Zamboanga City Day Trip – April 11, 2010

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.

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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.

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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.

Lantaka Hotel, Zamboanga City

I decided on a Mango crepe and fresh kalamansi juice.

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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.

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Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

Very intramuros-esque

Zamboanga City

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.Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

City Hall

Zamboanga City

The park and the Southway Mall in the back (right)

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Sigh, like any town in the Philippines, the town center was studded by campaign posters.


Zamboanga City

I just loved all the authentic architecture.

Restrictive street signs

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.

Zamboanga City

Nilagang Baka…

Zamboanga City

Butter-Garlic Prawns

Zamboanga City

… and grilled squid! YUM!

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

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.

Zamboanga City

18 thoughts on “Zamboanga City Day Trip – April 11, 2010”

  1. Hi there!

    In case your impulses would make you purchase a trip ticket to GenSan, try staying for at least 2 days. The GenSan Bloggers will take care of you.

    Kita-kits! Magandang GenSan!

  2. Wow, a day trip to Zamboanga! Been there a couple of times since I have friends from Xambo who unfortunately are in US now Anyway, you need to come back ang explore more. I like Pink beach just a short boat ride from Lantaka. Tell Lantaka to pack a great lunch since there’s nothing there.

  3. Wow you have visited Zamboanga City it really is a nice place, small but a nice place, hope you can also try other places there like the pasonanca park and abong2x try them and you will be pleased, I hope you also visit my personal blog for my special someone or atleast she used to be mine at

    Thank you so much

    1. Yup. Zamboanga was nice. And as you mentioned… small. It was surprising to me because after all this time, after hearing about Zamboanga for years, I always assumed it was a big city. I wish I was better prepared for the trip… as I said it was an impulse trip which I did in one day (just to see if it could be done). Maybe next time when I have a better plan :)

  4. i had a similar zambo getaway last may 23-24 to visit my boyfriend who is working for a TRANSCO project there… yeah zambo is soooo laidback..its so simple, i had to stiffle a yawn every 5 minutes… hehehehehe…and oh, i learn here how to say, SA LUGAR LANG (para sa jeep) and pabor (please)..nice!!!!

    but i think the magic of zambo is precisely bec of it very serene..away from the noisy Manila that we are now accustomed to..

    btw ill be going back to zambo this june 26-28…hehehe all expense paid by my bf to celebrate my bday and our anniversary..hopefully i can share more stories!!

    1. Actually “LUGAR LANG” is Cebuano term for “PARA LANG”, the Chavacano equivalent is “AQUI LANG” or “AQUI YA LANG”. The real magic of Zamboanga is being “Asia’s LAtin City”. If you would close your eyes and listen to a conversation of the Chavacanos, you would say I’m in some Latin cities. MUCHAS GRACIAS for visiting our city and finding it nice. BUENAS DIAS!

  5. wow… You have made a very short trip but it was worth it. You should have visited some old schools like Ateneo de Zamboanga… The Sta Cruz Island which boasts of the pink beach is also amazing. I am a Zamboangueno who works away from home now. I just missed my hometown. Other places to go would be Yakan Village, ECOZONE, Pasonanca Park and the Fort Pilar. I hope it will be open when you go there next time. What is also nice about Zambo is the language that we use there. It feels like you are in Mexico. Hope they keep the use of Chavacano well.

    The park would also look very nice at night. I was there last August and I enjoyed it. :)

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