After the great experience exploring the Queen City of South its time to go back to the place where I truly feel safe, the place where I founded, molded, evolved and loved, the place where I called home, once entitled as “The City of Flowers” in my college days however after years gone by it turns out to be “The Asia’s Latin City”
As we always sing Zamboanga Hermosa a chavacano song it says there “Orgullo de Mindanao” which literally mean the Pride of Mindanao Region. It is a colorful, historical, interesting, spanish style, scenic, and most of all the people itself are different from other Filipinos around the country.
Chavacano “un poquito español” the dialect called in the city, its a mix of largely spanish words and Filipino, and Cebuano or Visaya. Among 175 dialects in the country this one is the most unusual, unique and stylish dialect currently spoken by the citizens which has been passed from old generations through new ones and still being spread and preserve by its people.
There are various tourists spots hidden in this marvelous Municipal some are just discovered recently or shall I say appreciated recently, on the other hand others were actually discovered by the people themselves. Classic beautiful spots are the Fort Pilar, Santa Cruz Island, Pasonanca Park, Paseo del Mar, Plaza del Pilar, Plaza Rizal and City Hall, Plaza Pershing, Mount Pulong Bato, Cathedral of Immaculate Concepcion, some were discovered in year 2010 and beyond like Marloquet Falls, Butterfly Garden, Limpapa Bridge, Parola in Limpapa, Grassland in Lantawan, Dulian Falls in Bungiao, Hermosa Falls in Anuling, Tinuy-an Falls, Lumbangan Falls and many more.
Lets move on to my short visit, I personally love to visit all this places, unfortunately even a zamboangueño like me haven’t explored yet some of the most beautiful spots found here, with my limited time my first priority is to spend maximum time with my family and the rest nothing rest actually I didn’t have much time, so I rigidly utilise every single second to fulfill and satisfy my duty as a daughter and sister to my family, the best way is? road trips and outings.
First was visiting KCC mall, my first time it was enormous same as those as I can see in Cebu and Manila containing different restaurants, supermarkets, branded stores and etc. my family’s favorite thing to do? is to eat so here’s our first target for that day.
Puerto Vila of Patalon
Puerto Villa Beach Resort was our next on our list, a somewhat family bonding and at the same time profiting the lovely breeze of the sea and to be relax after a non stop travel throughout the week.
With the neighbour resort just beside it was really interesting, I got to take some good pictures out of it, the sun was rising, the temperature was high but the ocean’s charm overflows them all.
Despite of being far from the city center this zone has a lot of visitors, a more or less 1 hour and a half trip would lead you to hidden resort in Barangay Patalon.
The sunset is pretty amazing here its breathless, you’ll surely be blown away by its spectacular gaze of colors, the trendy feature of sunset that you’ll normally see on films or in T.V. this one has exceptionally cross the bord of perfection.
The day was overwhelming, watching the sunset, having my favorite foods cooked by my mom, being with my siblings seeing them enjoying the ambiance, laughing and smiling, it was the perfect day for me.
Fort Pilar Shrine
We all know that Philippines was under the colonisation of Spain for more than 300 years, this shrine is one of their doings, in the history Fort Pilar was originally built as military defense fortress by spanish colonial government in Zamboanga City, after some time a relief of Our Lady of Pillar was place above the eastern wall of the fort.
According to people Virgin Mary appeared twice in the area, the first when a soldier seen her at the gate of the city and ask to stop her but by the time the soldier saw her face he fell down on his knees and secondly after a strong earthquake hit the city, Virgin Mary made an apparition standing straight with her right hand raise protecting the city from tsunami.
One of the most famous site nowadays many people would always visit here to pray, attend the mass, light candles, and praise Our Lady of Pillar who never fails to protect and guide its people and the city.
Paseo Del Mar
Who would not pass by to this corner after praying and lighting candles in Fort Pilar, it was already late that we have decided to eat our dinner here at Paseo the stunning streets lights and of course the view of the sea here are the most wanted plus the food, I remember before I used to come her with my friends and eat tempura, isaw, and nicker bucker.
Leaving this place with a satisfied stomach, we must hurry to go home and sleep for the next trip that we’ll take, a trip that I will endure for 2 hours going to Barangay Limpapa on the next day.
6 o’clock in the morning and we are heading to see the known Limpapa Bridge and Parola in Patalon. As I’ve seen the photos of my brother it gives me the pulse to see in it with own eyes if how splendid those places are, we planned to stop by the bridge first since its more easy to access to avoid the heavy sun at noon.
Lately, explosion on social media about Limpapa Bridge was definitely not to ignore, it has captured a lot of attention to locals as well as tourists in the internet, boosted by all this blissful shoutouts of videos and photos nowadays has become one of the talk about spot in City. this bridge is located at Barangay Limpapa west coast area border of Zamboanga City from Del Norte (North)
There’s not much information about this bridge as I’ve heard it’s a simple bridge which called by people from the barangay “Rol-Pa Bridge” not sure if the city municipal made it already official.
