Ciudad Latina de Asia: Zamboanga City
I am currently on my Miriam Volunteer Mission in Davao City. I got a call from my dad asking if I could visit Zamboanga. Why not. It has been 10 years since my last visit to my father’s hometown, Zamboanga City. Fr. Jeff, a good friend of my dad, went to Samal Island to personally hand me my plane ticket.
AND. This will be my first SOLO trip! ANYWAY 🙂
According to a magazine I’ve read before, Zamboanga is the third oldest and sixth largest city in the Philippines. During the 1900’s, it used to be the capital of the Moro Province now called Mindanao.
Zamboanga is often called as Ciudad Latina de Asia (Asia’s Latin City) for its Spanish influence. Zamboanga used to be the headquarters of the Spaniards during 1630’s.
a.k.a. Fiesta Pilar
Fiesta Pilar is a month long festival in the city. The festival is in honor of Our Lady of Pilar (the patroness of the city), in which the Lady is stationed in a shrine as a the front of Fort Pilar. Even the muslims believe in Lady Pilar since it has performed miracles that even the muslims residing nearby witnessed it.
The feast is held every 12th of October which makes my visit very un/timely. I arrived in Zamboanga on the day of the feast itself but missed (by one day! -__-) the fun and colorful street dances and one of the major highlights of the festival, Regatta de Zamboanga which featured a race of vinta sails.
Hey – at least there’s lechon everywhere!
Paseo del Mar
Aside from the musically gyrating dancing fountain, the government-organized park is like the former Bay Walk in Roxas Boulevard where there are bars and restaurants for you to enjoy.
Try the Knicker Bocker for dessert, fresh fruit salad with ice cream on top. Yum!
@ Zamboanga Square Garden, Sinunuc
I am actually on my way to do some sight seeing in Pasonanca but thought of stopping by the cock derby first.
I am not a fan of cockfights but hey- it wasn’t that bad inside. Being inside can be both interesting and stupid. I know, roosters suffer from this blood sport and I feel bad about it. It is just interesting in the sense that you can observe how people’s moods and the atmosphere inside change in seconds.
When the roosters are shown before the fight, the crowd goes loud with their bets. One understood the bet of the other just by sign language – no matter how far they are from each other. And when the fight began, the whole arena falls silent – literally!
Honesty and Trust. Those who won and lose the bets pay each other right after the referee declares the winner.
No travel visit for me is ever complete without a trip to the local museum. This museum is actually a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines, with a declaration of Fort Pilar as a National Cultural Treasure. I actually googled for the museum schedule and learnt that it is open every weekdays. So I went on a Monday, after pasalubong shopping in Canelar Barter Trade, and moments before my flight back to Davao.
UNFORTUNATELY, there was a change of schedule, making it open everyday except Mondays and Holidays. Oh well, there’s always a next visit! 😉
Sneak peak to Zamboanga: