City of Zamboanga (Chavacano/Spanish: Ciudad de
Zamboanga) is located at the southernmost tip of Mindanao in the
Philippines. It comprises the southernmost portion of the
Peninsula, extending from the northwestern part of Mindanao.
the south by the Basilan strait, on
the west by the Sulu and Zamboanga del
Norte, on the North by Zamboanga del Sur, and on the east by Zamboanga Sibugay, and the most
populous city in the Philippines.
Zamboanga City is one of the oldest cities in the country and is
the most Hispanized. It is also one of the largest cities in the
world in terms of area, with over 1,483.3849 km², including
its 28 surrounding islands. Its recorded population in 2007 was 774,407
It is the
third chartered city in
Zamboanga City is also one of several
cities in the Philippines that are independent of any
Philippine Commonwealth Act No. 39
signed by President Manuel Luis Quezón
on October 12,
1936 established Zamboanga as a chartered city
. It has
been known variously as "El Orgullo de Mindanao" (The Pride of
Mindanao), nicknamed the "City of Flowers," and affectionately
called by Zamboangueños as "Zamboanga Hermosa" - Chavacano/Spanish
for "Beautiful Zamboanga". Today, the city is commercially branded
for tourism by the city government as " Asia's Latin City
," a clear reference to
Zamboanga's identification with the Hispanized cultures of
" or the USA's "Latino
Zamboanga City has been the center of commerce, trade, health
services, and education for all of the Western Mindanao Region
. It is the seat of the
City Special Economic Zone Authority
(popularly known as
City brings its best foot forward during the popular Fiesta Pilar,
celebrated in honor of the city's patron saint, La Nuestra Senora del Pilar de
Zaragoza Our Lady of the
Pillar of Zaragoza, Spain.
honoring the saint is prominently embossed above the facade on the
eastern wall of the meter-thick walled fort called El Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del
Pilar de Zaragoza (also called El Real Fuerza de San José in its
This Spanish army
fort was built on June 23, 1635, by the Spanish Jesuit priest Fr.
Melchor de Vera in defense against pirates and slave raiders.
Zamboanga is home of the four major universities: Ateneo de Zamboanga
, Western Mindanao State
, Universidad de
and the proposed UP-Zamboanga
second UP campus in Mindanao Island. The city contains the first
in Mindanao, today's Archdiocese of
which was created in 1910 and elevated to an archbishopric
Inauguration of the Zamboanga Province
on July 1, 1901.
Zamboanga City Charter Signing.
Flag of the Republic of
The early Malay
the region "Jambangan", which means Land of the Flowers
These Malays who built their settlements by the river banks were
, that is the People of the
. Their chief, Saragan, lived with his family atop the
legendary Mount Pulumbato that today lords over Pasonanca and
Climaco Freedom Park (formerly Abong-Abong Park) then later on, the
and the Badjao
who came on their frail vintas
here, building their huts along the shorelines and confused
"Jambangan" with “Samboangan” which comes from the word
, the wooden pole used to help push their vintas
in shallow waters or to tie them for anchorage
The Spanish colonizers
difficulty in pronouncing Samboangan
and instead called
the place Zamboanga
.The city has rich and colorful
history. It was the center of barter trading
and the native Tausugs
, and the Badjao
early as the 13th and 14th centuries.
It was in 1569 when the Spaniards
their presence felt with a small Catholic
Mission established briefly at La Caldera
, now known as
"Recodo". The city's patron saint is La Nuestra Senora del Pilar de
Zaragoza Our Lady of the
Pillar of Zaragoza, Spain.
honoring the saint is prominently embossed above the façade on the
eastern wall of Fort
Fort Zamboanga was founded, in 1635, by the Spanish, and was the
focus of a number of battles between Moro pirates
and the Spanish until 1718, when a
modifications to the fort were made.
23, 1635, the cornerstone of what is now known as Fort Pilar was laid by Father Melchor de Vera, a Jesuit
Priest-Engineer and the Spanish authorities.
marked the change of the name of the place from Samboangan
to "Zamboanga". It is the city’s founding date. The meter-thick
walled fort is officially called El Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
de Zaragoza (also called
El Real Fuerza de San José in its early days).
administration of the Philippines following its acquisition by the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1899, Zamboanga
hosted a number of American regional governors, including General
John "Black Jack" Pershing (Pershing was Military
Commander/Governor of the Moro Province from 1909 to
Prior to World War II
, Zamboanga was
the location of Pettit Barracks, where part of the US Army
's 43rd Infantry Regiment was
stationed. After the successful invasion of the
Philippines, the Japanese occupying force landed at Zamboanga on 2 March
1942, and formed a defense headquarters in Zamboanga, which was
taken by combined US and Philippine Commonwealth forces in
March 10, 1945.
after the Spanish-American War
in the Philippines, the United States of America defeated the forces of the revolutionary government
of the Republic of Zamboanga
under popular President and Gen. Vicente Alvarez y
thereby establishing full authority in Zamboanga.
