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Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!

Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.

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    Curacha Encounter at La Vista del Mar

    Due to Tutubi's insistence, he was able to persuade his officemates to eat out at the famed La Vista del Mar restaurant on the seafront of Zamboanga City due to information from their driver that they also offer Zamboanga's sought after curacha, a certain species of sea crab endemic in the waters around Zamboanga peninsula.

    Going to the place from Garden Orchid Hotel was quite a long drive since it's quite far. Checkpoints were everywhere and security was tight due to the presence of American troops participating in the Balikatan (shoulder to shoulder) exercise, a military exercise between US and Philippine soldiers.

    the vinta-lined tables of La Vista del Mar



    Picture of La Vista del Mar's last remaining curacha as shown by the waiter on a basin. The curacha is a crustacean found only in the area around Zamboanga peninsula.
    the underside of curacha with legs that look like crabs and lobsters

    Curacha is the Chavacano word for the crustacean that looks like a crossbreed between a large sea crab and the big spiny lobster that's also meaty and delicious! Best to cook it minimally to preserve its unique exotic taste.

    Tutubi was surprised that there were no other people except a group of foreigners, tourists that is, who came to explore the area in spite of the travel advisories. The tourists seem to enjoy their stay where most people dare not tread out of fear even if they haven't been there.

    seafood rice with evil aligue (crab fat)

    Comments/Review: La Vista del Mar's place is cozy with ambiance of Zamboanga truly captured with great vista of the sea. Menu prices are cheaper than that of Hai San Restaurant but can't give you actual prices since Tutubi didn't shoulder the bill.

    Adjacent to La Vista del Mar is Maria Clara Art Gallery. Also proximate is the Yakan Weaving Village where you can buy handwoven products of Yakan people of Basilan.

    How to get to La Vista del Mar:


    Board a jeep in the city (pueblo) with signboard Rio Hondo (a Muslim village of houses on stilts built over water). The place is near Yakan Weaving Village.

    Note: cucaracha is the spanish word for cockroach

    Related Zamboanga City Posts:
    Fort Pilar
    Camp Atilano, Pasonanca Park
    Hardin Maria Clara Lobregat, Pasonanca Park

    Labels: , , ,


    posted by backpacking philippines @ 9:35 PM,

    19 Comments:

    At Apr 20, 2008, 10:51:00 PM, Blogger the donG said...

    curacha or sometimes called cucuracha is one of my favorite food there. in fact cucuracha also means cockroach for the chavacanos because it looks like a cockroach.

    it is a deep sea crustacean and try to research how they capture it (other than breeding it). interesting.

     
    At Apr 21, 2008, 12:52:00 AM, Blogger vlado&toni said...

    wow, galing naman, i haven't been to zamboanga..got a bit scared because due to all those travel advisories especially kasama ko puti :) no money for ransom :) .. nevertheless, i hope to visit one day .. i even have a friend who lives in tawi tawi.. well till he moved to manila that is.. but his parents, bro and sis are still there -that would be nice to go that far

     
    At Apr 21, 2008, 6:20:00 AM, Blogger Sidney said...

    Mindanao is on my list of places to visit...but quite at the bottom... due to security reasons.
    It is difficult to know exactly how safe or unsafe a place is. Some people say it is no problem some others advice not to go.
    The world is so big... there are still so many places to discover in the Philippines that I feel I don't need to go to the "dangerous" places first.
    But I admit... those crabs look good!

     
    At Apr 21, 2008, 10:04:00 AM, Blogger Ethyl Alcohol said...

    Yummy crabs!!! :) funny how they call the crabs as curacha. Hehehe.

     
    At Apr 22, 2008, 10:29:00 AM, Blogger kyels said...

    I've always loved crab and you're tempting me Tutubi!

    (:

     
    At Apr 22, 2008, 12:10:00 PM, OpenID bw said...

    That's a good looking, clean restaurant :)

    I love that aligi rice and crabs man. Where's the hot vinegar and the beer ? These pics are absolutely making me hungry hehe :)

     
    At Apr 22, 2008, 1:14:00 PM, Blogger Lawstude said...

    Crabs sauteed in butter with lots of garlic, chili powder and oyster sauce. Yum Yum.

    My specialty.

     
    At Apr 22, 2008, 2:41:00 PM, Blogger Belen said...

    i love eating crabs! :) The crabs there look delicious. :)

     
    At Apr 22, 2008, 5:56:00 PM, Anonymous Ferdz said...

    How did you find the Curacha? Did you like it? Medyo malayo kasi yang "La Vista Del Mar" kaya konti lang tao. The Alavar's Resto also serves Curacha within the city.

     
    At Apr 23, 2008, 2:50:00 AM, Blogger Per Stromsjo said...

    Sea crabs, eh? Well whaddayaknow. I might like it. Was pretty happy to get myself a plate of fresh fish today. A universal delight.

     
    At Apr 24, 2008, 8:50:00 AM, Blogger Photo Cache said...

    i have a question, can you get curacha in manila?

     
    At Apr 24, 2008, 1:38:00 PM, Blogger tutubi philippines said...

    the dong, no info yet on your question. i may have to return to zamboanga to document how they catch those sea crabs :P

    vlado and toni, they usually target high profile individuals and it's ok within the limits of zamboanga city. the "action" you hear in the news is far from the city proper.

    sidney, hope someday you get to see the place and document is your way

    ethyl alcohol, katawa nga

    kyels, so you love crabs, eh?

    bw, i didn't include pictures of san miguel beer. it's actually dark in there, crappy pics due to bad lighting

    lawstude, so you can also be a cook besides a lawyer, eh?

    belen, curacha has a unique taste from the usual crabs you eat. try it to know how it tastes like

    ferdz, iba lasa nya e pero masarap sya. still longing for alavar's ginataang bagoong?

    per stromsjo, i love fish as well...not much into crabs though

    photo cache, haven't seen one here. i'll be in Dampa o macapagal avenue. I will ask around but i doubt it. it there are, might be expensive. Lots of cucuracha though :P

     
    At Apr 26, 2008, 4:44:00 AM, Blogger pieterbie said...

    I like seafood. Had some yesterday.

     
    At May 18, 2008, 5:44:00 PM, Anonymous Lifecruiser said...

    Interesting with the unique curacha. I like when finding such unique things on a trip. Love to see something new where ever I go of course, why else bother to travel...? *giggles*

    Though I do like to feel safe too. I didn't really like it when we were in Brazil, not being able to go everywhere because of security. It effects my discovery joy...

     
    At Sep 21, 2008, 10:55:00 AM, Anonymous sunburn said...

    how much is the entrance and cottage fee?

     
    At Sep 21, 2008, 11:51:00 AM, Blogger tutubi said...

    sunburn, there's no entrance fee when we went there probably because it's a restaurant. we came there just to eat and also visited the art gallery inside

     
    At Dec 4, 2008, 1:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    correction please....in going to LA VISTA DEL MAR one should ride a jeep going to UPPER CALARIAN not RIO HONDO bcoz the later plys the opposite direction... =)

     
    At Nov 11, 2009, 11:23:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you should try the food served in Alavar's Restaurant next time you visit Zamboanga. i still ask my mom to send me the alavar's sauce often, it's one of a kind.

    also, you may want to visit sta. cruz island next time. it has pink sand.

     
    At Nov 12, 2009, 9:36:00 AM, Blogger backpacking philippines said...

    anonymous, heard of alavar's. a friend even asked me for the alavar's ginataang bagoong for pasalubong but didn't get the chance to try it...tried to visit sta cruz too but the DOT personnel already left that day :(
    ..next time

     

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