Celso to ZaNorte brgy officials: Zambo is now Asia’s Latin City PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 June 2012 15:48

For most of the barangay officials from Zamboanga del Norte, who have not gone to this city in recent years, Zamboanga is the country’s “City of Flowers” as it was known before until Mayor Celso Lobregat told them that Zamboanga is now “Asia’s Latin City” owing to its rich history and culture.

“Zamboanga is the only city in the entire country and even in Asia where majority of the population speaks, converses and understands the Spanish derivative language called Chabacano. Thus, Zamboanga is Asia’s Latin City. We are not only talking of the Philippines but Asia as a whole,” Lobregat told the almost 3,000 barangay officials from Zamboanga del Norte who are attending a training on bidding and procurement at Grand Astoria Hotel, this city last Wednesday.

“I came here to share with you important facts and figures about Zamboanga aside from welcoming all of you to our city,” Lobregat said in his welcome message during the training held in two venues at Astoria Hotel.

Obviously not known to many from other provinces, Lobregat said, is the fact that Zamboanga City is the third largest city in terms of land area (1,483.3849 sq.km) among 138 cities in the Philippines, and the 6th biggest in population (774,407 as of 2007).

It was not also known to many of the ZaNorte barangay officials that Zamboanga City is the Sardines Capital of the Philippine as they did not know until the mayor told them that 80% of the leading brands of canned sardines in the country are manufactured in the city.

All the while they thought Zamboanga is just few miles away from Manila compared to other East Asian countries. To their surprise, as the mayor told them, Zamboanga is much near to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei than it is to Manila.

“That is why Zamboanga City is the country’s gateway to Brunei- Indonesia- Malaysia- Philippines East Asian Growth Area or BIMP-EAGA,” Lobregat stressed.

Lobregat concluded his message with a powerpoint presentation of the Zamboanga’s tourist spots and many other attractions as captured in videos and photographs artistically arranged in a video production featuring the Zamboanga Hermosa hymn.

“Wow! Kanindut sa Zamboanga!” most ZaNorte barangay officials said in chorus as they gave Lobregat a thunderous applause. — Vic Larato