In 2013, the city of Zamboanga went on a war between military troops and rebel fighters. Over a thousand locals were hurt and displaced. Homes were destroyed by fire. Schools and businesses were shut down. But despite the chaotic situation, the people of Zamboanga were able to stand up and bounce back. They were able to maintain the colorful land, culture, tradition, and food. One of the most unique delicacies in Zamboanga is the knickerbocker.
The knickerbocker is a localized version of the famous Filipino dessert – halo-halo. But the difference is, it is made of fresh fruits and it is healthier. It is a mix of chunks of banana, mango, apple, watermelon, gelatin, milk, with vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream on top.
Some say that it is popularized by the Palmeras, a local restaurant in Zamboanga. It is now being sold in various stalls in Paseo del Mar.
Like the knickerbocker, Zamboanga is astonishing with its historical sites and vibrant culture. In fact, it is called the “Asia’s Latin City” for its Hispanic and Latin roots. Being the third largest city in the country, it turned into a melting pot of culture and cuisine in Mindanao.
Aside from the knickerbocker, here are some of the things and places that you will find in Zamboanga:
1) Island of Santa Cruz or Pink Sand Beach
2) Traditional and iconic Vinta
3) Yakan Weaving Village
4) Fort Pilar and National Museum
5) Canelar Barter Trade Market
Despite the negative portrayal of the city, Zamboanga turned to be one of the most peaceful places in the country. Its hospitable locals, beautiful language (Chavacano), and of course a tasty and creamy knickerbocker make the city more spirited.