The U.S. military then appointed Alvarez's political opponent and
U.S. friendly, Isidor Midel, to finish the Presidential term of
Alvarez. In March 1901, a municipal election was held with the help
of the U.S. administration, wherein Mariano Arquiza was elected
President of the new republic for two years ending in 1903.
after, the Moro Province was established in Mindanao and Sulu, and the
original ancient Zamboanga was made its capital. The first U.S. form
of military government was the Moro Province and during the 12
years of its existence, the American Military Government converted
the original Zamboanga into a city in the Commission Form, the
first U.S.-created province in Mindanao to become/revert to a city.
Zamboanga was already a major city of government and military
importance under the Spanish Administration in the Philippines.
the U.S. military government of the Moro Province was abolished to
give way to a new form of U.S. military/quasi local civilian
government, called the Department of Mindanao and Sulu.
form of government entrusted to the Filipino
residents of Zamboanga practically
all positions in government.
The Commonwealth of the Philippines in 1937 declared Zamboanga as a
Chartered City. Progress and development in Zamboanga continued
since 1983, the Minister Interior Jose Roño proclaimed Zamboanga
City as a highly urbanized city.
of Zamboanga is in Mindanao, the second giant of the archipelago of all the land mass of the
Philippines. It is located at the southernmost tip of the
Peninsula (approximately within the 1210 53’ 50’’ and 1220
23’ 25’’ east longitude and 60 53’ 50’’ and 70 29’ 20’’
North.). It is approximately 460 nautical miles south
of Manila, 365
nautical miles northeast of Kota Kinabalu Malaysia, 345 nautical miles northeast of Menado
(Indonesia), bounded to the west by Sulu Sea, on the east by the Moro
Gulf, on the south by the Basilan Strait and
Sea and on the north Zamboanga Del Norte and Zamboanga
Sibugay. Its distance from Cebu City is about 372.57 nautical miles, and is 340.17
nautical miles from Davao
Aerial view of Zamboanga City
The main land territory of Zamboanga City, which encompasses 1,681
kilometers ( 645 square mile ), there are (officially) 11 islands
that are part of its principality. The most popular of these
islands is the Great Santa Cruz
, Its tantalizingly beautiful scenery encompasses the
rare "pink sand" ( a coloration effect of white sand mixed with red
coral sand). almost 20– 30 minutes while riding a boat from the
city to the Great Sta. Cruz Island.
The 11 islands come under the city's jurisdiction. The biggest
islands is the Sacol (about 12 km. long and 8 km. wide).
Three of these islands (Vitali, Malanipa, and Sacol) are inhabited
mostly by fishing residents and have their own barangays
. The others are frequented only by
fishermen and scuba divers. Eleven of these islands on the Moro
Gulf coast form a cluster known as the Eleven Islands, the largest
being Cabugan Island (approx. 11 hectares).
Climate and Temperature
Zamboanga City enjoys a location free from the typhoon belt area.
March to May is hot and dry, with temperature at 22 degrees
Celsius. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool,
with temperatures ranging from 22 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees
Celsius. Average humidity year-round is 77%. According to the local
the highest temperature recorded in the city was 38.7°C
recorded on August 15, 1999 and the lowest is 15.6°C on February
27, 1965 respectively.
In 2007, the Census of Population and Housing of the government's
recorded the city population of 774,407
people with an annual growth rate of 3.56 percent. Compared to the
national population, Zamboanga City's 774,407 is only 0.8 percent
of the total Philippine population of 88.7 million people.Zamboanga
City has 98
The most dominant religion is Christianity with 75%-85% adhering to
the faith. The majority of which are Roman Catholics
. The remaining percentage
belongs to other non-Christian faiths (Islam
, etc). Muslim immigrants or visitors from the islands south
of the Zamboanga Peninsula (Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan) composed
much of the Muslim population in the
The Archdiocese of Zamboanga (Latin name: Archdiocesis
Zamboangensis) is a Catholic archdiocese located within the
Philippine Islands. Its present jurisdiction takes in mainland
Zamboanga City, with suffragans in Basilan (Prelature of Isabela,
Basilan), Sulu Archipelago (Apostolic Vicariate of Jolo) and
Zamboanga Sibugay (Prelature of Ipil). Established in 1910 as
Mindanao's first diocese, Zamboanga is elevated into the second
archdiocese in Mindanao in 1958. The archdiocese today covers a
land area of 1,648 square kilometers and a population of 442,345 of
which 81 per cent are Catholics. The area covers 26 parishes,
served by 49 diocesan and 18 religious priests. There are also 51
religious sisters working in related activities in the archdiocese.
The most common languages
in the city are Zamboangueño
(a Chavacano dialect, also
known as Zamboangueño Chavacano or Chavacano de Zamboanga),
Chinese dialect) and Tausug
64% of the city’s population consists of the native families of the
old Zamboanga who are greatly influenced by the Spanish culture and
lifestyle which we called now as a pure Chavacano or Zamboangueño.
While the 36% of the city’s population is composed of cultural
minority members. A Group of Muslim community, such us the Tausugs,
Yakans, Badjaos, Samals, and the Subanons.
