a walk in Zamboanga City

coins from all around the world
So I found myself walking the streets of Zamboanga City in Mindanao.  The city scene shares a lot of similarities with Davao City, and probably with other cities in the Philippines as well, with the difference being the structures that feel as if time stood still.  The sidewalks are littered with buyers of gold and old coins, as well as mobile phones from unknown origins.  One of them even tried selling me a digital camera after making an offer for the one I was carrying.

one of the many jeepney rides in Zamboanga

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I discovered that I still have a lot to learn about how to do my usual photo walk with a non-shooting companion.  There were some places I would have liked to go but I couldn’t leave my friend behind, and also because the place did have a reputation for being notorious.  So, I took a second walk by myself after dropping my friend off at the hotel.

I guess I will be shooting solo for some time.  More probably for a long time.

street food vendor standing in front of a closed shopfront

The latest challenge I’ve given myself is to minimize the visual clutter very common in crowded places.  By limiting the “noise”, I learn to be even more deliberate with my shots, and not surprisingly I only have 66 photos from the trip, 20 of  which were shots taken from the airplane window.

an old biker on an old route

This is an old man who asked to be shot, and that’s me across the street.  People are indeed friendlier to small cameras and they don’t ask questions.

old shuttered theater named Melody
That’s Melody.  People paid her a lot of visits years ago, but not anymore.

billboards hang on old wooden commercial buildings


Lenin Electronics and Electrical shop

Looking at the last 2 photos, I’m sure I was lost and was walking in circles.  (3rd photo has the same background)  Getting lost is part of the adventure, but thankfully I haven’t found the need to scroll through my shots to help me get my bearings.  Not yet.

Camera notes: (Panasonic Lumix LX5)

Have to remember that it takes seconds before the camera is ready to shoot, and that means anticipating a scene much, much earlier.  Camera settings are also easily missed when trying to compose the shot, especially when the camera is held with outstretched arms.


6 thoughts on “a walk in Zamboanga City

  1. Wow excellent shots. I’ve been in Zamboanga my entire life and your post made me feel like a stranger in my own city. Like your friend, I stay away from dangerous places. You shouldn’t have done that; most Zamboanguenos who see a person in town with a camera in tow will only think of two things: that person is either a tourist or a MassComm student. You should have been brought around town by someone who knew the city well. You were easy prey, could have been kidnapped or something.

    • @Pristine, thankfully no untoward incident happened. I had with me my point & shoot so I wasn’t really sticking out. I did miss going to the shrine, which is probably just a short walk from the city hall where I’ve passed by twice. This was my second trip to Zamboanga, the first was more than 6 years ago.

      • Oh wow. Hope you get to see more of the city on your next visit. You should bring someone along though next time. Might I suggest you go to this river in Pasonanca, it’s sort of in between Mt. Pulumbato and another mountain, and it has beautiful baletes all around. Another would be Abong-Abong, it’s this park dedicated to Cesar Climaco, a supporter of Ninoy Aquino and the view from up there is just spectacular. Oh and yet another would be Sta. Cruz island with its pink beaches.

      • there was a big poster at the airport showing places to go, and I would have gone to any one of those places if I had time. Maybe next time. thanks for the info.

  2. thank you for taking us to places we’ve never been , and may never have a chance to see. Nice shots , excellent narration. I am glad you are home ‘safe’.

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