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The Queen is coming


Queen Sofia of Spain will visit Zamboanga City on July 5.  During her one-day trip to the city, she will inspect projects that were or are being funded by the Spanish government and foundations. Most of these were or are implemented by the non-profit consortium Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA), headed by Claretian priest Fr. Angel Calvo.

Peace Advocates Zamboanga is one of the four partner-NGOs comprising ZABIDA.
Fr. Calvo made the announcement about the queen’s trip during the induction of officers of the Panaghiusa Sa Mga Kabus sa Zamboanga, Inc. (PAKAZA) on Sunday, June 17.  The induction was held at Kalambuan Housing Project, which is the third housing site sponsored by Katilingban Para sa Kalambuan, Inc.(KKI), which Fr. Calvo also heads.

PAKAZA is a people-initiated and -led federation of urban poor organizations in Zamboanga that receive support from KKI.  Many members have been awarded by KKI some 600 low-cost houses located in three community sites.  All were funded by Spain.
Aside from the housing projects, Spain has also been funding economic enterprise, environmental protection, agriculture, good governance and peace-making projects.

The Spanish colonial government formally occupied Zamboanga in 1635 when it started then the construction of Fort Pilar (as it is now called), signifying the founding of the city. (Today its native residents speak a Spanish pidgin language called Chavacano).  Until the visit of Queen Sofia on July 5, no Spanish monarch had ever visited Zamboanga since that time.  But she will come not to re-colonize the city, but perhaps just to reclaim their hearts.

by: Peace Advocates Zamboanga

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