I VISITED Zamboanga before and after a rebel siege in the city two years ago that left a portion of the central town bruised and battered, and kept many wary visitors away and in fear. Despite a peaceful and meaningful celebration of Hermosa Festival last year where balikbayans came home to join in support and unity, foreign travel advisories stayed adamant.
“The historic City of Ayutthaya (1351-1767), was the second capital of a flourishing Siamese Kingdom (Thailand’s old name). For 417 years from the 14th to the 18th centuries, it grew to be one of the world’s largest and most cosmopolitan urban areas and a most important center of global diplomacy and commerce during its time. It was said to be beautiful, luxurious and fabulous… think wild Paris of ancient history.” (published in SunStar Davao, April 2014)