Oh Zamboanga, sing to us the past, of a paradise borne of the currents, offspring of the Sulu and Celebes seas! Your tides that throw playful kisses on your beaches murmur its charm, the same charm that enchanted traders and adventurers, storytellers and conquistadors. These dreamers you have enchanted brought along their wares, their poems and pieces of their worlds from across the oceans. On your ancient soil they toiled and labored and out of your marshes a city they built. Stone by stone, sweat by sweat they gave you a fortress jutting out of your marshes, a sentinel against your enemies and later a shrine for your faithful. Oh Zamboanga, you were home and muse!
Oh Zamboanga, wail to us of what you have become! Bemoan to us the present paradox of your lyrics, of melodies that charm in vain, of songs that hark back to an Eden lost and found and then lost again! Oh City of Flowers, reveal to us where your flowers have gone a hiding –flowers that used to perfume your name, are now flowers laid on the cold tombs of your dreamers. Lead us back to your tropical gardens of peace now wilting in apathy and injustice. Bring back the petals we gaily shower at dear La Virgen’s feet, for now these petals shower caskets and comfort not the bereaved and the injured. Oh Zamboanga, our ravaged muse!
Oh Zamboanga, your people’s tired voices are a chorus of fear, for the orchestra of violence brings no applause but tears. This is paranoia in paradise! Woe to your pink sand, pale hue of the blood of your lost children –children of your promise! Madre Zamboanga, you have made us waifs and orphans, treading on your narrow streets that lead nowhere, gaping at your gyrating fountains that quench no one, staring at your Technicolor canton lamps that illumine no life. Denial designs nothing but discord and discontent. Oh Zamboanga, you are muted by your own silence.
Oh Zamboanga! Your name, dulcet and beguiling, mentioned in legends and epics once conjured images of a Romantic affair between the Oriental and the Occidental. But now, yours is a name feared and disdained. Remind us not of the unsettling irony of the lines: Don’t you ever. Don’t you ever go to far Zamboanga! Recite once more the sonnets that flatter and glorify Mi ciudad de Zamboanga, remind us not how foreign and strange they seem in the light of the truth that headlines and travel advisories scream. Oh Zamboanga, what sorrow it brings to reminisce the epithets of your great renown! What sorrow it brings to know these have become epitaphs!
Oh Zamboanga, your sunsets offer vague tomorrows and sad recollections, for as the sun drowns in the horizon, we speak of no shelter from what stalks your savage nights. La Bella. La Tormenta. La Tortura. Oh Zamboanga, when shall we sing once more in the peace you have been promised? Dance in merriment from the harmony you once possessed? Revel in the flowered meadows that were once your name? Speak of your name in conviction as Orgullo de Mindanao? Oh Zamboanga, we do not need nostalgia. We need now.
it is the place where i was born and grew up.
it is a peaceful place to live.
people from various religion would live peacefully.
but now it is a paradise in paranoia.
we need to pray for peace not only in our beloved city, Zamboanga City, but for the WHOLE WORLD.
its not a fight between christians and muslims. let us be united.