Zamboanga City Hall Lights Up for Peace!

11:45 AM
To open the Christmas Festival in Zamboanga City, the City Hall is once again adorned with bright lights and Christmas lanterns to promote Peace and Love this season. Dubbed as Pascua na Zamboanga, Christmas is opened with a grand lighting of the Ciy Hall, Plaza Rizal and Plaza Pershing led by the beloved Mayor Beng Climaco herself. The opening program started with the "family picture" of all local government offices with the grand "belen" or nativity scene in the background. Real lambs were at the centerpiece of the belen. More than 2,000 employees and their families enjoyed the Christmas carols performed by a grand chorale. They also had fun taking pictures with mascots while waiting for the 6PM cue time for the switching of lights.

Few minutes before the lighting, the program started with an intimate prayer. Then Ma'am Beng appeared at the tower of City hall and gave her message in her pink gown with matching halo. She started the countdown as she waved a wand like a fairy godmother. In the last second, the lights switched on and revealed the dominant blue and white lights of the city hall as the word PAZ glowed at the central tower. Plaza Rizal and Pershing also turned into wonderland as the lights cascaded among the lamp posts and lush gardens. A confetti storm also showered the facade of the city hall which was really magical. Above all, the happiness of the people was infectious and everyone was in awe with the great Christmas light display. With this simple spark of joy, every Zamboangueno were rekindled with the Christmas spirit. Watch the same-day edit video of the momentous occasion produced by the magical lenses of Vista de Lente and SkyFrames aerial videography.

After the grand lighting, the employees of the different offices marched towards Paseo del Mar with their colorful props and cheerful smiles. As they graced the streets, the lamp posts lit one by one, bringing the light of Christmas around the city. Upon entering Paseo del Mar, the colorful lights lit up, followed by the heritage lamps, then the gyrating musical fountain and finally the grand Christmas tree. The fun didn't end there! A Christmas party of the Local Government Unit of Zamboanga also happened at Paseo. Fun musical numbers were rendered by the different clusters and door prizes were given away. Among all the happenings that night, the camaraderie, happiness and peace among one other is the real highlight of this Celebration. So from the City of Zamboanga to you, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year! Vaya Con Dios!

Here are the official photos by Vista de Lente Photography.

Pascua Na Zamboanga 2014

4:29 PM
It's Christmas time again! To share the spirit of the holidays, the City Government of Zamboanga prepared a lineup of activities and contests for the Zamboangueños. To open the Christmas Festival "Pascua na Zamboanga" on December 1, there will be a parade and light switching ceremony of the iconic City Hall. Every year, the landmark is transformed into a huge Christmas sight where lights adorn every corner depicting the Nativity. During the program, the nativity scene will be played by selected employees, and with real live animals, too. Aside from the city hall, all the major street and landmarks will also be decorated with Angels and Christmas symbols. Check out the poster for the full schedule of activities. Merry Christmas and have a Prosperous 2015!

Pascua na Zamboanga 2014

 Organizer / Contact Person
December 1, 2014
Frontage of City Hall

City Hall to Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar
Lighting of City Hall

Christmas Parade
(City Government of Zamboanga)

Program and Opening of the Pascua na Zamboanga
December 3, 2014
WMSU (Normal Road) to Paseo del Mar
Torch Parade
Peace Advocates Zamboanga
December 10-12, 2014
6:00PM onward
Best Barangay Christmas Landmark Competition 2014
(Evaluation of Entries)
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 12-13-14
Vista del Mar
Noche Navidades
(1st week-end)
Rosa Ramirez
3:00 pm to 12 midnight
December 12 - 13, 2014       - ECOZONE
December 15-21, 2014         - Jardin Maria Clara Lobregat Complex
December 20-21, 2014         - Mercedes Church premises
Doce Dias de Hechos de Zamboanga
City Mayor's Office - Investments and Promotions Division
December 15, 2014
Paseo del Mar
Open-Lantern Competition
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 16, 2014
Paseo del Mar

Paseo del Mar
Canciones de Pascua
(Inter-Elementary Competition)

Awarding Ceremony
Open-Lantern Competition
Best Barangay Christmas Landmark Competition 2014
City Mayor’s Office-Tourism
December 19-20-21
Vista del Mar

December 19
Noche Navidades
(2nd Week-end)

“Noche de Alcaldeza”
Rosa Ramirez
December 22, 2014
Crystal Ballroom
Grand Astoria Hotel
2014 Christmas Holiday Fashion Extravaganza
Boynap Garcia-Directo
CP No.
December 30, 2014
Plaza Rizal
118th Death Anniversary of
Dr. Jose P. Rizal
Knights of Rizal-WM c/o Mr. Domingo Falcasantos

City Mayor’s Office-Tourism

 For Inquiries please contact the City Mayor’s Office – Tourism Division at telephone number 992.3007

Dia De Cesar: Carisma, Coraje, Compasión

9:58 AM
Thirty years ago, Zamboanga's iconic Mayor Cesar Cortez Climaco was killed at the streets of Camino Nuevo, leaving the city in sorrow. Mayor Cesar left a legacy of Courage and Honor as he battled during the Marcos regime and fought for the nation's democracy. This week the City Government, headed by Mayor Beng Climaco, the niece of Cesar Climaco, prepare a lineup of events to commemorate his life and legacy.

Carisma. Coraje. Compasión. These are the trademarks of Cesar Climaco which every Zamboangueños should emulate. Let's take part on this wonderful history and help make Zamboanga a better city by following the footsteps of our heroes who risked their lives for our city and country. Here are the lineup of activities for Dia de Cesar.

