I had always wanted to learn more about the Muslim community in Quiapo, to see beyond the usual pirated DVD stalls in the area to which they, to the unitiated like me, are stereotyped with. An opportunity came during the CENE Photowalk for a Cause when Alex Baluyot and Luis Liwanag led a small group of us on a street shooting trip in Quiapo. I often wondered how some photographers are able to gain access inside the Quiapo Mosque, as I've always assumed it would be off-limits to non-Muslims. I was also somewhat apprehensive of venturing near Quiapo's Muslim area as it has gained a reputation (one which I am seriously starting to doubt) of being "unsafe". But with Alex Baluyot at the lead, I found that Muslims are also warm and welcoming (if a bit suspicious at first) of outsiders. I also discovered that one can freely enter the compound and the Mosque itself to take pictures with the consent of the compound's administrators. Maybe it also helped that there were some mediamen also shooting that day.
These pictures were taken on Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā) or the "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid", an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead. (source wikipedia)