Solo Traveler: Zamboanga and its Hidden Beauties

   No one in our office would dare to set foot in Zamboanga. As this place is known for militiamen, Abus, and NPAs. And quite frankly, I was in the midst of thinking of what life would be in this place. But having no choice and the itineraries are ready, we went to the place where fear is casted to those who are not familiar in the place.

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We touched down at the Zamboanga City Airport. As we apporached the exit, locals offers ride heading to the city proper. Mode of transportation here is tricycle or commonly called as  habal-habal. So we went downtown and headed towards to our hotel. As what the local news reported, this place was once a war zone due to Bansamoro-Government conflict. And due to this one, we are very cautious in the area. We did not dare to set foot by night in the city as we are instructed by our colleagues there that we must stay in our hotel for our safety. We did not reach the Port Pilar and Plaza del Ray.
   And on our second day, we went to the infamous place of Ipil. Navigating via bus, going there is a two to three hours travel. You will see the vast green mountains and ridges of Zamboanga Sibugay.

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   The green swaths, mountain ranges as you go along Zamboanga Sibugay. Approaching Ipil, there are plenty of military checkpoints. And most of the municipalities had a bus terminal.

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Communities are settled most in the coastal areas. So there are lots of forests not scoured by the experts. In which, we believe, where the extremists dwells.

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And we reached Ipil, Zamboanga. Major source of income, rubber. From the extract of the rubber trees, it turns to profit by some locals. This is the Centro of the municipality where police held captive during the conflict. The local market here offers varieties of imported goods from Malaysia and Basilan.

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Local vendors were not allowed to go inside the bus. This is from Sindangan. And what excites me here is finding the odds in the midst of crescent moon, venerated mosque, muslim dominated area.

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  A Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Sindangan,Zamboanga del Norte. Finding this place is a sigh of relief.

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The Barangay Manukan statue.
And for our third day trip, we stayed in Dipolog City.

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The Dipolog Bay stretches far from the city proper as it was the longest toppling Manila’s very own, Manila Bay.
    Unlike Ipil & Sindangan, Dipolog City is much urban than Zamboanga City.

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The Dipolog City Bay at night. A stretches of bars, cafes and local restaurants.

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And morning sky where we stayed in Dipolog City. Taken in our hotel where we stayed. Next stop, Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental.

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We stayed at the Asia Novotel for  a night. This was taken at the afternoon. The Oroquieta Sea Wall.

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The Holy Rosary Parish in Oroquieta.

   Next stop, Ozamiz. This is the Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

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  Also, Ozamiz is known for its famous Birhen ng Cotta ( Our Lady of Triumph).

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Devotees lined up to touch the image of the Nuestra Señora de Triunfo dela Cruz.
   We stayed here for two days. And we went to Zamboanga del Sur.

Hello Pagadian! Our last stop. This is the  Sto. Niño Cathedral in Pagadian City.

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Pagadian City is an urban city located in Zamboanga del Sur. What to visit here in this place? We recommend Rotonda (Horses Park), Sto. Niño Cathedral, the Agora Market, and the local restaurants along Rotonda.
    To sum it up, Zamboanga offers exhilirating sceneries. From beaches, mountains, including friendly locals. It is truly a worth try to travel here. A hidden gem in the south.
  

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