Spending the Holy Week in Zamboanga City

During the long weekend, I flew back to my hometown of  Zamboanga City to get some rest and visit my family. As soon as I got there, I was once again struck by how pretty the city was. The warm afternoon sun, brick semi-Spanish architecture, shrub-lined sidewalks, and unclogged streets were a refreshing break from Manila’s urban jungle. It does take some wandering to realize the beauty of home.

(See? No traffic!)

Following family tradition, we all attended the annually held Good Friday procession organized by our local parish.

(Holy Trinity Church, Pasonanca, Zamboanga City)

Most parishioners were also faithful in practicing their Lenten duties. There were several statues of Jesus in the procession each depicting a scene from passion, death, and resurrection.

I didn’t mind the long walk very much despite my burning thighs as there were much lovely things to see, like these neat row of food establishments. I find the symmetry of the roof very appealing to the eyes.

While in the city, I also took the time to visit the iconic Fort Pilar. It’s a must for locals and tourist alike to drop by the Fort and offer a candle to the blessed Virgin. Locals believe that the Virgin listens to everyone’s intercession and helps them live a more peaceful and fruitful life.

Right outside the Fort’s walls are several “stalls” selling candles and other religious items. The candles come in different colors because each represents a particular intercession, e.g. pink represents love, green – money, yellow – unity in the family, etc. Of course, I made sure to light lots of pink and green candles. 🙂

The building also serves as Zamboanga’s pasalubong center, where various trinkets and products are sold for tourists.

My mom and I also went looking for things to bring back to Manila.

These colorful key chains caught my eye. 🙂

There were also some native products on sale. My only disappointment was the place didn’t sell enough local goods. I didn’t find any of Zamboanga’s famed tuna and sardines while I was there. There was an abundance, however, of fake goods from China. 😦

A trip to Zambo is of course incomplete without having some Satti. Morning Sun Satti along Pilar Street is one of more well-known Satti shops. It’s just a simple side street eatery – no frills, all good food.

A satti is a soupy concoction composed of these barbecued meat sticks (often beef and chicken) marinated in a special sauce, sticky rice wrapped in coconut leaves, and a steamy, spicy sauce as shown below.

Each seller has their own special secret recipe, passed on from generation to generation.

The result – this yummy meal that’s sure to warm one’s belly.

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