The City of Zamboanga has become a Chartered City since 1936. The
3rd oldest city in the Philippines, with a "strong" mayor-council
form of government. The government of the City is more centralized
than that of most other Philippines cities; the central government
is responsible for public education, correctional institutions,
libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation,
water supply and welfare services. The public officials can only
stay on their position for four-year and tree terms in the same
position. The City received its own representation for the
Philippine Congress since 1984. The former lone congressional
district was divided into two separate districts; the West District
(I) from the City Proper to Limpapa headed by Congresswoman Maria
Isabelle C. Salazar, while in the East District (II) from Tetuan to
Licomo is headed by Congressman Erico Basilio A. Fabian. The
government is composed of a mayor, vice mayor, two district
representatives, and eighteen councilors.
The city of Zamboanga is composed of morethan 774,407 population
since last year 2007. Under the House Bill No: 6259, which is
Zamboanga city is qualified to have an additional district
representative in the congress since the population of the city
becomes bigger since last year 2007. Zamboanga city has 2
representative at the House of
Representatives of the Philippines
The creation of an additional legislative district will be
consistent with the constitutional mandate of proportional
representation. The additional representation will also result in
the additional allocation of Priority Development Assistance Fund
(PDAF) which makes possible the implementation, in every
congressional district, of small-scale but significant projects
which can not be part of large-scale projects of national
Armed Forces and Law Enforcement
If you are debating about starting or moving your business to
Zamboanga City and your are concerned about security; Zamboanga
City is one of the most secured cities in the Philippines.
Zamboanga City has the Air Force, Army, Marines, the Southern
Command of the Philippines or South-Com, and the Police.
In Zamboanga City defense is handled by the Armed Forces of the
, which is based on the United States armed forces
composed of three branches: the Air
, the Army
, and the
(including the Marine Corps
The Zamboanga City is accessible by land, air, and water. Zamboanga
is also known as home of the busiest seaport and airport in the
country for the past 10 years from now.
Zamboanga International Airport
airport of Zamboanga has been upgraded into a secondary
international airport, since it's been called as the Zamboanga
International Airport.It is the gateway to one of Southeast Asia's
fastest growing business and culture hubs and to the entire Western
The airport covers a total land area of 270
hectares. There was also a plan to rename its present airport name
into a new named after the late mayor, Maria Clara
planned was not yet been approved. The airport has a 2,610 meter
primary runway and it can serve international flights and bigger
planes such as the Boeing C-17
and Airbus A320
. The government has already
earmarked more than 240 million pesos in 2008 for 365 days to
completely rehabilitate the existing facilities of the airport..
The airport of Zamboanga was ranked the #10 busiest airport in the
Philippines in 2008, after being on the rank 7 for the past 2
Zamboanga International Seaport
The Port of Zamboanga
is located in one of the
coasts of city,which was considered to be one of the fastest
growing economic zones in Mindanao. Zamboanga City has 19 seaports
and wharves, wherein the 12 are privately owned and 7 are wholly
owned by the government. The seaport is the biggest and the most
modern which can accommodate 20 ships at any given time, and there
are 25 shipping lines whose vessels regularly serve the port of the
city. The port can handle inter-island and international fast
ferries, and occasionally international cruise ships. In 2002, the
Port of Zamboanga, inclusive of all area ports and Basilan, was
ranked #1 in the entire Philippines and registered an astounding
5.57 million passengers, surpassing Batangas by 1.3 million
passengers,and Manila by over 1.59 million passengers.
As of May 28,2009, The P700 million worth of port expansion
project,which was funded by the National Government in Zamboanga
City, was already inaugurated by Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,
which was held inside the Freeport Zone in the city..
Mainly,major public transportations include the jeepneys
. There are only a few Holiday Taxis
serving the city,although most of the taxis in the city are wholly
owned by independent players which can accommodate the traffic
passengers at the same time. In addition, the proposed City Bus was
already a planned since last year 2007, but until now the planned
was yet pending at the city council which is wholly owned by a
- Proposed Zamboanga International Airport
The proposed Mercedes International Airport is still yet pending by
the government, even though the possible study and all requirements
for the new airport are all set. The possible site for the new
airport of would be in Brgys. Mercedes, Talabaan and Taluksangay
of the Philippines allotted 15 million Pesos for the study and
preparation for this project last November 2008. Asian Development Bank
Consultants as well as engineers from Davao City conducted an
ocular inspection on an area of more than 200 hectares of idle land
in the east coast of the city. This location is being eyed as the
site of the new airport, and the newborn commercial district in the
city that will boom the economic progress in the east coast of the
- New Zamboanga International Seaport
The Zamboanga International Seaport was already open but since then
the second phase of this project is still pending at this moment.
This international seaport is also one of the priority projects of
the government, to assume that the business industry inside the
Special Economic Zone are doing well to attract more investors and
to accommodate bigger shipping lines and cruise ships from domestic
to international. This project will be located inside the Zamboanga City
Special Economic Zone Authority
which will be one of the
promising projects in the city.