30th Dia de Cesar 2014 Calendar of Activities

Here are the three commemorative graphic portraits that I designed which was unveiled during the flag-raising ceremony on November 10 at Plaza Rizal fronting the City Hall.

Carisma. Cesar Climaco is know for his eccentricity. A very energetic and humorous person, he charmed every person in front of him. Children would call him Lolo Cesar with a bag of candies in his arms. He will let the kids sing "Ay si Cesear" in the tune of "Oh my darling, Clementine" before he gives away his candy. Cesar's iconic vintage motorcycle is his favorite mode of transportation. If you notice, i placed some candies in the design.

Coraje. A very brave man Cesar is. He is very hands on in everything he do. He is a real life super hero as he is also a volunteer fireman. He also showed courage when he opposed the Marcos dictatorship and vowed not to cut his hair until democracy is achieved. Unfortunately, his long white hair remained until his last day, when he was assasinated on November 14, 1984. Aside from the crimson palette which symbolize his courage, I also placed some lions which reminded me of his intense presence especially when he express his strong views and opinions in public.

Compasión. Cesar is a person with a pure heart. His love to his constituents know no age, gender or religion.  In this final portrait, we see him in his candid moments, assisting to his grandson and an elderly who is emotional in his presence. I also placed a hand carrying a seedling which symbolize his compassion towards nature and humankind. Truly, Cesar Climaco is a man of Charisma, Courage and Compassion.


 Thanks to Sir Jojo Yap-Aizon and Mark Saavedra for helping me gather the images for the portraits.

Angkor Wat Adventure

5:49 PM
Day 3 (August 21) - It took us almost 16 hours of bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam before we reached Siem Reap, Cambodia. Good thing is that we were still able to catch our bus as early as 7:00 am after last night’s hang out and street party with Bao. Though, most of us had hangover from eating frogs for the first time.

We booked our bus tickets with Mekong Express Bus Limousine as this company consistently receive good reviews for its service. We had our passports stamped for our exit in Vietnamese territory and another one for our entrance in Kingdom of Cambodia. Maybe we can try to fill our passports with more immigration stamps in the next five years by travelling to more countries? Too right!

Ho Chi Minh to Pnom Penh (7 hours) + 1 hour lay-over and bus transfer
Pnom Penh to Siem Reap (7 hours) + 30 minutes dinner break
Bus Station to Hotel (30 minutes)

We had our accommodation at Angkor Wat Guesthouse for 2 nights which is centrally located at Siem Reap’s city center. Since everyone was tired from the bus ride, we just decided to rest so we can wake up early and witness the majestic sunrise at Angkot Wat. This is the summary of our day (personal details, travel experience and reflection will only be posted on my personal blog):

1. Woke up at 5:00 am and took a Tuktuk ride to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise
2. Went back to hotel to have breakfast and freshened up for a long day tour around Angkor Archaeological Complex
3. Met our tour guide Mr. Pissa and officially started our tour: Angkor Wat, Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom
4. Had a taste of authentic Cambodian dishes at Palmboo Restaurant for lunch. Just yummy!
5. Visited a Cambodian Jewellery Shop where we can’t afford anything.
6. Visited a store where they sell authentic Cambodian Silk.
7. Visited Painting Galleries on the road where Jelan and Cedrick first used their haggling skills and were able to finally get some paintings on their desired price.
8. Went back to hotel to freshen up.
9. Had buffet dinner at Koulen Restaurant with all sorts of Cambodian dishes served while watching traditional Cambodian Dance and the highlight of which is the Apsara Dance (they say witnessing Apsara Dance is like getting a glimpse of heaven here on earth)
10. Went to Angkor Night Market to buy souvenirs and test our haggling skills to the limits.
11. Had our YOLO (You Only Live Once Moment) at the Angkor What?? Bar. Just epic!

Time for photo story :)

Had lunch somewhere between Vietnam and Cambodia, it took us the whole day to travel to Siem Reap from Ho Chi Mihn City with a stop at Phnom Penh.

The bus hopped on a barge and crossed this river :)

Finally, were at the hotel in Siem Reap.. which sucks.. but, good thing, these guys were my roommates :)

Glimpse of sunrise. That body of water is the man-made moat surrounding Angkor Wat

We went at Angkor Wat first thing in the morning. We paid 20 bucks for the whole day pass in the Angkor Complex. Never lose this when you're touring here.

Beauty :)

Tourist waiting for the sunrise

My first glimpse of the towers inside the complex. Stunning!

The entrance of the complex with lit by the first sunshine of the morning.


The majestic sunrise shot of Angkor Wat with the pond as a nice foreground, fit for a post card worthy photo.

Fun groupie :)

Time to go back! Almost all buildings or temples in Cambodia have these statues of lion and five-headed snake (naga). Pey can't help it.

Going back at the hotel in this cab called Tuktuk! #boobsieride

Facade of our hotel, view from our window, and me with my game face. :|

Mr. Pizza, our tour guide.

Surreal walking through these walls. I used to watch docu's in NatGeo when i was younger.

Group shot with a view of the towers at the north side.

Apsara dancers or Celestial dancers

Grand staircase

Korean tourist catching shade.

Stunning bas relief that looks as if they were engraved yesterday. This is the scene in Hinduism called "The Churning of the Sea of Milk"

I wish i had a wider lens to accomodate the beautiful rocks in the foreground.

The wooden staircase was created for tourist. The original stairs underneath were very steep.

They say when you gather rocks around Angkor and balance them like this, you can ask for a wish. This is my rock tower and i hope my wish will really come true :")

Going downstairs is not for the faint-hearted. Jorjes <3 p="">

And finally, the jump shot of a lifetime! :')


To be continued..
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