ZamPen Weekend

Mindanao is a beautiful island at the southern part of Philippine archipelago. As the second largest island of our country, it hosts three major demographic groups or what they call tri-people living in harmony: Christians (mostly immigrants from Luzon and Visayas), Lumad (un-Islamized and un-Christianized indigenous people of Mindanao), and Moros (Islamized people of Mindanao).

On foreground are the tri-people sculptures by Kublai Millan at People’s Park of Davao City: the boy playing a guitar-like instrument is a Christian, the girl at center with a flute is a Lumad, and the boy with kulintang is a Moro.

Despite some ongoing conflicts within the region, people are peace-loving and can’t wait to invite us to appreciate the natural wonders, heritage sites and colorful festivals they offer.

I was able to book a promo flight bound to Pagadian so I took this opportunity to visit my last province in Mindanao, as part of my #project81.

Zamboanga Peninsula (Tagalog: Tangway ng Zamboanga; Chavacano: Peninsula de Zamboanga; Cebuano: Lawis sa Zamboanga) is an administrative region in the Philippines, designated as Region IX. The region consists of three provinces (Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur) and two cities (Isabela City and Zamboanga City; the former being part of Basilan province and the latter a highly urbanized city). The region was previously known as Western Mindanao. Pagadian City was designated as its new regional center, although Zamboanga City remains the region’s cultural, economic, and educational center.

I have visited some parts of Northern Mindanao and Zamboanga Peninsula before so this will be my first time to visit Zamboanga Sibugay, the newest province of Western Mindanao, sandwiched between Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga City. Hence, my itinerary became ZamPen Weekend Solo Trip! Presenting my itinerary below with Pagadian City Airport as entry and Zamboanga Airport as my exit point:

My ZamPen Weekend Travel Map doing westward route from Pagadian City. I had a sidetrip to Lamitan City in Basilan so I’ll include it here.


Pagadian City
📍Zamboanga Del Sur Provincial Capitol
📍Pagadian City Hall
📍Plaza Luz
📍Sto. Niño Cathedral
📍Unity Park within Provincial Government Center
📍Rotonda Park
📍Pagadian Boulevard
📍Agora Public City Market for buying bulad (dried fish) and other products

📍Zamboanga Sibugay Provincial Capitol
📍Ipil Rotunda Obelisk
📍St. Joseph the Worker Cathedral
📍Ipil Municipal Hall
📍Ipil Municipal Park
📍Buluan Island
📍Malagandis (Tagbilat) Falls
📍Titay Municipal Hall 
📍Titay Municipal Park

📍Situbo falls
📍Tampilisan Municipal Hall
📍Tampilisan Municipal Park

Zamboanga City
📍Zamboanga City Hall
📍Rizal Park
📍R T Lim Boulevard Baywalk
📍Subanin Historical Marker
📍Paseo del Mar for Alavar Seafood Restaurant and KnickerBocker Shop

Lamitan City
📍Datu Kalun Monument
📍Lamitan City Hall 
📍St. Peter the Apostle Parish Church
📍City of Lamitan Port
📍Bulingan Falls