The proposed P179M project of the Integrated Bus Terminal in the
east coast of the city is one of the priority projects of the local
government of the city. The Integrated Bus Terminal (IBT) project
will be located at the Maria Clara L. Lobregat Highway, in Brgy.
Divisoria.The construction of the departure and arrival stations,
with architectural design that is modern and contemporary with a
touch of Philippine architecture of the Spanish-American era, the
road network, drainage systems, complete utilities and amenities,
perimeter fence, frontage, expansion of the highway as well as a
pedestrian overpass are all included on the plan. The winning
bidder of this project hasn't yet been announced, since the project
is being currently controversial.
Economy and Industry
The economy of Zamboanga city is mostly on focus to agricultural
and aqua cultural. Agriculture
and fishing provide activity with an
income of 70 percent of the population, while the 30 percent are in
Rural activities. Zamboanga is known to be as the Center of Trade, Business and
Industry in Zamboanga Peninsula Region and even the island of mindanao.
Zamboanga City exports rubber
, and other fine hardwoods, fish
, and fruit products;
rice is still imported.
There are 59 active
serving the city and 2 more banks are planning to rise in
the city in the year 2009. Most of the banks in the city are mainly
head branches in the Zamboanga peninsula region.
There are also numerous firms and
other financial services in the city.
Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority
Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (Zamboecozone),also
known as Zamboanga Freeport Authority (ZFA), was created by virtue
of the Republic Acts of the Philippines 7903 of the
Philippines in the year 1995.
It was authored by then
the congresswoman and late mayor
of the city
of Zamboanga,Maria Clara L.
The Special Economic Zone
enacted into law on February 23, 1995 and made operational a year
later with the appointment of a chairman and administrator and the
members of the Board by former President
Fidel V. Ramos
. It is located
about 20 km. from the city center.
Recognizing the vital role of promotions in attracting viable
investments to the freeport zone, an intensified promotional blitz
was developed to make ZamboEcozone an investment haven in Southern Philippines
awareness to the various business opportunities offered at the
ZamboEcozone was one of the Authority’s marketing priorities for
the year, thus a promotional blitz was established.
Shopping Centers and Malls
As the center of commerce in Western Mindanao, Zamboanga is home to
five shopping malls and numerous department stores, supermarkets
and retail stores.
- Mindpro Citimall - It was
opened in the year 1996, the second mall in the city after Alta
mall. The only shopping mall that has a cinema.
- Yubenco Star Mall - Is a
shopping complex that is located at Barangay Putik.
- Southway Square - It was opened
in the year 2007,It is a modern architectural structure in the
- Shoppers' Center - Zamboanga's
newest mall. It is located at the City proper.
- Midtown Plaza Mall - A unique
shopping mall that is located at Nuñez Extension.
- Shoppers' Mall - A proposed
10-story mall with hotel which is currently under construction.
Upon completion, it would be the tallest commercial building in the
city and will probably be the tallest mall in the country. Owned by
the Huylian Development Corporation, it has been two years under
construction, and the expected opening of this mall will be within
four years time.
The major species of seaweed
harvested in Zamboanga City is the Eucheuma Cottonii seaweed
because of its numerous uses; it can be
farmed commercially almost anywhere in the city’s coastal areas.
Eucheuma seaweed has been commercially introduced in various method
of propagation, after extensive experimentation. It was disclosed
that eucheuma seaweeds
grow faster on reefs
than other areas which prove that seaweed farming is viable in this
city. When the study of Eucheuma seaweeds propagation was
initiated, its technical advancement was transferred to the private
sectors, thus making the seaweed industry one of the leading
ventures in the country today.
is noted for sardine exports to the Philippine market. The sardines are also exported to other
countries and regions such as the United States, Europe, Middle East, and the Far East.
canning factories located in the west coast of Zamboanga producing
popular sardine brands. Sardine fishing and processing account for
about 70 percent of the city's economy or P3 billion, according to
press reports. Situated at the western tip of the Mindanao mainland, Zamboanga City is a natural docking point
for vessels traversing the rich fishing grounds of the Zamboanga
peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.
The city’s eight
canneries, which employ around 15,000 workers, process 1,000 tons
of sardines daily.
The formal education in the Zamboanga City is patterned after the
as the medium of
instruction. Schools are classified into public
start in June, and end in March. The majority of colleges, and
universities follow a semester calendar from June to October, and
November to March. There are a number of foreign schools with study
The general pattern of formal education follows five stages:
- Pre-primary level - nursery and kindergarten offered in most
- Primary level - six years of basic education;
- Secondary level - four years of high school education;
- College level - usually takes four, sometimes five and in some
cases as in medical and law schools, as long as eight years;
- Graduate level - additional two or more years of
Universities and Colleges
One of the most historic cities in the Philippines, Zamboanga plays
host to numerous first-rate colleges and universities. These
educational institutions attract many students in the province, as
well as from the other parts of the country. The city of Zamboanga
has a several prestigious private schools in Southern and Western
Mindanao. Most of these private schools or institutions are
administrated by Catholic
- Pilar College was founded in the
year 1894, as a Cartilla School by the Beaterio Sisters who
evacuated from Tamontaca, Cotabato. One of the two sisters who
started the Cartilla School in the year 1894 was Mother Maria
Antera Cruz, RVM.
