Monday, April 14, 2014

Zamboanga Adventure: Exploring Asia's Latin City (Paseo Del Mar)

Wazzup Pilipinas!

One of the most frequently visited places during our visit to Zamboanga city was Paseo Del Mar. This is where we had lunch on our first day at the Kape Zambo Bar and Restaurant, had dinner during one of the sort of thanksgiving activities at Centro Latino (but the unexpected blackout that night ruined it), where the 9th Philippine Bird Festival activities were held participated by a lot of students coming from different schools, same place where the Dia De Zamboanga concluding mini-concert was held after the Grand Civic and Military Parade, and the starting point where we rode motorized boats going to the Grand Santa Cruz island.

Obviously, it is the place where a lot of things happen. There is no doubt and argument here that this is the busiest place in Zamboanga City.

Paseo Del Mar is a seafront parkway with a long walkway along the shoreline or break-water. It can be likened to the Roxas Boulevard in Manila. To the south you can see the two Santa Cruz Islands and the big Basilan Island while at another direction towards the west is the famous Lantaka Hotel.

It is considered as the city's premier promenade by the sea where people of all walks of life can freely walk along the shoreline. It is the perfect place for joggers and fitness enthusiasts who prefer to just stroll around.

I could never forget Kape Zambo for this is where I had my very first full meal where we had a "bilao" of mostly seafood dishes.

Vinta sailing has been popularized in the city to promote it as a tourism attraction. The sight of vibrant multi-colored vinta sails adds life to the otherwise just plain blue sea.

The badjaos man the vintas lined up along the shores and charges a minimal fee for those interested in sailing in a vinta. There was this kid who wouldn't shy away from our cameras, and we got a feeling he wanted to be part of the photos. I was actually taking a shot at the Philippine flag at the foreground while vintas are laid on the shores.

Later on the kid asked fr something from us. I reach inside my bag and gave him two packs of biscuits.

This lamp posts are an awesome spectacle during night time. Too bad my camera couldn't effectively capture the radiant glows.

Would you like to sail on a vinta while the sun sets from afar? It's the best time to take photos for souvenir and the best part is you'll be in the photo.

Watching the sunset at Paseo Del Mar is breathtaking. Though it happens in just a short period of time, the view is a stunning display of beauty.

Paseo Del Mar is also recognized as the best nightlife district because it is the best place to unwind after a hard day's toil. For the young and young-at-heart, it is a watering hole where you can enjoy delicious meals or drinks at the numerous bars, food stalls and restaurants where some offer the delightful opportunity to listen to live bands or acoustic singers.

At night, you'll feel welcome by the well-lighted eight-arch entrance and enticed by the multi-colored decorative lampposts, giving it a festive atmosphere. The soothing cool breeze coming from the Basilan Strait gives you a stress-free and relaxing feeling.

The main attraction here is the Musically Gyrating Dancing Fountain where you'll be at awe watching the symphony of lights and gyrating water fountain seemingly danced with flames and accentuated by the accompanying upbeat music.

During special occasions, this is where mini-concerts are held to celebrate the festivities. What we had a chance to witness was the night concert held after the Grand Civic and Military Parade where local talents performed on stage using their own dialects.

There is something refreshingly interesting in hearing people sing in a language that you couldn't understand. You just have to move with the rhythm as they sing the song using Chavacano.

At the end of the day, couples can sit along the shorelines watching the magnificent display of various intensity of lights from the distant establishments while whispering sweet nothings to each other.

Though you'll feel safe and secure while you're hanging out here because security at the place is 24 hours, it was closed during the Zamboanga siege because it is just within “shooting distance” from the barangays of Sta. Catalina, Rio Hondo, Kasangyangan, Mariki, and Sta. Barbara, the battlegrounds during the three-week standoff.

I am glad that the conflict finally ended and the LGU, DOT and local Tourism offices of the city are exerting efforts to help bring back a better Zamboanga by way of many activities lined up for the year, and beyond.

You too can contribute to the welfare of the city and its people by helping promote Zamboanga City as one of your preferred tourist destinations.

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