A tour of the southern part of the Philippines can hardly be said to be complete without a visit to Zamboanga City and dropping by several highly rated Zamboanga destinations. Zamboanga is known for its many orchid gardens and so many different varieties of flowers and this is probably why some theorize that the name Zamboanga is derived from a Malay word meaning a haven of flowers.
Cawa Cawa Boulevard
Strictly speaking, Cawa Cawa Boulevard is no longer the name that this market goes by. However despite the fact that it has been several years since it was renamed to Justice R.T. Lim Boulevard, this Zamboanga destination is still called and is more commonly known as Cawa Cawa Boulevard. One might wonder what the hype is about over a market but once one sees what is in Cawa Cawa Boulevard, one will appreciate this place. Dirt cheap shopping can be done here and there are several food stalls to choose from in case one gets hungry. It looks somewhat like Roxas Boulevard in Manila in that one can stroll by the seashore but wait for the sun to set and Cawa Cawa Boulevard comes to life. There are strips of bars here that one can grab a quick drink at, go dancing or karaoke.
Cawa Cawa Boulevard is also a favorite among residents and this was designed for those who love walking by the beach but hate the feel of sand in between their toes. One can think of this Zamboanga destination as a kilometer stretch of everything one might need from food to souvenir items to a leisurely walk.
Barter Trade Market
Another good Zamboanga destination is the Barter Trade Market which, historically speaking was established in an attempt to control the influx of goods from neighboring countries that could not be taxed. The reason for such need to regulate these items is that the government is unable to generate revenue off these and these smuggled goods had a detrimental effect on the market. The Barter Trade Market was built right on the wharf but this Zamboanga destination was totally consumed by fire in 1979. When the Barter Trade Market was rebuilt, it flourished and the local government went into a free trade arrangement with companies who wanted to bring goods in. Among the things to buy at this Zamboanga destination are motorbikes, bicycles, mechanical toys, electronic goods, hand made souvenir items and canned goods.
The Barter Trade Market is another good place for shopping although it is usually crowded during payday weekends. This Zamboanga destination is a favorite among tourists and locals alike.