The industrious and bustling port city of Zamboanga is located in the Mindanao Region of the Philippines, overlooking the vast Moro Gulf. With daily flights arriving from Manila, this coastal city is easy to reach and worth the trip to see its interesting historical sites and unspoiled natural habitat.
Light a candle at Fort Pilar and ignite the memories of this once-upon-a-time garrison, now a shrine. Founded in 1635 it is one of Zamboanga’s most well-known and most respected memorials. The fort gives a glimpse into the past of a decadent Spanish ruled city, but it is the attached Museum with its memorabilia, artifacts and records of past inhabitants that really bring the imagination to life. The Yakan Weaving Center in Zamboanga is also a little slice of traditional Philippine life, showcasing the intricacies of loom weaving techniques, to create beautiful hand-woven garments and rugs. Many of these can be purchased in Zamboanga’s markets and malls, making a lovely souvenir.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception and the City Hall are two of Zamboanga’s most modern architectural examples and very much worth exploring. The nearby Plaza Pershing pays tribute to the victory over Muslim insurgents by John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing in the 18th century.
Join the joggers or simply snaffle a good spot from which to watch the sunset on Cawa-Cawa Boulevard. Make use of the Zamboanga Golf Course, (the oldest in the Philippines) established during American occupation, with a quick round or two before succumbing to the eye-catching, pink sands of Great Santa Cruz beach or the softness of the white sands of little Santa Cruz. Both give the weary tourist the chance to lie back and enjoy the sun and sea. Those with a little more energy can enjoy some exceptional scuba diving or snorkeling from this location.
A fun family day out can be spent in Pasonanca's gorgeous natural pools whose water comes flowing directly down from the nearby mountains. With three pools, two for adults and one for kids, this is the perfect place for little ones.
If you want to stay in Zamboanga in style, look no further than the La Vista del Mar Beach Resort. This super smart and sumptuous resort is not only home to the Spanish Consulate, the museum of art and culture and the best seafood restaurant in the city, but it has ocean views as far as the eye can see.
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