Open Access Articles- Top Results for Zamboanga City

Zamboanga City

For other uses, see Zamboanga (disambiguation).
Zamboanga City
Ciudad de Zamboanga
Highly Urbanized City
Zamboanga City Hall
Zamboanga City Hall
Template:Infobox settlement/columns
Nickname(s): Ciudad Latina de Asia; Ciudad de las Flores; Sardinas Capital del Filipinas
Motto: CSGO P-BOYS Zamboanga!
Map with Zamboanga City highlighted
Location within the Philippines

Coordinates: 06°55′N 122°05′E / 6.917°N 122.083°E / 6.917; 122.083Coordinates: 06°55′N 122°05′E / 6.917°N 122.083°E / 6.917; 122.083{{#coordinates:06|55|N|122|05|E|type:city_region:PH|| |primary |name=

Country [[{{#property:P17}}]]
Region Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX)
Province [[{{#property:P131}}]] (statistically only)
Established June 23, 1635
Incorporated (city) October 12, 1936
Established (city) February 26, 1937
Official language(s) Zamboangueño Chavacano
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar (Liberal Party)
 • Vice Mayor César Iturralde (LDP)
 • Representatives
 • City Council
 • Land 1,414.70 km2 (546.22 sq mi)
Elevation 16.0 m (52.5 ft)
Population (Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 242: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).)[2]
 • Total {{#property:P1,082}}
 • Rank Sixth
 • Density 570.5/km2 (1,478/sq mi)
Demonym Zamboangueño (m)
Zamboangueña (f)
Time zone PST (UTC+8)
ZIP code {{#property:P281}}
Dialing code {{#property:P473}}
Income class 1st class
Website {{#property:P856}}

Zamboanga City (Chavacano: Ciudad de Zamboanga) is a highly urbanized city located in Mindanao, Philippines. It has a population of {{#property:P1082}} people as of the Lua error in Module:Wikidata at line 242: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). census.[2] Zamboanga is the 6th most populous and 3rd largest city by land area in the Philippines.[3][4] It is the commercial and industrial center of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region.[5]

For historical and statistical purposes, Zamboanga City is grouped with the Province of Zamboanga del Sur,[1] of which it formerly was the capital.

Zamboanga was formerly known as Jambangan in the Subanen language and the center of the Subanen culture during the pre-Hispanic times. After independence from Spain on May 1899, Zamboanga became the Republica de Zamboanga with Zamboangueño Chavacano as its official language and Spanish as its co-official language. After American intervention, the republic incorporated into the Philippines and became the capital of the former Moro Province, now Mindanao, from 1903 to 1913. On October 12, 1936, Zamboanga became a chartered city under Commonwealth Act No. 39.[6][7] It was formally inaugurated on February 26, 1937, which was declared a local holiday. Known for Hispanic influences in its culture, it bears the nickname "Asia's Latin City."[8]


Zamboanga was founded in the late 12th or early 13th century, with the earliest people living there being the Subanen, an indigenous tribe of the island Mindanao. The Subanen people's name for Zamboanga, "Sung Lupa", means "pointed land". Speculation that the name of Zamboanga comes from the word "Jambangan Bunga", meaning "bouquet/vase of flowers", or the "garden/land of flowers", is met by others insisting the name derives from the word "saguan" or "sambuan", a Malay word for the paddle used by natives to paddle the vintas in the sea. Another possible origin is "sambon" which refers to herbal plants that grew abundantly in the city.[9] Badjao, Samal, Tausug and the Yakan tribes from Malayan descent settled in the same part of Mindanao in the early 14th century.[10] Islam gained predominance in the early 14th century in the Philippines, the first non-indigenous religion to reach Austronesian peoples.[11]

Spanish rule

Spanish explorers first arrived in the Philippine archipelago in 1521.[12] In 1569 Zamboanga was chosen as the site of the Spanish settlement and garrison on La Caldera (now called Barrio Recodo).[13] Zamboanga was one of the main strongholds in Mindanao, supporting colonizing efforts in the south of the island and making way for Christian settlements. It also served as a military outpost, protecting the island against foreign invaders and Moro pirates. In 1599, the Zamboanga fort was closed and transferred to Cebú due to great concerns about attack by the English on that island, which did not occur. After having abandoned the city, the Spaniards joined forces with Visayan troops (From Cebu and Iloilo) and reached the shore of Zamboanga to bring peace to the island against Moro pirates.[14]

Zamboanga became the main headquarters of the Spaniards in June 23, 1635 upon approval of King Philip IV of Spain, and the Spanish officially founded the city.[14] Thousands of Spanish troops headed by a governor general from Spain took the approval to build the first Zamboanga fortress (now called Fort Pilar) in Zamboanga to forestall enemies in Mindanao like Moro pirates and other foreign invaders.[15] The Zamboanga fortress became the main focus of a number of battles between Moros and Spaniards while the Spanish ruled the region from 16th to 18th centuries. Spain was forced to abandon Zamboanga temporarily and withdraw its soldiers to Manila in 1662 after the Chinese under Koxinga threatened to invade the Spanish Philippines. While the region was already dominated by Catholicism, Muslims kept up a protracted struggle against the ruling Spaniards in the country into the 18th century.[16][17] In January 1798 a British naval squadron conducted a Raid on Zamboanga but was driven off by the city's defensive fortifications.

In the Year 1831, the custom house in Zamboanga was established as a port, and it became the main port for direct communication, trading some goods and other services to most of Europe, Southeast Asia and Latin America.[18] The Americans arrived in the Philippines, headed by General Weyler with thousands of troops to defeat the Spaniards who ruled it more than three centuries. The Spanish government sent more than 80,000 Spanish troops to the Philippines. The Spanish government completely and peacefully surrendered the islands to the United States in the 1890s.[19]

Republic of Zamboanga

Before the end of the 19th century, The Republic of Zamboanga was established during the American period in the Philippines and it briefly existed from May 18, 1899 until March 1903. The first president of the Republic of Zamboanga was General Vicente Álvarez, who was succeeded by Isidoro Midel and Mariano Arquiza.[20]

Early Twentieth century

Inauguration of the Municipality of Zamboanga which included Basilan, July 1, 1901, with Datu Kalun (background) in attendance

Upon the firm establishment of American colonization and dissolution of the Republic in 1903, Zamboanga, as a municipality, was placed under the Moro Province, a semi-military government consisting of five districts: Zamboanga, Cotabato, Davao, Lanao and Sulu. During this period, Zamboanga hosted a number of American regional governors, including General John J. Pershing, who was military commander/governor of the Moro Province from 1909 to 1914. The entire Moro Province of Mindanao was administered directly from the city, effectively making Zamboanga Mindanao's only capital city.[citation needed]

On September 15, 1911, the Legislative Council of the Moro Province passed Act No. 272 converting the municipality into a city with a commission form of government but was amended to be effective on January 1, 1912. Frederick Christopher Bader was appointed mayor of the city.[citation needed]

Upon the establishment of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu in 1914, Zamboanga City was reverted into a municipality run by a municipal president. A native Zamboangueño, Victoriano Tarrosa was appointed to be municipal president.[citation needed]

In 1920, Zamboanga ceased to be Mindanao's capital city when the department was divided into provinces in which the city became under the large province of Zamboanga. It encompasses the present-day Zamboanga Peninsula with the inclusion of the whole province of Basilan.

Soon after the establishment of the Commonwealth, it established itself the center of commerce, trade, and government of Mindanao Island as the capital of the Moro Province.[21]

The 1936 City Charter and the Commonwealth

File:President Quezon signing the Zamboanga City Charter at the Malacañang Palace on October 12, 1936.jpg
President Manuel Quezon (center) signing the City Charter of Zamboanga in a ceremony held in the Malacañang Palace in October 12, 1936.

When the Commonwealth government was established in 1935, calls to convert Zamboanga into a city increased. On September 23, 1936, through Assemblyman Juan Alano, the National Assembly of the Philippines passed Commonwealth Act No. 39 making Zamboanga a chartered city consisting of "the present territorial jurisdiction of the municipality of Zamboanga, the municipality of Bolong, the municipal district of Taluksangay, the whole island of Basilan and the adjacent islands, i.e., the municipality of Isabela, the municipal district of Lamitan, and the municipal district of Maluso."[6][7] It was later signed by President Manuel Quezon in October 12, 1936. The charter made Zamboanga City as the largest city in the world in terms of land area. During these times, Zamboanga was the leading commercial and industrial city of Mindanao.

In a celebration held outside the city hall, the new city government was formally inaugurated in February 26, 1937. Nicasio Valderrosa was appointed as mayor.[citation needed]

Before World War II, Pettit Barracks, a part of the U.S. Army's 43d Infantry Regiment (PS), was stationed there.

World War II

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, they were headed by Vice Admiral Skugiyama Rokuzo, accompanied by Rear Admiral Naosaburo Irifune. The Japanese landed at Zamboanga on March 2, 1942.[22] The city government was reverted to a municipality with Carlos Camins as its mayor. They established a defense headquarters in the city and controlled the government for over two years.

The Japanese government in the city was eventually overthrown by American and Filipino forces following a fierce battle that occurred on March 10–12, 1945.[20]

Post-World War II

After the war, new problems aroused especially for the citizens of the island of Basilan. The people there found it difficult to appear in courts, pay their taxes, seek help from the mayor and other officials. Going from Basilan to the mainland required three or more hours of travel. To fix the problem, Representative Juan Alano filed a bill in Congress to separate Basilan from Zamboanga. So the island of Basilan was proclaimed a separate city through Republic Act No. 288[23] on July 16, 1948.

In April 7, 1953 by virtue of Republic Act No. 840,[24][25] Zamboanga City was classified as First Class in which its city annual income exceeded one million pesos and the salaries of the city officials were increased.[citation needed]

In April 29, 1955, a special law changed the landscape of the city government when Republic Act No. 1210[26] amended the City Charter that made elective the position of city mayor and the creation of an elective vice-mayor and eight (8) elective city councilors. The vice-mayor is the presiding-officer of the City Council. In November 1955, Liberal Party candidate Cesar Climaco with his running-mate, Tomas Ferrer won the first local elections. They were inducted into office on January 1, 1956 as determined by the Revised Election Code.[27]

During Climaco's term, the Abong-abong Park in Pasonanca was constructed, which was planned to provide space for a camp site, housing projects, and a shantytown to house the city's homeless population. During this period, Zamboanga City would earn the appellation as the cleanest city in the Philippines and its tourist industry boomed. Zamboanga City also became a host to several international, regional and nationwide conferences, jamborees and conventions. However, even after his reelection in 1959, Climaco resigned before the November 1961 elections in his bid for the Senate. Vice-Mayor Ferrer succeeded him in office. He eventually ran for his own right in the 1963 local election but lost to former mayor Hector Suarez of the Nacionalista Party.

