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City of Zamboanga
Ciudad de Zamboanga
Nickname(s): Asia's Latin City, City of Flowers of the Philippines, Port Capital of the Philippines, Sardines Capital of the Philippines [1]
Motto: Adelante Zamboanga!
Location of Zamboanga City within the map of Zamboanga Peninsula on the island of Mindanao
City of Zamboanga is located in Philippines
City of Zamboanga
Location in the Philippines
Coordinates: 6°52′N 122°4′E / 6.867°N 122.067°E / 6.867; 122.067
Country Philippines Philippines
Region Zamboanga Peninsula(Region IX)
Class 1st Class City (Highly-urbanized City)
Districts 1st and 2nd Legislative districts of Zamboanga City
Barangays 98
Official Languages Chavacano (De Facto), Spanish, Filipino, English
Other Languages Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tausug, Subanon, Samal, Tagalog, Chinese
Founded 13th and 14th Centuries[2]
Established June 23, 1635
Incorporated (City) February 26, 1937
Government
 - Type Chartered City of the Philippines
 - Mayor Celso L. Lobregat LDP
 - Vice Mayor Mannix Dalipe NPC
 - 1st District Congresswoman Maria Isabelle C. Salazar LDP
 - 2nd District Congressman Erico Basilio A. Fabian LDP
Area
 - Total 572.73 sq mi (1,483.3849 km2)
Elevation [3] 20 ft (6 m)
Population (2007 Census[4])
 - Total 774,407
 Density 1,353/sq mi (522/km2)
 - Demonym Zamboanganese, Zamboangueño, Zamboangueña
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code[5] 7000
Area code(s) 62
Patron Saint Our Lady of the Pillar
Website www.zamboanga.gov.ph

Officially, the City of Zamboanga (Chavacano de Zamboanga/Spanish: Ciudad de Zamboanga). Zamboanga is a corrupted word for the Bahasa Sug jambangan, which means garden. The highly-urbanized city is located on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is one of the first chartered cities and the sixth largest in the country. Zamboanga City is also one of several cities in the Philippines that are independent of any province, though it is usually grouped with Zamboanga del Sur for statistical purposes.

Philippine Commonwealth Act No. 39 of 1936 signed by President Manuel L. Quezon on October 12, 1936 in Malacañang Palace created and established Zamboanga as a chartered city. It has been known variously as "El Orgullo de Mindanao" (The Pride of Mindanao), nicknamed the "City of Flowers," and affectionately called by Zamboangueños as "Zamboanga Hermosa" - Chavacano/Spanish for "Beautiful Zamboanga." Today, the city is commercially branded for tourism by the city government as "Asia's Latin City," a clear reference to Zamboanga's identification with the Hispanized cultures of "Latin America" or the USA's "Latino" subculture, the current City Mayor, Celso Lobregat is himself descended from a Spanish-Catalunian bloodline (The Llobregat River runs through Spain's biggest Mediterranean city - the City of Barcelona). Zamboanga City was formerly a part of the Commonwealth Era Moro Province of Mindanao. Its ancient inhabitants were vassals of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo.

Zamboanga City brings its best foot forward during the popular Fiesta Pilar, celebrated in honor of the city's patron saint, La Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Zaragoza Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza, Spain. A statue honoring the saint is prominently embossed above the façade on the eastern wall of the meter-thick walled fort called El Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza (also called El Real Fuerza de San José in its early days). This Spanish military fort was built on June 23, 1635, by the Spanish Jesuit priest Fr. Melchor de Vera, SJ in defense against pirates and slave raiders. Zamboanga City is one of the oldest cities in the country and is the most Hispanized. It is also one of the largest cities in the world in terms of area, with over 1,480 km², including its 28 surrounding islands. Its recorded population in 2007 was 774,407.

Zamboanga City has been the center of commerce, trade, health services, and education for the entire Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX). It is the seat of the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (popularly known as Zamboecozone). The people of Zamboanga speak a unique Creole language called Chavacano - a blend of Spanish and European, Mexican-Indian words with a spattering of several local dialects, and with Cebuano as its main substrate language, primarily using Visayan grammar and syntax in sentence construction. A more modern version of this colloquial patois dialect is strongly influenced by Filipino/Tagalog and English as well. Zamboanga, along with neighboring Isabela and Lamitan cities on Basilan Island are the only cities in Asia where the majority of the population speak this Spanish-patois dialect.[6] Chavacano used to be spoken widely in the Provinces of Cavite and Laguna, as well as the Malate District of Manila due to the sizeable number of Spanish Mestizos living in these areas. World War II, however, decimated the Chavacano populations of these places, leaving Zamboanga and its satellite cities of Isabela and Lamitan with a majority Chavacano-speaking population.

Zamboanga is home to three major universities: Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Western Mindanao State University, and the newly-elevated Universidad de Zamboanga. The city contains the first Catholic diocese in Mindanao, today's Archdiocese of Zamboanga which was created in 1910 and elevated to an archbishopric in 1958.

Contents

History

Inauguration of the Zamboanga Province on July 1, 1901.
Zamboanga City Charter Signing.
Reconstruction of the old flag of the Republic of Zamboanga


The area around Zamboanga Peninsula was occupied by indigenous people as early as 30,000 years ago.[citation needed] The first inhabitants were the Subanons and Lutaos and later, the Islamized ethnic groups of Samals, Bajaus, Tausugs, and Yakans.

Oral history accounts note that the early Austronesian settlers - the highlander Subanons or the people who live by the suba or river and the Lutaos of the plains called the place "Jambangan", which meant "a place abundant with flowers". Eventually, the lowlanders (the descendants of the early Austronesian settlers), the boat dwellers and sea gypsy tribes - the Bajaus and Samals collectively called the place "Samboangan." Apparently, "Samboangan" came from the word "Jambangan." In one of the earliest Spanish maps, the place was already called Samboangan, which meant as "docking point." Samboangan, though, was thought to have come from the word "sabuan" - the wooden pole used by the Samals and Bajaus in pushing their boats on shallow waters. To this day, a Chavacano would still call a boat oar "saguan". The early Spaniards called the place "El Pueblo de Lutao" or the Place of the Lutaos.

Fort Pilar, now an outdoor principal Marian shrine, was founded in 1635 by the Spanish colonial government. The fort was the focus of a number of battles between Moro pirates and Spanish soldiers until 1718 when modifications to the fort were made.

The city was the capital of the Republic of Zamboanga during its brief existence from May 18, 1899, to November 16, 1899.

During the American colonial period, Zamboanga City hosted a number of American regional governors, including General John J. Pershing who was military commander/governor of the Moro Province from 1909 to 1914. Gen. "Black Jack" Pershing became the Supreme Commander of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during World War I when the US entered the war in 1916. The entire Moro Province of Mindanao was administered directly from the city, effectively making the Zamboanga Mindanao's first and only Capital City. Soon after the establishment of the Commonwealth was the center of commerce, trade, and government of Mindanao Island, being the capital of the Moro Province. Pre-World War II, Pettit Barracks was where part of the US Army's 43d Infantry Regiment (PS) was stationed. When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, the Japanese occupying forces landed at Zamboanga on March 2, 1942. They established a defense headquarters, which was eventually overtaken by U.S. and Filipino forces in 1945.

For much of the 1950s, the mayor of Zamboanga City was Cesar Climaco, a flamboyant personality who pursued policies of good governance and cleanliness.[7] Later a prominent critic of Ferdinand Marcos, Climaco again became mayor in 1980, at a time of growing violence in the city. He was assassinated in 1984.

