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Zamboanga on its 86th year as chartered city

Zamboanga City, known as the Asia's Latin City, was formally inaugurated as a chartered city on February 26, 1937 making it as one of the oldest chartered cities in the Philippines.

Every 26th day of the month of February, Zamboanga City prepares a month-long activities to celebrate this special day which they call Dia de Zamboanga. It has become a tradition to conduct activities, programs and competitions for all Zamboangeño to enjoy the occasion.

Dia de Zamboanga is one of the most important celebrations in Zamboanga City. It marks the city’s charter anniversary and the historic moment when the very first set of city officials, led by Mayor Nicasio Valderoza, was sworn into office February 26, 1937.

Centuries have passed, the City of Zamboanga grew its population and increased its business economic hub. The Zamboangueños brawled with the Spaniards for glory and showed the city's symbol of strength and will for Mindanao. They have preserved the influence of the Spanish culture through the Chavacano language which is still commonly used by the majority of the population.

With the easing of the COVID-19 travel restrictions, the city now have influx of local, national, and even international tourist. The City Tourism Office has recorded 598,397 visitors in 2022, up by 311% from the previous year’s figures.

“This is a direct result to the increased confidence in our peace and order situation, and the security we provide our visitors,” Mayor John Dalipe said.

The City Government is looking into exploring new tourism center and sites to attract more tourists and to provide more employment opportunities.

Dia de Zamboanga was also declared as a special non-working holiday celebrated with scores of activities such as food and film festivals, photo exhibits, cheer dance competitions, and the annual grand civic military parade. It is a celebration of culture where the Christians, Muslims and Lumads come together as Zamboangeños.

This 2023, Zamboanga City is turning 86 years with series of activities to commemorate the inauguration of the city as a chartered city.

Almost 40 activities are lined up for the celebration that kicked off last Feb. 11 with sports events and will culminate with the grand celebration of the Dia de Zamboanga on February 26.

Highlights of the Dia de Zamboanga celebration will be the Local Achievers’ Night on February 25 at 6pm at the Garden Orchid Hotel, the Civic Military grand parade and seal competition and the culminating program on February 26. (RVC/EDT/MLE/PIA9-ZAMSULTA)

Courtesy of City Government of Zamboanga

About the Author

Myra Cel Espinosa

Information Officer II

Region 9

Myra Espinosa is an Information Officer of the Philippine Information Agency Region IX.  She writes news and feature stories on issues concerning COVID-19 for the agency's website and social media platforms. She is currently the program host of Kapihan na Zamboanga Public Briefing, as well as a news contributor for PTV News. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration Major in Organization and Management from Western Mindanao State University.

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