1. Zamboanga evokes a scene of fear and wonder. I always heard it from someone. Why in hell are you going to Zamboanga? Are you dead serious? They were referring to kidnappings and Abu Sayaff and other Muslim groups Muslims themselves are ashamed of. Back in my mind I see barter trade and colorful vintas with a beautiful sunset as background. Pasonanca Park. Chabacano. Beautiful people.
2. Family members always prioritize you because you are special. I arrived there safely courtesy of a free ticket from my sis who works at CebPac and the all expense paid trip courtesy of a very good friend.
3. Zamboanga International Airport is in a way neglected as well as some of the government-owned buildings around the city (Sayang na sayang yung building, convention center ata yun, at Pasonanca Park). The architecture is fantastic but the facilities are pathetic. And it's starting to deteriorate. Perhaps showing us the real face of Philippine government?
4. Hospitality is very Filipino. We were welcomed by friends we knew before who are trying hard to impress us. Not because we wanted to be treated special. It is inherent amongst Filipinos to become showoffs even if we can't afford it so our friends won't regret the visit.
5. Zamboanga is an old town trying hard to become like a city. The place reminds me of Colon Street in Cebu. Decrepit houses. Old streets. Garbage everywhere. Abundant massage parlors attracting also as videoke bars and carenderia (3 in 1?) are everywhere.
6. In fairness, the springs and brooks around the city have clear running waters.
7. Knowing Chabacano is not a necessity when you go around the city.
8. Barter trade center is not actually a barter trade center.
9. Ignorance is bliss. Our visit to some families who do not even have some of our basic necessities showed that they are still happy.
10. What makes a person poor? Is it in the environment where he is living in squalor? Is it in his attitude?
11. Utility vehicle or tricyle? That was the question. We opted for the latter. The utility vehicle offers us airconditioned but cramped view of the city while the tricycle gave us a wider perpective of Zamboanga City.
12. The place is generally cool! Cafes. Nice restos. Excellent food. Among others, I love these hangouts: Mano-Mano, Alejandras, Boracay (a restaurant), Cafe Sacco (a cool place in Pasonanca Park. Nearby Lobregat is making a string of small buildings I believe will make an excellent hangout).
13. Tuba in Bohol and Samar is still the best.
14. Coño bunana is a bad word.
15. Real friends do not leave you. They make you laugh. They feed you. They pay your stay. They pay your tricycle fare. They love you for who you are.