Hector Suarez, previously appointed to the mayoralty in 1954, became the first Nacionalista elected mayor of Zamboanga. During his term, he advocated revisions in the internal revenue code in which the businesses in the city should be required to pay their taxes. Unlike Climaco's exploits in urban development, he focused on the development of the barrios. He brought electricity to the barrios. Another major project of his was the construction of schools in the rural areas. It was also through his efforts that the income earned by the local water utility in the city was transferred from the national to the city treasury. He was later defeated by his vice-mayor for reelection in 1967.[citation needed]

Vice-Mayor Joaquin Enriquez, Jr. of the Liberal Party won the mayoralty election in the 1967 local elections. During his tenure, various infrastructure projects were started including widened roads and better water and light facilities. He continued the electrification of the rural barangays started by his predecessor. Because of his achievements, he was reelected and for the first time the Liberals were able to control the majority of the council in the 1971 local elections.[citation needed]

Martial law years

On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the Philippines under martial law. The local government became under presidential control for the first time since 1955. Marcos extended Enriquez's term when the latter's tenure was about to end in 1975. During this time, Enriquez was able to garner funds to construct the Sta. Cruz Public Market and emergency hospitals in rural barangays such as Quiniput and Labuan.

In November 14, 1975, President Marcos reorganized the local government in which the city council was replaced by a Sangguniang Panglungsod with the mayor as its new presiding officer and members including the vice-mayor, the chairman of the Katipunan ng mga Kabataang Barangay, the president of the Association of Barangay Captains, and sectoral representatives of agriculture, business and labor.[28]

When Mayor Enriquez resigned and threw his bid for the newly created Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978, Vice-Mayor Jose Vicente Atilano II was appointed by President Marcos to replace him.

Climaco's return (1980–1984)

In 1980, Cesar Climaco staged his political comeback when he was elected again to the mayoral post under his new party, the Concerned Citizen's Aggrupation. He previously went into exile to the United States in protest against Marcos' declaration of Martial Law. He vowed never to cut his hair until democratic rule was restored in the country.[citation needed]

By this time, crime and violence, often at the hands of police and the military, had become rampant in the city, and a frustrated Climaco posted a scoreboard in front of the city hall listing a running tally of unsolved violent crimes in the city. Climaco did not hesitate in denouncing the military and the police in the city, and had the police chief transferred out of the city.[citation needed] Upon the outbreak of violent incidents in the city, Climaco would rush to the scene on board his motorcycle and suppress the disruption.[citation needed]

In 1984, Climaco successfully sought election as a member of the Regular Batasang Pambansa. Climaco however declined to assume his seat until he had completed his six-year term as mayor in his consistent protest against Marcos.

Tensions rose when Climaco was shot on the morning of November 14, 1984 when he was supervising a fire breakout. A motorcycle gunman shot him in the nape at point-blank.[citation needed] The crowd that attended Climaco's funeral in Zamboanga City was estimated as ranging from fifteen thousand to two hundred thousand people. To date, nobody has been convicted for Climaco's assassination. Vice-Mayor Manuel Dalipe replaced him in the vacated post.

Post-Marcos era (1986–present)

Later in that year, to unite the Zamboangueños, President Aquino appointed former mayor Climaco's son, Julio Cesar Climaco to be officer-in-charge of the city. Varela returned to his post as city administrator.

During his short term, Climaco was able to make a very bold move when he invited the rebel secessionist organization Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by its chairman Nurulaji Misuari to Zamboanga, a move which came after the controversial meeting between President Aquino and Misuari in Sulu. There was not much to accomplish during this time, in which the city government did not have the sufficient funds to undertake any major projects, and there were no funds coming from the national government, which at that time was more concerned with doing an accounting of money allegedly taken by the Marcos administration. He was, nevertheless, responsible for the concreting of the roads from Gov. Ramos to the Zamboanga International Airport, and the concreting of the road from Suterville to Baliwasan.

When the new constitution was approved by a plebiscite in February 2, 1987, local elections were held. Climaco resigned to run for the congressional seat and President Aquino appointed Councilor Vitaliano Agan to be acting officer-in-charge in which was the candidate for the mayorship. Agan won, but Climaco lost to Maria Clara Lobregat.

Agan administration (1988–1998)

Vitaliano Agan, born in Lanao del Norte, was the first non-Chavacano elected mayor of the city. During his stint in office, he prioritized the construction of high schools in the major barangays of the city. Construction of concrete major roads, street lighting and traffic lights were done during this time. Through these accomplishments, he was reelected in 1992 and in 1995. It was also in his time when the massive Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex started its construction.

File:Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Stadium.JPG
The Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Stadium, constructed by Mayor Agan and finished during Mayor Lobregat's term.

In 1990, Zamboanga City was declared the commercial and industrial center of the Western Mindanao region (now Zamboanga Peninsula).[5]

M. C. Lobregat administration (1998–2004)

Previously served as Zamboanga City's representative, Maria Clara Lobregat was the first woman mayor elected in its history. Vesting against incumbent Mayor Arañez, she was known for legislating the creation of the Zamboanga Special Economic Zone and Freeport during her stint in Congress. During her term, Mayor Lobregat made it her priority to restore the city of flowers’ lost glory. This was the time when they city was popularly known as the City of Flowers. She also sought to make Zamboangueños historically conscious and proud of their legacy as Zamboangueños. She embarked on a program of rehabilitating and refurbishing the city’s landmarks and required City Hall employees to make use of the traditional Filipino attire in the office every Monday.

Unfortunately, Mayor Lobregat died on January 2, 2004 due to diabetes complications. Vice-Mayor Erico Basilio Fabian was later inducted into office.

Cabatangan siege (2001)

On November 19, 2001, The Cabatangan Government Complex located in Barangay Cabatangan, the seat of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was raided by former MNLF fighters in protest of Misuari's ouster as Governor of the autonomous region in which they have taken the residents there hostages. The complex also houses the different regional government offices such as the Commission on Audit, Population Commission, Civil Service Commission, Area Vocational Rehabilitation Center, DECS Training Center and the Zamboanga Arturo Eustaquio College Department of Criminology. An air strike by the military began on November 27 in which the hostages were later released after the government agreed to escort the rebels to a safe zone in Panubigan where they were allowed to go free.[29]

C. Lobregat administration (2004–2013)

Mayor Fabian decided to run for the congressional seat in the 2004 local elections in turn, incumbent Celso Lobregat ran for the mayorship in which he won pitting against businessman Lepeng Wee.