Zamboanga City has had a diverse heritage. It has been, over time, a major Spanish fort, a U.S. governed capital of the Moro Province of Mindanao Island, one of the first chartered cities in the Philippine Commonwealth, and a war-torn town after World War II during and after the Japanese occupation. Zamboanga became a strife-torn city under martial law and recurrent terrorist attacks have tarnished an otherwise spectacular, if exotic, image of Southern elegance and refinement seen in but a few other Philippine cities. More recently, the city helped elevate the entire Zamboanga Peninsula region when it topped Gross Domestic Productivity (GDP) growth among all other areas in the entire Philippines in 2006.[citation needed] Zamboanga City is also highly regarded as the "Sardine Capital of the Philippines" as a hefty 80% of canned sardines consumed in the Philippines originate from this traditional seafaring port.

The Philippine Department of Tourism is helping Celso L. Lobregat, the city mayor, to promote the city as an attractive tourist destination. Its numerous natural, historical, and cultural tourist attractions are a boon to new travelers to this ancient "City of Flowers."

In 2007, Zamboanga was divided into two separate Congressional districts in the eastern and western areas of the city (including the city proper), as a result of the 2000 Census change in population count. After the elections of 2007, Erbie Fabian re-elected as congressman, became the first representative of the city's second (east) district. Maria Isabelle Climaco is the representative of the first (west) district in the congress.

Geography

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Location

The city is located on the southwesternmost tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula, on the island of Mindanao. It is 460 nautical miles (850 km) south of Manila, 365 nautical miles (676 km) northeast of Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia, and 345 nautical miles (639 km) northwest of Manado in Indonesia. It is bounded on to the west by the Sulu Sea, to the east by the Moro Gulf, and to the south by the Basilan Strait and Celebes Sea. It is about 1 hour and 50 minutes away by plane from Manila and an hour away from both the cities of Cebu and Davao. The highest mountain in the city is the Batorampon Point,

Component Islands

Dos Isla de Santa Cruz - The pink sand beach

The main land territory of Zamboanga City, which encompasses 1,681 kilometers ( 645 square mile ), there are (officially) 11 islands that are part of its principality. The most popular of these islands is the Great Santa Cruz Island, Its tantalizingly beautiful scenery encompasses the rare "pink sand" ( a coloration effect of white sand mixed with red coral sand). almost 20– 30 minutes while riding a boat from the city to the Great Sta. Cruz Island.

Zamboanga City has 28 islands off the mainland coast. All of these islands come under the city's jurisdiction. The biggest of these islands is Sacol (about 12 km. long and 8 km. wide). Three of these islands (Vitali, Malanipa, and Sacol) are inhabited mostly by fishing residents and have their own barangays. The others are frequented only by fishermen and scuba divers. Eleven of these islands on the Moro Gulf coast form a cluster known as the Eleven Islands, the largest being Cabugan Island (approx. 11 hectares).

The most popular of these islands among Zamboangueños and tourists alike are the Santa Cruz Islands—famous for their pink coral sands. The islands are rich in coral, shell varieties (over half of the world's known shell varieties are found in the Sulu Sea which surrounds these islands)[8] , and sea life.

Climate and Temperature

Zamboanga City enjoys a location that is free from the typhoon belt area. March to May is hot and dry, with temperature at 22 degrees Celsius. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool, with temperatures ranging from 22 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius. Average humidity year-round is 77%.

Climate data for Zamboanga City, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 103
(39)
108
(42)
100
(38)
107
(42)
100
(38)
108
(42)
104
(40)
101
(38)
106
(41)
100
(38)
99
(37)
102
(39)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
90
(32.2)
90
(32.2)
88
(31.1)
89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
88
(31.1)
88
(31.1)
89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
89
(31.7)
Average low °F (°C) 75
(23.9)
75
(23.9)
76
(24.4)
76
(24.4)
77
(25)
76
(24.4)
76
(24.4)
76
(24.4)
76
(24.4)
76
(24.4)
75
(23.9)
75
(23.9)
76
(24.4)
Record low °F (°C) 64
(18)
64
(18)
69
(21)
57
(14)
71
(22)
68
(20)
64
(18)
70
(21)
59
(15)
57
(14)
70
(21)
68
(20)
57
(14)
Precipitation inches (mm) 1.9
(48.3)
2
(50.8)
1.8
(45.7)
2.2
(55.9)
3.7
(94)
4.9
(124.5)
5.2
(132.1)
5.1
(129.5)
5.5
(139.7)
6.5
(165.1)
4.4
(111.8)
3.2
(81.3)
46.9
(1,191.3)
% Humidity 71 69 68 71 73 76 77 75 75 78 76 74 74
Source: Weatherbase[9] Jan 2009

Demographics

Population

Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1898 19,844
1903 20,692 4.3%
1918 42,007 103.0%
1939 73,894 75.9%
1948 103,317 39.8%
1960 131,489 27.3%
1970 199,901 52.0%
1975 265,023 32.6%
1980 343,722 29.7%
1990 442,345 28.7%
1995 511,139 15.6%
2000 601,794 17.7%
2007 774,407 28.7%
Est.2010 946,613 22.2%
Source:[10]

In 2007, the Census of Population and Housing of the government's National Statistics Office recorded the city population of 774,407 people with an annual growth rate of 3.56 percent. Compared to the national population, Zamboanga City's 774,407 is only 0.8 percent of the total Philippine population of 88.7 million people.

Zamboanga City has 98 Barangays.[11]

Barangays

Top 10 most populous barangay in the city:

Rank Barangay  Population in 2007 
1. Talon-talon 30,570
2. Tetuan 29,055
3. Baliwasan 27,664
4. Pasonanca 27,198
5. Calarian 25,655
6. Tumaga 25,281
7. San Jose Gusu 24,917
8. Tugbungan 21,834
9. Mampang 21,619
10. Sta. Maria 21,432

Religion

The most dominant religion is Christianity with 75%-85% adhering to the faith. The majority of which are Roman Catholics. The remaining percentage belongs to other non-Christian faiths (Islam, Buddhism, etc). Muslim immigrants or visitors from the islands south of the Zamboanga Peninsula (Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan) composed much of the Muslim population in the city.

The Archdiocese of Zamboanga (Latin name: Archdiocesis Zamboangensis) is a Catholic archdiocese located within the Philippine Islands. Its present jurisdiction takes in mainland Zamboanga City, with suffragans in Basilan (Prelature of Isabela, Basilan), Sulu Archipelago (Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo) and Zamboanga Sibugay (Prelature of Ipil). Established in 1910 as Mindanao's first diocese, Zamboanga is elevated into the second archdiocese in Mindanao in 1958. The archdiocese today covers a land area of 1,648 square kilometers and a population of 442,345 of which 81 per cent are Catholics. The area covers 26 parishes, served by 49 diocesan and 18 religious priests. There are also 51 religious sisters working in related activities in the archdiocese.

