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Zamboanga (city)

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Zamboanga City is a city known as "Ciudad de Flores" or City of Flowers in the Mindanao region of the Philippines. The Chavacano language (popularly known as Zamboangueño Chavacano, based on 80% Spanish and 20% Italian, Portuguese, Quechua, Taino, Mexican-Indian, Nauhtl, Tagalog, Ilonggo, Bisaya and other Philippine languages) made Zamboanga "Asia's Latin Region." This is also due to the same traditions with Spain, particularly Our Lady of the Pilar (which is also Spain's Patroness).

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

There are daily flights to/from Manila and Cebu by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.

Cebu Pacific also has regular flights to Cagayan de Oro & Davao and vice versa.

By boat[edit]

2GO ferries have one ferry a week sailing to/from Manila via Dipolog and Dumaguete.

Aleson Shipping lines have a ferry going to and from Sandakan Malaysia.

The Port of Zamboanga is an international port of entry. It has a schedule passenger trip to Sandakan, Malaysia and several shipping lines offer regular trips from and to Jolo, Bongao, Isabela City.

By road[edit]

If you are from Luzon and Visayas, the Nautical Highways (RoRo) can bring you here. Rural Transit Buses to/from Dipolog or Cagayan de oro via Pagadian and Iligan are also available.

Get around[edit]

Your first concern would probably be your luggage as soon as you get off the boat or plane. Both ports are providing helpful staff. Be generous and give a good tip. Your tip will range from 50 to 200 pesos, depending on the number of luggage. The seaport is not as organized and there are a lot of freelancers (sometimes a very heavy fee) willing to help for a fee. Tip only after your transportation has been escorted. If not, simply carry your own luggage.

Public transportation is readily available for those who don't have someone to pick them up. You have tri-cycles, Jeepneys, or taxi to choose from. Your best bet would be a taxi. The taxi fare would be less than 50 pesos for a 5-kilometer ride, but aren’t enough taxi. The tricycle is the second choice. It would cost no more than 30 pesos for a passenger and luggage traveling 5 kilometers away. But the tri-cycle drivers want a heavier fare since you're coming from the port (this is illegal for them because they can lose their license). The fare is normally bumped up by 100%.

The best way to get a jeepney is to hire someone (your porter) for you while watching over your luggage. Within a radius of 5 kilometres, a Jeepney will cost you between 200 and 300 pesos anywhere. It's called' special.' The luggage will also be assisted by the driver. You just charge at the destination for your travel.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Fort Pilar - Founded during the Spanish period as a garrison in 1635, Fort Pilar serves as an open-air shrine of today. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the fort is named after the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, Our Lady of the Pillar. His portrait is embossed on the altar (then the fort's entrance). In the fort, Fort Pilar also houses a branch of the National Museum. Zamboanga's glorious history as a Spanish town in the Orient Skies can be celebrated here in the museum. It also has an early record of people and antique objects. It also displays paintings, marine life and memorabilia of culture.
  • Pasonanca Park - This park is the only one of its kind in the state, crossed by a gently rippling river. It is rich with trees, flowering plants, ferns, shrubs and 600 orchid species. The construction of Pasonanca Park began in 1912 by Mindanao Governor John J. Pershing. He sent for a parksman to prepare the strategy and direct its implementation in the United States, once called Thomas Hanley. The park was completed during Governor Frank W. Carpenter's administration. There is a tree house nestling high in the branches of a large tree where visitors can spend the night in harmony with nature, which can still be heard in the darkness in the soft rustling of the pine trees. Permit to use the free treehouse can be obtained at the Mayor's Office.
  • 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 a 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 its 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 community in the City, the center is located just across the famed La Vista del 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 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. 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.
  • La Vista del Mar & Honorary Consulate of Spain (Honorario Consulado de España). Beach resort. Delicious restaurant with fresh seafood and beautiful views of the sea. Also home of Honorary Consulate of Spain, great museum of art, culture, and shared the Hispanic history of Zamboanga City and Spain. There is a small entrance fee to get into the resort.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • 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

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • 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 create 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 can buy different kinds of pearls at Lantaka Hotel or at various malls within the Business District like the Sophia Jewelry at the 3rd level of Mindpro Citimall.
  • Seafood - you can 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 the season at a knock-down price. Seasonal fruits vary 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 caught.

