Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Zipping Through Zamboanga Hermosa in a Day

Wazzup Pilipinas!

We had very little time to explore the many tourist spots that can be found in Zamboanga because we had to attend to the many celebrations and activities lined up at the town plaza. I guess a few days will not be enough to go around and explore the many interesting sites in and out of the city, especially the destinations that will take more than an hour's drive to reach. We were there for four days, but it seemed to pass by so quick that we were surprised it was already time to go back home to Manila.

But we've visited quite a lot already that's more than enough to give us great reasons to consider the adventure a very memorable one. In fact, I've already posted a lot of articles about Zamboanga, from the hotels, to the restaurants and the many celebrations and activities we've done and cherished.

Asia's Latin City was truly a remarkable place that you'll have many reasons to go back and relive the adventure. Join me as I share with you just some of the many places in Zamboanga that I've been to.

The Department of Tourism has selected Zamboanga City as a flagship tourism destination in Zamboanga Peninsula probably because it contains several sites that have valuable heritage backgrounds, and other establishments that pay tribute or homage to their former leaders, and as service to the people of Zamboanga.

Of course you always start admiring the very first structure you see after your airplane lands on the airport, and the Zamboanga International Airport (as seen from above) will not fail to catch your attention. It really feels like you're in Mindanao after seeing the magnificent building.

The airport was constructed in 1945 and is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). There were plans to rename the airport to Maria Clara Lobregat International Airport, after their former Mayor, but I think this proposal is yet to be approved.

What you see above are photos taken from the both front and back of the airport.

The El Museo de Zamboanga or Zamboanga Museum is located at the Jardin Maria Clara Lobregat in the village of Pasonanca. The unveiling of the museum coincided with the commemoration of the 92nd birth anniversary of the late mayor Dia di Ma’am Caling.

This museum is different from the National Museum of Zamboanga located inside the centuries-old Fort Pilar but will also house valuable collections, artifacts, and memorabilia that have historical, social and cultural significance to Zamboanga. The museum, based from Ordinance no. 378, was constructed to enhance the interest of the people, particularly the young, for them to appreciate the past and diverse cultural personality of ZamboangueƱos and educate, enlighten, and immerse them on how the City came to be by re-presenting the "old" settings to the future.

The Jardin de Maria Clara was named after the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat. You can see her monument fronting the El Museo de Zamboanga and the Parque de Ciencia de Zamboanga or Zamboanga City Science Park building. It is a garden park where you’d find many varieties of flowers, an aviary and a butterfly garden.

The Parque de Ciencia de Zamboanga or Zamboanga City Science Park is billed as the only science park outside Metro Manila with the most number of interactive exhibits. These include the Bernoulli blower, impossible triangle, magic faucet, van de Graff generator, plasma sphere, pedal generator, anti-gravity mirror,  frozen shadow, fake money detector, musical tunnel,  Archimedes screw, laser harp, gravity well, whisper disk, ring bubbles, wonder house, 3D tic tac toe, coin reflector and many more.

Nearby you'll find the famous Pasonanca Tree House on top of an acacia tree located at the Pasonanca Park. It is just beside the Camp Jose Atilano of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines where the Scout Antonio Lumbaga Memorial Training Center can also be found.

The word is you can rent the tree house for a certain fee. I took a peek inside and it contained two beds. I couldn't see anything else from the glass portion of the door.

At the Camp Jose T. Atilano of the Boys Scout of the Philippines were several tents that look like teepees lined up both left and right, and farther away is a stage with a large "On My Honor" lettering where they probably hold events or programs during camping season.

The signage is not that visible from afar but I managed to see it and took a photo.

This is sort of like a stage but from the looks of it, it hasn't been used recently.

Upfront you'll see these stone figures to enumerate the different attributes of a boy scout like kind, thrifty and reverent.

The statue looks like a younger Jose Rizal and below you'll see the seals of both City of Zamboanga and the Boys Scouts of he Philippines.

Setting foot on this camp site brought back memories of my younger years when I used to be one of the "Boys" that's "laging handa" (always ready) but I've experienced to camp somewhere in Laguna instead.

Our next destination was the Yakan Weaving Village where a small cooperative sells hand-woven handicrafts made by the Yakan women.

Somewhere at the upper portion of the village are a few women who were doing the actual weaving. It was a rather delicate process that involves patience and persistence for being a back and butt-breaking work.

We need to support indigenous people like the Yakans so that their small cooperative will flourish into a bigger venture.

Located some 5KM from the city hub in Upper Calarian west of the city is the Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park. It is originally known as the Zamboanga Golf and Country Club and boasts of being the oldest golf course in the Philippines.

The 64 hectares golf course is a gem having a fine layout with winding fairways, tough elevated greens where some are protected by huge spreading acacias, a good mix of left and right doglegs, long par-4s and great short holes. American Brigadier General John “Black Jack” Pershing served as the first President of its club which also featured polo, afternoon teas and dances during their time.

It was said that Filipinos were banned from using the golf course before, but now everybody can enjoy playing on its greens.

Nearby is the beach park where several huts can be rented.  There were several couples occupying almost all of the huts when we passed by, and one couple was even being very intimate while dipped in the waters.

The beach park was rehabilitated creating more amenities to improve its surroundings aside from the rehabilitation of the access road leading to beach park and the historic golf course.

The Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park is located near the Arcillas Beach Resort and La Vista del Mar Beach Resort. It is really a great place to bring your loved ones if you want a bit of privacy since the huts are situated at a few distance from each other. It was not crowded when we visited during that afternoon weekend.

Maybe one of the newest amenities built was the tree house that was even larger than the tree house located at Pasonanca Park. However, this was designed for just hanging out while having a drinking spree or binge eating with your barkada, colleagues or family.

The Tree house has a few tables and chairs plus it is also equipped with a television and karaoke so get ready to sometimes belt out of tune because you're too drunk and belly full.

The view from above the tree house from all sides was simply paradise-like. I can imagine the money spent to maintain and improve this place.

The postcard-perfect photos you can get from this place are more than extraordinary. If I had a better camera, I could have taken prize-winning pieces.

There are also huts that comes with television sets for that really complete leisurely afternoon in the beach park.

They also have a volleyball court for some fun in the sand sports activity right beside the warm skies and deep blue sea.

There are signs that the renovations are still ongoing like for the facility/structure above that is incomplete with some roofs yet.

This is a good indication that the Zamboanga Golf Course and Beach Park is continuously improving their facilities for the benefit of their customers. It is to our advantage that they intend to provide us with the best amenities possible to make our stay more worthwhile.

We ended our day waiting for the sunset at the shorelines of Paseo Del Mar where some vintas sail its waters.

Come and visit the sites mentioned here as soon as you're in Zamboanga City.

There are actually plenty more to see in Asia's Latin City but these were the sites we were able to tour within the day. You can read more about Zamboanga from my previous and succeeding blogs and have also expounded on some of the sites that I mentioned here on other blog posts to be able to share more photos and information before this one becomes too huge to load online. So be sure to read them as well as I promise that there's more interesting things to read and see.

You'll be amazed of the wonderful sites that you never thought was here in this enchanting city of the South.

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1 comment:

  1. First of all I would like to say thank you so much for sharing here such a beautiful pictures of Zamboanga City & Beach Park. I hope you enjoying a lot attending many celebrations and activities lined up at the town plaza. After viewing this post, I want to spend one day near nature in this city. I am very excited to share about such a wonderful place with my sister who is also providing IT CV Writing services - with me at CV Folks and making CV including abilities and experience of candidate and presented with right keywords to suit your potential job role. I know she would be also very happy to read my suggestion as a nature lover.


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