Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque: Cotabato City’s Golden Mosque

Grand Mosque of Cotabato photo via Depositphotos

Visiting the Cotabato Grand Mosque

It was our second day in Cotabato City, and to avoid unpleasant humidity inside our non-aircon room, we left our hotel early to explore the city. Our first stop? Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque or The Golden Mosque of Cotabato City.

The Golden Mosque in Cotabato City
The Golden Mosque in Cotabato City

Traveling to and from the Golden Mosque is a bit challenging. To reach the Mosque, we took an Awang bound jeepney from the City center to Sinsuat Avenue in Barangay Kalangan (near the Husky Terminal) then had a habal-habal ride to the Grand Mosque.

I’m still not used to riding habal-habal, but thanks to the paved road and scenic villages along the way, it helped me forget how scary the habal-habal ride was.

A Mosque surrounded by the River and the Sea
A Mosque surrounded by the River and the Sea

Habal-habal or motorcycle is the only way to get there. I paid Php. 70 roundtrip, and it’s worthwhile to ask your driver to stay until you’re finished with your visit and photoshoot. There’s not much else out there, and there are certainly no buses to take you back to the city.

A perfect place to worship
A perfect place to worship

Passing by several villages with houses usually built in wetlands, I noticed that whenever we pass by a group of people, its always followed by a smile, which made us feel welcome in their community.

Biggest Mosque in the Philippines
Biggest Mosque in the Philippines

Upon reaching the place, a friendly soldier who provides security to the area welcomed us and asked us to sign their logbook. The Ilocano soldier informed us that we can roam around the Mosque and take photos freely.

The entire complex is really amazing, and It made me feel I was in Brunei while exploring the Golden Mosque.

Cotabato City Grand Mosque
Cotabato City Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque in Cotabato City
The Grand Mosque in Cotabato City

The Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, Grand Mosque, or Golden Mosque of Cotabato City, is the largest mosque in the Philippines and is considered an Islamic architecture masterpiece.

The grand opening was held in December of 2011, and since then, it has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Cotabato City.

Perfectly Painted Walls
Perfectly Painted Walls

This multi-million project, which was believed to cost more than Php200 million, was built in a land donated by the Dilangalen Clan. The construction of the mosque lasted for almost 3 years, and they are now finishing other details.

The Dome
The Dome

Anyone who flies in and out of Cotabato City is sure to see the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque from the air; its golden yellow domes and white structures stand out among the green surroundings.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid

Once you arrive in Cotabato City, your options are limited. Luckily, the one option you have is inexpensive. It’s about seven and a half kilometers out to the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid, out near Moro Gulf and alongside the Tamontaka River.

Melo Villareal in Cotabato City
Melo Villareal in Cotabato City

Even though this is a very modern Masjid, the design is tasteful and balanced. If you are interested in seeing significant Muslim worship places, you should not miss the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mosque. The vast buildings and courtyard open up to greet you and allow for contemplation as well as stunning photography.

The golden domes against the blue Philippine sky are dramatic and eye-catching. 800 male and 400 female worshippers can be accommodated, and the minarets are 141 feet tall.

Grand Mosque of Cotabato photo via Depositphotos
Grand Mosque of Cotabato photo via Depositphotos

Travel to Cotabato City itself is considered off the beaten track for people visiting the Philippines, but the trip is well worth it. Sometimes, travel advisories are just meant to be ignored. Honestly, I feel much safer each time I visit some of my favorite places in Mindanao.

You can only understand the grandeur of such a place by visiting it yourself. As the popularity of the Golden Mosque has increased, tourist influx to and from Cotabato City has grown despite negative publicity and travel advisories.

This is off the beaten path for now, but expect to see this region rise in popularity in the coming years. There is so much to see in Mindanao – The land of Promise.

Find Hotels in Cotabato City via Agoda.

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Also Read: Cotabato City Travel Guide: Exploring Cotabato City

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  1. Kaiser says

    Is it open to the worshiper already? Or when it will be open?

    Stunning Photos!

    1. melo says

      @Kaiser – yup this is already open for everyone:)

  2. Riz says

    Wow!! Ganda! May ganyan pla sa cotabato! Great post!!

    1. melo says

      @riz – yup i was amazed too when i saw the structure in person

  3. melvin says

    WoW! what a magnificent building! i didn’t know there’s a mosque like that in mindanao.

    1. melo says

      I only learned about this from a fellow travel blogger while we were in Davao… its worth visiting

  4. ian dela pena says

    ganda sir!

    1. melo says

      @Ian dela Pena – sobrang ganda talaga nung Mosque tas madali lang sya puntahan pag nasa Cotabato City ka na:)

  5. pusangkalye says

    ito na yung temple sa FB pp mo na parang postcard lang sa ganda.I like the yellow accents sa roofs ng mga tore.:D

    1. melo says

      @pusangkalye – yup ito yun… a place in Cotabato that is really worth visiting:)

  6. Bonzenti [Con Tour Blog] says

    Now, there’s a reason na talaga na pumunta dito sa sobrang ganda ng Islamic Modern Architecture. Worthy talaga ang side trip, ha melo. Mapuntahan ko din ito…..

    1. melo says

      @Bon – I’ll be back in Davao next month and I’ll probably have a side trip again, any recommendation?

  7. thepinaysolobackpacker says

    ganda tlga kahet anong anggulo. love your ending. true! buti nlng pumunta tayo at d tayo natakot sa mga naririnig naten at sa mga balita. 🙂

    1. melo says

      @Gael – tama:) kelan ka balik manila… tara na byahe tayo ulet:)

  8. fallerhaines says

    wow, me ganyan na pala kagandang structure sa aking hometown… haven’t been there for about 14 yeARS now… pupuntahan ko yan pag naka balik ako ng cotabato..

    #stunning photos

  9. melo says

    @fallerhaines – Cotabato is safe and it has a lot of places to visit… go visit your hometown soon:))

  10. tupe says

    a major reason to visit cotabato city

  11. […] but also of splendid Masjids (Mosques). One of which and probably the greatest of them all is the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid in Cotabaato City. Its white structure is intricately designed with a touch of golden color. It is tucked away from […]

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