Proud Gozo

by Juseph Elas

Photo by Juseph Elas
Photo by Juseph Elas

With an estimate population of 24,917.00 people, it is the seventh most populated barangay in Zamboanga City. Located in the West Coast of the peninsula and is 3.20 Km from the city proper, one will be shocked to know that San Jose Gusu is a barangay equipped with almost everything.

The barangay got its name from its patron saint, Saint Joseph the worker. “Gusu” derived from the Spanish term “Gozo” which means “happy.” Gozo came as a description to the former inhabitants of the barangay who were farmers living happily with the simple life they had.

The barangay celebrates its fiesta during May 1 to honor their patron saint.

Like any other barangays in the city, San Jose Gusu is home to a public elementary school which hones the minds of its children, preparing them for higher education. One catch that this barangay has is, it is also a home to one college – the MEIN College.

San Jose Gusu seems to be a very good place to live in and I would dubbed it as “Bringing The City To You”, because it is equipped with almost everything.

Upon entering the barangay the two mentioned educational institutions will open o’er their gates to anyone who seeks intellectual progress. Moving a couple of blocks from these institutions, the Chapel dedicated to the barangay’s patron saint will greet anyone seeking for Spiritual growth.

Now here’s the catch, San Jose Gusu is a barangay at-a-crossroads. Few steps from the Chapel of Saint Joseph is a curve – J. Johnston Street. It’s a narrow stretch that will end up to a two-sided roads, one leading to Sutterville and one to Baliwasan Grande. J. Johnston Street houses another chapel, this one dedicated to the Nuestra Señora de la Salvacion.

So, so far, we have spotted two educational institutions and two spiritual institutions.

Beside the chapel of Saint Joseph, a narrow street will welcome you to the Barangay Hall and Health Center. These two establishments are two of the busiest spots in this barangay.

Taking a 5-minute walk from J. Johnston Street is the center of commerce of this barangay. At the intersection between San Jose Gusu and Upper Calarian, and Sutterville and San Roque, is the center of commerce of Barangay San Jose Gusu.

It would surprise everyone to know that San Jose Gusu is a home to four well-known pharmaceutical establishments; Joan’s Pharmacy, Cecile’s Pharmacy, Generics Pharmacy and Mercury Drug. And all these pharmaceutical establishments also serve as mini grocery stores. Moreover, the barangay is also equipped with gasoline stations; Seaoil being the newest installment.

Along the streets of this barangay, one can find bakery shops, barber’s shop, eatery or karinderia, small and large scale sari-sari stores and vulcanizing shops and bording houses. Name it and the barangay has it.

One quasi-restaurant branch is also standing from ground up in this barangay. The Family Fried Chicken is always ready to serve those who seek one great food trip.

Of course, all these things will not be complete without the friendly and welcoming people who live in this barangay.

What I like about this barangay is it’s a microcosm of the whole picture of Zamboanga.

Barangay San Jose Gusu is a barangay that houses both Christians and Muslims and are living harmoniously among one another. Less crimes are observed in this barangay and it is one of the peaceful barangays in the city. Despite the fact that its streets are among the busiest ones in the peninsula, San Jose Gusu remains a barangay that is intact and quiet.

The barangay is now in constant preparation by means of planning following the up-coming construction of one large mall. The main branch residing at Veterans Avenue, this city, Budget Wise is planning to build a branch in this barangay.

I guess it’s really safe to say that Barangay San Jose Gusu is a barangay equipped with almost everything. One couldn’t ask for more if one decides to live in this barangay. It would take a ride or two for one to reach downtown Zamboanga but San Jose Gusu is a barangay capable of brining the heart of the city to you.

And I should know . . . because I live here.

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