More than 1,800 Cebu Muslims celebrate Eid’l Fitr in Plaza Independencia
CEBU CITY, Philippines — More than 1,800 Muslims from all over Cebu gathered at the Plaza Independencia in Cebu City, on Saturday, April 22, 2023, for the centralized Eid’l Fitr or Feast of Ramadan.
Their prayer for this occasion is focused on the attainment of unity, peace, and good health for everyone.
While this is not the first time, this year’s centralized Eid’l Fitr celebration in Plaza Independencia is by far the largest gathering, with Muslims from the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, Talisay, and other localities in Cebu in attendance, said Ijoden Saripada Mamacol, Cebu City Office of Muslim Affairs and Indigenous Cultural Communities (OMAICC) executive director.
Mamacol said the Cebu City Sports Center and an area at the South Road Properties were considered for the hosting of the centralized Eid’l Fitr this year; however, the majority of the organization’s members preferred Plaza Independencia.
The Eid’l Fitr celebration began with the traditional Salat al-Eid or special prayers recited during the Eid holidays, led by Mufti Aleemajid.
Afterward, the community partook in meals provided by the city government and the OMAICC.
One of those first-time attendees was 21-year-old Abu Baker, who is from India but is currently studying medicine at one of the medical schools in the city.
“We take one month-long period of fasting and after that one month is over, [at] the last day, we celebrate the Eid…In peace, we celebrate everything. [The essence of all of this] is sacrifice, just like that. [The celebration this morning] is very wonderful and welcoming celebration for all of us. We came together here, we came from different [places], some are from other countries, but we celebrate like brothers and sisters,” he said.
Eid’l Fitr, or the “Feast of Breaking the Fast,” marks the end of Ramadan, the Holy Month in the Islamic faith.
The Eid’l Fitr celebration, or the Feast of Ramadan, is one of the two largest holiday celebrations of Muslims. The other one is the Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.
Eid’l Fitr also marks the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
As part of the Eid custom, Muslims visit their friends and family, eat meals with them, and ask for forgiveness for past transgressions.
“Ang mga kaigsoonan, mga paryente, mangaligo og dagat and then kaon, usual nga mga fiesta and sharing of blessings, mao ng gitawag namo nga giving of charity,” he said.
“Eid Mubarak natong tanan. Hopefully, ang kalinaw, ang unity sa atong tanan, mapaunsang religion, naa g’yod nato ang respeto ug ang peace and order,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama also graced the event.
In his message, the mayor emphasized the good relationship between the city government and the Muslim community here in Cebu, whom he said are the city’s partners in economic development and peace maintenance.
“Cebu City is a place where Muslims and inter-faith can come,” the mayor said.
The Eid’l Fitr, in some areas, like Saudi Arabia was celebrated ahead on Friday, April 21, but here in the Philippines, particularly in Cebu City, the celebration was moved to Saturday after the OMAICC’S moon sighting activity yielded no sighting of the crescent moon. /rcg
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