In probably the most impulsive lakwatsa trip ever, I went on a day trip to Zamboanga City. Flew on Cebu Pacfic leaving Manila at around 5:50am then return to Manila on the 4:30pm flight back. And to top it off… the trip did not include any plans as to where to go, what to do, what to see, etc. The only planning involved was my booking the flight two weeks earlier.
The inspiration for the trip was even more impulsive. I was just looking through the Philippine Airlines website when I decided to try out a few destinations. At the original date I was looking at, Manila-Zamboanga had pretty cheap rates. Needless to say, my delay by one day resulted in a 100% roundtrip rate increase! Hehe. Anyway so I found another date, found a travelling companion, then booked the flight on Cebu Pacific… hehe.
On this trip, I dragged along RD Cimafranca (aka Kaladkarin).
View Zamboanga City in a larger map
Zamboanga is not the southernest I have been in the Philippines. That would be General Santos City. But this would be the farthest I would fly for a personal day trip.
We had with us, just backpacks which contained extra shirts and out cameras. Talk about ultra-light travelling.
Landing in Zamboanga at around 7:40am, the airport has the most interesting architecture for a local airport.
From the airport we took a tricycle to the CIty. Meanwhile I was trying to get Google Maps to work on my phone. As I said, I had read up a little on Zamboanga, but when we got there, I had no idea what we were doing. We decided later on that the trip would be a walking tour of Zamboanga. Just see where our feet would take us. Remember, we only had a few hours, so the gratuitous trips to beaches was out.
First stop was Lantaka Hotel. It was here where had a little breakfast. Actually more like a snack because I already had breakfast at NAIA3.
I decided on a Mango crepe and fresh kalamansi juice.
From Lantaka we walked around and discovered a seaside park resembling the old Baywalk along Roxas Blvd. (of course before Mayor Lim closed it). The place is called Paso del Mar, just 5 min walk from Lantaka.
Even the lights look like they came from Roxas Blvd. The place looks like it was a evening place and at 8:00am the shops of course were all closed.
Next to Paseo del Mar was Fort Pilar. An old Spanish fort resembling a small Intramuros. It is now the National Museum. But, it was closed.
We walked a little further and discovered the Fort Pilar Shrine. At first glance it looked like a park until I realized that it was a huge outdoor church! Complete with an altar, blessed sacrament chapel, etc.
This was an interesting practice. You buy these skinny candles. Take them to this pit and light them. Then from the flames, you wave your hands over the flame that do the sign of the cross. I didn’t bother to figure out the significance of the the number of candles… number of sins perhaps? Dunno.
As we waked towards to town center we passed these interesting streets that didn’t seem to resemble other Philippine towns. What was interesting was, this was that the density of people was very light.
We passed by the main branch of BPI in Zamboanga. I later realized that the building is an original antique building which was one of the original Bank of the Philippine Islands since it was the Banco Espanol Filipino. Cool, and it has remained with BPI ever since.
The park and the Southway Mall in the back (right)
Sigh, like any town in the Philippines, the town center was studded by campaign posters.
I just loved all the authentic architecture.
Zamboanga had some pretty restrictive street signs.
It was getting around noon so we proceeded to go to La Vista Del Mar for lunch. It was like 30 min away by tricycle from the city center.
… and grilled squid! YUM!
We went around the resort. The nice thing about La Vista Del Mar is that there is this nice long beach with picnic tables abound. Perfect for families and groups which were “better prepared.” We of course ended up at the restaurant.
We then proceeded back to the airport for our flight back to Manila.
Naturally this isn’t the best planned trip. Mainly because had no plans. We just went around and explored what we could.