Friday, January 16, 2009

Just passing through: Zamboanga and Yakan Village

Visiting this premier city of the south over the long holidays means missing out on seeing some of its main attractions.I 'm not expecting vintas (they sparingly make an appearance -- only during special festivals and on postcards) but I was hoping to at least be able to visit the Fort Pilar Museum (closed) and the stilt village of Rio Hondo (no barangay official was around when we visited). But it isn't to say that we didn't enjoy our stay in Zamboanga, the so-called exotic pearl of Southern Philippines.The city's other moniker is city of flowers which comes from the Malay word "jambangan" or land of flowers. But it is also likely that the name comes from Samboangan, from "samboang" meaning 'boat pole' and "an" or 'place'.

The Yakan Village was mercifully open throughout the holiday interim. Located in the outskirts of the city center, it can be reached via jeep or the most common mode of transportation, the tricycle, in 35-45 minutes.S eeing the colorful, eye-catching (and most coveted) woven wares, it became very tempting to splurge even though I'm not big on bringing home souvenirs. Still, I wasn't able to resist taking home like a dozen small items as it would be a pity not to patronize these wonderful sellers and their acclaimed wares.In any case, we were using Zamboanga City as our jump-off point for Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, and later on, Dipolog up north. We found our home in Amil's which is walking distance to the popular Mindpro Citimall but lies on the quieter street of Pilar. 

Info: Amil's Pension House, tel. nos. 992.4296 and 992.0730 • Thanks to Jens Peters' guide for some of the info I used for this post.
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