Paseo del Mar. Photo from Beng Climaco

The annual Zamboanga Hermosa Festival kicked off at the start of October, with an opening program that included the inauguration of Paseo del Mar, the city’s newest tourist attraction. The latter is a 2.5-hectare leisure park, which used to be a slums area.

Located at the back of the historical shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar, the Paseo del Mar facilities feature a newly designed open stage, a children’s playground, and a skate park.

The opening program featured a festival countdown, performances from various artists, and the unveiling of the Mascota de Zamboanga finalists, one of the festival’s staple competitions.

Local officials assured the public that minimum health standards will be observed during the entire duration of the month-long celebrations to prevent it from becoming a spreader event for COVID-19.

Paseo del Mar. Photo from Beng Climaco

The grand procession for the feast of the Our Lady of the Pillar, the city’s most revered patron saint, commenced on October 12. It is the highlight of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival. 

However, what used to be an activity where thousands of faithful gather would be a smaller affair this year as the pandemic has forced the local government to limit the number of worshipers that would be allowed to join the procession.

Meanwhile, the City Health Office announced earlier this month that it has administered 318,770 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine since the rollout began in March (130,297 individuals have been fully vaccinated).

Aside from the festive Zamboanga Hermosa Festival, the city government also kicked off the Pink October Month through a “Fit to Fight Virtual Zumba” event streamed on the “Gender and Development of Zamboanga City” Facebook page.

The City Hall will also be lit in pink to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.