On Vacation to Zamboanga City
Few months ago my Aunt Josie and my cousins, Jason, Patrick and Brendan, from Australia flew to the Philippines to have one month vacation. Part of their vacation was spent touring around Zamboanga City, Cebu and Bohol. Since I am the most traveled member of our family, I was the one who attended everything about the trip. I should have recommended Boracay but I suggested Cebu and Bohol to them instead as I wanted to revisit these places. Also, Panglao looked inviting. We have relatives who lives in Zamboanga City so accommodation and food were not something to worry about.
Going to Zamboanga City
We had an early flight from Manila to Zamboanga City. I wasn’t able to sleep longer as I still pack my things when I went home from work. I only had a half hour of sleep. I was really excited about this trip because it has a lot of first times; first time to fly with family out of Luzon, first time plane ride of my Mom (excited for her), first time to arrange a trip for my family and relatives (though stressful in a lot of ways) and first time to fly to Zamboanga. It has been the farthest place I’ve been in the Philippines in terms of distance from Metro Manila.
We arrived in Zamboanga International Airport at around 7:30 AM. It was raining and I was a little worried since it was too hassle to tour around while it’s raining. We were fetched by my cousin (2nd degree) at the airport then off we went to their house.
It took us about 20 to 30 minutes until we reached their house. It was near Yakan Village. My Aunt has a store at Yakan Village, it’s the 3 story building beside the entrance.
Breakfast was prepared to us upon our arrival. It served as our brunch already since it was already past 9:00 AM when we ate. I didn’t create any itinerary for our trip to Zamboanga City but I searched a bit for some places to go and I just let my relatives residing in Zamboanga City tour us around. I just asked them not to forget the Pink Beach! We were all still feeling sleepy and tired because of the early flight so we dozed off after.
We woke up past lunch time. We grabbed some snack and prepared after for a tour on some tourist spots in Zamboanga City.
Zamboanga City Tour
We visited first my Aunt’s store at Yakan Weaving Village. I actually didn’t know that she has an actual store there and surprisingly it was huge. She got a lot of products for sale. There’s a museum-like area at the second and third floor of the store. We went up and checked it out. There are a lot of antique items for sale and for display.
We went out and checked the rest of Yakan Weaving Village. We were able to see a Yakan weaving. Before we left, I was able to get a free coin purse from a lady who sells weaved products. Thanks, Ate! 😉
We left Yakan Village and moved on to our next destination. I don’t have any idea where we up to next. I just let my relatives tour us around which is kinda relaxing on my part. I don’t have anything to worry about.
Traveled the road for about half an hour we were able to reach our destination, the Pasonanca Park.
Located 7 kilometers away from Zamboanga City is the Pasonanca Park. It is renowned in the Philippines as a tourist attraction and popular site for youth citizenship training and for the holding of regional seminars, conferences, conventions, outdoor campings, or Boy Scout and Girl Scout jamborees. – wikipedia.
I love tree house! Unfortunately, it was closed that day! ;(
We weren’t able to roam around the park anymore because my Mom and my Aunts enjoyed doing some jump shots with the broom and umbrella already. I actually taught them to do those poses. They can’t stop laughing on the outcome of their poses, feels like witches on those brooms. 😉
Afterwards we moved on and went to Jardin de Maria Clara. It is a park named after the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat. It has a butterfly center too. We paid for the entrance fee which is about PHP 10.00 (forgot the exact amount) but saw only few butterflies around. We went out and explored the rest of the garden park.
Since it’s a garden park, a lot of flowers can be seen around.
Making Zamboanga City, the city of flowers. Ooops, what the hell my mom doing there! My mom made me her photographer posing behind the flowers! You already, Ma! 😉
We didn’t stay longer at the park as we need to move on to our next spot. Before going to our next destination, we dropped by a fast food first to have our snack. We had it at Fracasso.
It seemed this fast food is a local fast food of Zamboanga City. Since some of the locals here are Muslim, some food on their menu doesn’t have pork. We ordered lasagna and pizza pie. Not bad at all, it tasted good! 😉
Afterwards, we moved on to Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Concepcion. It’s one of the largest modern Cathedrals. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.
True enough, it’s distinct from other Cathedrals I’ve seen because it has two floors for masses.
So we went straight to Fort Pilar Shrine instead which is just a few minutes walk from the entrance of National Museum of Zamboanga City and Fort Pilar.
The shrine located outside the Fort Pilar wall is a Marian Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the city. I felt amazed when I saw this outdoor shrine, different from any other shrine I’ve been to.
Afterwards, my companions went back to our vehicle while I crossed the street to check the Plaza Del Pilar wherein stalls that sells good, candles, devotional items, and souvenir items that are truly Zamboangueño. It’s the first all-in-one “Pasalubong Center” in the city.
It was already getting dark so we’ve decided to went back home. But before went home, we dropped at the public market first and bought food to cook for dinner.
It has been a great day touring around Zamboanga City. I feel safe while touring around despite of purported news about the place. A great start off of our family vacation!
- Other Sites to Visit:
- Zamboanga Barter Markets
- Plaza Pershing
- Salāhuddīn Mosque
- Zamboanga City celebrates The Hermosa Festival also known as Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival or popularly known as Fiesta Pilar which is a month-long festival held October each year.
- Pork meat is unusual and mostly unavailable on fast foods and restaurants as the city is dominated by Muslims. Pay respect as well to each and its religion and culture.
- Zamboanga City is not Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte. Most often when bad new happened in any place in Zamboanga, media often reported it as Zamboanga City (in general).
- To ensure safety on your travel, contact the local Department of Tourism of Zamboanga City if its safe to travel in Zamboanga City. But over all, we felt safe during our trip.