War. Religion. Kidnapping. Words unfortunately associated with Zamboanga City after headlines focused on the fighting that had occurred there in September of 2013.
Mangroves. Birds. Diversity. What about these words? Mangroves riddle the seaside landscape of Zamboanga City. Not bullet holes. Birds like Barn swallows perch atop buildings, not snipers. Chabacano, Yakan, Tausug, Bisaya, Tagalog, English, and more are spoken in this 98-baranggay-paradise called “Asia’s Latin City.” A place where the Spaniards left a fort just as old as Manila’s Intramuros in the north, but also a language colorfully created in time by Zamboanga City’s people, making Chabacano, a Spanish-Filipino language, the predominantly spoken language in the city.