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Today in History

February 26, 1937

MANILA, Feb. 26 — On February 26, 1937, Zamboanga, previously often called "Jambangan" or land of flowers, was declared a city by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 39.

Situated on the southern tip of Zamboanga del Sur, the city is now the center of commerce, trade, health services, and education for the entire Zamboanga Peninsula (Western Mindanao or Region 9).

Among its popular tourist spots are Fort Pilar, the Pasonanca Park and the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone Authority (popularly known as Zamboecozone).

The presence of the Spaniards for almost three centuries, with Fort Pilar as the center of settlement, resulted in the development of a unique dialect -– Zamboangueño Chavacano — a mixture of Spanish and the native dialects which is still the predominant medium of communication in the city today.

Approximately 64 percent of the city’s population consists of the native families of the old Zamboanga who are greatly influenced by the Spanish culture and lifestyle which is now considered as a pure Chavacano or Zamboangueño.

The remaining 36 percent of the city’s population is composed of cultural minority members such us the Tausugs, Yakans, Badjaos, Samals, and the Subanons.

Also on this same day in 1939, the Philippine Writers League was organized with Federico Mangahas as president and Salvador P. Lopez, Jose Lansang, and Isabello P. Caballero as vice presidents.

During its first anniversary celebration, this organization of Filipino writers in English launched the Commonwealth Literary Awards.

The organization, however, did not last long because of the outbreak of World War II.

Earlier, on this day in 1903, Apolinario Mabini, the sublime paralytic, and other Filipinos exiles in Guam arrived in Manila on board the transport Thomas after they were set free by the Americans. (PNA) scs/SDT/mec

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