The Golden Mosque, so-called because its dome is supposed to be in shining gold, was built in 1976 under the supervision of then First Lady Imelda Marcos for the visit of Libya’s president Muammar Khadafy. His visit was cancelled but the Mosque has become the biggest Mosque in Metro Manila.
The Golden Mosque is situated in the heart of the Muslim district. Here you can find hundreds of shops and stalls selling pirated DVDs, VCDs and music CDs for as low as 30 pesos. It is a huge business and the counterfeit items are openly sold. It is obvious that this illegal trade is tolerated by the police and the authorities.
The last time I visited the Golden Mosque some (needed !) renovations were under way. The tall minaret is completely rusted and the general impression is one of neglect (probably due to lack of funds). As of late it looked more like a Rusted Mosque than a Golden Mosque. Hopefully this huge Mosque will regain some of its past splendor. The inside of the Mosque is huge and beautiful.
You are free to roam around the Golden Mosque complex. People will automatically join you and act as your guides. A donation will be asked when you leave the Mosque.
You are free to take all the pictures you want.
Where: Globo de Oro Street in Quiapo
My rating: 7/10
The Golden Mosque is not particularly beautiful but well worth a visit. Don’t forget to roam around the side streets of this predominantly Muslim district. Filipinos will warn you that this is a very dangerous neighbourhood but the people I encountered were all very friendly and hospitable. I only got into trouble once when I took pictures of the illegal trade of pirated DVDs.
Nearby: Quiapo Church; Ilalim Tulay Market; Hidalgo Street Photo Shops.
Info from: http://my_sarisari_store.typepad.com/
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