Getting to this place is very easy if you live in the city center it’s around 2 hours of travel or more depending on the weight of the road traffic, or if you live in the west area its more rapid and light since your driving straight roads until you arrive at the crossing point where military team are on duty to check vehicles who enter and exit the city.
It’s time for breakfast after a long ride and taking many pictures as we can in the bridge, As we went on the down part of the it with our small family size vehicle, we stumbled into this more unexpected seascape that it offers, I didn’t expect that the highlight of area lies underneath.
Imagine yourself having a breakfast with this picturesque view, your day will absolutely be complete. It’s around 9:30 am we ate and continue to roam around explore a little the vicinity hoping to see more great and interesting side of it.
A five minutes walk from the bridge is a residential area on the seaside, fishermen, and children were there getting ready for their day to start, as we walk on further we found out this cottages and bangka (native canoe) encircling the place.
The heat of the sun is getting more and more violent so after the short exploration we went back to the car and continue for the next destination which is just a few minutes drive away from the opposite direction.
A couple of minutes after our departure from the bridge we stumble into this recommended spot by my brother, it’s an actual beach hidden from bushes and grass on the road side. It’s an anonymous sea-side with an exceptional glimpse of the curve shape of the island.
Parola of Patalon
15-20 minutes of walk from the road side to this so-called Parola or Lighthouse which is now among the busiest places that locals and tourists visit. To penetrate to this site you need to be physically and psychologically ready from its ups and downs land formation that you must undergo.
The passage was a little bit scary if you have fear of heights it’s not advisable for you, on the other hand if you reach the top of the hill it’s all worth it you’ll see a wonderful panorama sight of the west coast.
We climbed up on the top of the lighthouse and there much higher and vivid view of this magnificent west coast surroundings, I cannot help myself not to say “wow” on this one, maybe it’s not the same panorama features from european countries but hey this one is raw and can be found in the far land of The Philippines.
Relaxing and enjoying the moment was our goal while having our lunch in the corner cottages beside Parola, in the morning we had a drive thru from Jollibee for breakfast and lunch not that healthy stuffs but the quickest way to be on the road from 6:00 am in the morning.
Strongly recommended for tourist, though the way to this site has a range of difficulty just make sure you’ll bring your sport shoes with you and wear proper attire as you are needed to climb hills and don’t forget the sun cream to protect your skin from heavy heat of the sun.
At night-time my brother and I have discussed about going to this another spot near in our neighbourhood not far from Cabatangan which is Lantawan, in the hill-top part of the barangay there is this hill located higher than Pulong Bato of Pasonca, locals call it “GrassLand”
GrassLand of Lantawan
In the morning we rushed up bringing our motorcycles heading at the location, it wasn’t that far more or less 10 minutes of drive and you’ll arrive in the upper part of Lantawan. 6:15 am we were late for the sunrise and at that moment we were ready to challenge ourselves for another hill to surmount.
Soaring the almost vertical passage going the top, at last we made it and get to profit the weather its surroundings and well of course the hallmark of this place its landscape and outlook of the whole city of Zamboanga.
Exploring the spot I would say that this is notably one of the places that I would consider as next to Chocolate Hills of Bohol, the outline of the hills around the vicinity are much likely that of Bohol’s perhaps not that bounteous as I can see less 10 hills from where I was standing.
I recommend you to come and visit this spot this one will surely fascinate and allure your eyes, very easy to access from those who live near Lantawan and for those who are in the City it’s just a drive away from your place.
We continue to run, play, and jumping out of joy up to our out most effort till we run out of energy. Since its my last day being with my family the day has yet to begin and we will surely bond and value every single second that we are together.
The day has come that I need to go back to Cebu for my flight and I will truly miss this experience. I wish I could just stop the time and live with the moment with them, nevertheless life must go on, we need to accept and move on and continue our regular daily lives.
The venture of my visit was incredibly great, what I’ve learned from featuring this new comers tourists spots is definitely a challenge since not a lot of information were spread about those sites, it’s one of the hardest thing especially Limpapa Bridge, Parola of Patalon and Grass Land I have to be honest that I did dig out some research arround sites however there’s not pretty much historical linings on this ones.
I’m lucky that I have my brother and his fiancée who know more about the west coast area of the City.
Personally I think the city’s government should put an attention to this new tourists attractions spots, these are very important for it could help uplift the city’s reputation, they must probably start on improving the area and make it more convivial and accessible to all visitors. Tours and Travel company could add this sites to their lists with the help of the government. The City of Zamboanga will positively stood out from all of the cities of the Philippines.
Summing up points on my visited areas I can say its all worth it even if it’s not that much improved yet but as they all say “It’s with whom you are with that counts“
For those foreigners who want to make a tour in the city please be guided that you are advised to ask more information if it’s safe for you to travel alone, if you know someone who lives here then its much better if not you can always call the tourist information of Zamboanga City they will always be available to help and assist you for your future visit http://www.zamboangacity.gov.ph/
Photos are taken by me and my siblings with my phone hopefully you’ll enjoy reading this article and follow me for my next adventure “22 hours and 10 minutes of travel time” experience with Emirates going back to Paris