Saturday, January 23, 2010


I was born in a southern city called Zamboanga, the City Of Flowers. Zamboanga came from the word JAMBANGAN which means "Garden," so I guess this is where the nickname came from. Our dialect is called "Chavacano" which is very similar to Spanish (FYI: The Philippines was under Spanish rule for 4 centuries). Zamboanguenos are very polite, hospitable, very hard working and most of all beautiful ;)


The airport is small but given the population of the city I think the size is appropriate. The architecture symbolizes a great Islamic influence as the country was predominantly Islamic until the Spaniards came and spread Christianity.


The common means of transportation is by Tricycle and Jeep. A tricycle is a 3-wheeled motor-operated bike with a car on its side for passenger/s to sit. Maximum capacity: 4.... driver, 2 on the passenger seat, 1 across the passengers and 1 behind the driver.


The jeep/jeepney is modeled after US military jeeps that were left in the country during WWII. Some can be very colorful, yet others can be simple. Maximun capacity: 19-23. Extreme maximun capacity: count less.

Photo courtesy of Padini


The city has several beaches. Zamboanguenos love to hold family picnics on Sundays at these resorts. I had very fond memories of those growing up. My favorite private beach  resort  is La Vista del Mar which means "view by the sea." It is one of the most popular resorts with beautiful gardens and manicured lawns. It also has a gorgeous restaurant that serves sumptous local cuisines.

La Vista del mar


The Boulevard is a strip of waterfront by R.T. Lim Boulevard where a lot of people love to park their cars and enjoy the sunset or watch the stars. I, for one, have done this many times. While enjoying the scenery visitors snack on peanuts, "balut" (boiled duck eggs), "chicharon" (crispy pork rind), and barbecue.

The Boulevard


The holidays in Zamboanga are VERY festive. People spend so much time and money decorating their houses with lights and other Christmas decor they can find. At night streets are colorfully lit by hundreds of tiny light bulbs emanating from the houses, christmas carols can be heard from children going from house to house, and the smell of barbecue gives the festive air a homey feel.

City Hall
Photo courtesy of Dr. N. Dionio

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