For people coming from the northern part of the country, Mindanao is a place that has a sort of mystique to it. Newspapers and magazines have contradictory descriptions of the place -- war-torn, beautiful, rural, abundant, quiet, dangerous, etc. All these, ironically, increases one's curiosity about the island all the more.
Zamboanga is the first place in Mindanao I have gone to. This was in 1990 when two of my college classmates and I, spent a week-long vacation in the city upon the invitation of Felipe Lim, Jr., another classmate. Jun and his family were a perfect host and they pampered us throughout our stay. All we did was eat, tour, swim, sleep, and eat again.
Later, I have gone back to Zamboanga about four more times, and I still meet with Jun every time. We (and his beautiful wife, this time) like talking about the old times repeatedly.
It took me a bit longer to come up with this Zamboanga page for I wanted to use the pictures taken during my first visit. Though the old photos were very amateurishly taken, they are sweet reminders of those adventurous days when Rommel Oliveros, Ed Nonog, and I traveled by ourselves to Zamboanga, Cebu, Ormoc, Masbate, then back to Manila. It was quite an experience, especially when our ship almost sank during a storm on our way to Ormoc. While we slept soundly, being tired from touring Cebu during the day, the ship we took to Ormoc swayed ominously amid giant waves, faltered, and took in some water. Most passengers panicked and ran around the ship grabbing life jackets. Naturally, we awoke to the biggest scare of our lives seeing co-passengers wearing life jackets running, shouting, and crying. We scrambled from our beds and ran for life jackets too. I remember that Ed stopped suddenly and turned around to go back to his cot. When I asked him why he was going back, he replied, "I left my slippers...".
The pictures here were taken on separate visits over the past several years. The first five photos below were taken during my first visit in 1990 after taking the board exam. The others were taken in 1997(?) and 2000.
|From Lantaka Hotel, we took a boat towards Sta. Cruz island. Our host, Jun Lim, said that the beach in the island is known for having "pink" sand. I was skeptical.|
|The sand indeed gives the impression of a unique pink color. But on closer inspection, it is actually a mixture of white sand and very fine crumbs of red shells and corals.|
|We had fun swimming in the beach. The sea current was strong thereabouts so Jun brought a rope on which we tied Ed who didn't know how to swim. From left is Rommel, Ed, myself, and Jun.|
|Rommel and I in a pensive mood. I still had quite a bushful of hair then. :)|
|A solo picture taken at Pasonanca Park during the 1990 visit. This is how I looked like right after college.|
|This is a circa 1997 picture. Taken at Pasonanca Park during my first field work in Zamboanga. With me is my office mate Bong.|
|In 1990, we also swam in this pool in Pasonanca Park, but this picture where I was diving was taken during my 1997 visit.|
|Still in Pasonanca. I dont know what these structures are for. Look like huts for fighting cocks except that they have doors. For dogs perhaps?|
|This is the tree house in Pasonanca. You could arrange to spend your honeymoon here. It is actually for rent.|
|World War II military equipment. With me is my officemate, Jojo.|
|At the burial site of the popular Zamboanga City Mayor Climaco. He was assasinated while helping put out a fire in the city.|
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