- Ateneo de Zamboanga University (AdZU), founded by the
Society of Jesus in 1912, it is the second oldest Jesuit school in
the Philippines. It initially catered to primary and secondary
education for boys. It became a college in 1952, and a university
in August 2001. The Ateneo de Zamboanga began in
1912 as Escuela Catolica, a parochial school run by Spanish Jesuits
at the old site of the Immaculate Conception Church, right across
the Sunken Garden.
- Universidad de
Zamboanga(UZ) is a private university in Zamboanga City,
Philippines, founded on October 12, 1948 by Arturo Eustaquio, Sr.
It was formerly known as Zamboanga A.E. Colleges until it was
granted by ChEd to become a University School
in the year 2005. It has 8 campuses spread out in an area of more
than 130 hectares in and outside of the city. These campuses
include the Main Campus in barangay Tetuan, City Campus, Cabatangan
Campus, Pasonanca Campus, Veterans Campus, San Jose Campus, Canelar
Campus and the Ipil Campus in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay. UZ has 2
Highschools namely Arturo Eustaquio Memorial Science Highschool and
the UZ Technical Highschool.
Mindanao State University (formerly Zamboanga Normal College
founded 1904) is the first to be granted as a university in the
year 1978. It is the only state university in the city. Its campus
is located in Baliwasan and is offering college and vocational
programs. The university is believed to be the oldest school in
Mindanao. WMSU already brought numerous achievements in the
academic field, it is the Center of Excellence in Teacher
Education, Center of Development in Architecture, Best School in
Social Work, Best School in Forestry and Number 1 in the
Criminology Board Examinations.
City State Polytechnic College( formerly Zamboanga City Trade
School founded 1905). It was founded as a small workshop classroom
of the Zamboanga Central School in July 1905. In 1937, by virtue of
commonwealth Act No. 39, it became Zamboanga City Trade School
which offered the secondary curriculum.In 1959, it became a
national school under the name Zamboanga School of Arts and Trades
by virtue of R.A. No. 2300. Three years later, R.A. No. 3286
authorized the school to offer a degree Program, a 4-year Teacher
Education curriculum leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science
in Industrial Education (BSIE) with different major of fields of
specialization. In 1992, the Zamboanga School of Arts and Trades
was converted into Zamboanga City Polytechnic College under the
supervision of the Commission on Higher Education. In July 20,
2001, pursuant to R.A. 9142, the Zamboanga City Polytechnic College
became a state college and its name was changed to Zamboanga City
State Polytechnic College. The college is mandated to provide
advanced instruction and professional training in science and
technology and other related fields, undertake research and
extension services, and provide provide progressive leadership in
of the Philippines, Zamboanga is proposed university under the
Senate Bill No. 2662, A Bill to create new University of The
Philippines Campus in Zamboanga City mandated by Senator. Rodolfo
Biazon, to serve the whole Zamboanga Peninsula Region and ARMM
Region. if this will be approved, UP-Zamboanga
will be the second UP campus in Mindanao after UP-Mindanao in Davao
The City of Zamboanga jurisdictions often partner with foreign
cities through Sister Cities
, an organization whose goal is to “promote peace
through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.” Sister
cities interact with each other across a broad range of activities,
from health care and education to business, culture and arts.
Zamboanga City is a member of BIMP-EAGA
which stands for Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN
Growth Area. BIMP-EAGA is an agreement among the four Southeast
Asian neighbor countries for economic cooperation. It has put
Zamboanga City in touch with towns in Malaysia and Indonesia.
result of contacts arising from BIMP-EAGA, an air and sea route has
been opened between Zamboanga City and Sandakan in Malaysia.
Sandakan and Zamboanga seen as sisters states or twin cities have always managed to work well
The strong relationship between Sandakan and
Zamboanga has existed for many generations. As immediate neighbors,
these two regions have a long history of interactions not only
through trade relations but also through culture and social
interactions. BIMP-EAGA which was formed in 1994 merely served to
further strengthen the existing economic and social ties between
these two regions formally.
Hospitals and Health Centers
The city is also home to medical centers and hospitals. These
provide quality health care service for Zamboanguenos.
- Brent Hospital and Colleges, Inc. (Located at
R.T.Lim Boulevard) was founded on February 2, 1914 by Charles Henry
Brent, the first Protestant Episcopal missionary bishop in the
Philippines. It also runs a school within the extensive Hospital
Compound, offering nursing and allied health courses.
- Zamboanga City Medical Center, is the largest
medical facility in Region 9 in terms of bed capacity. The hospital
was founded in 1918 as the Zamboanga General Hospital. ZCMC, better
known simply as "General", is located in the corner of Veterans
Avenue-Fort Pilar road.
- Zamboanga Doctors' Hospital, Veterans Avenue,
is the first privately owned hospital established in 1964.