Pagadian Airport (Cebuano: Tugpahanan sa Pagadian; Chavacano: Aeropuerto de Pagadian) (IATA: PAG, ICAO: RPMP), classified Principal Airport Class 1 or major domestic by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), is the airport serving the city of Pagadian, the rest of the province of Zamboanga del Sur, and the province of Zamboanga Sibugay in the Philippines. The CAAP is the arm of the Department of Transportation which operates all the airports in the Philippines except the major international airports.
The airport is located approximately 5 kilometers from the city center and is situated in Barangays Muricay and Tiguma in Pagadian.
In the town of Parang, in the island of Jolo, Sulu province, women weavers are hard at work weaving the “pis syabit”, the traditional cloth tapestry worn as a head covering by the Tausug of Jolo. Made from cotton or silk, square in shape and provided with geometric pattern, the pis syabit can also be worn on the shoulder, knotted around the hilt of the sword, or tied around the head among the Tausug men.
The term “syabit” (which translates to “hook”) is a direct reference of the production process of inserting or hooking-in disconnected weft threads of various colors, across a generally dark yet finely striped body of warp threads.
The Tausug (Tau Sūg: people of the current) are an ethnic Moro group in the Philippines particularly within Sulu archipelago. They are superb warriors and craftsmen. They are known for the Pangalay dance, in which female dancers wear artificial elongated fingernails made from brass or silver.
Zamboanga del Sur (Cebuano: Habagatang Zamboanga; Subanen: S’helatan Sembwangan/Sembwangan dapit Shelatan; Chavacano: Zamboanga del Sur; Tagalog: Timog Zamboanga; Maguindanaon: Pagabatan Sambuanga), officially the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, is a province in the Philippines located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region in Mindanao. Its capital is the city of Pagadian. Statistically grouped with Zamboanga del Sur is the highly urbanized City of Zamboanga, which is geographically separated and a chartered city and governed independently from the province.
Pagadian, officially known as the City of Pagadian (Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Pagadian; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Pagadian; Maguindanaon: Kuta nu Pagadian, Jawi: كوتا نو ڤاڬاديان; Iranun: Bandar a Pagadian, بندر ا ڤاڬاديان; Chavacano: Ciudad de Pagadian; Subanen: Gembagel G’benwa Pagadian/Bagbenwa Pagadian), is a 2nd class component city and the capital of the province of Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. It is the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula and the second-largest city in the region and in the province, after the independent city of Zamboanga. The iconic symbol of Pagadian is its uniquely designed tricycle built to adopt to the city’s hilly terrain. It is the only place in the Philippines with a public transport inclined at about 25-40° angle.
The city proper and surrounding areas of today’s barangays of Muricay, Tawagan Sur and White Beach was originally named Talapukan, an indigenous word that means “a place of numerous springs.” The officially accepted origin of its name are words taken from Iranun, pagad (“to wait”) and padian (“market”) which shows that Pagadian had been a trading area in the past. Other theories suggest that it was named after a bird that the native inhabitants call gagadian or that the city’s name came from the word pangadyi (“prayer”), later to be known as pangadyian (“a place to pray” or “land of prayers”). The name Pagadian is also speculated to be derived from the Subanen word pengadian which means “school”.
Unity Park, a monument to the Tri-people group (the Lumads, Moslems and Christians) who settled in Pagadian, is located within Provincial Government Center in Dao, Pagadian City.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pagadian (Lat: Dioecesis Pagadianensis) is a Roman Rite diocese of the Latin Church of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Created on November 12, 1971, the diocese was a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. With the ceding of the municipality of Margosatubig of the Ipil Prelature to the Diocese of Pagadian in January 1995, the diocese now has 24 parishes under its jurisdiction. The seat is the Cathedral of the Holy Child in Pagadian.
Zamboanga Sibugay, officially the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay (Cebuano: Lalawigan sa Zamboanga Sibugay; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Zamboanga Sibugay; Chavacano: Provincia de Zamboanga Sibugay), is a province in the Philippines located in the Zamboanga Peninsula region in Mindanao. Its capital is Ipil and it borders Zamboanga del Norte to the north, Zamboanga del Sur to the east and Zamboanga City to the southwest. To the south lies Sibuguey Bay in the Moro Gulf. Zamboanga Sibugay is the 79th province created in the Philippines, when its territories were carved out from the third district of Zamboanga del Sur in 2001.
My 76th province! (n_n)
Ipil, officially the Municipality of Ipil (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Ipil; Chavacano: Municipalidad de Ipil), is a 1st class municipality and capital of the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines. It is the most populous municipality of Zamboanga Sibugay.
