MANILA - Thousands of Muslims gathered Friday morning for their Takbir, or the profession of Faith this Eidl Fitr in key sites in Metro Manila.
In Quirino Grandstand alone, the number of attendees peaked at 5,000 people.
Among those who attended the morning prayers is Simak Abudujana, a Sudanese who migrated to Manila to study medicine.
Abudujana said he finds the Filipino people nice as he finds no discrimination between Muslims and Christians in the country.
This Eid, he said he is praying for peace around the world, especially for the conflict areas in the Philippines.
Abudujana arrived in the Philippines 4 years ago. He is now thinking about bringing his family here.
"Celebrating Eid here is a nice experience. The Filipinos are a lovely people," Abudujana said.
Meanwhile, Doroniza Macasalo, a Maranao, said that more than prayers for their family, her wish this season is the full rehabilitation of her hometown in Marawi City.
"Sana maayos na. Maitayo na ulit ang mga bahay," she said.
She said while most of her family, including her 6 children, are already with her in Cavite, she admitted some relatives were forced to flee during the siege last year.
She added that a piece of her was left in the Islamic city.
"Masaya pa rin naman kami ngayon, isa ito sa pinakamahalagang selebrasyon naming mga Muslim", she said, as she joined thousands of fellow Muslims in prayer.
RELIGION OF PEACE
Eidl Fitr is one of the biggest and most celebrated events in the Muslim calendar as it marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Today marks the commencement of 3 days of celebration as Muslim families get to feast on their favorite food and exchange gifts for family members.
But the Eid isn't about the material objects, they say.
In Quiapo, Manila, Maguindanao Tribe Leader Datu Al Sultan wishes nothing but LRT, or more love, respect, and trust.
"Sana ang pagtatapos ng Ramadan na ang maging simula ng kapayapaan sa Mindanao," he said.
He said among the foremost wishes of the community is the establishment of the Bangsamoro region, an end to the conflict in Mindanao, and the full rehabilitation of Marawi.
Datu Al Sultan transferred to Manila from Maguindanao more than two decades ago, citing economic reasons.
He said the past month has been an opportune time for them to reflect.
"Sa Ramadan nagkakapantay-pantay ang mga mahihirap at mayayaman. Dito nadadama ng mga mayayaman na magutom," he said.
The Ramadan is a month of fasting. Muslims would refrain from eating from dusk to dawn as a form of sacrifice.
The Eid ends that sacrifice.
"Ang Eid ay panahon ng pagbibigayan. Yung mga mayayaman, nagbibigay ng regalo at pera. 'Yung mga wala, sa bahay na lang," Sultan said.
In earlier interviews, Muslims in Manila said that social class dictated their ways of spending time during Ramadan.
They said rich Muslims can stop working the entire month while the poorer ones have no choice but to go to work even while fasting.
What binds them together is the teachings of the Quran.