- Ciudad Medical Zamboanga, one of the most
equipped and advance medical centers in Zamboanga, is a five-storey
medical complex and located at Nunez Extension.
- Western Mindanao Medical Center, located at
Veterans Avenue Extension, it was established in the year 1990,
with state-of-the-art facilities and newly reconstructed
- Universidad de
Zamboanga Community Medical Center, (formerly the
Zamboanga Arturo Eustaquio Colleges Memorial Medical Center) along
San Jose Road, is a university-owned hospital equipped with
advanced medical facilities and has a 24-hour pharmacy located
inside the Medical complex.
- Zamboanga City Red Cross,Zamboanga City
Chapter Is one of tine pioneer chapters in the country it was
established in June 17. 1946 known originally as Zamboanga Chapter.
The original Zamboarga Chapter was comprised of the city of
Zambonnga and the 3 provinces of Basilan. Zamboanga (Del Norte, and
del Sur) .Zamboanga City Chapter has a Blood Center complete with
laboratory equipment for blood processing. The chapter contributed
to the wed being of the patients needing blood both in public arid
Other specialized hospitals are: Zamboanga Children's Hospital,
Salvador A. Cabato Memorial Hospital, Edwin Andrews Air Base
Hospital, Camp. Navarro General Hospital, Zamboanga Puericulture
Lying-in Maternity Hospital and the Mindanao Central
Parks and Landmarks
Zamboanga City Gallery
The Philippine Department of Tourism
has selected Zamboanga City to highlight as a tourist destination
to be promoted nationally and internationally. Tourism to the
Zamboanga Peninsula has trended upward in recent years. Domestic
and foreign tourist
increased 8 percent to 439,160 in 2005, according to data from the
regional tourism office. The same report notes that Filipinos accounted for 80 percent of the tourist arrivals.
Moreover, 50 percent of
those tourists visited Zamboanga City.
Courtyard of Fort Pilar
Paseo del Mar
- Cawa-Cawa Boulevard - Is a park that near at
the sea that you can visit the place early in the morning for brisk
walking/jogging or in the afternoon for its famed sunset view.
- Fort Pilar - Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the
Spanish period, the Fort Pilar serves as a present day open-air
shrine. Originally named as La Fuerza Real de San Jose, the
fort is named after and dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the
patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. It image is embossed at
the altar (which was then an entrance of the fort). Fort Pilar also
houses a National Museum branch inside the fort.
- The Great Santa Cruz island is known for its pink sand beach and
sand bar, while the Little sta. cruz island is a typical white
beach, with pulverized-like sand.
- National Museum of Zamboanga City - The
establishment of a museum branch in Zamboanga City was made
possible by Presidential Decree 260. declaring Fort Pilar as a
National Cultural Treasure on August 1,1973. Situated within the
historic Fort Pilar, the museum is named in honor of Nuestra Señora
del Pilar, patroness of Zamboanga.
- Paseo del Mar na Zamboanga - a seafront
parkway located adjacent to the walls of Fort Pilar. The Paseo
encompasses 2.5 hectares in what was a former slum, which required
relocating 300 families. The walkway faces scenic Basilan
- Pasonanca Park - Traversed by a gently
rippling stream, that is abounds with trees, flowering plants,
ferns, shrubs and 600 different species of orchids. Mindanao
Governor John J. Pershing started the construction of Pasonanca
Park in 1912. He sent for a parksman in the United States, once
named Thomas Hanley, to prepare the plan and direct its execution.
The park was completed under the administration of Governor Frank
W. Carpenter. There is a treehouse nestling high in the branches of
one big tree where guests could pass the night and hold communion
with nature which, in the darkness, could still be perceived in the
gentle rustling of the pine trees. Permission to use the treehouse,
which is for free, can be obtained at the Office of the Mayor.
- Pettit Barracks
- site that US forces under Gen. C. Bates occupied after the
capture of the city on November 15, 1899. It was named Pettit
Barracks after Col. James S.
Pettit, 31st Infantry, US Volunteer
Commanding Officer of the Second Military
District. Occupied by Japanese forces in 1942-1945, the barracks
were recaptured by United States and Philippine Commonwealth
liberation forces on March 10, 1945, and turned over to the
Philippines on July 4, 1946.
- Plaza Pershing - Plaza Pershing was
established in Zamboanga City, Philippines to honor John Joseph
"Black Jack" Pershing (September 13, 1860 – July 15, 1948) with his
victory over Muslim insurgents.
- Jardin de Maria Clara- La Jardin de Maria
Clara Lobregat is a garden park named after the late mayor Maria
Clara Lobregat. The park consists of floral and butterfly species
such as orchids, roses and colorful butterflies surrounding the
garden. It also has an aviary park for the avian species such as
parrots, turkeys, and eagles among the birds.
Modern Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate
Conception - Founded in 1810 as a parish located at
the present day Universidad de Zamboanga campus, the Cathedral is
the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Zamboanga (created in
1910 as diocese and elevated in 1958 as an archdiocese). It is
known as one of the most modern cathedrals in Asia, built in 1998-2001. The cathedral is located at
La Purisima St. The cathedral's structure is cruciform, resembling
a cross and its facade is patterned after a candle (which is
connected to the Blessed Virgin Mary).