Language

The most common languages and dialects in the city are Zamboangueño (a Creole-spanish Chavacano language, also known as Zamboangueño Chavacano or Chavacano de Zamboanga), Bisaya, Tagalog, English, Fookien (a Chinese dialect) and Tausug. Approximately 64% of the city’s population consists of the native families of the old Zamboanga who are greatly influenced by the Spanish culture and lifestyle which we called now as a pure Chavacano or Zamboangueño. While the 36% of the city’s population is composed of cultural minority members. A Group of Muslim community, such us the Tausugs, Yakans, Badjaos, Samals, and the Subanons.[12]

Governance

Consejo de la Ciudad de Zamboanga


The City of Zamboanga has become a Chartered City since 1936. The 3rd oldest city in the Philippines, with a "strong" mayor-council form of government.[13] The government of the City is more centralized than that of most other Philippines cities; the central government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services. The public officials can only stay on their position for four-year and tree terms in the same position.

The City received its own representation for the Philippine Congress since 1984. The former lone congressional district was divided into two separate districts; the West District (I) from the City Proper to Limpapa headed by Congresswoman Maria Isabelle C. Salazar, while in the East District (II) from Tetuan to Licomo is headed by Congressman Erico Basilio A. Fabian. The government is composed of a mayor, vice mayor, two district representatives, and eighteen councilors in each district.[14]

The city of Zamboanga is composed of morethan 774,407 population since last year 2007.[15] Under the House Bill No: 6259, which is Zamboanga city is qualified to have an additional district representative in the congress since the population of the city becomes bigger since last year 2007. Zamboanga city has 2 representatives at the House of Representatives of the Philippines.[16]

The creation of an additional legislative district will be consistent with the constitutional mandate of proportional representation. The additional representation will also result in the additional allocation of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) which makes possible the implementation, in every congressional district, of small-scale but significant projects which can not be part of large-scale projects of national agencies.[17]

Armed Forces and Law Enforcement

If you are debating about starting or moving your business to Zamboanga City and your are concerned about security; Zamboanga City is one of the most secured cities in the Philippines. Zamboanga City has the Air Force, Army, Marines, the Southern Command of the Philippines or South-Com, and the Police.

In Zamboanga City defense is handled by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which is based on the United States armed forces and is composed of three branches: the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy (including the Marine Corps).

Transportation

The Zamboanga City is accessible by land, air, and water. Zamboanga is also known as home of the busiest seaport and airport in the country for the past 10 years from now.

Land Transportation and Government Projects

Taxi service in the city is not well-established, although there are some independent taxis. The common mode of transportation in Zamboanga is by a Jeepney or a Tricycle. There are two types of city buses: the green bus and the blue bus, but still pending with the city government approval that it may affect the Transport Sectors. A new bus terminal was planned for construction at the MCLL highway between Divisoria-Boalan area and is seen to be one of the most modern bus terminals in Mindanao when completed. The modern bus terminal serves as a prologue of East Coast's development as a business district. Zamboanga City is connected through other provinces in Zamboanga Peninsula and the whole island of Mindanao by the Maria Clara L. Lobregat Highway.

The government has constructed 667 kilometers of farm-to-market roads. A law established a free port and special economic zone in the city known as Zamboecozone, which is the only free port in the country outside of Luzon.[18]

National and International Seaport

Zamboanga International Seaport
A Cebu Pacific Plane on the Tarmac of Zamboanga Airport
Aeropuerto Internacional de Zamboanga


Zamboanga City has 19 seaports and wharves, twelve of which are privately-owned. The biggest and most modern is the government-operated main port which can accommodate 20 ships at any given time. There are 25 shipping lines whose vessels regularly call at the port of Zamboanga. A new international seaport will be open soon outside the city proper that can accommodate international ships and vessels. This port will be established at the Zamboecozone, which is under construction, it will be the one of the Biggest and Modern Private Sea Terminal in Mindanao even in the Philippines. Zamboanga City has also fastcraft services to Sandakan, Malaysia. One Shipping Cargo Company from Vietnam is also serving the route's from and to Zamboanga.

The busy Port of Zamboanga handles inter-island and international fast ferries, and also occasional international cruise ships. In 2002, the Port of Zamboanga, inclusive of all area ports and Basilan, was ranked #1 in the entire Philippines and registered an astounding 5.57 million passengers, surpassing #2 Batangas by 1.3 million passengers, and #5 Manila by over 1.59 million passengers! This statistic is simply mind boggling for the Zamboanga region!!!

The Port of Zamboanga City is located in one of the coasts of city,which was considered to be one of the fastest growing economic zones in Mindanao. Zamboanga City has 19 seaports and wharves, wherein the 12 are privately owned and 7 are wholly owned by the government.[19] The seaport is the biggest and the most modern which can accommodate 20 ships at any given time, and there are 25 shipping lines whose vessels regularly serve the port of the city. The port can handle inter-island and international fast ferries, and occasionally international cruise ships. In 2002, the Port of Zamboanga City, inclusive of all area ports and Basilan, was ranked #1 in the entire Philippines and registered an astounding 5.57 million passengers, surpassing Batangas by 1.3 million passengers,and Manila by over 1.59 million passengers.[20]

As of May 28,2009, The P700 million worth of port expansion project,which was funded by the National Government in Zamboanga City, was already inaugurated by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which was held inside the Freeport Zone in the city.[21].

Domestic and International Airport

The local airport of Zamboanga City has been upgraded into a secondary international airport, since it's been called as the Zamboanga International Airport.It is the gateway to one of Southeast Asia's fastest growing business and culture hubs and to the entire Western Mindanao area. The airport covers a total land area of 270 hectares. There was also a plan to rename its present airport name into a new named after the late mayor, Maria Clara L. Lobregat.However,the planned was not yet been approved. The airport has a 2,610 meter primary runway and it can serve international flights and bigger planes such as the Boeing C-17, Antonov An-124 and Airbus A320.[22][23] The government has already earmarked more than 240 million pesos in 2008 for 365 days to completely rehabilitate the existing facilities of the airport.[24]. The airport of Zamboanga City was ranked the #10 busiest airport in the Philippines in 2008, after being on the rank 7 for the past 2 years.[25]

The local airport has been upgraded and has since been called the Zamboanga International Airport. It will be named after the late Mayor of Zamboanga city as Maria Clara L. Lobregat International Airport in 2008. Its 2,610-meter primary runway can serve international flights. The government has earmarked more than 240 million pesos for 2008 to completely rehabilitate the existing facilities, including the air navigation equipment but the project has not started yet.[26] Plans call for a 3,210-meter runway and a modern terminal building with Six jet bridges. This planned airport is to be built within the City's east coast barangays Talabaan, Mercedes and Taluksangay. Upon completion, it will be Mindanao's largest Airport.

These are following carriers that serve ZIA.

Planned Destination's by Airline Company.

Economy and Industry

Central Business District of Zamboanga City
The Gateway and the Southway Square
Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Stadium
Paseo del Mar el Comedor

The economy of Zamboanga city is mostly on focus to agricultural and aqua cultural. Agriculture and fishing provide activity with an income of 70 percent of the population, while the 30 percent are in Rural activities. Zamboanga is known to be as the Center of Trade, Business and Industry in Zamboanga Peninsula Region and even the island of mindanao.

Zamboanga City exports rubber, pearls, copra, mahogany, and other fine hardwoods, fish, abaca, and fruit products; rice is still imported.[27]

Banks

Most banks in Zamboanga City are Philippines' top private domestic universal banks with a network branches in key locations within the city and nationwide complemented by Automated teller Machines (ATMs) and the benefits and convenience of Bancnet's expansive countrywide system of ATMs.

Most of the banks in the city are mainly head branches in the Zamboanga peninsula region. There are also numerous firms and other financial services in the city.

Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority

The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (Zamboecozone),also known as Zamboanga Freeport Authority (ZFA), was created by virtue of the Republic Acts of the Philippines 7903 of the Philippines in the year 1995. It was authored by then the congresswoman and late mayor of the city of Zamboanga,Maria Clara L. Lobregat.[28]

The Special Economic Zone was enacted into law on February 23, 1995 and made operational a year later with the appointment of a chairman and administrator and the members of the Board by former President Fidel V. Ramos. It is located about 20 km. from the city center.

Recognizing the vital role of promotions in attracting viable investments to the freeport zone, an intensified promotional blitz was developed to make ZamboEcozone an investment haven in Southern Philippines. Creating awareness to the various business opportunities offered at the ZamboEcozone was one of the Authority’s marketing priorities for the year, thus a promotional blitz was established.[29]

Shopping Centers and Malls

As the center of commerce in Western Mindanao, Zamboanga is home to five shopping malls and numerous department stores, supermarkets and retail stores.

  • Mindpro Citimall - It was opened in the year 1996, the second mall in the city after Alta mall. The only shopping mall that has a cinema.
  • Yubenco Star Mall - Is a shopping complex that is located at Barangay Putik.
  • Southway Square - It was opened in the year 2007,It is a modern architectural structure in the city.
  • Shoppers' Center - Zamboanga's newest mall. It is located at the City proper.
  • Midtown Plaza Mall - A unique shopping mall that is located at Nuñez Extension.
  • Shoppers' Mall - A proposed 10-story mall with hotel which is currently under construction. Upon completion, it would be the tallest commercial building in the city and will probably be the tallest mall in the country. Owned by the Huylian Development Corporation, it has been two years under construction, and the expected opening of this mall will be within four years time.[30]

Entertainment and Recreation

The city has also popular recreation sites. Catribo Complex, Latitude and Grand Alejandra's Place are among the popular discos in the city. Many restaurants and commercial complex can be found in the city, some of which are: mano-mano na Greenfield Restaurant, Harry's Grill, The Lobby Bar, Family Fried Chicken, Manang Terry's Chicken Inato, Mang Inasal, Park 88, Country Chicken and many more.

Mindpro's six cinemas are the city's only existing movie theatres as the result of popularity of malls and the closure of old cinemas such as Rizal and Viva Theatres.

There are convention areas designed for regional and national events and conferences as well as social gatherings. These are: Garden Orchid Convention Center, Marcian Convention Center, Zamboanga City Colliseum in Tetuan, Zamboanga City Convention Center, Astoria Regency in Pasonanca and Patio Palmeras Convention Centers.

Sport venues of the city include the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, were National and Regional Sport events are done others include the Summit Center & Zamboanga City Coliseum, are the two main venues of major concerts and sport events that take place in the city.

Seaweeds Industry

The major species of seaweed grown and harvested in Zamboanga City is the Eucheuma Cottonii seaweed because of its numerous uses; it can be farmed commercially almost anywhere in the city’s coastal areas. Eucheuma seaweed has been commercially introduced in various method of propagation, after extensive experimentation. It was disclosed that eucheuma seaweeds grow faster on reefs than other areas which prove that seaweed farming is viable in this city. When the study of Eucheuma seaweeds propagation was initiated, its technical advancement was transferred to the private sectors, thus making the seaweed industry one of the leading ventures in the country today. [31]

Sardines Industry

Zamboanga is noted for sardine exports to the Philippine market. The sardines are also exported to other countries and regions such as the United States, Europe, Middle East, and the Far East. There are canning factories located in the west coast of Zamboanga producing popular sardine brands. Sardine fishing and processing account for about 70 percent of the city's economy or P3 billion, according to press reports. Situated at the western tip of the Mindanao mainland, Zamboanga City is a natural docking point for vessels traversing the rich fishing grounds of the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago. The city’s eight canneries, which employ around 15,000 workers, process 1,000 tons of sardines daily.[32]

Education

The formal education in the Zamboanga City is patterned after the American system, with English as the medium of instruction. Schools are classified into public (government) or private (non-government).Classes start in June, and end in March. The majority of colleges, and universities follow a semester calendar from June to October, and November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study programs.[33]

The general pattern of formal education follows five stages:

  • Pre-primary level - nursery and kindergarten offered in most private schools;
  • Primary level - six years of basic education;
  • Secondary level - four years of high school education;
  • College level - usually takes four, sometimes five and in some cases as in medical and law schools, as long as eight years; and,
  • Graduate level - additional two or more years of schooling.

Universities and Colleges

Universidad de Zamboanga

One of the most historic cities in the Philippines, Zamboanga plays host to numerous first-rate colleges and universities. These educational institutions attract many students in the province, as well as from the other parts of the country. The city of Zamboanga has a several prestigious private schools in Southern and Western Mindanao. Most of these private schools or institutions are administrated by Catholic and Jesuit schools.

Private Schools

  • Pilar College was founded in the year 1894, as a Cartilla School by the Beaterio Sisters who evacuated from Tamontaca, Cotabato. One of the two sisters who started the Cartilla School in the year 1894 was Mother Maria Antera Cruz, RVM.
  • Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU), founded by the Society of Jesus in 1912, it is the second oldest Jesuit school in the Philippines. It initially catered to primary and secondary education for boys. It became a college in 1952, and a university in August 2001. The Ateneo de Zamboanga began in 1912 as Escuela Catolica, a parochial school run by Spanish Jesuits at the old site of the Immaculate Conception Church, right across the Sunken Garden.[34]
  • Universidad de Zamboanga(UZ) is a private university in Zamboanga City, Philippines, founded on October 12, 1948 by Arturo Eustaquio, Sr. It was formerly known as Zamboanga A.E. Colleges until it was granted by ChEd to become a University School in the year 2005. It has 8 campuses spread out in an area of more than 130 hectares in and outside of the city. These campuses include the Main Campus in barangay Tetuan, City Campus, Cabatangan Campus, Pasonanca Campus, Veterans Campus, San Jose Campus, Canelar Campus and the Ipil Campus in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. UZ has 2 Highschools namely Arturo Eustaquio Memorial Science Highschool and the UZ Technical Highschool.[35]

