By Amiel Mark Cagayan and Artha Kira Paredes, VERA Files
COTABATO CITY— A festive atmosphere filled the air here late Saturday night as Muslims marked takbir by riding around the city with roaring car engines, persistent honking and delighted howls.
Takbir, or the celebration that follows the last iftar or breaking of fast, is done as a prelude to Eid'l Fitr or the end of Ramadan.
Like New Year celebrations, people and vehicles filled the streets, and the joyful noise lasted until the wee hours, replaced by solemn prayers of thousands of Muslims who gathered at different venues in the early morning.
Communal prayers were held at the People's Palace, the Grand Mosque, the Blue Mosque inside the Office of the Regional Governor Compound and the Cotabato City Central Pilot School.
This year, Ramadan or the month-long fasting, started July 20 and ended August 19. During this time, everyday fasting starts after sunrise and ends at sun down.
Cotabato City has 37 barangays and a population of 259,153 as of 2007 census. Predominant religions are Catholicism and Islam.
VERA Files caught the takbir on camera Saturday then went around after the communal prayers Sunday to ask several Muslims in the city what Eid'l Fitr means to them.
(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. VERA is Latin for "true.")