Jolo durian

Delicious native Jolo durians in Zamboanga City

A freshly opened durian from Jolo with its white and delicious pulp

At the Sta. Maria Road at the back of the airport near the Gov. Camins intersection

Ever since I got to Zamboanga many times a few months ago, I’ve always tried asking:

Are there durians from Jolo here?

But now, I was at the right place and at the right time. No need to travel all the way by boat or plane to Jolo in Sulu but in Zamboanga, at these time of the year, the city is awash with the delectable fruit.

Jolo durians are not those classy, yellowish crossbreeds that one can readily find in the supermarkets or in most stalls. It is a native variety like the malagkit which has whitish pulp, large seeds and smaller in size. And my first and last time I tasted it, I was in ecstasy.

The smell is subtle, and the taste with a hint of tartness but still creamy and sweet. What I do like about this variety is that its really delicious and the smell doesn’t cling much to the fingers. It is a prized fruit in Zamboanga City and, if offered together with other varieties, I will always go with it.

Select, smell and open…

And where to buy these delicious fruits in Zamboanga City? Although many people would point you to the fruitstands along Canelar and some other stalls, these can be expensive. When I was there, the Canelar strip doesn’t have any Jolo durians. The best and surest bet is to head under the mango trees behind the wall of Zamboanga Airport.

Along the Sta. Maria Road near the intersection with Gov. Camins Avenue are makeshift stalls selling different stalls. During Jolo durian season, there are always Muslim vendors there. At the time I ate this, about two weeks ago, it was priced at 50 – 60 pesos a piece. Yes, a piece, not per kilo.

Jolo durian is so unlike other varieties that it is one of my favorite. When in season, do get a chance to eat this one when in Zamboanga City.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.


  1. lovemindanao
    September 19, 2012 @ 18:57

    it is not originally from Zamboanga or Jolo, must have been extended the cultivation to Jolo . We call it Arancillo or the native durian. Well propagated. It has bigger seeds and less pulp. but the smell is subtle compared to the common durian sold in Davao. My favorite too.

  2. estancabigas
    September 19, 2012 @ 21:47

    That’s why I wrote Jolo durian 🙂

  3. lovemindanao
    September 20, 2012 @ 9:04

    point taken .. I just recall, the common yellow durian is known as Puyat…ang teroy.. joke ! … napa isip tuloy ako ng wala sa oras sa post mo …lol

  4. estancabigas
    September 20, 2012 @ 9:31

    but im looking forward to eat durians at Davao’s streets starting tomorrow. hehehe

  5. Beachresortphil Beachresort
    September 26, 2012 @ 0:39

    Durian smells awful but the taste is heavenly.

  6. estancabigas
    September 26, 2012 @ 6:24

    spot on but for those who are crazy on durians, the smell and taste are heaven!

  7. Ton
    October 22, 2012 @ 9:59

    Even before Davao was known for its durian, Jolo had them already. It was Davao that propagated & bred them commercially, which is why, it became Davao’s icon. This species is also found in Sabah, Malaysia and Brunei.

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    November 14, 2012 @ 19:46

    […] trip was more of eating. I was tasting balbacua, eating Jolo durian, satti and an unusual shawarma with egg. The impressive central mosaic of Basilan […]

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    January 2, 2013 @ 9:28

    […] on the road. I traveled to Baguio and Benguet for work and leisure. I crossed the country to visit Zamboanga City, Basilan, and traveled all the way to Ozamiz in Misamis Occidental via Pagadian in Zamboanga del […]

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