- St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church, Tetuan -
Records shows that at the start, there was a small chapel
constructed on a lot. Owned by Don Balbino Natividad, a permanent
resident of Tetuan. It was build on January 1863. Barrio Tetuan's
Catholic Church now known as the
Saint Ignatius of Loyola Parish Church can be found on Fr.
Baruja,S.J. Street corner Atilano Street. The original church
structure was destroyed during World War II. It is historically
recognized as the first catholic parish in Mindanao, Philippines.
- Serenity Falls - Zamboanga City's Serenity
Falls bounded between La Paz and Pamucutan, at the foot of the
EcoZone's south entrance.
- Taluksangay Mosque - The famous Mosque in Barangay Taluksangay is considered as one
of Zamboanga’s tourist spots. This colorful mosque is located in
the barrio of Taluksangay outside the city center.
- Old Normal
School Building - Also known as the Western Mindanao State
University (WMSU) Social Hall, the building was built during
the American Era and was the center of education for most of
Mindanao. Presently, this houses The College of Education of WMSU
and is also the site where most cultural presentations are held. It
also houses a Museum.
- Yakan Weaving Center - Host to the only Yakan
community in the City, the center is located just across the famed
La Vista de Mar beach resort at the border of Barangay Upper
Calarian and Sinunuc and along the National Highway. You can
witness the local people weaving intricately hand-woven clothes on
giant looms as well as traditional brasswares.
- Zamboanga City Hall - The construction of this
building started in 1905 and was completed in 1907 by the Federal
Government of the United States for the then American Governors of
the area which included: Leonard 0. Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W.
Hoyt, and Gen. John Pershing of World War I fame. Today, this
serves as the City Hall of Zamboanga City where the Mayor holds
Golf and Country Club - Known to be the "oldest Golf
Course" in the Philippines. It was established during the American
Occupation and is overlooking the Basilan Strait. It also is host
to a public swimming resort managed by the Philippine Tourism
Zamboanga City is home to a diverse culture. It is a melting pot of
different kinds of people. It boasts a long and worth-knowing
history. These diversity and duration are just two of the many
reasons behind the City's numerous colorful and solemn festivities.
These festivals dates are generally non-working holidays. A few of
the major celebrations in the city are listed with some bits of
Cultural Arts and Music
Zamboanga City's Art history spans a period of over 500 years, with
heavy influence coming from the Malay and Spanish culture early on,
and the West more recently. Countless, and quite priceless, artifacts
dating back to over a thousand years have been excavated in the
early 1900s by American archaeologists
during their occupation of the Philippines in the vicinities of Zamboanga and Mindanao.
Many of these artifacts
currently housed in "vaults" of some major U.S. universities,
inaccessible to the general public. The gong is a percussion
instrument found in music throughout Southeast Asia
. In Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, and
Zamboanga City particularly, the gong is used in many folk dance
routines reflecting the international
flavor of its ancestry.
When played, it is suspended from the rim and struck on the center
piece, called a "boss," with a wooden beater that has a cork head.
Changes in pitch are achieved by shaving down either the boss or
the rim of the instrument.
Zamboanga City is a center of communication, for television,
advertising, music, newspaper and book publishing industries and is
also the largest media market in Western Mindanao.Some of the
city's daily newspapers conglomerates include the Mindanao Examiner
Productions, Zamboanga Times, Zamboanga Today are based in the
city. And the City of Zamboanga operates a Private Regional public
broadcast service, like the ABS-CBN Broadcasting
, GMA Network
, RPN Zamboanga, and
GPBI-TV11, this media conglomerates that serve the Western Mindanao
specially the City of Zamboanga. And many cable channels are being
served the City.
OCM (Original Chavacano Music)
Concert of Comic Relief
2008 marks the year of OCM (Original Chavacano Music as it mades
its way mainstream. Wherein it is now being played always on the
radio. With the COMIC RELIEF band first pioneered the songs of OCM
including "CUANDO?", "NUAY MAS" & "NECESITA", many bands jumped
into the bandwagon and created also their very own compositions:
Maldita, BadGrass and RainPlay. OCM is now enjoying mainstream
Zamboanga cuisine is like its exotic Chavacano
: basically Spanish with an
admixture of local tongues, thus endowing it with a delectable
gastronomical flavor that provides a rich cultural experience as
well. This was especially true in the old days when Castilian
influence rubbed off quite thickly on the people of that little
Spanish town, now revered in prose as "un glorioso pedaza del
corazon de Castilla" (a glorious pice of the heart of Spain).
Most Zamboanga dishes are Spanish in origin. Others, like bagon de
gata, tamales, and those with heavy dependence on gata (coconut
cream/milk) are distinctly indigenous. Yet, even the most native of
local foods, namely the sinigang, Spanish influence is evident in
the use of herbal spices, such as tanglad (lemon grass), and
bambawing (a "weed" which seems to be peculiar to Zamboanga, and
looks and smells like a "wild" member of the basil family). Olive
oil is often used for some fish preparations.
