I first saw images of these odd-shaped huts on a popular fast-food chain in Zamboanga. I asked my travel buddy what are these, and he said, those are fixed huts made-up of aluminum tins with concrete floors used by boy scouts whenever they are camping. The picture of rows of these tents as placed on the walls of that fast-food chain is quite interesting specially on the way it was photographed - that is on monochrome. So, before leaving Zamboanga, we see to it to visit Pasonanca and have our own take on the place.
Pasonanca Park is one of Zamboangenos favorite hang-out place. Known locally as "Little Baguio", this place boasts of large trees, flowering plants, shrubs, ferns and orchids. A perfect place for relaxation and communion with nature. This park also hosts camping trips of the Boy Scouts as evidenced by the local chapter housed therein. There are also fixed tents that can house campers and a huge bonfire place surrounded by mini amphitheater. History has it that on July 28, 1963, 24 boy scouts who were about to attend Boy Scouts' 11th World Jamboree in Greece perished in a plane crash. One of scouts who died was Scout Antonio Limbaga from Zamboanga City. In their honor, Camp Limbaga was created and 24 wigwams were created. Also, in the bonfire place were 24 concrete circular poles representing each of the 24 scouts.
As I wander around the park, I can't help but reminisce on my boy scout days where we used to pitch our tent and camp on our school grounds. I was a scout leader then from a King Fisher Troop leading a bunch of kids and together we learn some basic necessities in life like cooking, first-aid and tying knots. It's not all fun and games but hardships as well because we were away from the comforts of our home for about a day or two. And from there, we earn badges not just to decorate our uniforms but to moreso to learn more in life.
Scouting life exposed me to some of my earliest travels. I have experienced joining jamborees as far as Vigan in Ilocos Sur and Ilagan in Isabela. "Laging Handa" or Always Be Ready was am astounding battle cry where we are always tested on how well we handle difficult situations early on in life. Ah, those were the days.
Before I get carried-away, let us go back to Pasonanca. Within the vicinity of the park are landmarks and signs that are evidently Boy Scout in Nature. Scout's Oath is firmly planted on the foreground together with scout traits such as integrity, trust and honesty among others. It also houses famous tree house built in 1960. Then there is a butterfly sanctuary and aviary. Further in the park, there is an 1.8-km eco-trail that leads through a summit which provides view of the rain forest below. There is also a rock called Pulong bato for rock climbing enthusiasts. With a tour guide, visitors to the eco-trail can learn secrets of the forest, including the uses of various medicinal plants. You can also visit a campsite with hanging bridge. Other facilities include a clonal nursery and bamboo complex for forestry-related research. Its ecology also serves as breeding ground for endemic bird species, forest animals such as wild boars, deer, wild cats, reptiles, in the watershed and various insects.
By the way, Pasonanca Park was cited as the Number One Garden of the Philippines, a contest covering the entire country, and the way that I see it, they truly deserve such title because it is indeed one of the most lush and most green park that I have seen in our country. A scenic place with lots of history - that is Pasonanca Park, definitely Zamboanga's pride.
It's the official start of my Summer in my next posts.