Zamboanga City Travel Tips and General Information
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During the era before the Spaniards found their way into the
Philippines, Zamboanga City was a vast track of land and nameless.
However, due to its proximity with the other islands in Southeast Asia,
it became a barter trading post among the Chinese-Malays, the native
Tausugs, Subanons, Samals, and the Badjaos. This barter trading took
place as early as in the 13th and 14th centuries. Archeological
findings of pottery proves of Chinese presence in the region. The
inhabitants then were the Subanons along the river banks in the
hinterlands, the Samals and Badjaos living in the coastal areas.
The origin of the word Zamboanga came from the early Malays who came to settle at the tip of the Zamboanga peninsula. These Malays discovered the place to be profusely blooming with flowers and called it “Jambangan” meaning “land or pot of flowers.” These Malays who built their settlements by the riverbanks were Subanons, meaning “People of the River.” Their chief, Saragan, lived with his family atop the legendary rock Mt. Pulumbato that lords over the city.
Travel Tips and General Informations
Source of Information:
Department of Tourism, Philippines
Zamboanga City Travel Information
However, the early Badjaos and Samals who settled on and off the shorelines were confused with the name “Jambangan” and called the place “Samboangan” instead. The name “Samboangan” appeared on the 16th Century map of the Philippine Archipelago, and was said to have derived from the native word “Sabuan” meaning a wooden paddle.
Zamboanga City was founded by a Spanish Mission who sailed into the southern part of the Philippine Archipelago in 1635. The group landed at Caldera Bay, a fishing village along the west coast, now known as Recodo. The Spanish settlement at La Caldera later moved to the tip of the peninsula which they found to be strategically located, and a fort was built to ward off invading natives.
The Federal Government of the United States built the City Hall in Zamboanga in 1905, which was completed in 1907. It became the official residence of the Military Governor of Mindanao, which included Generals like Leonard O. Wood, Tasker H. Bliss, Ralph W. Hoyt, and John “Blackjack” Pershing of World War I fame. Today, it still serves as City Hall of Zamboanga City.
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