Located seven hundred kilometers away from Manila is a land known to
many as Asias Latin City. But aside from its rich Hispanic past, this
tourist hotspot is one of the centers in the fields of commerce, trade,
finance, health, and education in Mindanao. Synonymous to nature,
beauty, and variety, Zamboanga City is the place to be if youre looking
for a different kind of adventure in the Philippines.
Zamboanga City might not sound music to the ears of the
adventure-bound. Other than its diving sites, the highly urbanized city
offers no particular spots for mountain climbing, caving, and other
outdoor recreations. Nonetheless, Zamboanga always amuses its visitors
with its natural charm and appealing attributes.
While most Philippine travel guides caution tourists about security
risks in Zamboanga City, the local travel industry remains a force to
reckon with. Last year, visitor arrivals in the city reached 321,581, a
1.5% growth from the 2008 figure. The local government attributed the
improvement to the opening of new tourist attractions and continuous
promotion of other scenic spots and festivals. Mushrooming resorts and
hotels that offer various accommodations are also contributing factors.
Here are some of the places and events that make Zamboanga City one of the major travel destinations in the Philippines.
Fort Pilar is one of the famous landmarks in Zamboanga City. Built by the Spaniards in the 17th
century, this military fortress was used to defend the city against
pirates and raiders coming from different parts of Mindanao. Fort Pilar,
which was originally called Real Fuerza de San Jose, now houses a
shrine of the Virgin Mary. Rumors have it that the Blessed Virgin made
miraculous appearances in the fort.
Paseo del Mar
One of the newest additions to the growing list of attractions in
Zamboanga City is Paseo del Mar. This bay walk area, which opened to the
public last year, provides a magnificent view of the famous Zamboanga
sunset. It has several stalls rented by concessionaires, a police
outpost, a travel information center, and a mini-port for tourist boats.
Santa Cruz Island
Visitors in Zamboanga should not miss out on Santa Cruz Island. It is
famous for its pink sand beach, one of the very few of its kind in the
world. The island, which has been declared a protected area, is a magnet
for diving enthusiasts. Its crystal-clear water is perfect for
underwater photography. Santa Cruz Island is just 20 minutes away from
Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Feed your soul with a visit to the Metropolitan Cathedral of the
Immaculate Conception. This place of worship, located beside Ateneo de
Zamboanga University, is considered one of the modern cathedrals in
Asia. Inside the church can be found a marble statue of the Immaculate
Conception designed by national artist Napoleon Abueva.
Yakan Weaving Center
Zamboanga City is also known for its colorful fabrics with intricate
patterns. The best way to discover how these indigenous clothing are
made is to visit the Yakan Weaving Center. The facility, located just
across the La Vista del Mar Beach Resort, displays and sells various
products made from pineapple and abaca fibers such as clothes,
placemats, coin purses, and bags.
One of the travel tips
experts frequently give to visitors in Zamboanga is to look for
accommodations and vacation packages that suit your budget and
preference. Another is to always get information about the security
situation in Mindanao.
Local Philippines is your travel buddy. We have information
about the destinations, how to get there, what to do while in the area
and more! Destinations in the beaches or in the mountains, destinations
under water, destinations right at the middle of the urban hub, name it
and Local Philippines will most likely feature it.