Zamboanga City's Points of interest:

Belmon Point

Located North-East of downtown on Panganaban island, on the beautiful Moro Gulf.

Malaja Point

Located North-East of downtown by the barangay of Binaloy, on the beautiful Moro Gulf.

San Mateo Point

Located West of downtown by the barangay of Campo Islam, on Basilan Straight.


Lawigan Point

Located North-East of downtown by the barangay of Curuan, on the beautiful Moro Gulf.

Malasugat Point

Located North-East of downtown by the barangay of Pamiguitan, on the beautiful Moro Gulf.

Taguiti Point

Located North-East of downtown on the Southern tip of Vitali Island, on the beautiful Moro Gulf.


Bodies of water surrounding Zamboanga City:

Basilan Strait - The narrow passage of water joining the Sulu Sea in the north with the Celebes Sea in the south, with its current usually traveling eastwards between Zamboanga City and Basilan Island.

Caldera Bay - Located by the barangay of Recodo, about 16 kilometers north-west from downtown. Historically, in November of 1596, Juan Ronquillo arrived at Caldera Bay, where he built the La Caldera fort as a base of operations for the Spanish garrison against the Cotabato Moros. Captain Paches was left in the outpost at Caldera Bay with a small garrison which passed into historical oblivion. Repeated Moro assaults soon wiped out this small detachment of unknown martyrs and the place thereafter proved untenable to the Spaniards. Caldera Bay is part of the Basilan Straight.

Celebes Sea -  It is a roughly triangular section of the western edge of the Pacific Ocean, located just north of the equator between the east cost of Borneo, the south coast of Mindanao Island (Philippines), and the northern reaches of Sulawesi. It occupies a total area of around 427,000 square kilometers (165,000 square miles), stretching approximately 675 kilometers (420 miles) north-south and 837 kilometers (520 miles) east-west. The Sulu archipelago and Mindanao Island form the northern borders of the sea; the Sangi Islands lie to the east; Sulawesi (Celebes) Island borders the south; and Borneo is on the west. The Celebes Sea opens on to the Philippine Sea in the east and is connected to the Java Sea through the Makassar Strait in the southwest.

The deepest area is around 6,220 meters (20,406 feet). In the area close to the major islands and archipelagos, however, the sea is warm and not very deep. There are numerous seamounts, many of them volcanic, rising from the sea floor and capped with corals. The warm tropical water (annual average 26° C) makes the Celebes Sea an abundant fishing ground. Many areas around the numerous beautiful islands are suitable for diving.

The Celebes Sea is home to a wide variety of fish and aquatic creatures. The tropical setting and warm clear waters permit it to harbor about 580 of the world’s 793 species of reef-building corals, which grow as some of the most bio-diverse coral reefs in the world, and an impressive array of marine life, including whales and dolphins, sea turtles, manta rays, eagle rays, barracuda, marlin and other reef and pelagic species. It's the world's spawning ground for the valuable tuna and yellow fin tuna, where its abundance helps Mindanao fish harvesters supply over 60% of the country's needs and also exports them globally. The Celebes sea also yields other aquatic products like sea tang.

Malasugat Bay - Located by the barangay of Sangali, about 25 kilometers north-east from downtown. The Bolong River empties its waters into this bay, which is also a part of the bigger marine-rich Moro Gulf. It's once fish-rich waters is now severely depleted due to over-fishing. Once upon a time, you could toss your fish net out to the bay and immediately pull it out with a catch. With the increase of sea-farming, it is hopeful that local resource management efforts will help bring back the abundance of fish this bay once had.

Moro Gulf - Located east of Zamboanga City, this large body of marine-rich water encompasses most of the south-western island of Mindanao. Historically, on August 1976, a devastating earthquake of approximate 7.6 magnitude hit the island of Mindanao, with the epicenter located in the Moro Gulf. A large tsunami generated by the earthquake resulted in the death of thousands of people along the coastal communities in the Sulu Archipelago and southern Mindanao, including Zamboanga City.

Sulu Sea and reefs.jpg (20307 bytes) Sulu Sea - It is about 1/3 the size of the islands of the Philippines, and boxed in by the island chain of Palawan to the northwest, the Visayan islands of Panay and Negros to the northeast, the Zamboanga Peninsula of Mindanao Island and the Sulu Archipelago to the southeast, and the island state of Sabah, Malaysia to the southwest. Beneath the deep and vast Sulu Sea is an oceanic ridge trending parallel to Palawan and the Sulu Archipelago. From these ridges rise some of the world's greatest geologic formations of oceanic atolls and platform reefs. The reefs feature gradually sloping underwater terrain to spectacular vertical walls that drop to thousand meters deep. Its average depth is 4,450 meters (14,600 feet).  They offer outcrops of corals and splendid aggregations of giant pelagics such as tunas, barracudas, jacks, lapu-lapu (grouper), sharks, mantas, and turtles. Reef associated fishes such as snappers, butterfly fishes, damsels, angel fishes, and garden eels never cross your path unnoticed due to their sheer number. Marine life is abundant and overwhelming in Tubbataja Reef. It would seem that the fish around here all live to a ripe old age as they seem far larger than in other parts of the country. Their sizes are matched by the wide spans of giant sea fans and giant sponges. It is easy to lapse into superlatives when describing the underwater scene around here.