Public Schools

  • Western Mindanao State University (formerly Zamboanga Normal College founded 1904) is the first to be granted as a university in the year 1978. It is the only state university in the city. Its campus is located in Baliwasan and is offering college and vocational programs. The university is believed to be the oldest school in Mindanao. WMSU already brought numerous achievements in the academic field, it is the Center of Excellence in Teacher Education, Center of Development in Architecture, Best School in Social Work, Best School in Forestry and Number 1 in the Criminology Board Examinations.[36]
  • Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College( formerly Zamboanga City Trade School founded 1905). It was founded as a small workshop classroom of the Zamboanga Central School in July 1905. In 1937, by virtue of commonwealth Act No. 39, it became Zamboanga City Trade School which offered the secondary curriculum.In 1959, it became a national school under the name Zamboanga School of Arts and Trades by virtue of R.A. No. 2300. Three years later, R.A. No. 3286 authorized the school to offer a degree Program, a 4-year Teacher Education curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education (BSIE) with different major of fields of specialization. In 1992, the Zamboanga School of Arts and Trades was converted into Zamboanga City Polytechnic College under the supervision of the Commission on Higher Education. In July 20, 2001, pursuant to R.A. 9142, the Zamboanga City Polytechnic College became a state college and its name was changed to Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College. The college is mandated to provide advanced instruction and professional training in science and technology and other related fields, undertake research and extension services, and provide provide progressive leadership in this areas.
  • Regional Science High School for Region IX (RSHS) is a Magnet school of Department of Education (Philippines), established during the school year 1994-1995 by virtue of DECS Order No. 69,s.1993. The school has a curriculum that specialize in science and research (different from Special Science Program/ Engineering and Science Education Program schools).The Regional Science High School For Region IX was founded on Nov. 1994. It started as a single level and single class high school temporarily squating within the ZCNHS Main Campus in Tetuan, Zambo. City. It moved to its permanent school site in Malasiga, on a rice field, in 1994 and has since grown from a single classroom within a city school to a complete high school of more than 200 students.RSHS IX has consistently produced excellent students and graduates since its inception, and continues to grow and nurture the city's best and brightest students.
  • University of the Philippines, Zamboanga is proposed university under the Senate Bill No. 2662, A Bill to create new University of The Philippines Campus in Zamboanga City mandated by Senator. Rodolfo Biazon, to serve the whole Zamboanga Peninsula Region and ARMM Region. if this will be approved, UP-Zamboanga will be the second UP campus in Mindanao after UP-Mindanao in Davao City.[37]

Foreign Relations

Sister Cities
Year
Country of
City of
1996
 Philippines
2000
 Malaysia
2005
 Philippines
2006
 Philippines
2006
 Philippines
2008
 Spain
2009
 Philippines
Planned
 Indonesia
Planned
 Philippines
Planned
 Malaysia
Planned
 Indonesia
Planned
 Indonesia
Kabupaten Kolaka[49]
Friendship Cities
Year
Country of
City of
 Philippines
2008
 Philippines

The City of Zamboanga jurisdictions often partner with foreign cities through Sister Cities International, an organization whose goal is to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.” Sister cities interact with each other across a broad range of activities, from health care and education to business, culture and arts.

Zamboanga City is a member of BIMP-EAGA which stands for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area. BIMP-EAGA is an agreement among the four Southeast Asian neighbor countries for economic cooperation. It has put Zamboanga City in touch with towns in Malaysia and Indonesia. As a result of contacts arising from BIMP-EAGA, an air and sea route has been opened between Zamboanga City and Sandakan in Malaysia.

Sandakan and Zamboanga seen as sisters states or twin cities have always managed to work well together. The strong relationship between Sandakan and Zamboanga has existed for many generations. As immediate neighbors, these two regions have a long history of interactions not only through trade relations but also through culture and social interactions. BIMP-EAGA which was formed in 1994 merely served to further strengthen the existing economic and social ties between these two regions formally. [50]

Hospitals and Health Centers

Zamboanga City Medical Center (TZU -CHI Great Love Eye Center)

The city is also home to medical centers and hospitals. These provide quality health care service for Zamboanguenos.

  • Brent Hospital and Colleges, Inc. (Located at R.T.Lim Boulevard) was founded on February 2, 1914 by Charles Henry Brent, the first Protestant Episcopal missionary bishop in the Philippines. It also runs a school within the extensive Hospital Compound, offering nursing and allied health courses.
  • Zamboanga City Medical Center, is the largest medical facility in Region 9 in terms of bed capacity. The hospital was founded in 1918 as the Zamboanga General Hospital. ZCMC, better known simply as "General", is located in the corner of Veterans Avenue-Fort Pilar road.
  • Zamboanga Doctors' Hospital, Veterans Avenue, is the first privately owned hospital established in 1964.
  • Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, one of the most equipped and advance medical centers in Zamboanga, is a five-storey medical complex and located at Nunez Extension.
  • Western Mindanao Medical Center, located at Veterans Avenue Extension, it was established in the year 1990, with state-of-the-art facilities and newly reconstructed building.
  • Universidad de Zamboanga Community Medical Center, (formerly the Zamboanga Arturo Eustaquio Colleges Memorial Medical Center) along San Jose Road, is a university-owned hospital equipped with advanced medical facilities and has a 24-hour pharmacy located inside the Medical complex.
  • Zamboanga City Red Cross,Zamboanga City Chapter Is one of tine pioneer chapters in the country it was established in June 17. 1946 known originally as Zamboanga Chapter. The original Zamboarga Chapter comprised the city of Zambonnga and the 3 provinces of Basilan. Zamboanga (Del Norte, and del Sur) .Zamboanga City Chapter has a Blood Center complete with laboratory equipment for blood processing. The chapter contributed to the wed being of the patients needing blood both in public arid private hospitals.

Other specialized hospitals are: Zamboanga Children's Hospital, Salvador A. Cabato Memorial Hospital, Edwin Andrews Air Base Hospital, Camp. Navarro General Hospital, Zamboanga Puericulture Lying-in Maternity Hospital and the Mindanao Central Sanitarium.

Parks and Landmarks

Zamboanga City Gallery

The Philippine Department of Tourism has selected Zamboanga City to highlight as a tourist destination to be promoted nationally and internationally.[51] Tourism to the Zamboanga Peninsula has trended upward in recent years. Domestic and foreign tourist arrivals increased 8 percent to 439,160 in 2005, according to data from the regional tourism office. The same report notes that Filipinos accounted for 80 percent of the tourist arrivals. Moreover, 50 percent of those tourists visited Zamboanga City.[52]

