Saturday, October 12, 2013

Color it Pink: Datu Masjid Dimaukom Mosque in Datu Saudi, Maguindanao

Datu Masjid Dimaukom Mosque in Datu Saudi, Maguindanao

Coming from Koronadal, and a quick stop at the Capitol bldg in Sultan Kudarat, I took a jeep from the 'roundball' near the capitol and en route to Cotabato city.

I've asked the dispatcher to drop me off closest to the Pink Mosque. 

By this time, I don't think i even know where exactly it is. I just ask the passengers next to me at the jeep topload.

We have entered the town of Datu Saudi ampatuan and I was told we are nearing the mosque.i was dropped next to the municipal hall, which is also next to an army checkpoint. There wasn't as many people around but only on a small sari sari store next to the hall. 

I've asked where I can find the pink mosque and was told to turn right on the corner next to the hall. I said thanks and left.

As soon as i turned around, several raging army trucks passed. I walked back. Apparently, the lady whom i asked didn't turn away her eyes off me. She, smiling,  asked if it were my first time in this place; I answered yes, and replied, (in Filipino), "be used to it. It's normal here."

The army trucks are out of sight, and I proceeded to walking towards the diversion to the mosque. As expected, all eyes on my footsteps while I smile at everyone back.

Apparently, it's not only the mosque that's pink. Even the municipal hall was pink. It seems they've painted all government structures in pink (perhaps to lighten up the general idea about maguindanao, and datu saudi most especially).

Municipal Hall near Datu Masjid Dimaukom Mosque in Datu Saudi, Maguindanao

Just a few steps away from this roundball, It was already the pink mosque. I walked in, had a few words with the workers, and asked if I can take pictures; They gladly said yes, and told me I can even come inside ( which I was happy about because rarely do non-muslims get the chance to get inside mosques).

Datu Masjid Dimaukom Mosque in Datu Saudi, Maguindanao

I walked to the center of the mosque and looked in 360 degrees of murals..

One worker approached me and asked if If I were a muslim or christian. Inasmuch as I'd like to deny (for security), there's no way they'd believe me anyway. When I answered christian, the worker looked me from head to toe and (from how I could feel, would want to spit on me). He also told me not to wander much around and be sure not to get past the mosque. I could feel he didn't appreciate an outsider, or that he's just worried about me getting into an incident. Nevertheless, Out of courtesy, I did not bother take pictures inside, and walked away instead.

Datu Masjid Dimaukom Mosque in Datu Saudi, Maguindanao

I stopped by this sari sari store close by, pretended like I wanted to have some cold drink, though the truth is, i'd just like to have a small chat with the locals. Again, at first, they'd keep asking where I am from, if im with any defense agency, and the likes. Whats funny was, my battery bank's cable was hanging out of my bag, and they'd thought it was some kind of detonator or something. I pulled it out of my bag, and showed them how it works, just to get them comfortable.

Then, I told them about the incident inside and they told me some (muslim) locals are really like that. They also gave me the same advise, not walk around past the mosque. A few pictures with them, and since it's past4pm, A little while later, I bid goodbye and took the jeep to cotabato (on topload again :-).

From Datu Saudi, I head next to Asik Asik Falls, in Alamada, North Cotabato

When I was in the store having some words with the local, i was referring to the town as datu saudi ampatuan (as specified in the literature, and maps). I was told to refer to it instead as Datu Saudi. Not sure if it were to shorten it, or also just because of the dilemma of the people 

As of 2015, this mosque has already completed construction :-).

This trip is part of my 13 day Southern Mindanao Trip. I posted a few details of my schedule and expenses here

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