Philippines · 22 hotels available
Known as the province of “four bays, three rivers, and three lakes,” Zamboanga del Sur is definitely a tourist gem waiting to be discovered. Learn why this province should be your next go-to destination.
Located way south of the Philippines, Zamboanga del Sur is one of the provinces that make up the Zamboanga Peninsula region. It is bordered by the Moro Gulf in the south, with Pagadian City as the province’s capital. Majority of the locals here speak Cebuano, but they can also converse in basic English.
Cebu Pacific and Asian Spirit Airlines offer flights from Manila to Pagadian City. To travel to nearby towns or islands, you would primarily board a bus and/or a motorized boat.
If you decide to go via ferry, there are shipping lines in Manila that go to Ozamiz City. You would need to ride a bus then going to Pagadian.
Pagadian City’s tricycles are famous for their unique characteristic. The sidecar attached to the motorcycle is inclined at 45 degrees to help the drivers navigate the city and the neighboring towns’ hilly or mountainous roads.
The habal-habal, which is a motorcycle equipped with plywood extensions for extra seating, is used in order to get to faraway towns with rocky roads.
Visit Rotonda Park in Pagadian, which is nestled on the top of Bulatoc Hill. Visitors can go horseback riding on the cheap and take in the majestic views of Pajares Avenue courtesy of the hill’s viewing deck.
You can get lost in the worlds of Zamboanga del Sur’s amazing underwater sanctuaries. Check out Tabina Marine Sanctuary, Lakewood Lake, and Vincenzo Sagun Dive Spot.
The Agro-Tourism and Heritage Complex in Pagadian features products from every town in Zamboanga del Sur. If you’ll be heading here in December, don’t miss sampling or buying local products at amazing deals. The Cultural Village, Butterfly Park, and the Canopy Walk and Zipline nearby are worth exploring.
Take part in Pagadian City’s Magayen Festival in September. The city hosts a week-long gathering with cultural dances from each ethnic group, showcase of each ethnic group’s traditional costumes and arts and crafts.
Do not miss going out on a day picnic at Puting Balas Sandbar, which is just off the coast of Pagadian. The clear, azure-colored waters lapping on the sandbar’s shoreline begs for a dip. Make sure to go here early though, because much of the sandbar tends to disappear at high tide in the late afternoon.
If you’re a fan of dive spots, Zamboanga del Sur has the best spots in the country thanks to the world-class coral formations and water quality. Some of these awesome dive spots include Dao-Dao Islands, Muricay Beach, Bomba Beach, Poloyagan Beach, and Barangay White Beach.
Spelunking in Zamboanga del Sur would be an adventurous way to conquer your fear of the unknown and closed spaces. Check out Guipos Cave and Kendis Cave, which is 15 kilometers away from Pagadian.
The food served at Yammy’s Grill along Fajares Street is something to look forward to. Raved by travel bloggers, the enormity of the servings (dishes are good for 2-4 people) is unparallelled. Order any of the restaurant’s crab, shrimp and prawn variants, and anything off the Sugba-Tula-Kilaw (grill-stew-raw) menu.
You can also sample fresh seafood at Greenhouse Fishing Station and Restaurant. The restaurant is located at the heart of a massive fishpond, which would be an awesome dining experience to boot.
Piniato can easily satisfy your sweet tooth. A hard but breakable confection made of peanuts coated in syrupy sugar, it can make a great homecoming pasalubong for your friends and family.
Rizal Avenue and Fajares Avenue in Pagadian City is lined with restaurants, bars, and cafes where you can dine, drink, and be merry. Towns, on the other hand, may have a few bars that offer cheap beer, sizzling plates, and pulutan (bar food).
There are a string of midrange to cheap hotels, inns and B&Bs in Pagadian City. Notable ones are Hotel Guillermo, which is accessible to the city’s shopping and retail establishments, Springland Resort, which is managed by a friendly staff, and Hotel Camila, which is easily comparable to accommodations at a mid-range hotel chain. If you do need to visit a town outside Pagadian, ask a local guide for the best homestay or traveller’s inn to accommodate you at least for the night.
It’s best to wear long pants, especially if you plan to do a lot of commutes for the day. If you do want to wear shorts or skirts, make sure that it isn’t too short for the public to get an eyeful.
Wear sunscreen in the day and bug spray in the night.
If you’re allergic to certain seafood but you’re raring to sample them, ask your doctor to give you prescription medicine.