Monday, March 21, 2016

Golden Domes and Crescent Moons: The Grand Mosque of Cotabato City

Rising on the landscape of Barangay Kalanganan, Cotabato City and sitting near the banks of Tamontaka River is Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, more popularly known as The Grand Mosque of Cotabato. This magnificent religious structure towers at a height of 43 meters, roughly equivalent to a 15-storey building. 

I was fortunate to visit the Grand Mosque during a work-related travel in Cotabato City. The mosque stuns with its beauty even from afar. Golden domes and crescent moons capped its immaculate white walls which perfectly contrast the clear blue skies above. I felt like I was transported to the Middle East with the mosque's grandeur.


The mosque was funded by Sultan Hassana Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam at a reported cost of US$48 million. Occupying 5,000 square meters of a 5-hectare land, it can accommodate 800 male and 400 male worshippers making it the largest mosque in the Philippines. Interestingly, this place for Muslim Worship was designed by Christian Architects.



The Grand Mosque is now a major landmark in Cotabato City. Aside from being an important place for worship of our Muslim brothers and sisters, it also became a popular tourist attraction.



How to Get There:


From Cotabato City downtown area, ride a jeepney heading to Awang. Disembark at the Husky Bus Terminal and take a tricycle or motorcycle going to the Grand Mosque. You may ask the tricycle driver to wait for you while you explore the place.



Cotabato City is the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) but the city is administratively part of the SOCCSKSARGEN region, which is composed of the provinces of South Cotabato, (North) Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Saranggani, as well as the highly urbanized city of General Santos. For geographical purposes, it is grouped with the province of Maguindanao, or for statistical reasons sometimes grouped with the the province of Cotabato,[3] and does not belong to the ARMM  (source: Wikipedia.org)


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