The Philippines has many provinces that offer a great deal in terms of vacations.
One of these provinces is Zamboanga which is located in the South of the Philippines. There are several reasons why one may wish to visit Zamboanga, and this is just what we shall be highlighting here. After my stay there I am convinced that this makes for a perfect vacation spot for many people who want a truly memorable holiday.
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Beautiful beaches, waterfalls and natural attractions – if you love nature, swimming or simply walking along beaches, then Zamboanga can offer you several options. Sta. Cruz Island in Zamboanga, for instance, has a unique looking beach with coral sand. There are also some beautiful waterfalls, magnificent caves that make for perfect diving spots, and much more!
Welcoming and safe – this place is simply comforting, thanks to the very kind and welcoming people living here, and the safety that you will feel wherever you go. Besides, if you know some Spanish you will not have any problem communicating with the locals here.
The food – you will be able to savour some great cuisine here, particularly Malay dishes and, seafood. There are some restaurants worth checking out while you stay here, including the Bal Tay Mal Restaurant, the Sea Heights Diner, and the Alavar Seafood Restaurant.
Shopping – Zamboanga offers some interesting shopping options, especially in the field of textiles. There are local tribes who come up with some truly artistic creations which you will certainly love. You will find everything from clothes, to purses, table runners, and the malong. You will also need to make sure to visit the Barter Market, which is unique in its own way!
Cultural and historical value – Zamboanga is unique in terms of its culture and history. You will be able to notice this as you see the locals and their way of life. It is also worth visiting the National Museum of Zamboanga while you are here as there are many interesting artifacts that go way back to the pre-colonial years.
This is an example of genuine Filipino life before the Spanish settled in. The local tribes living here are still very ardent with their traditions. Most people are Catholics but Islamic are still present quite strongly in Zamboanga and as a result diversity in beliefs and languages is very much present.
Luxurious resorts – some people may have the misconception that the accommodation options are very rugged and traditional in Zamboanga. But this is hardly the case as there are some very luxurious and comfortable accommodations one may book at.
Right in the center of the business and modern area of Zamboanga City, Garden Orchid Hotel invites you into this exceptionally urbanized city, where the past and present times meet.
As one of the spearheading hotels in Zamboanga City, Garden Orchid has set the bar high for extravagant and topnotch services. The hotel’s proximiy to the Zamboanga Airport terminal makes it the perfect accommodation for visitors who are going to the city whether for business or for a vacation.
Alavar Seafood and restaurant
Alavar Seafood and restaurant could be the most well known place to hangout and eat in Zamboanga City with guests and local people alike strongly suggesting this restaurant. They are known for steamed curacha covered with the trademark Alavar’s sauce. Their secret recipe is the sauce which is based in coconut milk with additional ingredients. So delectable that it’s finger licking great!
Other than the popular curacha, they have other fish dishes, a paella like dish, durian shake and other flame broiled meat. They additionally have samplers that offer their famous dishes. It’s extremely a treat to everyone who eats here.
Fort Pilar Shrine
The Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza or Fort Pilar, is a 17th-century military defense fortress constructed by the Spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City, Philippines.
The fortress, which is currently a local historical center of the National Museum of the Philippines, is a noteworthy point of interest of the city and image of its social legacy.
Pettit Barracks was the central command and home of the Spanish officers until the point when it was swung over to the American troops in year 1899, the place was expanded and became a lovely dormitory, home of the American officers and it was named after Col. James S. Pettit of the 31st Infantry U.S. Volunteer Leader who turned into the Inspector General and responsible for civil affairs of Zamboanga.
Zamboanga City Hall
The city hall of Zamboanga has been marked as “Spanish-pilgrim time,” most likely as a result of the substantial Hispanic impacts in Zamboanga (go ahead and listen in to Chavacano, the dialect of the city). It was constructed in 1905, amid the good ‘ol days when America has colonized the Philippine Islands.
Plaza Pershing was named after American general John “Blackjack” Pershing who fought during Philippine-American War. Today, it is a central park situated in Zamboanga’s bustling shopping area where individuals get the chance to walk around, shop, tune in to music and join special events on special occasions.
El Museo de Zamboanga
El Museo de Zamboanga features the historical backdrop of the city, from its humble beginnings as a tribal domain of the ethnic Tedurays, the invasion and the defeat of the Spaniards, the take over of the Americans, the new government and occasions paving the way to the present times.
Pasonanca park boy scout amphitheater
The Boy Scout Grounds is a campground for the Cub scouts. It has an outside amphitheater too. There are a few teepees in the campground for campers. This campground is regularly visited by numerous scouting groups in the country.
Bay Tal Mal Restaurant
Bay Tal Mal Restaurant boasts a terrific flavors of Halal Moro food and fiery Tausug dishes which include Piyassak, a local Tausug dish produced using hamburger liver and cooked in coconut milk; and Kulma, a Tausug dish like beef curry cooked in coconut milk and peanut butter. Their best sellers are beef piayassak, beef kiyaliya, utak-utak and chicken piyanngang.
Dennis Coffee Garden
The street food scene is likewise alive in this city, with numerous one of a kind and intriguing local flavors. For an exquisite light bite, one must try to experience their pastil, little pies loaded with togue (bean grows) and presented with sweet hot sauce.
Dennis Coffee Garden is a cafe, situated in Zamboanga City, that serves legitimate Sulu Espresso (Kahawa Sug) and local cakes (Bangbang Sug) and other local delicacies.
This cafe, which started in Jolo in 1962, delights you with their great Chicken Pianggang (chicken marinated in your select spices), Hamburger Kulma (meat solid shapes in gentle curry glue), and Tiula Itum (hamburger in juices of broiled coconut and flavors).
One of the numerous indigenous tribes in Zamboanga City is known as the Yakan. They are a flourishing group of individuals who are adjusting their old traditions with the new. The Yakans are also impeccably known for their excellent weaving techniques.
Layag-layag community & Sta Cruz Mangrove
There is a small community in a coastal area of Layag-Layag in Zamboanga City. Families here depend on the ocean for their livelihood by simple growing and harvesting seaweeds. For many years, the Tausugs are living here. Growing and harvesting seaweeds is the only source of livelihood they know. Lucky for us that we got to try harvesting some of these edible seaweeds. Mangroves isolate them from the main city, which is just 15 minutes away by speedboat.
Zamboanga City’s Knickerbocker
The Knickerbocker is a Zamboanga City’s version of Halo-halo. It’s a mixture of ingredients like mango, watermelon and banana with bits of jam, finished with strawberry dessert and milk.
Vintas are conventional sea vessels which originated from the southern island, Mindanao. The Bajau and Moros of Sulu and Zamboanga invented these remarkable vessels. They were used and utilized so many years ago to take individuals and products to and from various islands.
The most distinct characteristics of these vessels are the bright markings and designs. Each boat has a different colors but follow a specific vertical pattern. The bright colors represent the way of life and the past of the Muslims.
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