Paseo del Mar
Plaza Pershing in Downtown Zamboanga
City Hall of Zamboanga
Port Pilar Altar
Modern Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Zamboanga City National Museum
Las Campanas del Santurio de la Virgen del Pilar
Cruz Major overlooking the city and the Basilan Strait
Centuries-old acacia trees Calle Rizal
Interior of the Port Pilar
  • Cawa-Cawa Boulevard - Is a park that near at the sea that you can visit the place early in the morning for brisk walking/jogging or in the afternoon for its famed sunset view.
  • Fort Pilar - Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the Spanish period, the Fort Pilar serves as a present day open-air shrine. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the fort is named after and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It image is embossed at the altar (which was then an entrance of the fort). Fort Pilar also houses a National Museum branch inside the fort.
  • National Museum of Zamboanga City - The establishment of a museum branch in Zamboanga City was made possible by Presidential Decree 260. declaring Fort Pilar as a National Cultural Treasure on August 1,1973. Situated within the historic Fort Pilar, the museum is named in honor of Nuestra Señora del Pilar, patroness of Zamboanga.[53]
  • Paseo del Mar na Zamboanga - a seafront parkway located adjacent to the walls of Fort Pilar. The Paseo encompasses 2.5 hectares in what was a former slum, which required relocating 300 families.[54] The walkway faces scenic Basilan Strait.
  • Pasonanca Park - Traversed by a gently rippling stream, that is abounds with trees, flowering plants, ferns, shrubs and 600 different species of orchids. Mindanao Governor John J. Pershing started the construction of Pasonanca Park in 1912. He sent for a parksman in the United States, once named Thomas Hanley, to prepare the plan and direct its execution. The park was completed under the administration of Governor Frank W. Carpenter. There is a treehouse nestling high in the branches of one big tree where guests could pass the night and hold communion with nature which, in the darkness, could still be perceived in the gentle rustling of the pine trees. Permission to use the treehouse, which is for free, can be obtained at the Office of the Mayor.
  • Pettit Barracks - site that US forces under General John C. Bates occupied after the capture of the city on November 15, 1899. It was named Pettit Barracks after Col. James S. Pettit, 31st Infantry, US Volunteer Commanding Officer of the Second Military District. Occupied by Japanese forces in 1942-1945, the barracks were recaptured by United States of America and Philippine Commonwealth liberation forces on March 10, 1945, and turned over to the Philippines on July 4, 1946.[55]
  • Plaza Pershing - Plaza Pershing was established in Zamboanga City, Philippines to honor Governor John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) with his victory over Muslim insurgents.
  • Jardin de Maria Clara- La Jardin de Maria Clara Lobregat is a garden park named after the late mayor Maria Clara Lobregat. The park consists of floral and butterfly species such as orchids, roses and colorful butterflies surrounding the garden. It also has an aviary park for the avian species such as parrots, turkeys, and eagles among the birds.
  • Modern Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Founded in 1810 as a parish located at the present day Universidad de Zamboanga campus, the Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga (created in 1910 as diocese and elevated in 1958 as an archdiocese). It is known as one of the most modern cathedrals in Asia, built in 1998-2001. The cathedral is located at La Purisima St. The cathedral's structure is cruciform, resembling a cross and its facade is patterned after a candle (which is connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary).[51]
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, Tetuan - Records shows that at the start, there was a small chapel constructed on a lot. Owned by Don Balbino Natividad, a permanent resident of Tetuan. It was build on January 1863. Barrio Tetuan's Catholic Church now known as the Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church can be found on Fr. Baruja,S.J. Street corner Atilano Street. The original church structure was destroyed during World War II. It is historically recognized as the first catholic parish in Mindanao, Philippines.
  • Serenity Falls - Zamboanga City's Serenity Falls bounded between La Paz and Pamucutan, at the foot of the EcoZone's south entrance.
  • Taluksangay Mosque - The famous Mosque in Barangay Taluksangay is considered as one of Zamboanga’s tourist spots. This colorful mosque is located in the barrio of Taluksangay outside the city center.
  • Old Normal School Building - Also known as the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Social Hall, the building was built during the American Era and was the center of education for most of Mindanao. Presently, this houses The College of Education of WMSU and is also the site where most cultural presentations are held. It also houses a Museum.
  • Yakan Weaving Center - Host to the only Yakan community in the City, the center is located just across the famed La Vista de Mar beach resort at the border of Barangay Upper Calarian and Sinunuc and along the National Highway. You can witness the local people weaving intricately hand-woven clothes on giant looms as well as traditional brasswares.
  • Zamboanga City Hall - The construction of this building started in 1905 and was completed in 1907 by the Federal Government of the United States for the then American Governors of the area which included: Leonard Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W. Hoyt, and Governor John J. Pershing of World War I fame. Today, this serves as the City Hall of Zamboanga City where the Mayor holds office.
  • Zamboanga Golf and Country Club - Known to be the "oldest Golf Course" in the Philippines. It was established during the American Occupation and is overlooking the Basilan Strait. It also is host to a public swimming resort managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority.[56]
  • The Gallery of the Peninsula and Archipelago - is meant to be a place of culture and the arts where exhibits, current and permanent collections may be viewed. The items for the gallery would be paintings, sketches, sculpture, photographs, and items of artistic value and high quality artisanship.

Holidays and Holy Days

Zamboanga City is home to a diverse culture. It is a melting pot of different kinds of people. It boasts a long and worth-knowing history. These diversity and duration are just two of the many reasons behind the City's numerous colorful and solemn festivities. These festivals dates are generally non-working holidays. A few of the major celebrations in the city are listed with some bits of must-know facts.

Holiday

  • Dia de Zamboanga

February 26, 1937- the date when Zamboanga was declared as a chartered city under the Commonwealth Government. Charter Day of the City became a non-working holiday. A roster of special activities are lined up annually to mark the occasion. The signing of the City's Charter by Pres. Manuel L. Quezon was witnessed by Assemblyman Juan S. Alano, Representative of the Moro Province of Mindanao, then Zamboanga City Mayor Don Pablo Lorenzo, and a number of other public officials, as well as a young school girl, Maria Clara Lorenzo, who eventually became a representative and City Mayor of Zamboanga until her death in 2004.

Christian Holy Days

March/April (movable) A city procession known as the Santo Entierro (Holy Funeral) on Good Friday highlights the observance of the season of Lent. Celebrated in most parish churches in the city and in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Santo Entierro is a procession of Christ's images, many of the Stations of the Cross, along the city's main streets, depicting his last hours before, during, and after the Crucifixion.

  • Flores de Mayo

May 1 - 31 A religious feast celebrated in all Catholic churches in honor of the Virgin Mary. Little children in white gala dresses walk up the altar to offer flowers to the image of the Blessed Mother, as the Catholics call her. In some parts of the city, the traditional Santacruzan is also held. The Santa-cruzan is a procession of the Reyna Elena and other local beauties with their escorts, decked out in Maria Clara gowns and barong tagalogs, along major streets.

  • Santacruzan*

Last day of Flores de Mayo A religious feast celebrated in many Catholic Parishes in honor of Reyna Elena (Queen Helen)and her son Constantine who went to the Holy Land to search for Jesus' Cross.

  • Zamboanga Hermosa Festival (Fiesta Pilar)

October 3-12

Highlighted by the October 12 Fiesta Pilar in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar at the legendary Fort Pilar. The festival features week-long novena masses, cultural shows, agricultural fairs, cutural exhibits, a two-day mardi gras parade, the bandoreal, a regatta, torch parades, fireworks, carnivals, Hermosa Dance Sports Competition and the most awaited " the finery for women in high society" also known as the MASCOTA Competition. The festival commences with a solemn procession and a grand mass at the Fort. With thousands of pilgrims converging in Zamboanga City, this is the peninsula's biggest festival.

  • Fiesta de La Immaculada Concepcion (Feast of the Immaculate Conception)

December 8 Feast day of Zamboanga City's Patron, the Blessed Virgin Mary's Immaculate Conception; traditionally celebrated with a procession and a concelebrated mass highlighted by either First Communion or Ordination rites.

  • Fonda de Barangay or Fiesta de Barangay

Week-long celebration in the Barangay/Barrios honoring their patron saints. The celebration usually starts with novena masses held every day for 9 straight days prior the feast day of the patron saint. every night, the barrio is lit up for celebration and merry-making that includes pageants, trade fair, parade, cock-fighting, carnival, musical competition and "baile."

  • Christmas

December 25 Celebration of Jesus Christ's Birth. City hall, churches, schools, streetlight post, houses, streets, commercial places, parks and most of the other places in the City are covered with lights, filled with joyous sounds and other Christmas Decorations.

Muslim Holy Days

  • Isra Wal Miraj

May 9 An Islamic event celebrating the nocturnal journey and ascension of Muhammad.

  • Eid al-Fitr/Hari Raya Puasa

(movable) An Islamic event commemorating the end of the Muslim fasting season.

'Eid al-Adha "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

See also

External links

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Zamboanga City".

