City Council approves ‘Asia’s Latin City’ edict-A A +A
Sunday, December 23, 2012
MAYOR Celso Lobregat has commended the City Council for passing an ordinance officially branding Zamboanga City as “Asia’s Latin City.”
The branding is a moniker that was based on the Zamboanga City’s Spanish-derivative language called Chabacano.
The ordinance was approved on third and final reading by the City Council in a special session held on Wednesday of last week upon the request of Lobregat.
“With the ordinance, it is now easier to promote Zamboanga. The branding ‘Asia’s Latin City’ sparks curiosity. People will be inquisitive (about it),” Lobregat said, stressing that the city’s Chabacano dialect sets Zamboanga apart and unique from all other cities not only in the Philippines but throughout Asia as well.
The council voted 12-2-1 to approve the edict.
Those who voted in favor were Councilors Myra Paz Abubakar, Miguel Alavar, Luis Biel, II, Reynerio Candido, Vincent Paul Elago, Benjamin Guingona, III, Rodolfo Lim, Abdurahman Nuño, Lilia Nuño, Percival Ramos, Eduardo Saavedra and Rogelio Valesco, who are all sponsors of the ordinance.
Opposition Councilors Melchor Sadain and Rodolfo Bayot voted against the edict.
Councilor Jaime Cabato abstained from voting for political reason; firstly, being a member of the mayor’s LDP party, which endorses the “Asia’s Latin City” branding, and secondly, this coming March (campaign period) he will be joining another political party, which is opposed to the same measure.
Lobregat said that Zamboanga City’s old moniker as “City of Flowers” is no longer unique and exclusive for this city because other cities like Baguio, Tagaytay and even Davao can also claim as such.
Lobregat said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. during his first visit to Zamboanga last year had endorsed the branding, saying “it speaks well of the city’s culture and history because of its strong Latin influence.”
Besides, he said the City Council itself had passed series of resolutions as early as 2006 for the city government to participation in the project City Development Strategy-3 (CDS3), an enabling platform for good governance and improving service delivery, which in effect adopted “Asia’s Latin City” as the new brand name of Zamboanga.
He also quoted former Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines Luis Arias Romero who in 2008 said “Zamboanga is the only place in Asia where people speak a language Chabacano that can be understood by almost all people in South America and North America and not only that, there is a character of the people of Zamboanga that makes it truly Asia’s Latin City.” (Bong Garcia)