Shopping areas[edit]

  • Citimall, La Purisima St.
  • Sophia Jewellery 3rd level- for elegant collections of gold, diamond, pearl jewelry.
  • Sophia Jewellery ground level- for silver and gold low priced and pre-owned (rematado) jewelry.
  • 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)
  • Shop-O-Rama, Gov. Lim Ave.
  • OK Department Store, Climaco Ave.
  • Citimart, Gov. Lim Ave.
  • Shops along Climaco Avenue
  • Lim Shi (department store)
  • Best Mart (department store)
  • Young Mart (department store)
  • Beng Hock Drug Store (pioneer Chinese pharmacy)
  • Touchpoint Enterprises (one-stop shop for personal items including computers, electronic gadgets, and jewelries)
  • Tropical Meat Haus (local retail chain of meat shops)
  • Barter Centers:
  • Canelar Barter Trade
  • Sta. Cruz Commercial Complex
  • Baliwasan Commercial Complex
  • Zamboanga City Public Market

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • A Taste of Asia, Unichan Building, Veterans Avenue fronting WMMC.
  • ABC Bakery and Restaurant, Tomas Claudio St., fronting Shoppers' Central.
  • Alavar's Seafood House, Don Alfaro St., Tetuan.
  • Antonio's Steakhouse, Pasonanca.
  • Carmela's, Estrada St., Tetuan.
  • 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
  • 'Country Chicken Restaurant and Country Bakeshop', Pasonanca Road.
  • Ducuena.
  • Eureka, Pasonanca Rd, 6362-991-3284. Japanese & local cuisine  edit
  • Flavorite Cuisine, Rizal St. and Nuñez branches.
  • Food Paradise, Climaco Avenue.
  • Golden Boys Sports Grille, Nunez Extension.
  • Hai San Seafood Market and Restaurant, 60 San Jose Road.
  • Hanazono Japanese Restaurant, Ground Floor, Garden Orchid Hotel, Gov. Camins Avenue.
  • Jimmy's Satti, Campaner cor. Brillantes.
  • Kadday Sug, Sta. Cruz Market.
  • Kintaro 10th High, Best Japanese restaurant in Mindanao, at Skypark Hotel.
  • La Casa Maria, Sta.Maria, 991-8230;991-8023. Cafe-Restaurant  edit
  • 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.
  • Morning Sun Satti, Pilar St.
  • 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
  • Village Zamboanga, Gov. Camins Avenue beside Garden Orchid Hotel.
  • La Vista Seaside Restaurant, La Vista del Mar Resort, Calarian.
  • WichCraft Deli, Gov. Camins Avenue.
  • Whoopee Burger Haus, Pilar St. and Gov. Lim Avenue.
  • Z-Beryani Persian Cuisine, Nunez Midtown Plaza.
  • Zacky's Fried Chicken, Corcuera Street, 9915832. 10 am-9 pm. Classic Fried Chicken Joint average.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Vertigo Lobby Bar Roof top Amigos Amigas Halfway

  • Island Bubble Tea, Nunex Extension (Next to Asia United Bank, Front of SKYGO), 926-3648. We offer Pearl Shakes (25 flavors), Belgian waffles, fries, and more. Perfect place to have merienda. WIFI zone.  edit
  • Myrna's Bakeshop, Pasonanca, km. 4. serves delicacies like cakes, pastries, pasta and drinks (coffee and shakes)  edit
  • Zacky fried Chicken, Corcuera St, 9915832. Classic Fried Chicken Joint  edit
  • Happy T, Milk Tea, San Jose Road (Claret), Zamboanga (located along San Jose Road, beside Visual Care and across Jollibee,San Jose (Claret) Zamboanga City), 0906 784 2414. Happy Tea, the Original Healthy Milk Tea caters nutritious freshly brewed teas everyday.  edit
  • Abalone Seafood Restaurant, Mayor jaldon st., 062-9916806.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • 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.
  • 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
  • Hacienda de Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant (Palmeras Hotel & Restaurant), Sta. Maria-Pasonanca Rd, 6362-991-3284. email: [email protected] Located in a quiet residential area, garden setting; clean, comfortable rooms; hot water, TV, mini bar, quiet A/C; complimentary breakfast, airport transfers, internet access; restaurant on-site  edit
  • Preciosa Hotel, Mayor Climaco Avenue, (062)9922020. An affordable old hotel situated in downtown area. (6.909203°,122.074024°) edit
  • Sweet Home Suite, Toribio St., Tetuan. A very cheap accommodation can be found here.  edit
  • Ever O Business Hotel, Tomas Claudio Street.  edit



  • Sp-flag.png Spain (Honorary Consulate), La Vista del Mar, Colarian, Zamboanga City, (+6362) 983.0319 ().  edit


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