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Largest cities in the Philippines

Manila
Manila
Pasig
Pasig

Rank City Region Population Rank City Region Population

Makati
Makati
Pasig
Marikina

1 Quezon City National Capital 2,679,450 11 Dasmariñas Region IV-A 556,330
2 Manila National Capital 1,660,714 12 Cagayan de Oro Region X 553,966
3 Caloocan National Capital 1,378,856 13 Parañaque National Capital 552,660
4 Davao City Region XI 1,363,337 14 Las Piñas National Capital 532,330
5 Cebu City Region VII 798,809 15 General Santos Region XII 529,542
6 Zamboanga City Region IX 774,407 16 Makati National Capital 510,383
7 Antipolo Region IV-A 633,971 17 Bacolod Region VI 499,497
8 Pasig National Capital 617,301 18 Muntinlupa National Capital 452,493
9 Taguig National Capital 613,343 19 San Jose del Monte Region III 439,090
10 Valenzuela National Capital 568,928 20 Marikina National Capital 424,610
Philippines 2007 Census

Coordinates: 6°54′N 122°4′E / 6.9°N 122.067°E / 6.9; 122.067


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asia : Southeast Asia : Philippines : Mindanao : Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City is in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. Known as the City of Flowers (the etymology of Zamboanga comes from the malay word jambangan means garden of flowers-by faiza paredes), it is now one of the most important and busiest port cities in the Philippines. The Chavacano (popularly known as Zamboangueno, which is based on 70% Spanish words, and 30% Tagalog, Cebuano and other Philippine languages) made Zamboanga as "Asia's Latin City." This is also because of the same traditions with Spain, particularly the patroness Our Lady of the Pilar (which is also the Patroness of Spain).

Get in

By plane

There are daily flights to/from Manila by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, flights to/from Sandakan by Asian Spirit and South East Asian Airlines(SEAIR)

Philippine Airlines, Air Philippines and Cebu Pacific have regular flights to Manila, Cebu, & Davao and vice versa.

By boat

Super Ferry boats are available 2 days a week for sailing from Cebu City, Davao, and Manila and vice versa.

Ferries are also available to and from Sandakan.

The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a schedule passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia, a cruise ship destination and several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Davao, Cotabato, Dipolog/Dapitan, General Santos, Pagadian, Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City, Cebu City, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Bacolod and Manila.

By road

If you are from Luzon and Visayas, the Nautical Highways(RoRo)can bring you here. Buses from major cities in Mindanao are also available.

Get around

As soon as you get off the boat or plane, your first concern would probably be your luggage. Both ports provide helpful employees. Be gracious and tip properly. Depending on the number of luggage your tip can range from 50 to 200 pesos. The seaport is not as organized and there are a lot of free-lancers who are willing to help for a fee (sometimes a very hefty fee). Tip only after you have been escorted to your transportation.

For those who don't have someone to pick them up, there is public transportation readily available. You have your choice of tri-cycles, Jeepneys, or taxi. Taxi would be your best bet. The taxi fare for a 5 kilometer trip would be less than 50 pesos but there aren't that many available.

Second choice is the tri-cycle. A passenger and luggage traveling a distance of 5 kilometers would cost no more than 30 pesos. But since you are coming from the port, the tri-cycle drivers want a heftier fare (this is illegal for them because they can lose their license). So usually the fare is bumped up 100%.

To get a jeepney, the best way is to have someone (your porter) hire the jeepney for you while you watch over your luggage. Within a 5 kilometer radius a Jeepneys will cost you anywhere from 200 to 300 pesos. This is called a "special". The driver will also help you with your luggage. You only pay for your transportation at destination.

