Last February, I took my chance of going beyond my borders. I had my first experience in the Zamboanga Peninsula in Pagadian City. Although I have been planing for this trip in more or less three-fourths of my high school life, it finally came to a reality. So after the draining three hours of travel from Iligan City, I finally arrived and was able to catch the glimpse of the city's beautiful highway lights.
First, I would like to thanks Renee and her family for the hospitality they showed me for my first night in the hilly city. It is such an honor. The barbeque for the dinner was really tasty, I'm going to miss that. :D
Being in an unfamiliar place was really quite scary. I started my 2nd day waiting for my tour guides (Lavinia Obaob and Armarie Gasalatan) while drinking coffee at C3. And finally after an hour of waiting, they arrived.
To cut the long story short, here is what I really enjoyed.
1. The ingenious trycicles - believe it or not, the trycicles in Pagadian City are inclined 45 degrees. Yes, that is really 45 degrees! In my whole life, I have never been seen anything like that. I really had a hard time riding although it was fun but I finally adapted to the weird mode of transportation a few hours later. It was just a pure culture shock for me.
2. The hilly terrain - one thing that I also had fun with is the awesome terrain of the city. Most cities I have been (BTW, I am an urban guy and I really love traveling to cities!) are flats but Pagadian proved to be very unique and it was really great. In fact, I would just like to roll from the Rotonda down to the seaport (Hahaha).
3. Greenhouse Restaurant - the restaurant's motto says it all. True, when visiting the city, one must not forget to visit this restaurant. My tour guide said that it was one of the most expensive dining place in town but even so, the food was really worth it especially the fish and the squid sisig.
4. Rotonda - the rotonda was also a great place and offers a great view of the city. Unfortunately, it was under renovations when I visited. Anyway, the surrounding places also are promising future business districts.
5. Unity Park and Dao - I don't know if this is included in the vicinity of the city but the place is really cool especially the three-hands monument. The place was also very clean and amazing. The park really did give me some relaxation and the place has a lot of facilities of sports. When I visited, everyone seems to be practicing for the regional meet.
6. Downtown - my trip would never be complete without visiting the downtown. Of course, as an urban boy, I love going to business places. I enjoyed quite a stroll in C3 (even though it is mostly empty :/ but it still houses Bo's Coffee and Max's Restaurant) and Gaisano (this place has to be the best mall in the city). I also got a chance to visit the market, People's Plaza and the awesome wall, I just don't know what happened to the insides of the place.
7. People - lastly, I also appreciated the people in the place. As a traveler I don't always feel that unique connection between myself and the place I am in. But in Pagadian, I really felt like I am at home. The people were nice and very hospitable. This is something that I also admired in the small yet thriving city.
Well, what could I possibly say? Yeah, it could have been better if I had a lot of pictures, but oh well, somebody forgot to brought the camera. Anyway, to cap it all off, it was really a different and awesome experience, I am looking forward to visit this place again and be able to visit more tourist spots soon. In the end, it was such a walk to remember.