Spain's Queen Sofia visits Zamboanga

By Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Jul 05 2012 02:01 PM | Updated as of Jul 06 2012 06:50 AM

ZAMBOANGA - Zamboanga City was placed on red alert as Queen Sofia of Spain visited the city today.

Queen Sofia arrived at the Edwin Andrews Air Base on board a Fokker plane owned by the Republic of the Philippines at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

She was welcomed by Mayor Celso Lobregat and several top local government officials.

The queen’s convoy proceeded to the Kalinaw and Katilingban Housing Projects in Barangay Sinunuc, which is funded by Spain through the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), and co-managed by a Spanish and several local non-government organizations.

The housing projects house over 600 families. The Spanish government was also able to finance the construction of the P4 million building for the Akay Kalinga and a Pangarap Center for Youth.

The queen's next stop was the Claret School where she met the students and street children who are under the care of the Akay Kalinga.

She and her entourage also briefly visited the Zamboanga City Medical Center where Spain also had some funded projects.

She then had lunch with local officials before touring the Fort Pilar Shrine and the National Museum.

As of posting, Queen Sofia was at the Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School, the pilot school for the re-introduction of the Spanish language in the Philippine Education System.

AECID also funded the construction of the speech laboratory, which is now being used by students taking Spanish language.

The Queen is expected to leave for Manila at 4:50 p.m.

Security was tight in the whole city for the historical visit of the queen. Checkpoints were established in strategic areas while uniformed and plain-clothes policemen were deployed in areas where the queen’s convoy was scheduled to pass.