I visited Zamboanga before and after a rebel siege in the city a year ago that left a portion of the central town bruised and battered, and kept many wary visitors away and in fear. Foreign travel advisories stay adamant. I expected to focus on remnants of a combat zone, but there were other things that captivated me more.
The beautiful but endangered Organ Pipe Coral (Tubipora musica) on the Great Sta. Cruz Island in Zamboanga is bright red in color and naturally pulverized among its fine powdered white sands, turning its sandy shore to a magical tinge of pink at daytime, hence the name Pink Sand Beach.