Filipino Muslims celebrate end of Ramadan

Ernie Manio and Lore Mae Andong, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 05 2019 08:57 AM | Updated as of Jun 05 2019 09:09 AM

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MANILA -- Thousands of Muslims gathered at the Philippine capital's largest park at daybreak Wednesday, bringing food to share with their families to mark Eid'l Fitr or the end Ramadan. 

A 2,000-strong crowd assembled at the Quirino Grandstand around 6 a.m., with the crowd expected to swell to 10,000 later in the day, said organizers. 

In the southern city of Cotabato, the office of the autonomous Muslim region's chief minister distributed food to hundreds who attended morning prayers, set to be followed by a raffle. 

"As we feast for the Eidl Fitr, may all our prayers be answered," Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Interim Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim told the crowd. 

"Ramadhan is cleansing -- physically, mentally and spiritually," added Bangsamoro Grand Mufti Abuhuraira Udasan. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has declared June 5 a non-working holiday in observance of Eid'l Fitr. 

The timing of Eid'l Fitr can vary in different countries depending on the sighting of the new moon, which marks the start of the month in Islam's lunar calendar. 

Muslims make up around 6 percent of the Philippines' 100 million people, where 8 in 10 are Catholic, according to official data.