It has been weeks since I’ve reverted. Although I have been fine praying on clean floor and I’ve managed to locate the direction facing the Qibla, I thought it would still be nice to get myself a prayer mat and my own Qibla Finder.
I went to MCQ. I know that somewhere in that building there is a masjid, and I just assumed that there would be stores where I can find a mat and a compass. I went around and didn’t see any Muslim lady. I thought that there’d be a lot there but there were nobody wearing the hijab. I found a lady guard and asked her where the masjid is. She asked me what is a masjid. I had to explain it to her. 😀 Then she pointed me to another lady saying “Yan, muslim yan.” I looked around and asked again where. The lady guard just kept pointing to ladies in the store. I went near one lady, looked back at the lady guard. The lady guard used her hands and pointy lips to direct me to the other lady. The second lady was not wearing a hijab. But I asked her anyway if she was a Muslimah. When she said she was… ohhhh… I felt so happy. I told her that I’ve been looking for these items and hoping to find one there at the building. First thing she asked me, “Muslim ka ba?” (Are you Muslim?) I, of course, said “Yes”. She then asked me “Galing saan tribo ka?” (What tribe are you from?) I said, “Ah hmmmm uhhhh, convert po.” She paused… for a minute. It’s hard to describe her expression. She seemed happy yet confused. Anyway. After the long pause, she answered, “Ah, walang ganyan na binibenta dito. Marami sa Quiapo. Malapit sa mosque. Dun ka lang makakakita noon.” (That’s not being sold here. There’s a lot in Quiapo. Near the mosque. You can only find them there.)
I know know where my next stop is. Quiapo, Manila. I wonder what that tribe she was talking about. Oh well.
I took a cab to FTI then got dropped off at the Sunshine mall where there are a lot of Muslim vendors. I used to be so scared going to Sunshine mall (the last time I went there I promised myself never to go back as everyone was Muslim. Like it felt like a totally different country.) But when I went back… I felt at home! Women were wearing their headscarves. And the men were very polite. I got more headscarves and a couple of other items. I tried looking for a prayer mat and a Quibla finder. They said I really can just find those things at Quiapo. I have managed to buy myself 2 nice headscarves (the type that you just wear like bonnets.) I got each at around 180 pesos per piece.
I braved Manila today. From my home, I took a cab to Pasay Rotonda LRT station. I took a train and got off at Carriedo station. From the station, I managed to find my way to Quiapo church on foot. Right in front of the church is an underpass going to the other side of Quiapo, where the Golden Mosque is. In the underpass, there are a lot of stalls selling toys, clothes, abayas, head scarves, DVDs, etc. When I exited the underpass, I saw even more stores selling abayas, head scarves, and other Islamic things. I got myself my own prayer mat (P400) and Qibla Finder (P150). I visited The Golden Mosque and had lunch at the Pamanganan Halal Restaurant. The trip to Quiapo was a bit scary as there were a lot of commuters. It’s a good thing that I was well covered (with headscarf and all). On the train, at the stations, on the road, at stores, people were very careful around me. When I was in the Islamic community, I felt much more safe! I was given a lot of respect. I received even more respect and appreciation when I said I was a barely month old revert.
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! Alhamdulillah!
Next mission? Getting my very own hard bound copy of the Quran