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Thursday, August 4, 2011

City Mosque in Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu

Surrounded by a man-made lagoon, the City Mosque at Likas Bay in Kota Kinabalu achieves a floating like apparition as seen from a distance. As I trudge closer from where we got off the bus, I can hear chants of worships spread out on the open air, and in a place like that with the bay fronting the opposite side and the Mosque facing it against the lagoon - the chant easily bemused the ears even of those undaunted passersby. At that point, I was feeling a different kind of beat, as I quickly cut distance between me and this architecturally gifted place of worship of our Muslim brothers. After gorging on street foods in Kota Kinabalu, I was finally experiencing the place in a new light and perspective.

The blue dome of the mosque quickly steals your attention and against a sky that is trapped between weeping rains and scattered clouds, it creates an image of the sky in itself - coupled with the billowing and slowly moving reflection over the lagoon water, it lies perfectly at ease waiting for my hands to frame it properly on my camera's viewfinder and click the shutter button. I did, a couple of clicks here and there, afterward it provided me a solemn moment to just stare at the mosque in quiet captivity with my own thoughts. I wonder, what more for the people practicing the Islam religion, going inside, kneeling and praying. An already powerful feeling multiplied by a dozen, is what religion truly brings and as a spectator of their faith from another religion, I have nothing but awe in how they practice their own and build places of worships such as the City Mosque in Likas Bay.

After a few minutes, throngs of faithfuls started coming out of the mosque and soon cars paraded out unto the streets and in a few minutes the crowd disappeared, fueled by another round of practicing their faith - intent to shower goodness to others and brighten up everything around them. The mosque has again played its role in delivering teachings of life to a larger mass. Beyond the architectural wonder of the place, it serves more than just a visual feast. Just like any other places of worships, from our own Spanish Colonial Churches, to temples in neighboring Asian Countries and Mosques throughout the world particularly in the middle east, faith transgress and progresses in each of the walls of these structures.

After taking a few more photographs, we circled the Mosque all the way to the other end by the highway which faces the Likas Bay. We saw the Mosque in another angle and equally impressive as the first. A few other Chinese tourists were there taking photos as well. Me and my friend Josh, who was traveling outside of the Philippines for the first time, has been walking around Kota Kinabalu for hours and we decided to take a short break and as I sat at the grass and was reminded further about the vast available places to explore in my lifetime. I remember my first time to travel abroad was also in Malaysia, when my brother took me with him on a short trip to Kuala Lumpur in 2007. I remember that booking a night or two in a few Kuala Lumpur hotels was pretty easy since I did it online the month before. One thing that made that trip completely worth it was seeing the temples and other mosques there particularly in Putrajaya  and I know the feeling of seeing it all for the very first time was surreal.

My travel bug started the second time around after working fruitlessly like a slave in the corporate world for 4 years with that trip. This time it was my turn to accompany a first time out of the country traveler and it was a blast since Josh was at first worried about his mom and girlfriend back home, because they in turn worry about him on getting lost or worse, getting hit by a speeding Proton car since they drive right handed.

Motorists do not usually blow their horns in Malaysia, unlike here where its like a wild wild west of blowing horns. But, we managed to have at least three cars honk their horns on us, because we tried crossing while looking at the opposite end. Lucky us we didn't met any accident crossing the street of Kota Kinabalu, paving the way for us to see more of the city and in particular, this stunning Mosque beside Likas Bay. After a while, we then straddled towards the nearby Chinese temple and then the rain fell like a battle ranges on and the prick like raindrops serves as its deadly arrows.

Going here, just take a bus to Likas at the central bus terminal near Wawasan Plaza, a mere walking distance from the Waterfront Esplanade. Pay the bus conductor 1 MYR and get off at Likas Bay bus stop once you see the imposing dome of the Mosque. Nearby Puh Toh Si Temple is a 10 minute walking distance away from this Mosque.




Pinay Travel Junkie said...

Love that shot of the minaret with a plane! Ugh, I've been to KK twice but have not seen this mosque up close. Boo. Segue: I might consider hiring a car in Cyprus when we visit someday.

lakwatsera de primera said...

It never fails to amaze me how you could easily create deep and meaningful reflections from various parts of your trip and consistent stunning photos. (because of that I will also hire a car from Cyprus ;)

thepinaysolobackpacker said...

hahaha natawa ako sa comment ni Gay sa ad mu. =))anyway, yeah, another great netry. nosebleed again. i'm falling in love w/ mosques na since I've 1st entered one in Penang, pero sa Indonesia ako unang nakakita tlga.

Supertikoy said...

nice marky. ang ganda talaga ng mosque na to...lalo na kapag bright sunny morning. hehe medyo malayo lang sa city proper. I remember para kaming naka Amazing race dahil yung taxi driver namin di marunong mag english nakakapagod kahit sa loob ng taxi haha

Lauren said...

Amazing pictures again Marky, i find it hard to paint structures with water cause mine always ends up looking as if they've been viewed through a Coke Bottle bottom so i wish i can have a paint spraying camera. I really thought they honked at you cause Josh was holding a sign "Honk if you want to Hire Car for Cyprus" haha

Markyramone said...

@Gaye pinapalitan sa akin un pinalipat sa body ng blog haha.

@Claire - thanks, Traveling adds up to my writing creativity naks

@Gael - yeah I'm getting addicted to it also, I plan to visit more old churches, temples and mosques in the next coming months and years.

@Jerome - if you get lucky, you can get a cab driver in KK who speaks Tagalog :)

@Lauren - try practicing painting reflections of objects in the water so youll have an excuse if the brush strokes are kinda zig-zagged.

tina said...

Very nice photos Marky and the way you write is simply beautiful! :)

Markyramone said...

Thanks Tina :)

Leave the Cube said...

very nice mosque. sayang we weren't able to go this mosque when we went to Kota Kinabalu last May. next time na magvisit kmi sa KK, i will surely go to this mosque.

Markyramone said...

Sayang, its just about 10-15 minute bus ride from the city center.

Grace said...

I like the photos Marky. Next time will place Kota in my list of places to visit while in Manila.

Markyramone said...

I'm excited for your next trip back home Graciel :)

Pinoy Boy Journals said...

i haven't been to Kota Kinabalu. Reading this post made me interested to visit the mosque. Mukha naman siguro ako sasamba sa hitsura ko. hehe

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