One thing I have learned from my former Muslim interns is that Islam is a religion of peace. For 4 years, I have witnessed their observance of the Holy Ramadhan--their prayer life, their fasting, and at the same time their quest for peace and development in their native land--Mindanao. Thus, this is but a fitting tribute to my former CIPYML wards and the entire Islamic community with this photo.
This was taken last year in Globo de Oro Mosque in Quiapo, Manila. Stories have been told about Globo de Oro area as a place where photographers like me are mugged. Perhaps, I and my three other colleagues were blessed that day. We came out the place perfectly okay.
Perhaps, gone were those days when photographers were regarded as "inteligencia". Muslims in the area have likewise been more open and accepting of other faiths, and more open and willing to educate more people about their faith. In fact, that day, a group of psychology students from a university were conducting a research about Muslims in Manila. I thought, indeed, Muslims and Christians in the Philippines have crossed that barrier towards better understanding and tolerance. What is even more surprising is the fact they, especially the kids, were more than willing to have their photos taken--albeit, you need to ask them the purpose of the photos. With this, I have paid my dues.
To our Muslim brothers and sisters, Happy Ramadhan to all!
May the peace of Allah be with you!