Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to the Asian countries - China, The Philippines, Thailand, etc.
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There's not much information about Zamboanga here. From what I've heard and seen on youtube, it looks like a really nice place. It's a bit small though, but it's probably the nicest city in the Philippines that I've seen. The buildings are nicer, and there's generally more colour, whereas most other cities have a strange grey, dull look about them. And from what I've seen, there's no much squalour / squalor (I don't know how you spell it). They have a spanish consulate, and direct flights from Manila, and beaches. What's not to like?
Does anyone have any more information about Zamboanga? It seems like an overlooked place.
This happened only 2 years ago. Link above.
Zamboanga in Mindanao is a dangerous place, especially for people, who can be easily identified as Western foreigners.
It's a well-known place for frequent fightings between the Philippine Army and various Islamic groups.
Plenty of crimes like kidnapping and killings are going on and victims are not only foreigners, but also locals.
Most dangerous are the islands next to Mindanao - Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and on Mindanao not only Zamboanga but also Maguindanao.
Link to some pictures taken in Jan. 2015.
Yes I'm aware of what happened, but many people are saying that it's quite safe. It's hard to know what to believe.
You're kidding, right?
While I am not at all a paranoid traveler, Zamboanga is not the place you want to go for a 1st or even 10th trip to the Philippines. I disagree with the "all Mindanao is rife with terrorists" crowd, but Zamboanga is in point of fact dangerous. When I was single I was chatting with a girl from Zamboanga and even she would not meet me there.
That being said I do know a couple Americans who live there and have not had any problems. But even those would not say "it's quite safe."
There are far better places to go for a fun trip, to meet women, or to expat to.
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Only because nothing has happened to them personally but that doesn't necessarily mean anything won't happen to them in the future. I'd avoid Zamboanga and any Islamic Provinces if I was you.
I've been to Zamboanga City twice. The city proper is relatively safe but locals will warn you that's it's dangerous to venture too far out. Even in the city, if you stay too long, you really might attract some of the wrong attention and be at serious risk. I don't recall seeing any white Euro looking people around and about there, the city is quite small, and foreigners in that region do get kidnapped in real time. Just read the news.
As for the infrastructure and state of the city, I was not impressed. It's small and the downtown area is gritty. There's little in the way of foreign friendly shopping and food options. There a higher percentage of Muslims and the girls of that religion for the most part wear head scarves. The people are short (par for the course in provincial Philippines). And the seaside area with some outdoor restos is about the only place worth visiting in the evening. I think they got one Gerry's Grill halfway out to the airport. Oh, and the stereotype that you can get by in Spanish there is overblown. The Chavacano dialect seems to either not be as commonly used as I expected not as similar to Spanish as I was lead to believe, at least to my ears.
Really IMO, and that's just MO, it's not a worthy city to visit, even if it was perfectly safe.
Ok I get it. I'm chatting with a girl from Davao and she said it's not safe. Scrap Zamboanga. What a shame though, I does look like a nice place from what I've seen, although it's small. As for chavacano, it does sound a lot like spanish but it's kind of jumbled up, with simplified grammar and a load of weird foreign words thrown in. I might be willing to learn it if I lived there, if enough people spoke it (the news is in chavacano) but I'd probably just speak spanish and I'm sure they'd understand me better than I'd understand them in chavacano. It's like italians can understand spanish better than we can understand them. But no, Zamboanga isn't an option. I do believe it's unsafe.
Basilan is the island next to Zamboanga City
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