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Morning walks in Zamboanga City – Part 2
We took early morning walks in Zamboanga City, when most people are just starting their day. That meant less people and traffic, and one can enjoy the walks without worrying about motor vehicles or crowded streets. A nice route would be from City Hall to Paseo Del Mar and First Pilar and back. This is easily 5,000 to 6,000 steps depending on the variations to the walking route.
Zamboanga City’s Paseo Del Mar is practically deserted but for a few joggers or walkers around 6:00 AM.
You can enjoy a walk, jog or run with views of the sea and ships
The lamps reminded us of similar designs along Roxas Boulevard in Manila and Pasay.
A view of the port and what used to be the Lantaka Hotel (building at right) from the Paseo Del Mar. During one of the city’s festivals, this area would be the staging ground for colorful vintas.
This sign for the paseo would likely be a popular photo op spot.
A potted palm tree and a bench that invites one to sit and enjoy the view
On a clear day, one can see the island of Sulu
The space is just enough for two people going opposite directions
More photos on walking around Zamboanga City in the next posts!
Morning walks in Zamboanga City – Part 1
Before I return to Zamboanga City for another workshop, I wanted to at least post the first of a series about walking in the city. One advantage of staying at a hotel in downtown is that it is close to the parks and city hall. You can also walk towards Lim Boulevard or perhaps towards Fort Pilar on the opposite direction.
Arcade style walkways integrated into the older buildings in downtown Zamboanga City
Valderosa Street with the Zamboanga City Hall on the right
Rizal Park viewed from City Hall
A close up of the Rizal monument
One of the entrances to city hall has the official seal of the city on display.
Historical market for the building, which was first constructed during the American Period. It states that the building also used to be the Provincial Capitol. It is a heritage structure that is over a century old.
The sidewalks are wide and paved. Planters are located along the curb to enhance the environment.
Historical marker on an old house that was the official residence of Gen. John Pershing (yes, that Pershing) and which became BPI’s first branch in the city.
Other old houses may be found along Valderosa Street. Many if not most are in a state of disrepair.
Sidewalk fronting what used to be the Lantaka Hotel. Part of the hotel is now with Ateneo de Zamboanga.
Graffiti on the walls along Valderosa Street
Section fronting what used to be the Lantana Hotel. It is now part of Ateneo de Zamboanga.
More photos in Part 2, which is coming out soon!
Short cuts in Zamboanga City
Our capacity building workshop in Zamboanga involved not just lectures and workshops but some practical exercises to demonstrate the surveys needed for road safety assessment of schools. Fortunately, there was a nearby school to our workshop venue and we only needed to walk to the school where participants could set up at certain locations to simulate data collection. Since a couple of teachers participating in the workshop were from the area and the nearby school, they led us to a short cut to get to their school. The route included a walk along a paved path along one of Zamboanga City’s streams.
The area had a smell (stink?) to it. That was likely because it was the dry season and the heat meant the dirty water from the stream evaporated and generated the smell. There were even large rats that we saw swimming in the waters! Our guides told us that it was better during the wet season as the water flowed faster and was cleaner due to the rains and runoff. They also related about them bathing in the stream during their childhood days (I assume this was more than 30 years ago.) and before the structures above were constructed. The pathways were clean and secure though and there were others like these that we thought were good examples of pedestrian infrastructure that promote safety as well as encourage walking as a preferred mode of transport especially for short trips.
Another look at the Zamboanga Airport – departure
This is another one of those late posts. I was in Zamboanga City three months ago. I had wanted to see for myself what the airport now looks like and if they were able to complete the renovations on the airport. Here are the photos I took of the departure area of the airport where most of the renovations were being done the last time we were in Zamboanga just weeks before the lockdown in March 2020.
The driveways are still the same and so is the main concourse, which is limited to VIPs. Most passengers would have to cross this area from where they alighted to get to the terminal.
Entrance to the terminal’s departure area
What used to be a crowded, hot and humid check-in area is now spacious, orderly and better-ventilated.
A general view of the check-in area of the airport
It can now accommodate more passengers and travelers will be more comfortable here compared to how it was before.
Cebu Pacific posted this for guidance of passengers in the number of baggage they are allowed to bring according to what they paid for when they bought their tickets.
Cebu Pacific’s check-in counters
PAL’s check-in counters
Entrance to the lounges – airport personnel check the passengers’ boarding passes and mark the seats on the plane to probably see who are already in the lounge and waiting for the boarding call.
Air Asia check-in counters
The shops and eateries that was in the mezzanine are no more. Like the airport in Panglao there are now fewer and limited food options at the departure lounge. Fortunately, there is a stall operated by the popular restaurant-cafe Chinito’s. They have good coffee, snacks and light meals there.
The lounge area remained the same. I did not see any additional seats or areas for departing passengers. The lighting has improved though.
There’s a separate Heroes’ Lounge for those who are from the armed forces. Zamboanga is an important post for the military and you can see drones either flying or on the ground at the air force base in Zamboanga. Andrews Air Base is just across the airport and they share the same runway.
Gate assigned to Air Asia
Gates assigned to Cebu Pacific
PAL’s gates are just beside the one assigned to Air Asia
A PAL jet preparing to load luggage and freight
Our Cebu Pacific plane uses the more passenger-friendly ramps for the forward door.
I will post more photos of airports once I am able to visit other cities once again. I am already looking forward to traveling to Cagayan De Oro via Laguindingan Airport. And perhaps my first overseas trip since December 2019. Meanwhile, I still have to post photos of Mactan’s newer terminal.
