After filling myself with a delightful satti meal at Jimmy's Satti Haus, I walked towards the city proper to check things around. From Jimmy's Satti Haus in Pilar St., I walked towards Don Pablo Lorenzo St. until I reached Plaza Pershing and Plaza Alvarez. Plaza Pershing was built in honor of Governor John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing’s triumph against Muslim insurgents during the early times. Unfortunately, it's currently re-constructed when I visited, so I wasn't able to check it out.
In front of the city hall is Plaza Rizal, Where a statue of our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal proudly stands. Across the street is the imposing 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 Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W. Hoyt, and Governor John J. Pershing of World War I fame. Today, this serves as the City Hall of Zamboanga City where the Mayor holds office. (source)
I walked towards Rizal St., until I reached the area where most of the government offices are located. I love walking along this street because of the towering acacia trees lining up the sidewalk. It was refreshing to see centuries old acacia trees within the city and I'm so glad with the City's effort to preserve its heritage and historical value by giving emphasis to the importance of these trees in the balance of the ecosystem.
I turned right at Pablo Burgos St., and walked towards N.S. Valderosa St., I strolled further and reached Fort Pilar - a symbol of the city's rich heritage.
Founded in 1635 as a garrison during the Spanish period, 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 Pilar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. Its 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. (source)
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. (source)
Since it was a Sunday, a number of families were there to visit the shrine. You can see people lining up to be able to touch the image of our Lady of the Pilar which is believed to be miraculous.
Going back to the hostel, I walked again along N.S. Valderosa St., then to Mayor Jaldon St., turned right to Brillantes St., then left to Campaner St., then turned left to Gonzales Drive where I found the 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. (source)
A tour around the city proper of Zamboanga made me acquainted with it's rich history and culture amidst its highly urbanized setting. Truly, this is a must-do activity in Zamboanga City.
Bienvenidos Ciudad de Zamboanga!
- The Pink Sand Beach of Sta. Cruz Island
- Exploring the Lagoon on Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga City
- Visiting the Old Badjao Burial Grounds on Sta Cruz Island
- WHERE TO EAT: 8 Must-try Food in Zamboanga City
- 2nd Zamboanga Bird Festival in Zamboanga City
- Riding the Colorful Vinta in Zamboanga City
- Pasonanca and Freedom Parks, Mt. Pulong Bato and La Jardin de Maria Clara Lobregat
- TRAVEL TIP: How to Get in and Out of Zamboanga City Airport
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