Philippine Island Hopping: Zamboanga City

Situated in the southern part of the Zamboanga peninsula, Zamboanga City is Asia’s Latin City (Ciudad Latina de Asia, in Zamboangeño language). The city has been very influenced by the Spanish and Latin culture. Even the people have physical features of these influences. The inhabitants speak broken Spanish which they call chavacano. In the Philippines, there are about 600 thousand people who speak this language, majority of which are in Zamboanga City.

The city continues to promote education, profitable businesses, health care services, trade industries, and commerce. With this, the city has become one of the central hubs of the Philippines. In addition, Zamboanga is also the country’s jump-off point to several destinations in Asia.

How to pay:

Philippine Peso

How unique:

The etymology of the word came from the term sabuan. It changed as time passed by to sambongan which means “wooden pole.” It later became Zamboanga because of the Spanish influence. If other cities hold international airports, the city operates an international seaport which ships goods around the world; although it also has an international airport.

The city also caters the most number of military bases in the Philippines such as the 3rd Air Division of the Edwin Andrews Air Base, Western Mindanao Command, Philippine Army, Marines, and Navy. The city has about 19 seaports that are fully functional for transportation.

People that reside in the city are called Zamboangeños. Some people also call them Chavacanos.

Where to go:

The city established the special economic zone which is called the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority or the Zamboecozone. It is also known as Zamboanga Freeport Authority or ZFA. The Zamboecozone operates to achieve global competitiveness. It promotes the industrial development of the city that also links with the entire country. It is situated in about 20 kilometers from the city hall. Aside from this, there are many tourists attractions that anyone can visit:

  • Catribo Complex
  • Mindpro Citimall
  • Midtown Plaza Mall
  • Yellow Beach
  • National Museum of Zamboanga City
  • Fort Pilar Shrine
  • Pasonanca Park
  • Zamboanga Golf and Country Club
  • Lantaka Hotel

When to go:

Since Zamboanga City is a typhoon-free zone, choosing the best time to go to the place is not much of a hassle. This goes when a person visits the place in his or her utmost convenience. However, if he or she is planning to enjoy and experience the Latin City, he or she must join the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. This is the most awaited event of the year because Zamboangeños gather together in celebration during the first two weeks of October.

What to do:

Learning how to speak Chavacano is as exciting as going to the city’s Fort Pilar Shrine. There is also a barter place wherein anyone can buy foreign delicacies. The city also has a sardines and seaweeds industry. Bringing these as pasalubong (present given by a person who arrived from a trip) will be like bringing the city in canned packages.

Tourist tips:

It is regretful to miss eating seafood cuisine because Zamboanga is a haven with regards to that matter. The best-selling restaurant that offers these delectable food is the Alavar’s Seafood House. A tourist will never worry about the price because the food in the city are not expensive yet very delicious.


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