The Masjid al-Dahab, more popularly known as the Golden Mosque, is the religious center of Muslims in Metro Manila. While there are sizable Muslim communities in Diliman and Taguig, most of the metropolis’ Islam adherents live in Quiapo and Binondo, close to the largest mosque in Metro Manila.
The Golden Mosque is so-called because of the color of its central dome. The mosque was ordered constructed by Imelda Marcos in 1976 in order to coincide with the state visit of Libyan strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi in order to help broker peace with the Muslim separatists in Mindanao. The visit did not materialize, however, and it was the First Lady instead who would visit Libya. The mosque remained and became the center of Islam in Manila.
Photo by dominic’s holga.
The Golden Mosque stands at the end of Globo de Oro St., which aptly means “golden globe.” (I don’t know whether the two names are related, but it’s highly probable that they are.) The mosque is large enough to accommodate 3,000 worshipers and is usually packed full during the Islamic day of worship every Friday at noon.
You might be interested to know that Friday is also known as “Quiapo Day” because that’s the day of worship (aside from the Sunday masses) for the devotees of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo Church just a few hundred meters to the northwest of the mosque. (I also don’t know whether the fact that the church and mosque celebrate their special days on the same weekday is a coincidence or not.) Because of this, motorists are well-advised to avoid Quiapo on Fridays.
Muslims once ruled Manila until 1570 when Miguel López de Legazpi soundly defeated the ruling Muslim leaders like Rajah Sulayman and established Manila as the capital of Spanish Philippines. Today, only the Golden Mosque stands as the major reminder of the presence of Islam in the capital city.
See more pictures and learn more about the Golden Mosque at our sister-blog, the Pinoy Travel Blog.