The Heart of Urban Marawi City
“Even most MSU students don’t dare to go to ‘town,’” a Maranao friend of mine once said.
|Beyond the gates of one of Philippines' well-known universities, is a city waiting to be explored.|
|Crossing the Agus River|
|The streets of downtown Marawi, particularly Bangolo, reminds me of Quiapo District in some aspects.|
My first taste of Marawi’s air—it was cool. Actually a bit chilly since it was raining at that time. Blogger friend Doc Wends and I took the tricycle that took us all the way to Banggolo on an Eid Ul’Adha holiday. Marawi was really a different world. Streets that wind the slopes of the rolling hills, it reminds me of either Baguio’s congested back-door commercial districts or Tagaytay’s Mendez Junction, although bigger.
|Marawi sits on a plateau, blessed with cool climate, that may rival Baguio or Tagaytay.|
|Before the Philippine Government standardized the distance for the entire country from Luneta, this monument in front of Camp Lanao (then Camp Amai Pakpak) was Kilometer Zero for the entire island of Mindanao.|
|A school parade that welcomed me upon my arrival that day|
Anda saya so? Where is…?“Anda saya so Pacasum Square yo?” (Where’s Pacasum Square?)
|Gomisa Avenue, or Quezon Avenue, serves as the main avenue of downtown Marawi in Bangolo|
|Mindanao Islamic Center - one of the city's largest masjids/mosques|
|From one of the city's bazaars|
|A dashboard view of Gomisa Avenue|
City of Banners and Streamers
"Alhamdullilah!" says one, while another greets a bar passer. Another one is a succession to the sultanate throne, then on the other hand a wedding.
|Nope. It isn't election period. This is how Maranaos in Marawi express their greetings to one's success. Tiba-tiba ang billboard business here, I guess.|
|Marawi's icons: Dayawan Torogan, a National Cultural Treasure and National Historical Landmark, and a congratulatory banner.|
The Night is Young…and there was silenceInstead of sleeping in Mindandao State University, I spent my night at the only lodging house within downtown Marawi City, since it was a relative of our guide. Most of the visitors wouldn’t even think of sleeping here “since you are a stranger in a different world” as what they say. Well, I was given the biggest room although the comfort room is a common one—but I was the only visitor in the house.
|A masjid and the hydroelectric powered dam. Agus River produces a great quantity of electricity for the entire island of Mindanao.|
|The Sarimanok at Amai Pakpak|
And an hour later, there was silence—you can virtually hear a pin drop! The downtown was asleep. Marawi was asleep.
|Traffic congestion is also a problem on ordinary days here in Marawi.|
Healthy living!It wasn’t the church bells or my phone that became my alarm. It was the early morning call for prayer or fajr. It was still dark, around 5AM. The people woke up early. After that, something very interesting happened.
|An interesting sight and experience. Every morning, the main avenue of downtown Marawi City becomes a jogging track.|
|One of the masjids in downtown Marawi.|
|I pray for peace for this city|
Originally posted on Bonifacio Day, 30 November 2011 at HabagatCentral.
Intense fighting between the Philippine Government and the Maute Group has left much of Bangolo, Marawi's commercial area, in ruins.
May peace and order be restored the soonest.