Meaningful Travels PH invited me to be a part of their Quiapo Muslim Town Immersion tour. It’s a tour that aims to explore the Muslim town, to immerse in the Muslim Culture, and to give back to the community.
In this narrative, I’m going to tell you how safe it is to travel around the Quiapo Muslim Town. It’s only safe, but also an eye-opening experience. I hope I can break the stigma about the wrong notion of Quiapo’s Muslim Town.
Walking Tour Highlights
Meet up at Arab Asian Cafe
Ramadan 2019 began last May 5 and will end on June 4. Since it is Ramadan, most restaurants are closed. They only open after the sunset. I ordered Milk Tea and Paratha served with sweetened milk. The Paratha is a flat bread. It’s like a crepe with many layers. It’s just 25 pesos but it can make you feel full!
Prior the whole walking tour, we had a quick briefing with Nak, the owner of Meaningful Travels PH, Ammanah, a Shari’ah lawyer, and Nords, a researcher and a broadcaster. They know so much about the history of Islam in the Philippines.
Before going to the town, I researched about the proper attire inside the Mosque. Both men and women have to wear modest and decent clothes. Women must wear long sleeves. For skirts and pants, it should cover the ankles. Most importantly, women must bring a scarf or turban to cover the hair.
They have a vast variety of clothes. They have fashionable clothes for different occasions. If only I have a lot of money, I’ll buy a set of clothes.
Islam and The Golden Mosque
“Balik Islam?,” people asked. Even before the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese colonized the Philippines, we already have a religion. Based on history, our first religion is Muslim. It’s the reason why people asks if I’m “balik Islam?”
I have a number of Muslim friends, Sameen: my childhood friend, Sittie: my college orgmate, and Nurhaya: my colleague. Even though I have Muslim friends, I still admit that my knowledge about Muslims are very shallow. All I know is that their Religion is Islam. Their God is Allah. They have a holy book called Quran. I guarantee you that you’ll get to know more about Islam when you join the Quiapo Muslim Town Immersion.
I’m not sure if it’s okay to upload photos inside the Golden Mosque. To see it, I’m inviting you to watch Reel Time (GMA News TV 11) on May 25, 2019 at 9:15 pm.
Muslim Town Market
There are many interesting halal food in the Muslim Town Market. On the streets, people can buy some local dishes delicacies like Palapa and Dodol.
Palapa is a Maranao condiment consisting of scallions, ginger, turmeric, chilli, and toasted grated coconut. It is often used as a side dish. If Koreans have Kimchi, Muslims have Palapa!
The final stage of the tour is Pagana Maranao. This is actually optional but I totally recommend that you include this in your itinerary. I strongly believe that immersions are not complete without tasting the food.
Pagana Maranao is a feast held during special occasions such as enthronements, weddings, graduations, engagements, merrymaking, and homecoming from Pilgrimage. At other times. its their native way to welcome special guests and visitors. I’m very honored to experience this in person.
Meaningful Travels PH lives up to their name. I really appreciate their advocacy to promote the Muslim culture and to give back to the community. I wish more people can join their eye-opening tours. By the way, it’s safe in Quiapo Muslim Town!Karla Obispo of Travel with Karla
By the way if you like visiting museums, you may check my one day itinerary in Manila.