City Mosque in Likas Bay, Kota Kinabalu

Surrounded by a man-made lagoon, the City Mosque at Likas Bay in Kota Kinabalu pulls off a floating apparition when 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 chanting bemused the ears even of those undaunted passersby. At that moment, I felt solemnity, as I quickly cut the distance between myself 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.

Marky Ramone Go in City Mosque Likas Bay Kota Kinabalu

The blue dome of the mosque quickly arrest your attention. Set against a sky trapped between weeping rains and scattered clouds, it creates a dreamy image enhanced by its billowing and slowly moving reflection over the lagoon water. The mosque, as seen from my camera viewfinder, sits as a perfect subject waiting to be framed properly. I clicked a  succession winning shots, and afterward, I found a quiet moment to stare at the mosque in surrender of awe. 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 respect for how they practice their beliefs and build places of worships such as the City Mosque in Likas Bay.

Josh Uy in City Mosque Likas Bay Kota Kinabalu

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 worship and to shower goodness to others, they left a sense of spirituality lingering in the air. 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.

Gretchen Filart at City Mosque Likas Bay Kota Kinabalu

After taking a few more photographs, we circled the Mosque all the way to the other end by the highway facing Likas Bay. We saw the Mosque in another angle and a more impressive than one earlier. 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 so we decided to take a short break to sit on the grass. I remember my first time traveling abroad was also in Malaysia, when my brother took me with him on a short trip to Kuala Lumpur in 2007. One thing that made that trip completely worth it was seeing the temples and other mosques particularly in Putrajaya  and I know the feeling of seeing it all for the very first time was as surreal as it goes.

An Air Asia plane flying by a minaret of a mosque

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 in the person of Josh. He was worried about his mom and girlfriend back home, because of worrying to much about him on getting lost or worse, getting hit by a speeding Proton car since they drive right handed here.

Jessica Cuenca

Motorists do not usually blow their horns in Malaysia, unlike in Manila where its like a wild wild west of blowing horns. But, we managed to have at least three cars sound their horns on us, because we tried crossing while looking at the opposite direction. Lucky for us, we were spared from any accident whenever we cross the streets of Kota Kinabalu. After our brief rest, we stood up and straddled towards the nearby Chinese temple. Not long after, the rain fell like hard as if the tip of the raindrops were arrows.

Levy Amosin

Going here is fairly easy. Just take a bus to Likas Bay from 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.