Ipil used to be known as Sanito, a place under barrio Bacalan under the Municipality of Kabasalan. It was a swampy area and a docking spot for pioneering Ilocanos who settled in the upper areas of Titay. Ipil was a jumping point for their lantsa sailing to Zamboanga City. The first mayor of Ipil was Gregorio Dar, an Ilocano who came from Titay. The Dar Family were the second batch of Ilocanos who settled upon the invitation of Mariano Families who are among the first batch of Ilocanos from Luzon. When Sanito became a Town in 1949, its name was changed to Ipil, as there were many Ipil trees found within the said locale.
Ipil Rotunda Obelisk
The rotunda obelisk in Ipil is a prominent landmark in Zamboanga Sibugay. It was inaugurated in 2015 to mark the province as a central part of the Zamboanga Peninsula and serves as a memorial to those who lost their lives during past conflicts. Two sides of the obelisk contain a clock and the name of the province Zamboanga Sibugay written in Baybayin (ancient Philippine script).
The Diocese of Ipil (Latin: Dioecesis Ipilensis) is a Roman Catholic Diocese located in the municipality of Ipil in the Ecclesiastical province of Zamboanga in the Philippines. It is an ecclesiastical territory in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay and also Western Zamboanga del Sur (Bayog, Kumalarang, Lakewood). The seat is the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Worker in Ipil.
Titay, officially the Municipality of Titay (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Titay; Chavacano: Municipalidad de Titay; Tagalog: Bayan ng Titay), is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay, Philippines.
In 1933 Custodio P. Mariano Sr., the first Ilocano settler, discovered a small place in the center of the poblacion and registered the name of the place in honor of his favorite cousin back in Luzon who is Cristita Mariano nicknamed “Titay” knowing that a woman’s name would bring good luck to the place. The Mariano families were among the first batch of Ilocanos who came from Luzon. Followed by the Dar families who are cousins of the Marianos.
Malagandis Falls a.k.a. Tagbilat Falls
If locals were to speak, they call it the Malagandis Falls. The water comes from Tagbilat River which drops on a cliff, creating a curtain-type waterfall. It then flows for several kilometers before it joins the Bacalan River that empties to Sibuguey Bay.
Tagbilat River originates from the mountains near Titay-Tampilisan border, an area known as the Central Subanen Ancestral Domain. And according to the locals, the river was named Tagbilat because the waters were shallow and the level is only up to a woman’s private part.
This is the most popular and believed to be the grandest not only in town but even in the entire province. It is comparable to Tinuy-an Falls of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Curtain Falls of Baganga, Davao Oriental and Lulugayan Falls of Calbiga, Samar.
Located at Brgy. Malagandis, Titay, Zamboanga Sibugay, you can reach this via habal ride. (Contact Kuya Lando 09752794242)
Zamboanga del Norte (Chavacano: Zamboanga del Norte; Cebuano: Amihanang Zamboanga; Subanon: Utara Sembwangan; Tagalog: Hilagang Zamboanga), officially the Province of Zamboanga del Norte, is a province in the Philippines situated within the Zamboanga Peninsula region in Mindanao. Its capital is Dipolog and the province borders Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay to the south, Misamis Occidental to the east, and the Sulu Sea to the west. Zamboanga del Norte is the largest province of the Zamboanga Peninsula region by land area
Tampilisan, officially the Municipality of Tampilisan (Cebuano: Lungsod sa Tampilisan; Subanen: Benwa Tampilisan; Chavacano: Municipalidad de Tampilisan; Tagalog: Bayan ng Tampilisan), is a 4th class municipality in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. The name Tampilisan originated from a tree called “Tampilis”. This tree is about one to three meters in height, belongs to the palm family. Its sturdy part when split was used by the natives, Subanen, as a substitute for betel nuts. Since this tree were abundant in the area, the place thus called by the native as “Tampilisan”.
Situbo Falls
One of the province’s hidden gems, this is the majestic waterfalls of the town of Tampilisan in Zamboanga del Norte. It is usually paired with Malagandis Falls for chasing waterfalls within ZamPen. As per my guide, the falls in the center disappeared after a recent typhoon ravaged the area. Still, worth a visit especially there’s no entrance fee at the moment. We saw teens cooking their lunch nearby.😉
Zamboanga City, officially known as the City of Zamboanga (Chavacano and Spanish: Ciudad de Zamboanga, Tausūg: Dāira sin Sambuangan, Tagalog: Lungsod ng Zamboanga, Cebuano: Dakbayan sa Zamboanga), is a city in the Zamboanga Peninsula region of the Philippines. It is the fifth-most populous and third-largest city by land area in the Philippines.  It is the commercial and industrial center of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region.