  • Fort Pilar - Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the Spanish period, the Fort Pilar serves as a present day open-air shrine. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the fort is named after and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It image is embossed at the altar (which was then an entrance of the fort). Fort Pilar also houses a National Museum branch inside the fort. One can appreciate the glorious past of Zamboanga as a Spanish City in the Orient Skies here in the museum. It also has record of inhabitants and antique items of the early time. It also exhibits paintings, natural marine life and cultural memorabilia.
  • Pasonanca Park - Traversed by a gently rippling stream, this park is the only one of its kind in the country. It abounds with trees, flowering plants, ferns, shrubs and 600 different species of orchids. Mindanao Governor John J. Pershing started the construction of Pasonanca Park in 1912. He sent for a parksman in the United States, once named Thomas Hanley, to prepare the plan and direct its execution. The park was completed under the administration of Governor Frank W. Carpenter. There is a treehouse nestling high in the branches of one big tree where guests could pass the night and hold communion with nature which, in the darkness, could still be perceived in the gentle rustling of the pine trees. Permission to use the treehouse, which is for free, can be obtained at the Office of the Mayor.
  • Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception - Founded in 1810 as a parish located at the present day Universidad de Zamboanga campus, the Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga (created in 1910 as diocese and elevated in 1958 as an archdiocese). It is known as one of the most modern cathedrals in Mindanao, built in 1998-2001. The cathedral is located at La Purisima St. The cathedral's structure is cruciform, resembling a cross and its facade is patterned after a candle (which is connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary). The main church is located at the second floor, with stained glass portraying the life of Mary and Asian saints as well as the history of Mindanao's dioceses starting from 1910. At the lower level are the columbarium, the day chapel, the adoration chapel at the left wing, the conference hall at the right wing, and the baptistery fronting the day chapel.
  • Zamboanga City Hall - The construction of this building started in 1905 and was completed in 1907 by the Federal Government of the United States for the then American Governors of the area which included: Leonard 0. Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W. Hoyt, and Gen. John Pershing of World War I fame. Today, this serves as the City Hall of Zamboanga City where the Mayor holds office.
  • Plaza Pershing - Plaza Pershing was established in Zamboanga City, Philippines to honor John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) with his victory over Muslim insurgents.
  • Cawa-Cawa Boulevard - You can visit the place early in the morning for brisk walking/jogging or in the afternoon for its famed sunset view. You can also spend some time at night eating Balut (a fertilized duck embryo that is boiled and eaten with vinegar and salt).
  • Sta. Cruz Islands - The Great Santa Cruz island is known for it's pink sand beach and sand bar, while the Little sta. cruz island is a typical white beach, with pulverized-like sand. It is also a diving site and is host to a lagoon, a muslim burial site and a badjao/samal community.
  • Yakan Weaving Center - Host to the only Yakan commmunity in the City, the center is located just across the famed La Vista de Mar beach resort at the border of Barangay Upper Calarian and Sinunuc and along the National Highway. You can witness the local people weaving intricately hand-woven clothes on giant looms as well as traditional brasswares.
  • Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach - Known to be the "oldest Golf Course" in the Philippines. It was estabished during the American Occupation and is overlooking the Basilan Strait. It also is host to a public swimming resort managed by the Philippine Tourism Authority. There were talks that a Korean Company will be building a 5 star hotel in the area. it was once used as a landing strip.
  • St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, Tetuan - Records shows that at the start, there was a small chapel constructed on a lot. Owned by Don Balbino Natividad, a permanent resident of Tetuan. (The Natividad is one of the biggest clans in the Parish spread throughout the city up to the hinterlands and reputed to be large property owners. Members held various positions in the government and parishes. At least one became a Jesuit priest). In January of 1863, apparently having reached the required number of Catholic would be parishioners and with the availability of the would-be parish priest, the St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish was created with a Jesuit, Rev. Fr. Ramon Barua, SJ as its first Parish Priest.
  • Serenity Falls - Zamboanga City's Serenity Falls bounded between La Paz and Pamucutan, at the foot of the EcoZone's south entrance.
  • Old Normal School Building - Also known as the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) Social Hall, the building was built during the American Era and was the center of education for most of Mindanao. Presently, this houses The College of Education of WMSU and is also the site where most cultural presentations are held. It also houses a Museum.
  • Taluksangay Mosque - This colorful mosque is located in the barrio of Taluksangay outside the city center.
  • Visit the Maria Clara Lobregat Park and the Aviary at Pasonanca Park.   edit
  • Visit Abong Abong Park. Climb the hill and do the Stations of the Cross during Holy week or any day of the year, visit the Scout Camps, the tomb of the unknown soldier and Mayor Cesar C. Climaco\\\\\\\\  edit
  • Sta Cruz Island. swim and scuba diving in a pink sand beach in an unspoilt island  edit
  • Light candles at the Fort Pilar Shrine and visit the Zamboanga Museum in the Fort
  • Eat special delicacies like Baolo and Satti.
  • Bathe in Pasonanca's natural swimming pools- where water flows freely from the mountains to 3 pools- Rotary Pool, Wee-wee Pool for Kids, Tanada Pool
  • Lokot-lokot - a roll that looks like a bunch of golden brown hair intertwined together. You may purchase one at the airport or even at some local delicacy stores around the city.
  • Yakan-weaved Cloth - you can purchase this from the Yakan Village Weaving Center at Upper Calarian-just across the famed La Vista del Mar Beach Resort. The clothes are intricately woven to creat an ethnic pattern. Visitors usually use the clothes as table lining, tapestries or even as accessories to their formal wear.
  • Barter Goods - ranging from various Chinese, Malay and local food, delicacies and imported items.
  • Pearls - the home of the South Sea Pearls- you may actually buy different kinds of pearls at Lantaka Hotel or at various malls within the Business District like the Sophia Jewllery at the 3rd level of Mindpro Citimall.
  • Seafood - you may actually buy fresh fish at the waterfront of the Main Public Market, Aderes Flea Market(in Guiwan), or at the weekend make-shift market at the Cawa-cawa Boulevard or at Sinunuc. The catch ranges from the famous Curacha to Freshwater and Saltwater Crabs to Yellow-fin and Bluefin Tuna, to unusual looking fishes and seaweeds.
  • Souvenir Items - You can choose a number of souvenir items at the Home Products located along Ledesma St.( near San Jose Rd. corner Climaco Ave.).
  • Fruits and Vegetables - Try visiting Bagsakan Center (just across Sta. Cruz Market) at night for easy access to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are on season at a knock-down price. Seasonal fruits varies from the famed durian, sweet lanzones, mangosteen and a lot of locally harvested fruits.
  • Sardines- there are many popular sardine brands in the Philippine market today. Most of these brands are canned and packed in Zamboanga City's west coast areas, where the sardines are freshly catched.
  • Mindpro Citimall, La Purisima St.
  • Sophia Jewellery- for eleganc collections of gold, diamond, pearl jewelry, 3rd level
  • Alajas Baratillo- for silver and gold low priced and pre-owned (rematado) jewelry, ground level
  • Southway Square, P. Lorenzo St.
  • Yubenco Star Mall, Putik Highway.
  • Shoppers' Chain of Stores
  • Shoppers' Plaza
  • Shoppers' Emporium
  • Shoppers' Central
  • Shoppers' Square
  • Shoppers' Center (2008)
  • Golden Bell
  • Supercenter- Mayor Jaldon St.
  • Grand Center- I. Magno St.
  • Bookstore Express- Universidad de Zamboanga Campus
  • Shop-O-Rama, Gov. Lim Ave.
  • OK Department Store, Climaco Ave.
  • Citimart, Gov. Lim Ave.
  • Shops and Department Stores in Climaco Avenue
  • Lim Shi
  • Best Mart
  • Young Mart
  • Barter Centers:
  • Canelar Barter Trade
  • Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex
  • Baliwasan Commercial Complex
  • Zamboanga City Public Market
  • Chowking, La Purisima St (accross Puericulture Center), (+6362)9921809, (+6362)9921810. The only oriental quick service restaurant in the city open 24 hours, and with free delivery service,  edit
  • ABC Bakery and Restaurant, beside Shoppers' Central.
  • Alavar's Seafood House, Don Alfaro St., Tetuan.
  • Antonio's Steakhouse, Pasonanca.
  • Country Chicken Restaurant and Rebecca's Kitchen, Pasonanca Road.
  • Ducuena.
  • Flavourite Cuisine, Rizal St. and Nuñez branches.
  • Food Paradise, Climaco Avenue.
  • Golden Boys Sports Grille, Nunez Extension.
  • Jimmy's Satti, Campaner cor. Brillantes.
  • Kadday Sug, Sta. Cruz Market.
  • Kintaro 10th High, Best Japanese restaurant in Mindanao, at Skypark Hotel.
  • Lejan Ice Cream House and Restaurant, Santa Maria.
  • Mang Inasal, 2nd flr. Southway Square Mall.
  • Manang Terry's Chicken Inato, Mayor Jaldon (Canelar) and Nunez (MP Tower) branches.
  • Mano-Mano, Gov. Ramos Avenue, Sta. Maria.
  • Niel's Fastfood, MCLL Highway, Mercedes.
  • Park 88, Pasonanca Park.
  • Sunflower, Rizal St., Veterans Ave., Brilliantes St. branches.
  • Red Ribbon Bakeshop, Shoppers' Center.
  • Papito's Grille, Lunzuran Road, Tumaga, (beside Ateneo High School).
  • Patio Palmeras, Pasonanca.
  • Savoury Panciteria and Restaurant, Mayor Jaldon St., Putik, Tetuan, Santa Maria.
  • Shamba Grille, Gov. Camins Avenue beside Caltex Gas Station.
  • St. Mary's Grille, Gov. Ramos Avenue fronting Sta. Maria Parish Church.
  • Tropics Fine Cuisine, Sta. Maria fronting SLQ Chicken (062) 990-2032
  • A Taste of Asia, Unichan Building, Veterans Avenue fronting WMMC.
  • Village Zamboanga, Gov. Camins Avenue beside Garden Orchid Hotel.
  • La Vista Seaside Restaurant, La Vista del Mar Resort, Calarian.
  • Whoopee Burger Haus, Pilar St. and Gov. Lim Avenue.
  • Z-Beryani Persian Cuisine, Nunez Midtown Plaza.
  • David's Inn and Internet Cafe your home away from home
  • Garden Orchid Hotel - Gov. Camins Avenue (the best hotel in Zamboanga)
  • Grand Astoria Hotel - Mayor Jaldon Street
  • Marcian Garden Hotel - Gov. Camins Avenue
  • Marcian Business Hotel - Mayor Cesar Climaco Avenue
  • Lantaka Hotel by the Sea - N. Valderossa Street,
  • Jardin dela Vina - Gov. Alvarez Avenue
  • Hermosa Hotel- Mayor Jaldon St.
  • Preciosa Hotel- Mayor Jaldon St.
  • Hotel Perlita- Mayor Jaldon St.
  • Skypark Hotel- the hotel being the tallest structure in Zamboanga, has the Best Japanese Restaurant in Mindanao
  • Azenith Royal Hotel- Gov. Camins Ave.
  • Hotel Salwa- the Islamic owned hotel located at Gov. Camins St.
  • Mag-V Royal Hotel- San Jose Road
  • GC Hotel- Nunez St. beside St. Joseph Church and Mormon Church
  • Amil's Tower- Pilar St.
  • Yang's Hotel - Tomas Claudio Street
  • Blue Shark Hotel- Veterans Avenue
  • Pension Royale Hotel, 12 rooms
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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