‘The Historic Resort City’

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Sunday, July 27, 2014


IF YOU’RE in Lapu-Lapu City right now, then you’re in the Historic Resort City.

In a bid to attract more tourists, and in turn more investors, the City Government has adopted a brand, which comes with a slogan (“Free Yourself”), a design and a jingle.

The City launched its brand last Friday night at the Hoopsdome in a gathering attended by businessmen, City Hall employees and tourism officials.

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By promoting itself as “The Historic Resort City,” the City hopes to attract visitors interested not only in beaches, but also in heritage.

“Our brand ‘Lapu-Lapu: The Historic Resort City’ reflects a contemporary yet confident and vibrant city steeped in history and heritage,” Mayor Paz Radaza said at the launch.

Separate identity

The city, formerly called Opon, was where the Battle of Mactan took place. The battle, which happened on April 27, 1521, saw the defeat of Spanish invaders led by Ferdinand Magellan in the hands of native warriors led by Datu Lapu-Lapu, considered the first Filipino hero.

The City commemorates the battle every year in an event called “Kadaugan sa Mactan” or the Victory of Mactan.

Radaza said she wanted to carve a separate identity for Lapu-Lapu.

“For quite a long time now, when tourists, investors and even the media talk about world-class resorts, beautiful beaches and the place where you get that wonderful island experience, they simply refer to Lapu-Lapu as Cebu,” she said.

How much is the City spending for its brand?

Radaza could not give figures in an earlier interview with reporters, saying the expenses were still being accounted.

She expressed confidence the brand will lead to an influx of tourists and investors.

“By branding our city, we hope to attract not just tourists and investors but great talents and creative minds,” she said, adding that more investments would mean more jobs.

Radaza said the city is ready for more tourists, with more hotels and resorts being built. The current number of rooms in hotels and resorts stands at 4,000.

It took city officials and consultants several months of brainstorming and workshops to come up with the right brand, Radaza said.

City’s colors

The City’s branding design bears the colors sky blue, golden yellow, persimmon orange and forest green--colors that “represent the core values of an Oponganon (the city’s residents),” said Radaza.

The brand logo, which shows an image of Datu Lapu-Lapu, and the colors are visible around the city. The City Hall and other public structures are being repainted with the brand colors.

All 3,000 employees of City Hall also now wear new uniforms bearing the brand design.

Department of Tourism 7 Director Rowena Montecillo, who graced the launch, said she hopes other local governments in Central Visayas will also create their own brand.

“I congratulate the City for doing this,” she said, adding that Lapu-Lapu is the first city in the region to create a brand.

She lauded the City for involving the private sector in its branding.
According to DOT 7, 700,000 foreign tourists and 250,000 domestic tourists visited the city last year.

It helped Central Visayas, which drew 2.6 million visitors last year, become the second most popular destination for tourists, next to the National Capital Region.

“The DOT will carry the brand of Lapu-Lapu wherever we go to promote tourist destinations in the country,” Montecillo said.

Having a brand, Radaza said, “will enable each and every Oponganon to inculcate the culture of tourism.”

The brand aims to promote a “culture where Oponganons must demand from their local government five-star service,” added Radaza.

The City launched its brand as it prepares to host, for the third time, the Cobra Ironman 70.3 Philippines, a triathlon that is expected to draw 2,500 athletes around the world. The event is scheduled on Aug. 3.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 27, 2014.

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