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The climate in the Sulu Sea area is influenced by the monsoon seasons that prevail over the country. These are the southwest monsoon from June to October and northeast monsoon from December to June. Due to Sulu Sea's geographical location, the diving season is from March to early June. These months coincide with the summer season. Thus, the sea surface is calm, the temperature is comfortable at 28 to 30 C and water visibility of 30 meters is not unusual. Strong tidal currents may occasionally be present, bringing with it schools of large pelagics.

Besides the spectacular underwater sceneries, Sulu Sea's atolls and sand cays also offer interesting sights and opportunities for bird photography since the islands are rookeries to hundreds of sea birds -- red-footed boobies, terns and frigates. There is no other sea like it in the world - an underworld museum!  (Source:  Additionally, the U.S. National Museum of Natural History, which houses the largest collection of preserved fishes in the world, has one of its largest single acquisitions of specimens ever been collected from every continent and ocean over the last century and a half that came from the Philippine Islands Expedition from 1907 to 1910, collected by the United States Bureau of Fisheries steamer Albatross, and the Sulu Sea was a big source of it.

In spite of all these bountiful natural beauty, the scars of decades of destructive dynamite and cyanide fishing is evidenced in many places.  The ongoing education of area fishermen and policing of area waters by the government are helping to repair the damage, and its hopeful that mother nature will respond well enough and heal itself in due time.  Although fishing in its waters is still a necessary source of food for the country, eco-tourism is gaining tremendous popularity each year and brings needed income without the negative impact on its marine life.  Now, let's just hope the oil rigs will not undo all these hard work.  Maybe someday the Sulu Sea will be decreed and preserved as a national and world sea park.

Taguiti Bay -  Located on the southern tip of Vitali Island and southeast of barangay Tigbalabag, about 67 kilometers northeast of downtown.  It harbors the tiny Taguiti Island in the center along with its marine-rich waters.

Tictabon Channel -  Located at the southern-most tip of the Mindanao Island, it parallels the isthmus of barangay Mampang and the islands of Tictabon and Sacol, to name a few.  The Tumaga River empties into it.

Tungawan Bay -  Located east of the northern-most barangay of Licomo and north of Vitali Island, this once beautiful hidden treasure is fast becoming a tourist destination with its offering of expansive white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, conducive to many water sports.  Its marine-rich waters is an added plus to tourists and local fishermen alike.

Rivers of Zamboanga City:

Bolong River -  This river originates high up in the mountain region of Batorampon Point, the highest mountain in the City of Zamboanga at 1,335 meters or 4,380 feet, and flows southeastwards towards the barangay of Bolong, about 33 kilometers northeast of downtown.  It empties its waters into the Malasugat Bay.  Malasugat Point is adjacent to its river mouth near the barangay of Bolong.

Maasin River -  It begins its journey in the barangay of Maasin, and originates in the mountains near Camp Susana, about 14 kilometers NW of downtown. The river flows southwards and empties into its river mouth in Caragasan Beach and onto the Caldera Bay.  The word "maasin" means salty in Filipino.

Saaz River - Located in the barangay of San Ramon, it originates in the high mountains to the north-east, now a part of the sprawling 54.56-hectare Zamboanga Freeport Industrial Park, about 22 kilometers NNW of downtown. The river flows south-west from the Freeport highlands, consisting about 15,000 hectares of mountainous forest, and empties its crystal-clear waters into the Basilan Straight, at the foot of San Ramon. San Ramon Beach is adjacent to its river mouth.

It is not known how the river got its name, but we can only surmise that the since the word "Saaz" is used in many references as a mountainous region in the Czech Republic that grows the "Saaz semi-early redbine hops" used for making Pilsner-type beer ( which is the type of beer the popular Philippine San Miguel beer consists of ), it may have served as the inspiration for the name, or it could have been the plant. Does anyone out there know the true story?

Sucabon River - This polluted river flows right through the middle of downtown.

Tumaga River - This great river originates high up in the mountain region of Batorampon Point, the highest mountain in the City of Zamboanga at 1,335 meters or 4,380 feet. The river flows southwards towards the downtown area and empties its now polluted waters into the Tictabon Channel, from the river mouth located in the barangay of Tugbungan. The many barangays that border this river, including its namesake Tumaga, use it as a dumping ground for just about anything. When the floodwaters rise, the mighty river empties to most of the towns causing flooding and extensive damage. Its once storied past is being destroyed by uncontrolled abuse from the very people it was meant to benefit. We hope it's not too late to save it.

Zamboanga City's Highest Point:

Batorampon Point = 1,335 Meters ( 4,380 feet )

Zamboanga City's Other Mountain Peaks:

Mount Columbato


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