Lobregat pursued grand infrastructure projects including the rehabilitation of Plaza Pershing and Pasonanca Park in which he added Jardin Maria Clara in the memory of his mother, construction of Paseo Del Mar and the erection of uniformed Barangay halls around the city.

He was reelected twice in 2007 and 2010. In 2007, the city was divided into two legislative districts pursuant to Republic Act No. 9269.[30] The city therefore is entitled to two representatives to the national congress.

Climaco-Salazar administration (2013- )

District I Representative Maria Isabelle Climaco Salazar, niece of former Mayor Cesar Climaco, was elected as the second woman mayor of the city during the 2013 local elections.

Zamboanga City crisis

On September 9, 2013, a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the leadership of Nur Misuari seized hostages in Zamboanga and attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik, a state which declared its independence earlier in August, in Talipao, Sulu. This armed incursion has been met by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which seeks to free the hostages and expel the MNLF from the city. The standoff degenerated into urban warfare, and brought parts of the city under standstill for days.[31]

To date, Mayor Climaco-Salazar and her administration are in the process of relocating the internal discplaced persons (IDPs) affected by the crisis to transitory sites and later, permanent housings in various places around the city.[32] With her presented rehabilitation plan entitled Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Rehabilitation (Z3R), it envisions to build back a better Zamboanga City and rehabilitates the areas affected by the crisis.[33]



The southwest and eastern sides of Zamboanga are bounded by irregular coastlines with generally rocky terrain and occasional stretches of sandy or gravelly beaches. The coastal profile usually descends abruptly towards the sea. Where rivers enter the sea, bays have formed, and the surrounding area has filled up with alluvial soils, producing small to large coastal plains.


The overall topography of the city could be described as rolling to very steep. There are some flat lands, mostly narrow strips along the east coast. The urban center is mostly flat with a gentle slope to the interior, ranging from 0 to 3%. The highest registered elevation is 1,200 metres. In terms of slope, a large portion of Zamboanga, about 38,000 hectares, have slopes ranging from 18 to 30%. Another 26,000 hectares have been described as having slopes pf less than 3% while about 37% of the area or a total of 52,000 hectares have slopes ranging from 30% to more than 50%.[34]


Zamboanga features a tropical wet and dry climate under the Köppen climate classification.

#REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.-
colspan="14" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect. Climate data for Zamboanga, Philippines
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Script error: No such module "WeatherBox". Script error: No such module "WeatherBox". Script error: No such module "WeatherBox". Script error: No such module "WeatherBox".

colspan="14" style="text-align:center;font-size:85%" #REDIRECTmw:Help:Magic words#Other
This page is a soft redirect.Source: Hong Kong Observatory[35]


The city is politically subdivided into 98 barangays or barrios. These are grouped into two congressional districts, with 38 barangays or barrios in the West Coast and 60 barangays or barrios in the East Coast.

District I (West Coast)

File:Calle Rizal ZC.JPG
Calle Rizal or Rizal Road in Zamboanga City
  • Sta.Maria
  • Ayala
  • Baliwasan
  • Baluno
  • Cabatangan
  • Calarian
  • Camino Nuevo
  • Campo Islam
  • Canelar
  • Capisan
  • Cawit
  • Dulian Pasonanca
  • Kasanyangan
  • La Paz
  • Labuan
  • Lamisahan
  • Limpapa
  • Maasin
  • Malagutay
  • Pamucutan
  • Pasonanca
  • Patalon
  • Recodo
  • Lower Calarian
  • Suterville
  • Rio Hondo
  • San Jose Cawa Cawa
  • San Jose Gusu
  • San Ramon
  • San Roque
  • Sinunuc
  • Sinubong
  • Sta. Barbara
  • Sta. Maria
  • Sto. Niño
  • Talisayan
  • Tulungatung
  • Tumaga
  • Zone I
  • Zone II
  • Zone III
  • Zone IV

District II (East Coast)

File:Zamboanga City RT Lim Boulevard.jpg
R.T. Lim Boulevard, A major road in Zamboanga City named after Sen. Roseller T. Lim the first senator from Zamboanga Peninsula
  • Arena Blanco
  • Boalan
  • Bolong
  • Buenavista
  • Bunguiao
  • Busay (Island Barangay)
  • Cabaluay
  • Cacao
  • Calabasa
  • Culianan
  • Curuan
  • Dita
  • Divisoria
  • Dulian Bunguiao
  • Guisao
  • Guiwan
  • Landang Gua (Island Barangay)
  • Landang Laum (Island Barangay)
  • Lanzones
  • Lapakan
  • Latuan Curuan
  • Licomo
  • Limaong
  • Lubigan
  • Lumayang
  • Lumbangan
  • Lunzuran
  • Mampang
  • Manalipa
  • Manicahan
  • Mangusu
  • Mariki
  • Mercedes
  • Muti
  • Pangapuyan (Island Barangay)
  • Panubigan
  • Pasilmanta (Island Barangay)
  • Pasabolong
  • Putik
  • Quiniput
  • Salaan
  • Sangali
  • Sibulao Curuan
  • Sta. Catalina
  • Tagasilay
  • Taguiti
  • Talabaan
  • Talon-Talon
  • Taluksangay
  • Tetuan
  • Tictapul
  • Tigbalabag
  • Tictabon (Island Barangay)
  • Tolosa
  • Tugbungan
  • Tumalutab (Island Barangay)
  • Tumitus
  • Victoria
  • Vitali
  • Zambowood


Historical population
Source: National Statistics Office[2]


The population of Zamboanga has registered an increase of 172,613 (an average annual growth rate of 3.54 percent) in seven years, latest data from the National Statistics Office (NSO) showed. The data released by the NSO regional office based in this city showed that from 601,794 in 2000, the population grew to 807,129 as of May 1, 2010.[36]

Among the 98 barangays in this Zamboanga, Talon-Talon was the most populous with a 3.9-percent share of this city’s population. Next to Talon-Talon were Tetuán (3.8 percent), Baliwasan (3.6 percent), Pasonanca (3.5 percent), Calarian and Tumaga both with 3.3-percent share, and San José Gusu (3.2 percent).


