Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry tourism committee head Mila Espina said since Cebu is becoming the top destination in the world, it is time to enhance “the uniqueness of Cebu” further. Espina added that the brand is not limited to a slogan or caption since it captures “the essence of Cebu.”
The program at the launch included songs and dances along with a video, all of which were set up free of charge “for the love of Cebu,” according to emcee Carol Ballesteros.
The main elements of the brand to encapsulate Cebu took six months of collaboration. Aside from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Cebu Brand Team also worked with GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp., the Cebu Association of Tour Operators, the tourism commissions of the city and province of Cebu, Mega Cebu and volunteers.
The word “Cebu” has four bright colors, each having its own symbolism. Red stands for passion and faith while dark blue symbolizes resilience. Green represents creativity and nature. On the other hand, yellow denotes warmth. The light blue-colored sweep under Cebu brings to mind the sea as an essential component to the identity of the island.
A message from Governor Hilario Davide III indicated that one of the challenges to deal with is to become ambassadors of Cebu and promote the tourism industry as one of the economic drivers of the island. The message added that the launch of the Cebu Brand is timely due to the positive impact from being a host of the APEC meetings along with upcoming international events, including the International Eucharistic Congress. The IEC is expected to attract around 15,000 delegates one week after the Sinulog festival in January. The governor praised the “spirit of unity” that highlights a brand reflecting “the soul and identity of our land.”
The organizers said it was not easy to agree on a common concept without any budget. The team even contracted Publicis, an advertising company based in Manila, for the project. Guest speaker Jacqueline Alexis Thng also gave a talk before a number of workshops and brainstorming sessions were conducted.
However, the Cebu Brand Team settled on a simple phrase incorporating the words “singing” and “heart.” Baad sketched the design of the logo and was depicted in full color by designer and brand consultant Cristina Cantos, who happens to be the daughter of Baad.
The people of Cebu are highlighted in the logo. Baad said local and international visitors to Cebu attribute the uniqueness of Cebu to its people. She said Cebuanos are inherently friendly, open, happy and willing to help. She added that the people of Cebu make it special.
Baad also said the next thing to do is to bring Cebu to the next level. She said the Cebu Brand will join numerous international brands all aiming to attract travelers to look at what each destination is offering. She likened Cebu to David in the international stage of tourist destinations.
The results were welcomed by the Department of Tourism as DOT Regional Director Rowena Montecillo said the Cebu Brand can be used as the foundation of the marketing and promotional efforts of the DOT. Montecillo added that promotional materials for the Cebu Brand will be prepared for two upcoming South Korean road shows.