Sometimes you don’t really need a passport or a visa to get to one of the most secluded places on earth.
I grew up down south, and to me , el pueblo de Zamboanga was more like Seville in Espana than crazy Tokyo – as far away, secluded, and steeped in nature as any place could possibly be.
There is beauty and calmness in the pueblo that the metropolis has long forgotten, and I adore that.
Why Zamboanga? The hours are definitely longer down south – a dreamy golden hour quality. In that light, you end up having coffee with an older relative and in my case, it’s definitely my mom or my favorite aunt Nela and telling them all my secrets.
It may be a little farther away from everywhere else but the smell down south is what I always think of – a combination of freshly grown grass, the mountains, the sea and of course an 80 percent chance of running into someone you know when you step out of your car.
My favorite food? No surprise : crabs, prawns and curacha, a very popular deep-sea crustacean found only in the waters of Zamboanga, where spectacular seafood abound. I wont eat it anywhere else but in Zamboanga. We buy them right off the boats and have crab bake with mussels, oysters, sausages and tuna belly thrown into a fire pit against the rock. Oh how I miss the luxury down south.
(Don’t forget to bring out your floppy sun hats and espadrilles. See you all next month! Photo from The Sartorialist)