|The Pink Mosque or Masjid Dimaukom of Maguindanao|
The Pink Mosque, officially called Masjid Dimaukom, is the set to be the new face that will represent the province of Maguindanao. Mayor Samsudin Dimaukom of the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan spearheaded the initiative to change the image of Maguindanao. Construction of the mosque is financed by Mayor Dimaukom himself and stands on a piece of land donated by his family.
|East side of the Pink Mosque|
Pink is the favorite color of Mayor Dimaukom and his wife because the color represents peace and love. The Pink Mosque serves as the centerpiece of the transformation that Mayor Dimaukom envisions for his town and hopefully for the whole province of Maguindanao. The people of Datu Saudi Ampatuan prays that the Pink Mosque will serve as a catalyst for unity and brotherhood.
|one of the domes of the Pink Mosque|
The town's municipal hall, police stations and public market are also set to be repainted pink. From the national highway, one would instantly know that they are entering the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan by the pink flags lining the sidewalks.
|minarets and domes|
Masjid Dimaukom is expected to be completed in October 2013 in time for Eid al-Adha, one of the major religious holidays of Islam. In the meantime, construction is in full swing to make it to that deadline. One interesting story that the Municipal Administrator shared to us was that most of the men working in the construction of the mosque are Christians, mostly from Davao.
|construction in full swing|
Mosques or masjids are one of the major drawers of tourists in countries like Malaysia, Brunei, UAE and Turkey, and Mayor Dimaukom has seen this as a potential for tourism development for the town of Datu Saudi Ampatuan. They say things will not change overnight, but they are happy to have taken the first step which they hope will be replicated in other towns of Maguindanao.
|at the gate of the Pink Mosque|
Why did we go to Maguindanao? This is to prove to you that there's nothing to be afraid of Maguindanao. Maguindanaoans are peace-loving people, and like most Filipinos, they are also very hospitable. It was Ramadan when we visited, and despite the heat of the sun, the Mayor's staff assisted us during our visit. So we invite you to visit Datu Saudi Ampatuan during Eid al-Adha and witness and be part of the inauguration of Masjid Dimaukom.
|with the staff of Mayor Dimaukom|
How to Get There
From Cotabato City: Take the Husky Bus (P105) or a jeep (P50) and tell the driver to drop you off at the municipal hall of Datu Saudi Ampatuan. Travel time is about 1 hour. Proceed to the municipal hall and ask assistance from the staff.
From General Santos City: Take the Husky Bus (P200) and tell the conductor to drop you off at the municipal hall of Datu Saudi Ampatuan. Travel time is about 3 hours.