OK, we’ve been traveling around the Philippines looking at different Cities around the country, and trying to which one might be best as a place to live! Well, today, let’s go way down South to Zamboanga City. I know, I know… the first thing that most foreigners think of when it comes to Zamboanga City is that it is dangerous, and it’s full of terrorists. Well, I don’t think that this is true. Yes, there are some problems in the general area, but overall, Zamboanga City is safe and not a big worry. Now, if you venture to nearby Basilan Island, or to Sulu you will probably find some problems if you look for them, but if you remain in the City of Zamboanga, you will likely feel quite safe. Hey, I’ve even been to Basilan myself, and I lived to tell about it!
For today’s journey to Zamboanga City, we were guided by Arvin, a native of Zamboanga City. Arvin volunteered to guide us through our list of questions about his home town. Let’s have a look at my questions, and Arvin’s answers:
1. What City do you live in?
->Zamboanga City <a.k.a. city of flowers, asia’s latin city, sardine capital of the philippines>
2. How long have you lived in this City?
-> 25 yrs.
3. Can you give a price range of housing in the area that would be
appropriate for a foreigner? Low end? High end?
->12,500/month in a village in TALISAYAN many koreans live there.
->there is a exclusive village in tumaga beside the newly constructed ateneo high school building
which ranges from 2-5 million pesos/house<this is best when you live here for good>
4. What kind of amenities do you have in town? Malls? Fitness
Centers? Swimming Pools? Movies? Restaurants?
-> Shopping Malls
-Mindpro Citimall<4 storey mall>
-Southway Square<4 storey mall>
-Yubenco Starmall<3 storey mall>(located at putik 2-3 km away from the city hall)
-Shopper’s Center<a 4 storey mall>(under construction)
-Shopper’s Mall<a 10 storey mall>(under construction)
-Gaisano Mall- Pending
-Robinsons Place Zamboanga<still a rumor>
and a whole lot of Department Stores
the 1st,3rd,4th and 5th mall mentioned above are only having a few meter distances.
example: Southway Square is away from Shopper’s Center for only 10-20 mtrs away..
*Inland resort(a great resort for a family holiday)
*Pasonanca Swimming pools
*Monte Verde resort
and a whole lot more
there are also pools @ the hotels<e.g. Garden Orchid Hotel,Marcian Hotel&Lantaka Hotel>
*most movie houses are available at the malls
*Alejandras Grand Complex
and a whole lot more which includes the fast food chain restaurants like Jollibee<9 branches>
Mcdonald’s, KFC,Chowking&greenwich<not considered as fast food> etc and etc
5. In general, how would you consider the cost of living in your city?
How much is the price of a Lechon Manok?
-it’s cheap a ride from you’re house to the city commercial proper is at about 25-30 pesos that’s if you’re w/ someone but if you’re alone it only cost 20-25 pesos. depends on the location of your house
-a whole lechon manok cost 120 pesos
6. How are the roads in your area?
-they are cemeneted and not to mention the traffic here travels smoothly most of the time
7. Are there many foreigners living in your area? Is there any kind of
get togethers for foreigners?
-mostly chinese<LOTS of them>
there are some indonesians only few americans,british,german etc.
8. How are the government offices in your area? Things like getting a
driver’s license and such, how much of a hassle?
-not quite a hassle quite the same process with other cities
9. What types of transportation are mostly used in your city?
Tricycles? Jeepneys? Taxis?
-Tricycles and Jeepneys
(Bob’s note: When I visited Zamboanga City in 2007, I found that transportation was the biggest drawback in town. Tricycles vastly overcharged for foreigners, and it was really a hassle getting around town)
10. How is the weather in your area? Lots of rain? Mostly sunshine?
-> we usually have a fair weather, we dont experience that much storm because, we’re outside the
11. How is the drinking water? Can you drink tap water in your area,
or do you need mineral water?
-We Drink water which are only sterilized & mineral water,
-to be more safe you’ll need mineral water
12. How about electricity? Do you have many brownouts? Can you give
us the cost of electricity in your area?
-we experience brownouts rarely
13. Do you have good beaches in your area?
-im proud to say that we do have GREAT beaches not just good but great ones. there is the Santa Cruz island<pink sand beach>,Bolong Beach, La Vista Del mar<currently owned by the Lobregat family to give you a fact >
(Bob’s note: I agree, great beaches in Zamboanga! Santa Cruz Island with it’s pale pink sands is a beautiful place)
14. Is your City served by an airport? If so, are the number of
-yes, it is served by an INTERNATIONAL airport
-yes, but unfortunately the airport is not open 24 hrs, we also have an INTERNATIONAL seaport.
15. Are imported goods and such readily available in your local
stores? Do you feel a need to make trips to a bigger city to buy such
items? If so, where?
-most of the imported goods are available in the city
16. Do you find the area friendly? Ever feel there is any danger in
-yes,but also like manila&cebu there are still a few robber/thief and hold-uppers
-to be honest, no, because the locals seems to be friendly enough for me not to fear
17. Is Cable TV available in your area?
-yes, there are 2 cable tv provider Sky Cable and Mindanao Cable. A satellite TV provider is also available.
for more information about the city heres a link http://www.zamboanga.com/Business/Invest_in_Zamboanga_City.htm
another link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zamboanga_City
A few other notes from Arvin:
Zamboanga is home to three universities
Ateneo De Zamboanga University
Universidad De Zamboanga
and Western Mindanao State University
zamboanga city is ideal for investment on malls, exclusive residences won’t really be a big hit
our city mayor is Hon. Celso L. Lobregat
vice mayor is Hon. Beng Climaco
our city is divided into 2 districts, a 3rd district proposal is not yet approved .
we’ve got a lot of tourist spots
first is the Fort Pilar
second is the Petite Barracks
third is the plaza pershing
the, city hall
the, pasonanca aviary and a whole lot more
Zamboanga City is known to be one of the biggest city in the philippines
If you really would want to experience the beauty of zamboanga
see it for yourself
come and join the zamboanguenos
Adelante zamboanga! viva asia’s latin city!!!
Bob Martin is the Publisher & Editor in Chief of the Live in the Philippines Web Magazine. Bob is an Internet Entrepreneur who is based in Davao. Bob is an American who has lived permanently in Mindanao since May 2000. Here in Mindanao, Bob has resided in General Santos City, and now in Davao City. Bob is the owner of this website and many others.