The Zamboangueño people or Zamboangueño nation (Chavacano/Spanish: Pueblo/Nación Zamboangueño) are a creole ethnolinguistic nation of the Philippines originating in Zamboanga City. The ancestors of the present inhabitants of the city are said to also have migrated to other areas in the Southwestern Mindanao. Due to migration, a number of other ethnicities have a visible presence in the city such as the Samal, Yakan, Tausug and Badjao peoples. On October 12, 1936, Zamboanga became a chartered city under Commonwealth Act No. 39. Hence, I arrived here when they’re celebrating their cityhood anniversary with Zamboanga Hermosa Festival theme Celebracion de Colores.
In colonial-era historical records, the city was previously known as Samboangan. Samboangan is a Sinama term for “mooring place” (also spelled sambuangan; and in Subanen, sembwangan), from the root word samboang (“mooring pole”). The name was later Hispanicized as Zamboanga.
Curacha Alavar, sometimes referred to as curacha con salsa Alavar (“Curacha with Alavar sauce”) in Chavacano a Spanish-based creole language, is a Filipino dish made from spanner crabs (curacha), garlic, ginger, salt, and Alavar sauce. The key ingredient is the Alavar sauce, a secret blend of coconut milk, taba ng talangka (crab roe paste), and various spices.
It is a regional specialty of the Zamboanga City. The sauce was invented by Maria Teresa Camins Alavar and is originally served in the Alavar Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant now sells the original Alavar sauce recipe in packets. It is a variant of the traditional ginataang curacha (curacha in coconut milk). The recipe can also be made with mud crabs (cangrejo) or prawns (locon).
A somehow hybrid of fruit salad and halo-halo, KnickerBocker was inspired by a British dessert of the same name. With fruits (watermelon, apple, mango, banana), milk, gelatin and strawberry ice cream, you can savor the freshness of ingredients and sweetness is not overpowering like halo-halo. You can also have this dessert at main branch of Hacienda Palmeras restaurant at Pasonanca road.
The Port of Zamboanga (Chavacano: Puerto de Zamboanga) and (Cebuano: Pantalan sa Zamboanga) is a seaport located in Zamboanga City, Philippines. It is managed by the Philippine Ports Authority, Port Management Office-Zamboanga, (PPA, PMO-Zamboanga), otherwise known by its corporate name, Zamboanga Freeport Authority (ZFA).
Basilan, officially the Province of Basilan (Chavacano: Provincia de Basilan; Yakan: Wilayah Basilanin; Tausug: Wilaya’ sin Basilan; Tagalog: Lalawigan ng Basilan) is an island province of the Philippines located primarily in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. Basilan Island is the largest and northernmost of the major islands of the Sulu Archipelago. It is just off the southern coast of the geographic Zamboanga Peninsula.
Lamitan, officially known as the City of Lamitan (Chavacano: Ciudad de Lamitan; Yakan: Siyudad Lamitanin; Tausūg: Dāira sin Lamitan; Tagalog: Lungsod ng Lamitan), is a 6th class component city and de jure capital of the province of Basilan, Philippines. the city’s name came from Lami-Lamihan, which means “merry making” in Yakan.
Datu Kalun Shrine – Built as a tribute to a famous Yakan leader and founder of Lamitan. His descendants are the Antonio-Cuevas-Pamaran-Flores clan. The earliest known historical account of the municipality disclose that the Tagihamas, said to be the Land Dyaks of Sarawak were the early known migrants of Basilan who later develop into the group known as Yakan. The area which was later known as Lamitan was the home base of Yakan. In June 1886, a certain Pedro Javier Cuevas, better known in Basilan History as Datu Kalun, wrestled leadership from the native chieftains and established a settlement known as Lamitan. The area developed into a town which political boundaries reached the Guiong River in the southeast and the Balagtasan River in the northwest. The passing of time saw the influx of Christian settlers who led the way, with their Muslim townmates, in the agricultural development of the area. The town recognized during the Spanish, American and Japanese occupation as one of the municipal district of Basilan, then a part of Zamboanga Province.
The Lamitan City Port as viewed from leaving marine vessel bpund to Zamboanga City. Unfortunately, I haven’t visisyed the famous Bulingan Falls due to heavy rains. I promise to visit Basilan soon.
Zamboanga City is the only Independent, chartered city and highly urbanized city in the Zamboanga Peninsula ZamPen region. The city is the lone member of BIMP-EAGA in the Zamboanga Peninsula. Zamboanga City generates more than half of the economy of the region. It also has the largest airport and seaport and the city in the region with most investors.
Zamboanga International Airport (Chavacano: Aeropuerto Internacional de Zamboanga; Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Zamboanga; IATA: ZAM, ICAO: RPMZ) is the main airport serving Zamboanga City in the Philippines. The airport is Mindanao’s third-busiest airport after Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City and Laguindingan Airport in Laguindingan, Misamis Oriental. The airport covers a total land area of 270 hectares.
The airport is officially classified as an international airport by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, despite only offering scheduled domestic passenger services. 
I didnt have time to buy pasalubong at the Canelar Barter so I bought these instead at airport’s departure area. These are food products imported from Malaysia.

See you soon Mindanao! (n_n)

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