Manila’s first and largest mosque, a place of refuge and symbol of peace
Symbol of peace-making
It was Imelda Marcos who commissioned Manila’s biggest mosque in 1976. She wanted to make bold welcoming gesture for Libya’s president Muhammar Gahdaffi who was scheduled to visit Manila to negotiate a peace agreement with Muslim Mindanao separatists. Yet Gahdaffi couldn’t make it, things escalated and the mosque became a refuge for thousands of Muslim Filipinos who left their homeland in the south to find peace in the capital. It has since become the centre of the Muslim community in the capital.
Manila’s biggest mosque
The Golden Mosque is huge, it can accommodate 3,000 people. Come here for Friday payers and you’ll a side of Manila, you seldom see. The big dome is shiny gold and also the inside is generously painted in yellow gold. Did you know that even the street is called: ‘Globo de Oro’?
Love of God and neighbour
Quiapo was always a Catholic stronghold, so when the Golden Mosque was built right in the middle of the neighbourhood, this caused tensions between religious leaders from both communities. In a bid to end conflicts, in 2011 leaders of the different communities agreed to establish the Muslim-Christian Inter-faith Dialogue. In the spirit of “Love of God and Love of Neighbour”, they meet regularly to discuss local and current issues. Meetings alternate between Quiapo Church and the Golden Mosque. So successful has this initiative been in promoting peaceful co-existence that it has since been copied in other parts of the Philippines.