According to statistics compiled by the Philippine government, the most dominant religion in the city is Roman Catholicism with 74 percent while Islam is the significant minority. Christian minorities are Protestants, Iglesia Ni Cristo, Jesus Miracle Crusade and Orthodox Christians.

Patron Saint of Zamboanga City: Nuestra Señora del Pilar Zamboanga City has various religious groups:

  • Catholics - The city contains the first Catholic diocese in Mindanao, today's Archdiocese of Zamboanga which was created in 1910 and elevated to an archbishopric in 1958. The two catholic parishes named below serve the downtown zamboanga city catholic faithfuls. There are several other catholic parishes all throughout Zamboanga City. The official website of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga is

Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - (Founded: 1816) Archbishop Romulo Valles,DD - Parish Priest Fr. Sulficio Soliva Fr. Adriano Ruiz Fr. Francis Edwin Jacinto Msgr. Joseph Kung St. Joseph (Chinese) Parish - (Founded: 1954) Msgr. David Alonzo - Parish Priest Fr. Joel Malcampo - Parochial Vicar

  • Sunni Muslims - The Muslims have been an integral part of Zamboanga City after the Pagans and Animists. Before Christianity was practiced in Zamboanga City. It is estimated that approximately 22% of the people in Zamboanga City are Sunni, Traditional and Folk Muslims. Some barangays of Zamboanga City are populated by 100% Muslims. These barangays with Muslim majority population, do not celebrate "Fiestas". Instead, they celebrate Hari Raya (the eid celebration).
  • Pagan and Animist - Prior to arrival of the foreign religions both Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam, Paganism and Animism were the first to set foot in the Kingdom of Jambangan (present-dat: City of Zamboanga, Zamboanga Sibugay Province, Sirawai, Sibuco and Siocon).

Metropolitan Cathedral of Immaculate Conception

The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is a church located in Zamboanga City, Philippines. It is the seat of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga.

The first church was originally located at the front of Plaza Pershing, where the present Universidad de Zamboanga stands. The church was designated a cathedral in 1910 when the diocese of Zamboanga was created. In 1943, the cathedral was one of the edifices bombarded by Japanese soldiers during World War II. In 1956, the cathedral was relocated beside Ateneo de Zamboanga University, formerly known as the Jardin de Chino.


Zamboangueño Chavacano, a Spanish-based creole language, one of the Filipino Languages was born in the City of Zamboanga on 1635 and the native language of the Zamboangueño Ethnic group living around Zamboanga City, Basilan and the Filipino Disapora. English, Tagalog by the Tagalog Ethnic Group, and Cebuano by the Cebuano/Sugbuanon Ethnic Group are also used by the residents who are migrants to the City.[37]

The other major Filipino Languages spoken by other Filipino Ethnic Groups in Zamboanga are: Tagalog, English, Cebuano/Sugbuanon/Bisaya/Binisaya, Tausug, Subanen, Samal, Spanish and Chinese. English is still the language used in all the school system to educate the public. either Zamboangueño Chavacano and Tagalog or other native Filipino languages is the second language used for education, though the Zamboangueño Language is more preferred among Zamboangueño Ethnic Group/Race.


Zamboanga's exports include rubber, pearls, copra, mahogany, fish, abaca, and fruits.[citation needed]

Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority

The Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (Zamboecozone) also known as Zamboanga Freeport Authority (ZFA), was created by virtue of the Republic Acts of the Philippines 7903 of the Philippines Constitution in the year 1995. It was authored by the then congresswoman and late mayor of the city of Zamboanga, María Clara L. Lobregat.[38]

The Special Economic Zone was enacted into law on February 23, 1995 and made operational a year later with the appointment of a chairman and administrator and the members of the Board by former President Fidel V. Ramos. It is located about 20 km from the city center. It is one of the three current Economic Freeport Zones outside Luzon.[citation needed]

Shopping centers

Notable malls include

Under-construction malls:

  • KCC Mall de Zamboanga is the 3rd KCC Mall in the Philippines. It is the first national mall in the city along Gov. Camins Avenue. Having 120,000 square meters as their gross floor area will soon to be one of the biggest mall in Mindanao, and it will be the biggest in the region. The mall is expected to open in summer of 2015.[citation needed]
  • Megaland Mall is one of the newest mall in Zamboanga City under Megaland Corporation. It is currently under-construction and expected to open this year.
  • CityMall Tetuan Located along Don Alfaro Street in Barangay Tetuan, is a proposed mall.

Seaweed industry

Seaweed production plants in Zamboanga, along with Cebú and Southern Luzon, produce most of the world's supply of carrageenan. Seventy-five percent of the country's eucheuma and kappaphycus seaweed is produced mostly in the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.[39]

Sardine industry

Zamboanga is noted as the Sardines Capital of the Philippines[40] because 9 out of 12 sardines companies in the country are operating in the city. The canning factories are converged in the west coast of Zamboanga. Sardine fishing and processing account for about 70 percent of the city's economy.[citation needed] Situated at the western tip of the Mindanao mainland, Zamboanga is a natural docking point for vessels traversing the rich fishing grounds of the Zamboanga peninsula and the Sulu archipelago.