Zamboanga is known for many native delicacies. One of the most
loved delicacies of Zamboanga that has been made as the favorite
pasalubong of Zamboangueños is the Zambo Rolls which is called in
local dialects as "lokot-lokot", "jah" or "tagaktak". There are
other native delicacies in Zamboanga City loved by Zamboangueños
such as the alfajor, chika-chika, satti(popularized by Jimmy's
satti) , sikalang and many more.
Entertainment and Recreation
The city of Zamboanga is also one of the cities in the Philippines
that cater Entertainment and Recreation area in the Philippines,
Zamboanga City comprises a wide range of establishments that
operate facilities or provide services to meet varied cultural,
entertainment, and recreational interests of their patrons.
There are 5 major sports in the Zamboanga City. These are
basketball, boxing, billiards, football (soccer), and volleyball.
Sports such as athletics
, and martial
are also a popular recreation.
are areas of land that have been
subdivided into individual residential plots. Whereas some
subdivisions comprise exclusive gated communities, others are
merely demarcations denoting a specific neighborhood. Some
subdivisions may conduct autonomous security, or provide basic
services such as water and refuse management. Most subdivisions are
governed by associations made up of members who are residents of
the subdivision. In the Philippines, subdivisions are also known as
Festivals and Events
February 26, 1937- the date when Zamboanga was declared a chartered
city under the Commonwealth Government. Charter Day of the City
became a non-working holiday. A roster of special activities are
lined up annually to mark the occasion. The signing of the City's
Charter by Pres. Manuel Luis
was witnessed by Assemblyman Juan S. Alano,
Representative of the Moro Province of Mindanao, then Zamboanga
City Mayor Don Pablo Lorenzo, and a number of other public
officials, as well as a young school girl, Maria Clara Lorenzo, who
eventually became a well-loved Representative and City Mayor of
Zamboanga until her death in 2004.
March/April (movable)A city procession known as the Santo Entierro
(Holy Funeral) on Good Friday highlights the observance of the
season of Lent. Celebrated in most parish churches in the city and
in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the
Santo Entierro is a procession of Christ's images, many of the
Stations of the Cross, along the city's main streets, depicting his
last hours before, during, and after the Crucifixion.
A religious feast celebrated in all Catholic church
in honor of the Virgin Mary
. Little children in white
gala dresses walk up the altar to offer flowers to the image of the
Blessed Mother, as the Catholics call her. In some parts of the
city, the traditional Santacruzan is also held. The Santa-cruzan is
a procession of the Reyna Elena and other local beauties with their
escorts, decked out in Maria Clara gowns and barong tagalog, along
Last day of Flores de MayoA religious feast celebrated in many
Catholic Parishes in honor of Reyna Elena (Queen Helen)and her son
Constantine who went to the Holy Land to search for Jesus'
Every October the scenic city of Zamboanga, as the "City of
Flowers", and also known as Asia’s Latin City celebrates its grand
annual Zamboanga Hermosa Festival
or the popularly known as Fiesta Pilar with 12 days and nights of
events and celebrations. The beautiful city of Zamboanga welcomes
thousands to the region's biggest, most extravagant celebration of
the year. The two day celebrations are mainly in honor of the
miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pilar Nuestra Señora del Pilar
de Zaragosa, which is also commonly known as the Fiesta
at the legendary Fort Pila who has a special fiesta
in October. The people of Zamboanga passionately believe that the
lady has served as their unifying cultural and historical
In tribute of her feast day, Zamboanga displays its loyalty and
enthusiasm with a nine-night procession, the event includes live
music, cultural performances; street parades, fireworks displays
and one of the most amazing aspects of the festivities include a
wonderful Regatta de Festival
with old sailing
ships and yachts sporting red, yellow, other brightly colored
sails, the Mascotta festival
. There are also art
exhibitions and colorful flower shows displaying the botanical
wonders of Mindanao's tropical vegetations. (Watch out for the
orchids, which are particularly striking). 'Hermosa', which means
beautiful, is an appropriate term for this visually dazzling
Every year, the local government of Zamboanga decorates one of the
central landmark of the City, the City Hall. And every year, this
place becomes an attraction to local folks and visitors of the
city. This is a great initiative of the local government. Aside
from inviting people to come to Zamboanga, the lights also brings
the spirit of Christmas to everyone. People, young and old, rich
and poor, gather around the area and watch the beauty of the
lights.Celebration of Jesus Christ's Birth. City hall, churches,
schools, streetlight post, houses, streets, commercial places,
parks and most of the other places in the City are covered with
lights, filled with joyous sounds and other Christmas
Week-long celebration in the Barangay/Barrios honoring their patron
saints. The celebration usually starts with novena masses held
every day for 9 straight days prior the feast day of the patron
saint. every night, the barrio is lit up for celebration and
merry-making that includes pageants, trade fair, parade,
cock-fighting, carnival, musical competition and "baile."