JEDDAH - A total of 2,454 Filipino Muslims are expected to perform Hajj this year, Philippine Consulate officials said on Sunday.
Consul Germinia V. Aguilar-Usudan, Consulate Acting Head of Post, said the first two batches of pilgrims arrived and were welcomed and assisted at the Prince Mohammad bin Abdulaziz International Airport in Madina, Saudi Arabia on August 23.
Usudan said the pilgrims were on board two different flights—via Saudi Airlines SV871 and Emirates Airlines EK807.
Usudan and other consulate officials as well as officials from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) also welcomed and assisted the subsequent arrivals of more than 1,000 Hajj pilgrims from August 24 to 26.
Usudan said it is expected that 2,454 Hajj pilgrims will arrive in the Holy City of Madina in the coming days—the highest recorded number of Philippine Hajj pilgrims' arrival in the said city.
Hajj 2015 is expected to fall on the third week of September.
The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage and the largest gathering of Muslims in the world. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. Muslims are encouraged to join the Hajj at least once in their lifetime by traveling to Mecca and Madina in Saudi Arabia. —KG, GMA News