Doing the Zambo Mambo Part 1: Outside Zamboanga City

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

When my friend Erx first got together with Drei, who hails from Zamboanga, we instantly joked that we were heading to Zamboanga soon! Hahaha The inside joke eventually turned to reality and I can now tick off Zamboanga on my list!

Zamboanga has intrigued me but I never thought I would get to visit because of the trouble that has haunted the province. The trouble is real, even locals will tell you it is best to visit if you know someone based there. Drei is officially the first Zamboanguñio that I know! Haha

There were several precautions that we had to practice while in the province fir iyr safety – we shouldn’t pass the national highway when darkness hits, we couldn’t go inside a mosque and it would be better to cover up in certain areas. We gladly obliged, our hosts new the trade of the land better than we did.

Drei and his family took care of our itinerary during our visit. As per their recommendation, we headed out of the city. When Erx and I were trying to make sense of things, we got confused with Dapitan, Dipolog and Dakak. Haha We eventually figured out that Dapitan was on the way to Dakak which is in Dipolog. So many Ds! Haha The nearest okay beach from the city was Dakak. So since Dapitan was on the way, it was part of our road trip.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan
Rizal Shrine had a funny Filipino translation “Ang Pinagtapunan ni Rizal”. Hehe Admission was free and I was surprised to see a lot of fellow tourists.

The shrine had a mini-museum chronicling Rizal’s life highlighting the time he spent in the city. Did you know besides being a doctor he was a poet, botanist an entomologist, engineer and architect to name a few? During his stay in Dapitan, he was able to discover some organisms which were named after him: Draco Rizali - dragon fly, Apogania Rizali - peculiar beetle, Rhacophorus Rizali - a rare frog and Spathomeles Rizali - Fungus beetle.

The shrine has so much potential; they can do so much with it. It is simple and people flock to it. What more if they enhanced the facilities and the museum? It could do much better. I’m at a phase wherein I appreciate my history and would like to get to know more so the visit to the shrine was perfect.

Don’t we all know about Dakak because of Eat Bulaga? Haha It was a 4-5 hour drive from the city. The property was vast and quite hilly. We spent the afternoon there, had lunch and tried to soak in some sun. Their menu made me laugh and you can read about it, here.

Dakak’s shoreline is imported; their white sand is actually shipped from Boracay. There weren’t a lot of people on a Saturday afternoon so the atmosphere was perfect for chilling. Unfortunately it was a gloomy day which frustrated me photo wise. Kayaks and other water sports activities are available for rent in the resort. What did I end up doing? I slept the whole afternoon! Mwahahaha talk about a vacation! The sun decided to hide which made for good sleeping conditions.

Drei said it really is gloomy in their side of the world. All of his visits to Dakak have been gloomy. I would imagine on a sunny day, the beach would have looked perfect.

Gloria de Dapitan
I heard about this place but didn’t do intense research on it. Built by one of the rich families of the province, Glora de Dapitan is compound with establishments and its own amusement park - Fantasyland.

I was pleasantly surprised with the place since it did not look like the stereotypical province carnival. The place really had a feel of Enchanted Kingdom but a smaller. From the outside, it seemed like the amusement park was tiny but it wasn’t. The place and the rides are well maintained. A lot of people were there that night and they were all enjoying.

My friends and I took our terms being us – crazily posing with the statues around the amusement park. If I were a local, I’d keep coming back here and I’d be proud to have something like this in my town. It reeks of tourism potential.

Too bad during our short visit it rained so we didn’t get to explore much.

As a parting shot, the chicken in Zamboanga’s Manukan country!

Check out Part 2 here.

Additional Photos:
Rj Samson of the Island Explorer

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