Thanks to the heavy rains overnight, I slept like a baby for my first night in Zamboanga City. Mind you, I prayed hard before I went to bed the previous night. Haha. But it was as if the rain didn’t want me to get out of my bed, that did not stop until noontime. Oh well, it was fine with me, I had Bumble Bee as my company – good thing I got the room with tv.
Past noontime, the rain stopped and the sun took over the clouds. I then hurriedly went outside, hailed a Pasonanca-bound jeep. Fare: 9pesos.
I took the front seat, as I was the only passenger at that time. As usual, I tried to control myself not to take photos while in the jeep. While my eyes enjoyed seeing the busy streets of Zamboanga, my ears heard one familiar sound. So familiar that made my heart beat a little faster and my eyes got distracted with numerous people running toward a particular site… I wanted to think it was a mere vehicular accident… but who am I kidding, there was a gun fire… not once, but twice.
Having comfortably seated in the front seat, I was just inches away from the newly ended lives of the victims. My hands itched and I tried to take my camera out of my bag. But I didn’t shoot until we passed few more meters from the crime scene. Police started to barricade the area, and commanded the growing crowd to clear the vicinity.
Traffic started to develop when we passed the crime street – and my driver chatted with fellow drivers about the incident - they were saying it was more a drug-related case than a terrorist or rebellious act. Well, whatever it was about – it just made my first solo trip in the Philippines a lot more thrilling. (What more if I spent the day in Basilan…mas exciting siguro… haha!)
So much for crimes and no passion, I safely reached the camping grounds of Pasonanca Park.
Pasonanca Park is the official BSP (Boy Scouts of the Philippines) activity and camping grounds in Zambaonga. To make my visit more realistic, an on-going camping preparation welcomed my arrival.
I then went straight to the famous tree house.
Then to the other famous boys scout tents…
… and the children busy preparing their camping gears.
I wasn’t able to explore the whole area, though it was just a small place, because there were boy scouts everywhere. Haha.
Going back to the town, you can wait for jeep from Pasonanca back to Canelar. But I decided to walk my way out and had my feel-the-Zamboanga-atmosphere moment. After a ten-minute walk, I reached the main road – and noticed a flower-y site. It’s the Jardin Maria Clara Lobregat. Good thing, I didn’t ride a jeep or else, I might’ve missed this Zamboanga-only attraction.
There was really nothing extraordinary inside the garden– except for the Spanish written signage.
A little later that afternoon, I went to Canelar Barter – the best place to buy your pasalubong. It’s a few meters away from Atilano Pension House. Here, you’ll be amazed seeing imported products being sold mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia – (para ka talagang nasa ibang bansa: Spanish-like ang salita, tapos pasalubong mo imported… Haha.) Apart from imported goods, you can also spot different sarong designs, batik and more local products in the barter area.