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Mindanao State University, Marawi, Lanao del Sur
Part 11 of the Libotero Northern Mindanao Adventure series.
When Marc returned, the bag was not with him. So, we decided to go to the city’s van terminal. We learned that there are two van terminals in Marawi from where services to Iligan depart. The first terminal got us negative answers. The group of drivers there suggested that we try to go to the “Jimmy Terminal”.
So we took a tricycle to the “Jimmy Terminal”, only to find out that it was GMA (as in Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) Terminal. That amused us in the middle of a tense moment.
At the GMA Terminal, Marc narrated his story to the drivers: the whats, the whens and the hows. It was already past 1pm and we haven’t eaten lunch yet. Marc told us that he’ll just be staying at the terminal to wait for any news about his bag (fyi, the bag contained very important documents like his passport, IDs, expensive gadgets such as a DSLR camera, iPod Touch, cash, etc.) and pushed us to continue exploring the Mindanao State University (MSU) even without him.
For that, Eric and I took another tricycle ride (it was the first time I took the “backride” of a tricycle and I enjoyed it!) and in a few minutes, we found ourselves at the Aga Khan Museum inside the MSU campus. Along the way, we passed by the mansion that Marawi City Mayor Fahad Salic built for his wife, celebrity Alma Moreno (but wasn’t able to take photos of it as the tricycle was running at super-high speeds).
Aga Khan Museum of Islamic Arts
As we arrived at the museum, it was already drizzling so we immediately went inside. The museum originally opened in 1962. It was moved to its present site and renamed in 1963 following a donation from His Royal Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV. It contains ethnographical artifacts, particularly those connected with the folk arts, featuring the very distinct Maranao culture.
It is a repository of Maranao and other Moro artifacts, which boasts a huge collection of indigenous art and cultural materials, ethnic music, the native tools and weapons used by the Muslims, and houses, including the Torogan, which is the traditional Maranao house, with different artistic designs. It was named so in honor of King Aga Khan who contributed significantly to the realization of the museum. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the museum. The museum is open from 9:00am – 11:30am and 2:00pm – 4:30pm on Mondays to Fridays.
As we exited the museum, it was already raining! So without wasting any time, we took another tricycle, this time bound for the King Faisal Mosque, still within the MSU campus. We told the tricycle driver to just wait for us as we won’t be staying long.
King Faisal Mosque. The mosque was named after the former King of Saudi Arabia, who supported and financed the project, as well as the Islamic Center inside the campus.
We just quickly snapped some photos of the mosque as the rain was getting heavy and then went back to the GMA Terminal.
A mosque in one of the villages in Marawi.
A typical street in Marawi. Most of the traffic is actually just concentrated in the downtown area. That wiped off my bad first impression.
The MSU campus is huge! Probably the size of a barangay…
As we approached the terminal building, we saw Marc, still without his bag. But there was good news though as they were able to trace the driver of the van and that he was already on his way back to Marawi, from Iligan. Great! A few minutes later, Marc already got his bag back! We all felt very relieved.. Phew! For that, it was time to leave Marawi.
We were only able to explore Marawi for a few hours but we learned a lot and instantly fell in love with the place. All my doubts about the safety of the area was erased, but ofcourse, one has to always practice caution, anytime, anywhere… I’ll definitely be going back to Marawi as there are still a lot of areas that I have yet to explore. I love Marawi and I’ll be back soon but how soon is soon? Maybe next year?
Anyway, we took a van back to Iligan and we arrived there at around 5pm. It was still raining and we didn’t have time to visit the majestic waterfalls of Iligan anymore..
The three of us have not eaten anything since breakfast! So as soon as we arrived in Iligan, we rushed to Dunkin’ Donuts to munch on a Bunwich and some donuts. Just as we took our last bite, a bus bound for Ozamiz arrived and it was time to say goodbye to Iligan City. See you soon!
From the Iligan Bus Terminal, the bus went straight to Mukas Port in Kolambungan, Lanao del Norte. Travel time was at least an hour. We then took a Roll-On-Roll-Off (RORO) Barge to Ozamiz. The RORO trip took another 30 minutes. It was already past 7pm when we arrived in Ozamiz City.
(…to be continued)