Canned sardine firms in this city that have upgraded their production to conform to international food safety and quality standards are looking to enter new markets in Russia and other European countries. In 2008, Zamboanga’s exported just 13,000 tonnes of canned sardines, worth approximately $16 million.[41]


The Department of Tourism has selected Zamboanga City as a flagship tourism destination in Zamboanga Peninsula.[42] Domestic and foreign tourist arrivals increased 8 percent to 439,160 in 2005, according to data from the regional tourism office. The same report notes that Filipinos accounted for 80 percent of the tourist arrivals. Moreover, 50 percent of those tourists visited Zamboanga City before.[43]

Parks, landmarks and other sites

File:Paseo del Mar y Lantaka Hotel.JPG
Paseo del Mar with the Lantaka Hotel

Numerous landmarks, tourist spots and parks in Zamboanga:

Festivals and events

The Día de Zamboanga (Day of Zamboanga) is celebrated every February 26, the day when Zamboanga was declared as a chartered city under the Commonwealth Government in 1937. The Hermosa Festival, a month-long festival held every October, is celebrated in honor of the miraculous image of Our Lady of the Pillar, the patroness of Zamboanga City.[44]

Local government


File:Zamboanga City Hall y Rizal Monument.JPG
Jose Rizal's monument and the City Hall of Zamboanga since 1907

Zamboanga is the third oldest city in the Philippines, with a mayor-council form of government.[45]

Formerly the city government was in a commission form shortly existed between 1912 and 1914 with an appointed mayor.[citation needed] It then was replaced by a municipal form of government headed by a municipal mayor assisted by a municipal vice-president.

When the City Charter of Zamboanga was signed on October 12, 1936, the municipal government was converted into a city one headed by a mayor appointed by the President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

During the Second World War, Zamboanga was reverted to municipality status by the Japanese until it was changed when the American and Filipino forces came to liberate the city on March 1945.[citation needed]

With the passage of Republic Act No. 1210 on April 29, 1955, the position of mayor became elective and the post of vice-mayor was created.

Representation in Congress

The city received its own representation for the Philippine Congress in 1984 when the Regular Batasang Pambansa was convened. Previously, Zamboanga City was part of the representation of the Zamboanga Province from 1935 to 1953, of Zamboanga del Sur from 1953 to 1972 and of Region IX from 1978 to 1984.

The former lone congressional district was further divided into two separate districts: the West Coast District from the City Proper to Barangay Limpapa represented by incumbent Congressman Celso Lobregat, while in the East Coast District from Barangay Tetuán to Barangay Licomo is headed by incumbent Congresswoman Lilia Macrohon-Nuño.

The city of Zamboanga is composed of more than 774,407 people since 2007.[46] Under the Republic Act No. 9269, Zamboanga City is qualified to have a third district representative in the House of Representatives.[47]


File:Consejo de la Ciudad de Zamboanga.JPG
The building where the Zamboanga City Council (Sangguniang Panglungsod ng Zamboanga) holds its sessions.

The first legislative body of Zamboanga was established in 1914 composed of councilors who represented the different districts of barrios of then-municipality of Zamboanga.

When the City Charter of Zamboanga was signed on October 12, 1936, the municipal council was replaced by the City Council presided by the mayor and consisted of five councilors, the city treasurer and the city engineer. All members are appointed by the President of the Philippine Commonwealth.

With the passage of Republic Act No. 1210 on April 29, 1955, the position of mayor became elective and the post of vice-mayor was created. The Council also became elective and its membership was increased to eight presided by the vice-mayor.

During the Marcos regime, the city council was renamed to Sangguniang Panglungsod and its membership shuffled. The mayor became the presiding-officer while the vice-mayor became a regular member. Other representatives such as the agriculture, business and labor sectoral representatives; chairman of the Kabataan Barangay Federation and the president of the Association of Barangay Captains was added to the council. All members of the council except for the mayor and the vice-mayor are all appointed by the Preside,t

After Marcos was deposed, a new Local Government Code was enacted in 1991 and the mayor was restored to the executibve branch. The city council organization existed since.

The current local Sangguniang Panglungsod is composed of 19 members:


File:Hall of Justice Zamboanga City.JPG
Zamboanga City Hall of Justice Building

House Bill 1455 entitled an "An Act Amending Sections 14 (J) and 29 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Otherwise Known as The Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980", principally authored by Representative Climaco calls for the creation of four additional Regional Trial Court branches in the Province of Zamboanga del Sur, and the Cities of Pagadian and Zamboanga with an overall total of nineteen branches.[48]

Out of the 19 branches, ten seats shall be for Zamboanga City, and the remaining seats for Pagadian City, Molave, San Miguel, Ipil, and Aurora.

Armed forces and law enforcement

Zamboanga City hosts one of the largest number of military, police and coast guard bases in the country. The Edwin Andrews Air Base, which hosts the Air Force unit in the city is located at the Zamboanga International Airport complex. The Camp General Basilio Navarro, the main operating base of the Western Mindanao Command, hosts the main headquarters of Armed Forces of the Philippines in Western Mindanao.

The Western Mindanao Command, known officially as the WestMinCom, is one the Armed Forces of the Philippines' Wide Support Commands Combating Terrorism and Insurgency in Mindanao.

Camp General Basilio Navarro serves as the main operating base of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for the Southwest Philippines, and is the Headquarters of the Western Mindanao Command (WESTMINCOM).

The Coast Guard District South Western Mindanao is located at Upper Calarian while Coast Guard Station Zamboanga is located at Port Area Zamboanga City. Aside from performing law enfocement functions, the coast guard has been very active in rendering search and rescue operations to maritime incidents and floodings in low lying barangays of the city. Moreover, environmental protection activities were being spearheaded by the coast guard.



