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ABOUT ZAMBOANGA PROVINCE
Zamboanga Province, Philippines



In Zamboanga, there are constant reminders of the city's exotic past as a major East-West trading port. Zamboanga remains a melting pot of cultures, with the colorful vinta sails and the imposing stoneworks of Fort Pilar symbolizing the city's rich heritage.

Zamboanga is a shopper's paradise, where a vast array of imported Asian wares compete for attention with local handicrafts such as brassware, woodcarving and shell products.

Fort Pilar was built in 1635 by a Jesuit priest engineer and Spanish authorities to ward off attacks from Moros and foreign invaders. The fort was eventually converted to a shrine and miraculous powers are attributed to the statue of Our Lady of the Pillar.

Plaza Pershing is a quaint remnant of a typical Spanish square, renamed in honor of a former American Governor of the Moro Province. Pettit Barracks was established by U.S. Occupation Forces in 1899 and named after its commanding officer. The major natural attraction is Great Santa Cruz Island, which is known for its pinkish sand beach. On the island is a fishing village, a lagoon and an old Muslim burial ground.

Dapitan has been titled "The Shrine City of Western Mindanao," as national hero Dr. Jose Rizal spent five years of exile in the city. Tha major attraction is the Rizal Shrine, which is the original estate purchased by Dr. Rizal during his years of exil from 1892 to 1896. It contains a number of structures, including the main residence, two clinics, a schoolhouse, amphitheater and the Rizalania, a modern building which houses a large collection of Rizal memorabilia. Located in the City Plaza is a giant relief map of Mindanao, made by Dr. Rizal as a teaching aid.

The best examples of Spanish era architecture are the Catholic Rectory and St. James Church, also located at the City Plaza. Dapitan Bay is a safe swimming beach and features sunsets said to be even more beautiful than those of Manila, while Dakak Cove is an excellent white sand beach.

Dipolog City is the capital of Zamboanga Del Norte Province and a twin city of Dapitan. The main attractions of the town are the Holy Rosary Cathedral, an imposing edifice erected a century ago by Spanish Friars and Linabo Peak, which offers a panoramic view of both cities. Other attractions in the area are Sicayab Beach and the Pamansalan Oisca Forest Park and Waterfalls.

There are various other tourist attractions located in the province, including Mariway Falls, Alano Beach and Bayangan, Selinog and Ubay Islands.

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