Doing the Zambo Mambo Part 2: Inside Zamboanga City

Thursday, April 14, 2011

* Visit Part 1 here.

Drei said we could go around Zamboanga City in a day so that’s what we did on our last day. We already had our share of funny sightings in Zamboanga so we were up for the touristy things. To start our day the right way, we had Satti which I absolutely love!

Fort Pilar
Fort Pilar used to be the Spanish’s military defense fortress. The beautiful structure still stands today. It has been transformed into a National Museum and even has an outdoors chapel.

It was a partially wet morning when we visited and there were already parishioners there. It was my first time to be at an outdoor chapel and I must say it was a different experience. An overwhelming sense of religion and hurt came over me while I was there. The perimeter of the chapel is lined with statues of saints. Can you imagine getting married here? It would be magnificent!

The national museum didn’t allow taking photos inside the display area which is unfortunate. We really wanted to take photos because of the interesting information we were reading about.


There are displays on the ground floor and parts of the second floor. It tells the history of Zamboanga and its culture. During our trip I saw just one real vinta and it was inside the museum. You get to see the different items they used during the day and explains the process and background of the Yakan weavers (more on that later).

Pasonanca Park
The Pasonanca Park gives homage to the Boy Scouts who perished in 1963. I insisted on passing by since one of my relatives was part of that tragedy. The park has other facilities that we didn’t explore. Hehe Bad, I know! It’s open daily from 6 AM – 6 PM.

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
The weather got so much better when we were at the Cathedral, it was blazingly hot which meant one thing – awesome photo op! One of Asia’s largest modern cathedrals located next to Ateneo de Zamboanga University, The Metropolitan Cathedral was brilliant.

This is its second location since the original structure was destroyed during World War II.

I love stained glasses!

Pasalubong Shopping
We only went to 2 places to buy pasalubongs: the Yakan Weaving Village and barter Market.

The Yakan tribe hails from Basilan. Due to the trouble in the province, a lot of the tribesmen have migrated to neighboring cities like Zamboanga. Yakan weaving usually features intricate designs done painstakingly so and has great quality which is why their woven products are not cheap.

The village showcases different Yakan products as well as products from neighboring cities and even countries. Too bad when we arrived no one was weaving.

P180 each, Malongs from Indonesia. I bought one to convert into a presentable sarong! Haha I’ve been wanting to get a new sarong and didn’t want to get the usual tie-dyed ones.

More Yakan woven products.

Buying Yakan scarves for our best friends.

They also sell a lot of beaded accessories.

The stalls in Barter Market have the same things: wares from Malaysia or Indonesia, pasalubong items, scarves, food and so much more. Compared to most markets I’ve been to, Barter has a chill vibe. It is not noisy or extremely crowded. Make sure to go around first to canvass before buying anything.

We bought 80% of our pasalubong from stall 42A who was a patient of Drei’s mom. She gave us the best prices for the stuff we bought. She was accommodating and despite our numerous questions and requirements, never faltered – good vibes all the way.

Zamboanga didn’t have the food pasalubong like otap, piyaya or durian so I settled for something that was uniquely Zamboanga – Apollo chocolates from Malaysia. Haha Drei would usually bring Apollo products when he goes back to Manila.

On a personal note, check out what I saw in Zambo! Friends who know me shouldn’t be surprised. Haha

* Additional photos from Erika Martin

Fort Pilar
Valderoza Street, Zamboanga City

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
La Purisima cor. Campaner streets, Zamboanga City

Yakan Weaving Village
Across La Vista de Mar Beach Resort at the border of Barangay Upper Calarian and Sinunuc and along the National Highway.

Past Photo Walks:
January - Quiapo and Makati
February - Negros Occidental

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  1. Where can i buy malongs that ship to the states? email me at

  2. Hi! I'm sorry but I don't sell the malongs nor know of an online store that does.


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