Reasons to Visit Zamboanga - Philippines

Zamboanga is popularly known as "The City of Flowers". The early settlers, the Subanons, found early Zamboanga as a paradise of flowers and gave it the name "Jambangan", or a "place of flowers". However, after three centuries of Spanish colonization, Japanese occupation during World War 2, American liberation and the eventual Philippine independence, only snatches of stories and a few flower specimens remains of the flower paradise. Yet, the love for flowers and nature are deeply ingrained in the history and culture of the Zamboangeños. If you are thinking about going to Zamboanga , we have listed below the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zamboanga-Philippines, just a few examples of Zamboangas diverse natural wonder and cultural offerings.

Rare Pink Sand Beaches of the Greater Sta. Cruz Island

The Sta. Cruz Islands are two separate islands off the coast of Zamboanga, with the bigger island aptly named the Greater Sta. Cruz Island. It is famous for its rare pink sand beaches, a mix of pulverized rare red organ-pipe coral and surf erosion of white sands. There are over three miles of these rare pink sand beaches encircling the entire island. Greater Sta. Cruz Island can be reached by a motorized vinta or boat in about 15-20 minutes.

Discover Zamboangas Historical and Cultural Heritage at Fort Pilar

Fort Pilar was originally named Real Fuerza de San Jose when it was built in 1635 by the Jesuit priest Father Melchor de Vera. It served as a fort to ward off attacks the Moros, Dutch and British. It is on our Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zamboanga-Philippines for it offers a glimpse to the rich historical and cultural past of Zamboanga. The museum within the fort has giant dioramas of 400 species of marine life specimens which can be found from Zamboanga, Sulu and Basilan. Artifacts from the shipwreck Griffin has also been stored and collected here. It also boasts of a special collection of traditional boats of the Sama Dilaut, featuring an actual Lepa or houseboat.

Explore Bolong Beach

Among the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zamboanga-Philippines is the Bolong Beach found 33 kilometers from Zamboanga City proper. The beach stretches 1.5 km and is ideal for strolling or jogging along the shoreline. Tourists can rent cottages and tables along the beach. You can also rent a canoe from local fishermen and help in the hauling of wide fishing nets. You may even take home some fish if the catch is plentiful. For those who prefer less strenuous work, there is a local fish market every Sunday, where one can buy fish for affordable prices.

Take a Leisurely Walk at Pasonanca Park

If youre a nature lover, then do not forget to drop by Pasonanca Park, among the Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zamboanga-Philippines. The park is an abundant haven of trees, flowering plants and 600 species of orchids. It is especially visited for its famous tree house which is built atop high branches of a big tree in the park. Accommodation within the tree house is free once youve secured permission from the Office of the Mayor.

Participate in the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

The Hermosa Festival, a weeklong celebration in October, is a festival held in anticipation of the Feast of Nuestra Señora del Pilar on the 12th of October. Any tourist will be entertained by dozens of fun activities held in honor of the Virgin Mary such as regattas, flower parades, musicals, ethnic carnival parade and even a Miss Zamboanga Beauty Pageant. The festival is more than just a religious celebration it also commemorates heritage of Zamboanga thus earning a spot in our Top 5 Reasons to Visit Zamboanga-Philippines.