Celso lauds City Council for ‘Asia’s Latin City’ edict PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:31

Mayor Celso Lobregat yesterday commended the City Council for approving on third and final reading the ordinance officially branding Zamboanga as “Asia’s Latin City,” a moniker that was based on the city’s Spanish-derivative language called Chabacano.

“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 language sets Zamboanga apart and unique from all other cities not only in the Philippines but throughout Asia as well.

According to him, Zamboanga’s old moniker as “City of Flowers” is no longer unique and exclusive for the city because other cities like Baguio, Tagaytay and even Davao can also claim as such. 

He said no less than Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. during his first visit to Zamboanga in October 2011  had endorsed the branding, saying “it speaks well of the city’s culture and history because of its strong Latin influence.”

Besides, the mayor 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.

Lobregat 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.”

Early on yesterday, members of the local legislature headed by the presiding officer, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, met in a special session at City Hall Conference Room upon the request of the chief executive solely to take up legislative measures which the latter had certified urgent.  The council was on recess for the Yuletide season since last week.

Top on the agenda was the proposed Ordinance No. 2012-33, officially branding Zamboanga as “Asia’s Latin City”. After lengthy discussions, the council voted 12-2-1 to approve the edict.

Voting in favor were Councilors Myra Paz Abubakar, Mike Alavar, Luis Biel, Rey Candido, VP ELAGO, Nonong Guingona, Rudy Lim, Abdurahman and Lilia Nuño, Percival Ramos, Eddie Saavedra and Gerky Valesco, all sponsors of the ordinance.

Opposition Councilors Mel 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. — Vic Larato