Cebu is a woman, a ‘siloy’ and summer
Cebu is a “young vibrant woman”.
That’s the image that popped up in a Branding for Cebu creative session where local tourism stakeholders were asked what best personifies Cebu.
The session facilitated by Jacqueline Alexis Thng of Singapore was attended by a a cross section of Cebu’s tourism, business and academe sector.
“This could be because of the past brand of Cebu which is the Queen City of the South,” says Tetta Baad, chairperson of the Cebu City Tourism Commission.
Participants broke out in ten groups during the workshop. They were asked what is the best word or phrase that best describes Cebu.
Words like “home””, “warm”, “summer”, “tropical island paradise”, “romantic”, and “supernatural”, among others, came out.
They seemed to stem from Cebu’s geography, climate and the Cebuanos’ sunny disposition.
(My group chose “summer” because Cebu is associated with beaches, islands, sunny weather and sunrise industries. And sunshine is the color or ripe mangoes which Cebu is famous for.)
What animal do we associate Cebu with?
Several answered “siloy”, the black songbird and carabao (water buffalo). Both, incidentally, are mascots of Cebu Daily News and the Inquirer.
The siloy is an endemic bird species in Cebu with a melodious voice akin to the Cebuanos’ singing prowess.
The carabao typifies the virtue hardworking Cebuanos. Other groups mentioned the eagle and dolphin.
(Our group chose the charismatic but elusive Cebu Flowerpecker, a bird species found only in Cebu and a flagship species for conservation. It could be an icon for sustainable island tourism advocacy as well. With Cebu’s meager natural
resources, managing our lands and watersheds sustainably will also mean taking care of the remaining forests in Tabunan where this Holy Grail of birds calls home.)
During the Visual Brand Mapping, Thng asked us to associate Cebu in eight other areas – as a drink, texture, car, music, furniture, person, media/magazine and a place — now and in the future.
“These are brand images and attributes associated with Cebu which you want to lose, keep and acquire in the future,” she said.
Top answers: the jeepney, “Cebuano world-class creativity” expressed in a Kenneth Cobonpue-designed chair, and the rough textures of organic woven raffia and coral stones of old churches, things örganic and natural like buko juice and the Cinammon tree bark.
Cebu can draw inspiration from these things. Thng suggested to take an organic-inspired design for the Mactan International Airport because it’s what people first see when they arrive. “Singapore doesn’t have natural resources but we have an orchid garden and a butterfly sanctuary right inside Changi Airport.”
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.