Unexplored Pagadian City

Pinay Solo Backpacker

Pagadian City is located in Zamboanga del Sur, it was converted into a chartered city on June 21,1969 and is now the regional center of Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX) since November 12, 2004.


(castle-like gates, designed for housing the urban poor )

This lively city in western Mindanao is marketed as the Little Hong Kong of the South because of its hilly terrain plummeting into the sun-kissed coast, but it sure deserves to have its own title without being linked to another country. Pagadian’s bustling city center is hemmed by commercial buildings, banks, hotels, and franchise stores such as Jollibee, Dunkin Donuts, and Bo’s Coffee. The hasty inclined tricycles, the iconic symbol of Pagadian, are the best way to get around the city. Most tourists make sure they ride and have their photo taken with the unique tricycle inclined at 20-40 degrees.


Make time to visit the city's market place to appreciate the abundance of fresh local produce. Try the marang, durian, jackfruits, papaya and sweet pineapples. Also check out the fresh gigantic tunas of Pagadian and don’t miss its delicious seafood. You will never run out of a place to dine here, the city is dappled by eateries from budget to upscale. Try the restaurants with delightful ambience such as Greenhouse Fishing Station and Restaurants located at the heart of a massive fishpond.


Pagadian city is the kind of place where you can enjoy a wonderful blend of urban development and bucolic life. If you want to escape the lively commercial hub, just move inland and discover its vast pastoral land, soaring mountains, lush jungles, pristine waterfalls, unexplored caves and refreshing springs.


(Isla Puting Balas)

For a quick beach get-away, head to Isla Putting Balas, this golden sandbar is hugged by clear turquoise waters. Charming egrets will greet you as you approach the sandbar , adding more drama is the view of the lush mountains scenic sandbar. To get here, you can charter a small boat for Php 450 from San Pedro port. At the wharf, you’ll get a perfect view of the stilt houses and on the way to the island, you’ll see the bizarre fishing vessels floating in the azure sea. These unique fishing boats of Pagadian are locally called tapay-tapay. Local fishermen board the boat in the afternoon and return the next morning with freshly caught sardines, herrings and round scads.


(the dancing fountain - photo credit: Wendell Cagape Jr.)

At night, nab a spot at the Capitol Park and marvel at the amazing multi-hued dancing fountain. Afterwards, dine and feast on grilled foods at the eateries nearby, grab a Php 1.50 barbecue dipped in sweet and spicy sauce.

It is no doubt that Pagadian has a lot more to offer to intrepid travelers, so make sure you get to discover its hidden treasures on your visit here.

Gael Hilotin traveled around the Philippines for 7 months. She blogs at The Pinay Solo Backpacker.