Nicknamed “Asia’s Latin City”, Zamboanga is located on the western side of Mindanao in the Philippines. This highly urbanized city is the 3rd oldest city in the country and is the 6th largest Philippines city by population.
Sardine fishing and processing are the cities largest industry making up about 70 percent of the economy. Nine in twelve of the sardine companies in the Philippines are located in Zamboanga employing more than fifteen thousand Filipinos and making the city the Sardines Capital of the Philippines.
For nature lovers, Zamboanga has an incredible assortment of plants, flowers, orchids and ferns. There are over 600 different orchid species in the area.
There are many nice eateries, shopping malls and hotels to accommodate guests who are visiting the city.
Beaches – Zamboanga is home to quite a few beaches. Arcillas beach, Caragsan beach, Malandi beach and Bolong beach are several beaches one can visit. These are gray sand beaches which is somewhat typical in Mindanao with volcanic activity.
Great Santa Cruz Island – This island is known for the pinkish sand on the beach which comes from ground coral that has been washed up from the bottom of the sea. The island has a lagoon, a fishing village and an old muslim burial ground. One can see a wide assortment of tropical fish and beautiful coral. It is a great area for snorklers, swimmers, sunbathers and scuba divers.
Pasonanca Park – Located on the outskirts of Zamboanga, this is a must visit attraction for visitors. Sometimes called Little Baguio of the South as it is roughly 500 feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains and rolling hills, Pasonanca was originally developed in the early 1900s under the Pershing administration and has since had a lot of great features added. Swimming pools, a butterfly sanctuary, an aviary that houses various bird species including the Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle, the Japanese Memorial Shrine and the famous tree house which was built in 1960 can be seen here.
Travel To Zamboanga
By air, one can easily fly from Manila, Cebu and Davao which has daily flights. Many Filipinos who are Mindanao based tend to take the buses to get there as well.
Zamboanga Tourist Warnings
While the city of Zamboanga is quite urbanized and truly a beautiful place to visit, foreigners (particularly those from western countries) should be advised that there have been kidnappings in the area and they should research and follow the various safety warnings when travelling to the region.