Another look at the Zamboanga Airport – arrival
We traveled to Zamboanga earlier last month and it was our first trip to the city since the first lockdowns in 2020. We were supposed to travel in March 2020 to conduct data collection for a full week but then there was the nationwide lockdown implemented to control the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. If we were already there when the lockdowns were implemented, we could have been stranded at our hotel and perhaps spent a few weeks to perhaps a month before we could return to Manila.
We disembarked from the plan using the more sophisticated and senior citizen- and PWD-friendly ramps.
It took longer to get down both in terms of distance and disembarking time.
Other stairs and ramps are shown in the background. I recall only Cebu Pacific had these for their aircraft.
Our first look at the renovated Zamboanga International Airport (Aeropuerto International de Zamboanga in the local language – Chavacano) since February 2020. At the time the roof was already falling apart at different locations.
A look back at the ramp
Passengers walk towards the arrival area of the airport
The baggage claim area is practically the same as in 2020. The only notables are the signs encouraging physical distancing as well as the stickers on the floor that designated where passengers were to position themselves.
As you one can see, people no longer really observe social distancing but all are wearing face masks.
A closer and clearer look at the sign and the floor sticker asking people to practice social distancing
The main driveway of the airport remains closed to general traffic. This is used only for special occasions and VIPs.
A look back to the terminal’s arrival area as we walked to meet up with the driver of our service vehicle while in the city.
Photos from the departure/return leg of our trip in the next post.
Aerial photo: Zamboanga City’s fish canning and bottling factories
As we approached Zamboanga City’s airport last week, my colleague and I surveyed the landscape trying to identify landmarks. He was quite good at this being a geographer/transport planner. We took a few photos from the plane and one is this shot of the fish port and factories in Barangay Recodo along the national highway.
Canning and bottling factories lined along the Zamboanga City coast with are mostly fishing vessels anchored off-shore.
There is still an abundance of aquatic resources in the Sulu Sea where these vessels go for fishing. These should be more than enough for domestic as well as typical international demand. Unfortunately, there are alleged foreign trawlers or vessels poaching our resources. These should be seriously looked into by our coast guard and navy.
Zamboanga City Integrated Bus Terminal
I open the year by sharing photos of the Zamboanga City Bus Terminal. It is a ‘central’ terminal as most most buses terminate here and cannot proceed to the city center. At the terminal, passengers may transfer between buses, jeepneys and vans.
View of the terminal from the national highway. There are driveways leading to and from the terminal from the highway and one can appreciate the expanse between the facility and the main access road.
There are covered walks connecting the terminal to the national road.
Provincial buses and long-distance vans at the terminal
Provincial bus arriving at the terminal
Jeepneys at the terminal
Motorcycles parked along a shaded area. The lamp’s vintage design seems to be a good accent to the terminal.
Close-up showing the spacious parking area shared by cars, jeepneys, motorcycles and even tricycles
Another look at the covered walkways leading to the national highway. Not all public transport go to the terminal because of the fees and the distance for the diversion from the highway.
Jeepneys waiting to be filled with passengers prior to departure
A look at the front of the terminal shows a wide driveway and the connection of the covered walkway to the main entrance
Another look at the integrated terminal from the highway
We will be evaluating the terminal soon as part of a study we are doing for the city. More photos and some assessments about its features soon!
A Blessed Christmas to all!
I just wanted to greet everyone a Merry Christmas!
[Photo is of Christmas tree at Plaza Pershing, Zamboanga City]
Snapshots on a Zamboanga trike
I like taking photos from the vehicle when I’m traveling. It doesn’t matter whether I am on a car, on a bus or even a motorcycle as long as it is safe and there’s no danger of dropping my camera or my phone. Here are a few photos taken as we were on a tricycle in Zamboanga.
Old building on a corner of a street in Zamboanga showed how buildings in the downtown area were built. The ground floor is likely a shop, store or office while the upper one is likely to be a home. From the photo, it becomes obvious that pedestrians were protected against the elements (sun or rain) for this arcade type of development.
Inside the tricycle, the fare rates are printed on the side car. That includes the discounts that are supposed to be given for senior citizens and students.
At the transport terminal of a major mall in the city, the lines are long for taxis. However, there are few taxis serving the city and the usual mode of transport that are basically 3-wheeler taxis (the tricycles) wait for passengers.
Sign warning against abusive tricycle drivers who overcharge their passengers. There are penalties including a fine of 4,000 pesos (about 80 USD).
I will post more photos of Zamboanga scenes next month when we head to Zamboanga for some field work. That will give me the opportunity to take a lot of photos as we make an initial assessment of road safety around selected schools in the city.
Back in Zamboanga – arrival
I was back in Zamboanga last week for a short workshop. We were supposed to arrive just before 6AM as we took the first flight from Manila. Our flight was delayed, however, and we arrived around 7:30AM instead. I will write about this in another post. Meanwhile, here are some photos upon our arrival in Zamboanga International Airport.
We deplaned from the rear door of the aircraft and that afforded me this shot of the plane and the terminal.
I admire the architecture of the airport terminal. It is an example of architecture appropriate for the city/locale with its rich cultural heritage.
Luggage of arriving passengers are unloaded from the aircraft while a tanker refuels the plane. You can see the fuel hose attached to the wing of the aircraft.
Passengers enter the arrival area of the terminal
Passengers and stevedores crowd around the single baggage conveyor at the claim area.
We found this interesting tarp as we exited the airport terminal showing some statistics on Zamboanga’s population.