The place PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 12:00

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

San Diego, CA. — I finally caught it. Or, it has finally caught me. The FLU. Many Californians, immigrants and even tourists who come this time of the year to enjoy the wonders of Disney Land and Universal Studios, have fallen sick with the flu. Records have it that at least a dozen Californians under the age of 65 have died from the flu in recent months. Now I’m taking a huge dosage of vitamin-C, plus Tylenol for my fever. Because I’m brown, I’m not used to abrupt weather changes — from 60 degrees in early mornings to 85 degrees at noon, and down to 59 degrees in the evenings.

In Zamboanga, the weather is better than anywhere in the Philippines. No typhoons, nothing. We have intermittent rains although not enough to overcome the dry spell. The heat in the mornings is not as sweltering as in other cities in Mindanao because we have trees all over town plus a thick forest cover that authorities have managed to protect from illegal cutters.

In Zamboanga, you can create your own special moments. For example, the Paseo del Mar promenade is one cool place to spend with your family and friends, especially when the weather is unfriendly warm. KCC, the mall that has raised the standard of shopping and leisure for the locals and visitors has invigorated the city that once upon a time had only OK Bazar and El Barato Commercial and small shops.

Other than KCC and O-Hotel, there are no distinct buildings yet whose architectural designs would define our skyline. But for those who love the countryside, a walk through giant trees older than me with the smell of flowers in the air, Pasonanca Park should be enticing. An afternoon of golf at the second oldest golf course in the country is damn good an exercise for retirees and businessmen. You can also witness the awesome red-orange sun go down every afternoon at R.T. Lim boulevard.

These coming days promise to be a time for Zamboanguenos to immerse themselves in unique sounds and see the dazzling talents of our young performing artists, mostly students. The week-long celebration of music, dialect, dance and colorful culture of Zamboanga shall be on proud display — as we do it when celebrating Fiesta Pilar.

Zamboanguenos are proud of their history, as I am, and revere over local heroes — those who fought against the Spanish regime and the Japanese imperialists and those who legislated to give Zamboanga the face she now carries.

We are the gateway of the south — closest to Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore. The archive at Fort Pilar tells of our vibrant past, about the people that set foot on our sacred shores centuries ago and the catalysts who transformed our energetic, fantastic city into a great one. Those who left half-a-century ago for better opportunities abroad are coming back to breath the air that gave them life.

Capitalists and giant conglomerates are looking to build a BETTER BUSINESS BASE in Zamboanga as the city government endeavors to BUILD BACK BETTER from the nightmare of September, 2013.

This is the city that you get pampered with all kinds of fruits, fresh seafood and meat of all cuts at cheap prices. The chefs in Zamboanga are comparable to the world’s best. Maybe, City Hall should start thinking of inviting Pagcor, Resorts World or City of Dreams to invest here provided locals who earn less than 150K annually are banned from playing. Maybe, with the help of our Filipino-Chinese friends, City Hall can convince Mr. Lucio Tan to reopen the mothballed Zamboanga Plaza Hotel in them thar hills.

Zamboanga. This is the place.

By the way... If Councilor Musa is expelled from the city council for being political for siding with a particular political party (doesn’t being a member of the legislative body make one political by nature?), may I suggest that the Council of Elders of indigenous people recommend Subanen Prince Mike S. Apostol to the post? He knows legislative work for being a member of the defunct Sangguniang Pampook and former secretary to the mayor of Mrs. Maria Clara L. Lobregat.