Canelar barter trade

Where to shop for souvenirs and crafts in Zamboanga City

A vendor at the Yakan Weaving Center showing his different textiles and handicrafts from the different muslim tribes of Mindanao

The Yakan Weaving Center not only showcases traditional Yakan weaving and other crafts, it also offers textiles and trinkets from other Mindanao Muslim tribes as well. 

Yakan Weaving Center

Upper Calarian
Zamboanga City

A popular tourist shopping area, the Yakan weaving center showcases Basilan’s indigenous tribe, the Yakan, with their wonderful weaving tradition which is marked by geometrical shapes and linear multicolored patterns. Woven textiles are also made into functional items like bags, wallets and table runners. There are also Maranao and Tausug handicrafts.

READ MORE: Where to shop for souvenirs and crafts in Zamboanga City

GETTING THERE: The Yakan Weaving Cente is quite accessible and closer to the city center compared to the Ayuda Badjao Project. You can take a tricycle (do haggle or ask how much first before taking a ride as it’s one of the placees in the Philippines that have high tricycle fare rates) or a jeepney (from Pueblo).

A group of Badjao women weaving their 'tepo'

Badjao women weaving ‘tepo’ and these are available for sale

Ayuda Badjao

Caragasan, Brgy. Maasin
Zamboanga City

The Badjaos are known for their ‘tepo,’ mats made from strips of pandan that are dyed and woven into beautiful geometric patterns in various colors. Although the best weavers are in Tawitawi, the Badjao community in Caragasan, Zamboanga City also produce interesting mats. A visit at their center may find weavers in action.

READ MORE: Where to shop for souvenirs and crafts in Zamboanga City

GETTING THERE: From the Pueblo or city center of Zamboanga City, ride a jeep going to Maasin and tell the driver to drop you off at the Ayuda Badjao Project center just along the highway.

Inside one of the souvenir and handicraft shop

Inside one of the souvenir and handicraft shop

Exterior of the Plaza del Pilar souvenir shops

Exterior of the Plaza del Pilar souvenir shops

Plaza del Pilar

Valderosa St.
Zamboanga City

Unlike the barter centers, Plaza del Pilar shops cater to tourists with their souvenir items like the usual key chains, ref magnets and other Filipino handicrafts and products. There are also Zamboanga shirts on sale as well as local delicacies like the tinagtag. Just across Fort Pilar, it can get festive during weekends. The place is not only for souvenir shops but across these are eateries. Century old acacia trees, especially protected by the local government, make the place interesting too.

GETTING THERE: Plaza del Pilar is just opposite popular Fort Pilar and Paseo del Mar, near Lantaka Hotel.

Inside one of the barter trade shops in Canelar

Inside one of the barter trade shops in Canelar

Exterior of the Canelar barter trade

Exterior of the Canelar barter trade

Barter Trade

Zamboanga City is known for its barter trade centers of which the one in Canelar is the most popular. Products mostly from Malaysia and Indonesia like batik textiles, malongs, scarves, bags and food products like Maggi kari noodles, chocolates, wafers, coffee to soaps and toiletries, all from these two countries.

READ MORE: Canelar, Zamboanga City’s shopping mecca

Canelar Barter Trade Center
Camino Nuevo, Canelar
Zamboanga City

GETTING THERE: From the airport, you can ride a Canelar jeepney. Just tell the driver to drop you off the corner going to the barter trade center along Climaco Ave. You can also take a tricycle but minimum payment is P30.

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.

One Comment

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    October 18, 2014 @ 16:54

    Where to shop for souvenirs and crafts in Zamboanga City: The Yakan Weaving Center not only showcases traditio… http://t.co/9HDVLFd1zI

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