Zamboanga del Sur
Zamboanga del Sur is the part of the Zamboanga Peninsula that connects to the rest of Mindanao. The province is home to major agricultural, fishing, forestry, and mining industries thanks to the province’s fertile lands and the abundance of natural resources. This hilly, beach-laden, and forest-rich island makes Zamboanga del Sur a perfect exploration destination for tourists and locals alike.
This small province is made up of 26 municipalities and 1 city. The capital of the province is Pagadian City, whose name means “The Land of Prayers.” The city, with its sloping hills and steep roads, is known for its unique mode of transportation: inclined tricycles. The tricycles’ sidecars are tilted 25 to 40 degrees, which makes for an interesting ride around the city.
When in Pagadian City, be sure to grab Zamboangan bites at the Green House Fishing Station and Restaurant. Customers can feast on freshly caught tilapia, clams, and other home-cooked seafood dishes.
Enjoy the view of Zamboanga del Sur in Pagadian City’s rotonda, which overlooks the sea and gives you a glimpse of the neighboring islands.
Adventure seekers will enjoy Zamboanga del Sur’s waterfalls, caves, and mountains. Trek to the picturesque Lapuyan Falls, located in the barangay of Lapuyan. Twelve kilometers (7.5 miles) from Pagadian City are the two-tier cascading Pulacan Falls. Also near Pagadian City are the Manga Falls, which are surrounded by lush forests. By the falls, you’ll find the Manga Cave.
Go spelunking in the two chambers of Kendis Cave. This open-ended cave teems with flora and tiny fauna.
Climb 684 feet above sea level to the peak of Mt. Palpalan for a panoramic view of Pagadian City, or hike up the semi-perfect cone of Mt. Susong Dalaga, which translates to “Maiden’s Breast.” Nearby is the Mt. Pinokis, whose dense trees are inhabited by monkeys.
Conquer your fear of heights or release your inner action star by crossing hanging bridges around the province. Head to the Lower Sibatang Hanging Bridge, which stands at an elevation of 27 meters (88.6 feet), and is where you can spot hummingbirds flitting around the flowers and trees in the area. A popular tourist spot is the Bagalupa Hanging Bridge, which is 80 meters (262 feet) high. Another bridge hangs in the barangay of Lourdes, the La Suerte Hanging Bridge.
Dive to the underwater wonders of Tambunan Marine Protected Area (MPA) in the coastal barangay of Tabina. Fishing is strictly prohibited in this sanctuary, which was awarded a Para El Mar (For the Sea) Award in 2013. The Tambunan MPA is home to various crustaceans like octopus, squid, and lobsters, as well as tropical fish like parrotfish, siganids, and goatfish.
The coastal town of Vincenzo Sagun lies another dive spot and sanctuary, the Vincenzo Sagun Dive Spot. The dive spot is 25-hectares of coral gardens and marine life. In the past, the dive spot was affected by destructive fishing activities. It is now a protected area that’s slowly gaining back its natural beauty.
Nature lovers will enjoy a trip to Lakewood, a mountain lake where you can enjoy a breath of fresh air and spot wild herons.
For a dose of sand and sun, head to the white beaches near Pagadian City. Muricay Beach and Bomba Beach are great for swimming, snorkeling, and boating. Be careful when trekking the rocky shores of Poloyagan Beach, but the waters are home to coral reefs teeming with fish.
A quick boat ride from the city are the Dao-Dao Islands. The bigger island houses a small resort and visitors to the island can swim, go boating, or fish in the surrounding waters. The smaller island is home to wandering cats, and provides a great view of Pagadian City.
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