It has been a while since my last visit to Brunei. Actually, it was summer 2011 when we went to this beautiful country to visit our relatives there. Yes, I have pure Bruneian relatives.
People would get confused as to how we became relatives when I am pure Tausug and they are pure Bruneian. Apparently, our forefathers were from Martapura, Indonesia. Then, the brother of my great great great grandfather got abducted by the Banguinguis and sold as slave to the Sultan of Sulu (which he managed to get his freedom and became one of the leaders of one area in Sulu). Then, his brother and all other males in the family had to search for him around Southeast Asia.
And that is how we have pure Bruneian, Singaporean, Indonesian and Malaysian relatives. Who knows? Maybe there are some in Thailand, China, anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, we only have close ties with those in Brunei. In fact, we already have made a Sarsilah of our family.
We have been visiting them in Brunei ever since. They've always wanted to come and see the Philippines, especially Southwestern part. But we cannot make a very uncomfortable decision yet.
Anyways, moving to our Brunei trip in 2011.
Of course, when one goes to Brunei, you should not miss the opportunity to see the magnificent Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Bandar Seri Begawan. This majestic and enormous mosque lies at the Brunei River in Kampong Ayer.
The mosque's most recognizable feature, the main dome, is covered in pure gold. The mosque stands 52 m (171 ft) high and can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan.
Brunei is such a beautiful country. You still feel the rural kind of lifestyle with all the greenery around, but it is also very modern.
It seems like I need to go on my third visit anytime soon. Allahumma ameen!