Sakayan or boat, one of the many vessels in Zamboanga.
The Royal Fort of Our Virgin Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza or or simply Fort Pilar is a 17th century military defense fortress built by the Spaniards. On this day, the place is one of the major landmarks in their city starting when it was declared as National Cultural Treasure on August 1, 1973. It is located just across the popular Paseo del Mar, a reclaimed esplanade, which protects The Fort from the ravages of the sea.
Eastern structure of the fort
The courtyard and the section of the fort still in ruins
The fort ruins
When we first visited Fort Pilar, I took some shots from the shrine and found out that the museum was actually closed. I never thought that we'd be able to go inside the place up until our fourth day in the city when we had our free time and, alas, it was then open. The fee was around Php 20 pesos per person and much cheaper if you were a student. Good thing, we still look like students! Haha
Entrance of the National Museum
The bells of the sanctuary to the Lady of the Pillar
Marian Shrine, Fort Pilar
Inside the Zamboanga's National Museum was a showcase of the culture and heritage of the place through decades. Its collections includes the remnants of the buildings and the once great walls of the fortress, the art and skills of their people shown on the walls of the museum, the different "bankas" (boats in English) which were the main mode of transportation in the ancient times, their famous vinta (I thought I'd see one on the shoreline of Zamboanga but I guess I was only lucky enough to see it here.), the nets and arrows used for fishing, their different carved wooden structure as tombstones of their loved ones known as sunduk, their hunting and cooking equipment, and some of their colorful banigs (handwoven mats).
Flowers at the courtyard
Stair going to the vessel exhibits
Flowers at the courtyard
Remnants amidst the ruins
Some artwork at the entrance of the exhibit place
Their famous vinta (locally known as lepa-lepa or sakayan) is a traditional boat found in the Philippine island of Mindanao. These boats are made by Bajau and Moros living in the Sulu Archipelago, Zamboanga peninsula, and southern Mindanao. It has a sail with assorted vertical colors that represents the colorful culture and history of the Muslim community. These boats are used for inter-island transport of people and goods.
Vinta/ Lepa/ Sakyan
Artworks on the wall
They have a houseboat before which is decked and provided with living quarter covered by a plaited nipa roof, which is detachable. This houseboats includes storage for the food and water neae the stern where meals are prepared and eaten. Oh, if you might think that all of the vintas are the same the you're totally wrong. They have so many kinds of it and others were named, depending on the designs and use, as buggoh, buggoh jungalan, sappit, dapang and buggoh-buggoh. The carvings (okli in dialect) on the boatsare done directly on the boat or made separately and then attached later.
Zamboanga's Fort Pilar and National Museum, Yakan and Subanun Exhibit
They also have the Yakan and Subanun Exhibit which has a collection of the their costumes, musical instruments, miniature stilt house, banig and containers made of wood, wooden cooking equipment, among others.
Yakan and Subanun Exhibit
Mini stilt house
The gang chillin' at the ruins
The Fort Pilar's Marian Shine during a Roman Catholic Mass
Elevated part overlooking the Paseo del Mar
Outside the museum, on the eastern wall, is a Roman Catholic Marian Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Pilar, the patroness of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga. The shrine was originally named as Real Fuerza de San José (Royal Fort of Saint Joseph).
The Fort Pilar's Marian Shine Saint statues
The Fort Pilar's Marian Shine
Find more about my trip in Zamboanga here.