I went to Marawi City last week with three others for research work. It was a work-cum-sightseeing adventure. Yes there are sites to see and food to try as well.
We lunched for free at the Marawi Resort Hotel Restaurant inside the Mindanao State University – Marawi City estate. It is surrounded by cottages perched on beautiful soft rolling hills, a golf course, and a swimming pool to match the scenery. The food was delectable, we were served with a Maranao delicacy , beef randang, made of shredded beef, cooked with coconut milk, spice and hot chilis. (I feel hungry writing this). What a shame, I didn’t even take a picture of it. We filled ourselves with the delicious randang with yellow rice.
Their restrooms were clean with ample supply of water, which is really good for me. I am obsessive compulsive.
The only thing that distracted us was an army of flies that kept on attacking our food. We ate with flies swarming the area. One hand on our spoon, the other swatting the flies away. The waiter was apologetic for the flies. I learned that flies swarmed the restaurant when the new management took over and a chicken poultry farm was constructed a few kilometers nearby. Nevertheless food was great and the service was prompt. Flies were just, part of the Marawi experience.
Came dusk, we witnessed Marawi city and the lake drifting to a sleep that looks peaceful yet unsettled, masking whatever violence there may be on its dark corners. We stood on one of the highest point where we were hospitably welcomed with hot coffee. From the hilltop we heard the prayers from the mosque, which adds an indelible impression of a unique cultural heritage.
It was very late in the afternoon and the temperature has dropped much to the amazement of my mates. There were also flower-bearing grasses that caught their fancy as we stroll on the hilltop. These are the same flowers that grow in Baguio City an equally cooler region.
Watching the beauty of Marawi City and Lake Lanao on sun fall is a more than a welcome respite from an exhausting day. As a southerner I pride to show my visitors the beauty and mystery of this stigmatized land.
If you want to know where we stayed and what we did. Please click on the link below.