Muslim Filipinos start Ramadan observance amid pandemic

Filipino Muslims wear protective masks during midday prayer at the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on the city of Marikina in the Philippine capital on April 13, 2021. (Photo by Basilio Sepe for

Muslim Filipinos formally started the observance of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday, April 13, as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases, especially in the capital Manila.

“Let us all come together and channel the spirit of Ramadan by helping those who are less fortunate and most in need,” said President Rodrigo Duterte in a message.

He urged Filipinos to continue to promote peace and unity “by manifesting faith through action … as we face the most challenging of times.”

In a separate statement, Vice President Leni Robredo expressed hope that the Filipino people will be reminded of our “common humanity.”

“May we be brought together and be reminded of our common humanity — our common struggles, and the common hope that binds us — and in this find the strength not only to endure, but to imagine a better normal for all, and build it,” said Robredo in her message.

In the southern Philippine province of Lanao del Sure, the non-government Islamic Relief distributed halal food packs to 2,312 households in Ditsaan Ramain town during the first day of Ramadan.

The town has hosts a huge number of home-based internally displaced persons affected by the 2017 Marawi siege, a report from the Philippine Information Agency said.


Through its Ramadan program, Islamic Relief aims to expand the food security of poor and vulnerable household members especially in areas affected or prone to natural disasters and conflict.

An estimated 13,700 households throughout the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao have benefitted from Islamic Relief’s food pack distribution during Ramadan since 2017. -