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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dia De La Ciudad De Zamboanga: Fun-Filled Festivities at Asia's Latin City


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Your friendly neighborhood pambansang blogger of the Philippines continues his Zamboanga Hermosa adventure! With so many stories to tell about Asia's Latin City, I needed to divide my stories into several parts. I'm still undecided if I should blog per location/event or on a per day basis simply because there's just so much great stories I want to share. But don't worry. I will figure it out as I let my wonderful memories write it for me. I might do a mix of both.....but let me just surprise you, it's better that way.

After attending the inauguration of the Cinematheque Zamboanga located at Legionnaire Road in Barangay Zone IV, I went back to the hotel where I was staying. I was booked at the Garden Orchid Hotel - yes! Garden Orchid and not Orchid Garden even though many would normally refer to it as Orchid hotel because it's much easier to say. If you're wondering why it's called that why...well here is a little trivia for you - it's mainly because the owner's last name is Go.

Obviously, he can't name it Go Hotel since there's one named like that already - the place for every Juan. Thus Garden Orchid it is!

Garden Orchid is located at Gov. Camins Avenue and is just a stone's throw away from the airport. It is  approximately 10 minutes away form the commercial places like Paseo Del Mar where you can go dining by the sea. If you have to go to Zamboanga for any reason, the Garden Orchid Hotel is the best place to stay.


Garden Orchid Hotel

Lantaka Hotel



But if you really want to be one with heritage and culture, the Lantaka Hotel by the sea is historically famous for its old world charm and antiquity. It is the veritable queen of lodgings in the city. The hotel faces the Moro Gulf with a view of Basilan Island and is strategically located at Valderossa street, between City Hall and Fort Pilar. This is where the delegates and other participants of the 9th Philippine Bird Festival stayed while all the members of the media were assigned at the Garden Orchid hotel.

LM Metro Hotel


I was also taken to another hotel called the LM Metro Hotel where we had breakfast and toured around its facilities. It's located at Don Toribio Street, Tetuan. We went around to see its 3rd Cup Cafe, Casa LM Restaurant, and Sky Gym. Riding on its see-through glass-walled elevator to see some of the facilities and rooms upstairs was an experience. I'll show you around too in a blog post dedicated to the said hotel. Watch out for it.

I will share more about these hotels in another blog post soon.

Kape Zambo at Paseo Del Mar


After resting for awhile at the hotel, I met up with my room mate who just came from the Airport from a noon flight from Davao. Our adorable Information Officer from the Department of Tourism Region 9 office took us to have lunch at Kape Zambo located at Paseo Del Mar. That was our first meal in Zamboanga. I will tell you more about the restaurant and the fabulous dishes served to us in another blog post.



Some of the scheduled activities for Dia De Zamboanga

The Dia De La Ciudad De Zamboanga or Dia De Zamboanga for short is a celebration to honor the historical event when Zamboanga was converted into a chartered city. The festivities usually include street dancing, cultural dance festival and a regatta - boat races usually vintas in the case of Zamboanga.


Welcoming the arriving passengers

Even at the airport upon arrival, the passengers were greeted with performances from cultural dancers. Zamboanga's famous trademark vintas are at the background making the welcoming performance really colorful.



Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar and the City Council

After lunch, we hang out at the DOT Region 9 office housed at the ground floor of Lantaka hotel in Valderossa street.  We waited for the grand Civic-Military parade that was participated by many government agencies, colleges and universities, and including the military and police forces. The parade was joined by the LGU officials led by Mayor Maria Isabelle "Beng" Climaco-Salazar along with the City Council wearing t-shirts that says "Build Back Better Zamboanga".

















It was probably the longest parade I have ever seen. I took photos of almost every group who participated in the parade which you can find soon when I upload them in the Wazzup Pilipinas Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wazzuppilipinas. I won't be able to post all of them here as there's really a lot.


The parade ended up at the Paseo Del Mar where a commemorative program was held and continued with a night concert dubbed as Concierto De Paz.

Concierto De Paz at Paseo Del Mar
  
Local talents entertained the crowd at Concierto De Paz night concert at Paseo Del Mar
 
Aside from the night concert, the Musically Gyrating Dancing Fountain of Paseo Del Mar was a remarkable sight

This was not the only celebrations that was held in the city. You also have to read my story about their Bird Festival parade where participants wore strikingly colorful bird-related outfits. There was a group dance competition participated by students from different schools and a bird mascot competition as well.

There were also several stalls or booth setup at Paseo Del Mar all dedicated to birds, plus a lot more interesting activities to celebrate both 77th Dia De Zamboanga and the 9th Philippine Bird Festival. You have to check out our visit at Sta. Cruz islands with its pinkish sand beach, plus lots of food tripping as we dine at some of the most popular restaurants in Zamboanga city.

I hate cramming many topics in one blog post so the details of every event and/or location will be discussed in more detail on separate blog post so I could also post more photos where you can really see the beauty of Zamboanga!

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