When I visited the Fort Pilar recently with my high school classmate, Marmie Putis-Go, it was high noon and the sun was great. I had the great day photowalking through the historic and famous fort in Zamboanga Peninsula. I have observed that it was Saturday midday, not much people prayed at the fort and not much devotees were there except for a handful worshipers who prayed and pondering perhaps in deep thought and reflection.
As I was on my way out of the El Fuerza Real de Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza, I chanced upon this young Muslim lady whom I presumed to be a student from the nearby universities, with a white candle in her hands, lighted it and prayed at the prayer wall of the Fort. Nearing the end of the month-long Ramadhan, the scene I have seen was a great picturesque opportunity!
I was mesmerized by the act of peace and unity this Fort has on its locals, I took snapshots of it to make me believed that neither religion nor creed are shun from entering much more, praying in the fort but mostly, are welcomed.
My friends told me that even on the feast of Fort Pilar on October 12, many religious sects, including Muslims offer prayers and also claimed as one of their heritage, the famous Fort Pilar. The experience I had looking at that Muslim young lady praying inside the Catholic Fort spells of unity and peace in the City that prides itself of its Latin roots. Needlessly, I am touched by the sheer experience much more, humbled by the thought that even at midday, for the search of peace and in the spirit of cooperation, unity and genuine search for peace in Mindanao, a younger generation of Christians and Muslims are united in one Fort: the El Fuerza Real de Nuestra Señora Virgen del Pilar de Zaragoza!