The Zamboanga International Airport has a 2,610-metre primary runway and can serve international flights and bigger planes such as the C-17 Globemaster III, Antonov An-124, Airbus A330 and Boeing 747.[49][50] The government has already earmarked more than 240 million pesos to complete the rehabilitation of the existing facilities of the airport.[51] The airport was ranked the tenth busiest airport in the Philippines in 2008.[52]


The primary modes of transportation within the city are serviced by jeepneys, tricycles, and habal-habal.[citation needed] Bicycles with sidecars (locally known as sikad) are also available for short-distanced trips. There are also taxi services operating within the city. Regular and air-conditioned buses of RTMI and Ceres Liner serve the long-haul routes from Zamboanga City to other areas in Mindanao and in the Visayas. Other smaller bus companies ply the routes to neighboring municipalities in the Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay areas.

Bypass road

The traffic in the city centre area is one of the problem facing the city. The 1999 feasibility study is know on the Department of Public Works and Highways (Philippines) and with the help of District II Representative Erico Basilio Fabian to finalised the Multi-Billion pesos a thirty two (32) kilometres by-pass road project it is basically links from barangay Culianan to the west coast in barangay Limpapa creating an integral link to two crucial economic and trade centres namely the Sangali Fishing Port in the east coast and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority site in San Ramon will commerce next year. The Department of Public Works and Highways (Philippines) intends to complete before the term of the President Benigno Aquino III ends in the year 2016. It will provide for an auxiliary route where traffic could then be diverted and help ease congestion it is currently facing within the city proper.


Zamboanga has nineteen seaports and wharves, twelve of them are privately owned and the rest are owned by the government. This includes some ports of Basilan which are registered as a part of Zamboanga port management. The biggest and most modern seaport is the government-operated main port in Zamboanga, which can accommodate 20 ships at any given time. There are 25 shipping companies whose vessels regularly dock at the port of Zamboanga. The city also has fastcraft services to Sandakan, Malaysia, and one shipping cargo company from Vietnam is also serving the routes from and to Zamboanga to deliver goods from Vietnam.[53]

In 2002, the Port of Zamboanga, including the area ports of Basilan, registered 5.57 million passenger movement, surpassing Batangas by 1.3 million passengers, and Manila by over 1.59 million passengers.[54]

Last May 28, 2009, the PHP700 million port expansion project, funded by the national government was inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[55]



PLDT and SMART branch in Zamboanga.

Major telecommunications firm, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, maintains operations in the city. Mabuhay Satellite Corporation has set up a facility in Zamboanga in order to improve existing communications infrastructure.[56]


Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative

The Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative is the franchise holder of electric power distribution covering the entire city.

Conrado Alcantara and Sons (Conal) Holdings constructed a coal-fired power plant with an initial capacity of 100MW on a 60-hectare land inside the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority. The company expects to complete the power plant in about four years to meet the expected rise in the demand in electricity of the city by 2014.[57]


The Zamboanga Watershed is only a few kilometers north of Zamboanga City, at the tip of the Zamboanga Peninsula in southwestern Mindanao. It has the largest block of old growth lowland dipterocarp forest remaining in this part of Mindanao. It has a rolling terrain with moderate to steep slopes. This watershed is the only source of potable water for Zamboanga, and the Guiwan River also provides industrial and irrigation water for the area around the city.[citation needed] Many threatened and restricted-range endemic species have been recorded in or near this area, including recent records of Mindanao Bleeding-heart, Philippine Dwarf-Kingfisher, Philippine Leafbird and Little Slaty Flycatcher, and Zamboanga Bulbul, which is confined to Western Mindanao and Basilan. Most of the recent sightings are made in the Pasonanca Watershed, the southwestern part of the Zamboanga Watershed.[citation needed]

Zamboanga relies heavily on surface water from the Tumaga River for its water supply. Currently, the ZCWD is servicing only 48% of the total population of the total water production, 38% is accounted water. Given the projected population and the fact that the city is a highly urbanising one, it is likely that future water requirements will not be satisfied unless other sources such as rivers and springs be tapped to augment water supply sources.[58]

The Zamboanga Water District has 24 production wells. These are located in the following strategic areas within the city that are currently producing 1,304 m³ daily.[59]


File:Zamboanga Doctors Hospital.JPG
Zamboanga Doctor's Hospital

There are several medical centres and hospitals in Zamboanga. The Zamboanga City Medical Center is the largest medical facility in Zamboanga Peninsula in terms of bed capacity.[citation needed] The hospital was founded in 1918 as the Zamboanga General Hospital. The Brent Hospital and Colleges, Inc. was founded on February 2, 1914 by Charles Henry Brent, the first Protestant Episcopal missionary bishop in the Philippines. Today, it operates a school within its compound, offering nursing and allied health courses.

The Zamboanga City Red Cross chapter was established on June 17, 1946, known originally as Zamboanga Chapter. The original Zamboanga Chapter comprised the city of Zamboanga and the 3 provinces of Basilan, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.[60]

In 2006, the Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship, USNS Mercy (T-AH-19), anchored off of the coast of Zamboanga City, to provide of medical, dental and veterinary care for the people of the city.[61]

Sports and recreation facilities

Convention centers that host several events and congregations include the Garden Orchid Convention Centre, Marcian Convention Centre, Zamboanga City Colliseum in Tetuán, Zamboanga City Convention Centre, Astoria Regency in Pasonanca, and Patio Palmeras Convention Centres.

Sport venues in Zamboanga include the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex, the Summit Centre, and the Zamboanga City Coliseum.

Zamboanga City's team was in the 1992 Little League World Series and initially won the championship, but was stripped of their title after a number of players failed to meet age and residency requirements.


