellow Filipinos who want to learn and educate themselves about our Muslim brothers and sisters, their religion and culture as well.
Quiapo Muslim Tour with Meaningful Travels PH