I once confessed I have a huge fascination for mosques. There is inner peace and sublime godliness whenever I see them. I have visited and toured around the grandest and most beautiful mosques in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and in the Sultanate of Brunei Darussalam but I’ve never been to any in the Philippines not until I decided to drop by at one of the quaintest mosques I see in the whole Davao Region – the Lamaran Mosque of Banaybanay, Davao Oriental.
Whenever I traveled to Mati City and my hometown of Cateel, Davao Oriental plying Davao-Mati route, I would always stay attentive or awake if I’m not driving whenever I pass by the town of Banaybanay to glance at the town’s most unique mosque perfectly situated right the main highway. I’ve been so fascinated by it since the day I first saw it. And in one of my many travels eastward, I finally took my time to stop, went in to experience my first mosque visit in the country.
At first I was taking pictures from outside as the impressive color of the whole structure was truly captivating. When I neared the main entrance of the mosque, an old man came to me to ask what I was doing. I told him I am travel blogger and I write about interesting places that other people or tourists can come and discover. He was very excited when he heard it. He volunteered to show me around the mosque. It was past noon. He said the midday prayer will start in a while but I can just go on going around.
As I toured around, I can feel the profound faith and devotion of our Muslim brothers as manifested in the four corners of Lamaran Mosque. I can feel innate peace dwelling in the place. It is not as bigger or grander like those in Malaysia and Brunei but I can feel the holiness and tranquility of the whole place inside me. When the call for prayer or adha started, I was moved even harder. There was profound peace that my struck my heart. The same feeling I felt when I was in Brunei listening to the reverberating adha of the Imam from the Grand Mosque.
Digging the history of Lamaran Mosque, in my research, I learned that the mosque was built by Datu Hadji Calusan Lamaran in 1971 for his people, the Kagan Muslims of Davao Oriental. The Kagans are known in Mindanao to have a rich culture and tradition. In the later years, Lamaran Mosque was renovated and remodeled by the Datu’s offspring to become what it is now – a beacon of Islam faith in this part of Mindanao.
I have so much respect for Islam, its rich culture, arts and architecture. Mostly Arabic in influence intertwined by regional culture, these works of art and architecture are great expression of their transcendent faith, love and devotion to Allah, the one true God. And just like other mosque, grand or not, Lamaran Mosque is one great example.
I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS PLACE. This is my first MOSQUE VISIT in the Philippines!