File:Ateneo de Zamboanga University.jpg
Ateneo de Zamboanga University

The formal education in Zamboanga is patterned after the American system, with English as the medium of instruction. There are a number of foreign schools with study programmes.[62] Universities and major colleges include:

Foreign relations

Zamboanga is a member of East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA), a regional economic cooperation initiative between the several countries in Southeast Asia. As a result of its membership, air and sea routes have been opened between Zamboanga and Sandakan in Malaysia. The two cities have existing trade relations and have had historical cultural interactions.[63]


Zamboanga has 40 radio stations. There are also 11 regular TV stations and 3 cable TV stations. Several local publications are operating in the various parts of the city and nearby provinces and regions such as, The Daily Zamboanga Times, The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper, Voz de Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula Journal, Zamboanga Star, Zamboanga Today and Zamboanga Forum.

Sister cities

Zamboanga is twinned with the following cities:

  1. REDIRECT Template:Country data Indonesia Bengkulu City, Bengkulu, Indonesia
  1. REDIRECT Template:Country data Indonesia Pekanbaru, Riau, Indonesia


See also


12px This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document "Zamboanga City".

  1. ^ a b "Province: ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR". PSGC Interactive. Makati City, Philippines: National Statistical Coordination Board. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Population and Annual Growth Rates for The Philippines and Its Regions, Provinces, and Highly Urbanized Cities" (PDF). 2010 Census and Housing Population. National Statistics Office. Retrieved 15 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "Population of the Philippines" (PDF). 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Largest City in the Philippines". 2010. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "E.O. No. 429". The LawPhil Project. October 12, 1990. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "Lobregat Names Govt Execs as Zamboas Goodwill Envoys". The Daily Zamboanga Times. November 16, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ "early history". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  10. ^ "early history (1300's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  11. ^ "early history (1400's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  12. ^ "early history (1500's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  13. ^ "early history (1500's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b "early history (1500's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  15. ^ "early history (1600's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  16. ^ "early history (1600's)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  17. ^ "early history (1700s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  18. ^ "early history (1800s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  19. ^ "early history (1800s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  20. ^ a b "early history (1900s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  21. ^ "early history (1900s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  22. ^ "early history (1900s)". 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010. 
  23. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 288 - AN ACT CREATING THE CITY OF BASILAN". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  27. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 180 THE REVISED ELECTION CODE". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  29. ^ Diesto, Jovian (January 18, 2006). "City has no plans yet for Cabatangan". ZamboTimes. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  30. ^ "REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9269 - AN ACT CREATING THE SECOND LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT OF THE CITY OF ZAMBOANGA.". Chan Robles Virtual Law Library. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  31. ^ "MNLF wants flag hoisted in Zamboanga city hall". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  32. ^ "Zamboanga City relocates siege evacuees from cramped camp". Philippine Star. 2014-05-14. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  33. ^ "Updated Z3R plan presented". Zamboanga Times. 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2015-03-09. 
  34. ^ "Topography, Slope and Elevation". Retrieved March 8, 2011. 
  35. ^ "Climatological Information for Zamboanga, Philippines". Hong Kong Observatory. 2003. Retrieved October 15, 2011. 
  36. ^ "Zamboanga City posts 3.54% 7-yr. population growth rate". 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Language". 2008. Retrieved June 6, 2009. [dead link]
  38. ^ Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority and Freeport
  39. ^ "Canneries in Zampen". 2009. Retrieved March 27, 2009. 
  40. ^ "Canneries in Zampen". 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Canneries in Zampen". 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  42. ^ "Zamboanga picked as peninsula's tourism flagship," BusinessWorld. September 22, 2006.
  43. ^ "Zamboanga Peninsula shaping up as a tourist draw," BusinessWorld. October 6, 2006.
  44. ^ "es celebracion con es La Hermosa Festival". Retrieved July 31, 2009. 
  45. ^ "Chartered city of Zamboanga". 2009. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  46. ^ "Population of Zamboanga City" (PDF). 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  47. ^ "Proposed third District of Zamboanga City". 2008. Retrieved June 3, 2009. 
  48. ^ "Beng seeks creation of 4 RTCs in Region 9". 2011. Retrieved January 5, 2011. 
  49. ^ "C17 landed in ZIA". GMANEWS. Retrieved 2009. 
  50. ^ "Antonov An-124-100 approaching at the Zamboanga City International Airport". Retrieved 2009. 
  51. ^ "365 completion of rehabilitition of the existing facilies of the airport". Daily Zamboanga Times. Retrieved 2008. 
  52. ^ "Airport of Zamboanga". 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  53. ^ "Zamboanga Seaport". 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  54. ^ "Philippine Ports Authority". 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2009. 
  55. ^ "700Million Php port expansion project". sunstar zamboanga. Retrieved 2009. 
  56. ^ "PLDT forms satellite firm". The Manila Standard. November 4, 1994. 
  57. ^ "Conal to build $9,000 million coal-fired power plant in Philippines". Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  58. ^ "Water Supply of Zamboanga City". Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  59. ^ "Production Wells". Retrieved December 30, 2010. 
  60. ^ "Philippines". 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2009. [dead link]
  61. ^ "USNS Mercy Bringing Hope to Asia-Pacific Nations". 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2010. 
  62. ^ "General information". Government of the Philippines. Archived from the original on October 22, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
     "Official Website". Government of the Philippines. Retrieved October 1, 2007. 
  63. ^ "Sister Cities of Zamboanga". 2009. Retrieved March 13, 2009. 
  64. ^ Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (19 June 2000). "The Seminar On Twin City - Sandakan and Zamboanga". Virtual Office of Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah. Archived from the original on 14 April 2012. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 

External links