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Celebrating City’s Charter Day Milestone: Naga’s new tourism brand is ‘Naga ‘Yon’

By Jason B. Neola

MAYOR Nelson Legacion addressed a jam-packed Plaza Rizal on Tuesday, marking the 76th anniversary of Naga City’s charter status with a speech that honored the past and outlined an ambitious future.

“Today, 76 years ago, Republic Act 305 was signed. RA 305 was introduced as House Bill 1255, penned by former Congressman Juan Q. Miranda, whom we regard as the father of making Naga a chartered city,” Legacion said.

The legislation allowed Naga to operate independently from the provincial government of Camarines Sur, establishing its own governance and setting the stage for its growth.

The crowd, estimated at over a thousand, included city government officials, city department heads, business leaders from the Metro Naga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, school presidents and administrators, barangay officials from the city’s 27 villages, heads of various national government agencies, members of the Bicol Regional Tourism Council, the Bicol Association of Travel and Tour Operators, the National Association of Independent Travel Agencies, and other tourism-related organizations.

Legacion praised Miranda for his vision and conviction in Naga’s potential. “Miranda’s belief in Naga’s capability to propel progress and development has guided our leaders through the years. We see the good results of that belief in Naga today,” he said.

Highlighting Naga’s prominence, Legacion noted, “Naga has been recognized as the premier city in Bicol, the regional center of trade, commerce, education, culture, and good local governance. For a long time, Naga has strived to develop by integrating taglines such as ‘The Heart of Bicol’ and ‘An Maogmang Lugar,’ each capturing the essence of our city at different times.”

Looking to the future, Legacion called for positioning Naga as a globally competitive city, building on recent national honors, including being named the Top 1 Most Competitive Component City in the Philippines for three consecutive years from 2021 to 2023.

However, Legacion emphasized the importance of maintaining Naga’s cultural roots. “We want to become globally competitive without disregarding our roots as Nagueños and Filipinos. As we chart more paths for our city, we carry those identities with us as the foundation of our advancements,” he said.

In a move to boost tourism and development, Legacion launched the city’s new tourism brand: NagaYon.

Developed through consultations and discussions led by the Investment and Tourism Promotion Office, NagaYon aims to capture the spirit and distinctiveness of Naga City.

“NagaYon reflects our current situation and future objectives. It mirrors our desire for Naga to be recognized for its unique qualities, whether in cuisine, scenic places, local traditions, events, or festivities,” he explained.

The mayor elaborated that NagaYon means “Becoming more beautiful” in English, symbolizing the city government’s ongoing drive for improvement and innovation. “The new tourism brand shall be both a source of pride and an encouragement for us as we strive towards a more progressive future for Naga,” he added.

After a year of development workshops and stakeholder consultations, Mayor Legacion proudly unveils Naga City’s newest tourism branding, “Naga ‘Yon,” in front of various tourism establishments and institutions in the city.

The NagaYon brand focuses on four primary areas:

1. Business Tourism through MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions): With facilities like the Naga City Convention Center, which will soon accommodate up to 5,000 participants, Naga aims to attract more business events.

2. Inter-faith Tourism: Naga remains a center for various religious customs and beliefs, promoting inter-faith tourism.

3. Good Governance and Innovations: As a model of progressive governance and innovative policies, Naga continues to lead by example.

4. Arts, Food, and Culture: Naga’s thriving arts and cultural scene will be highlighted, showcasing the city’s rich heritage and creative spirit.

“As we witness the evolving and constantly NagaYon state of Naga, we find more reasons to be proud of our city,” Legacion said. He concluded his speech by urging the community to work together in making Naga an even better place for everyone.

Naga City Councilor Joe Perez, chairman of the SP committee on culture and the arts, as well as of the committee on tourism, is a member of the Naga City brand conceptualization team, along with other local artists, diocesan members, and tourism stakeholders invited by City Mayor Nelson S. Legacion to come together in a series of meetings, consultation, and critiquing until a final design has been collectively agreed on.

This what he says about “Naga ‘yon!’, the city’s new tourism brand:

Naga’s rich history and heritage began some 400 years ago. A native settlement by the river became one of the four original Spanish royal cities throughout the country. With its present landscape, the city has grown into a modern urban center. Since then everyone wants to be in, to be part of its amazing transformation, embrace its colorful past, and celebrate with its many triumphs here and now.

But Naga is more than just a place. It embodies the spirit of the people with its unique cuisine, literature, colorful festivals, music and religious rites, lush forests and other natural bounties. Its brand of hospitality has made it one large heart that is home to anyone who seeks rest, recreation and progress. And with its ambivalent sound and sights, colors, and the warmth of its people, one is wont to ask: “Pray tell me, what is that terrific place that people are talking hereabout?” and “Why am I so in love with it, with its people, with its food?”

The answer: “Dahil Naga ‘yon!” (Because Naga it is!)

Indeed, Naga in the heart of Bicol (highlighted by the heart shape) is an admixture of the colors red, orange, yellow, green and blue that solidify into one unique character as symbolized by the colors that are used in the Naga ‘Yon logo.

His persona, the Nagueno, is full of love, energy and passion only a caring heart can give. His youth and sense of hope are as pronounced as the color yellow. The color orange speaks of his strong drive for creativity, innovation and change. He always strives to face the challenges and pave the way for more growth, prosperity and wealth.

As a child of the Green Earth, he cares for the environment and takes each day as a new leaf to create more opportunities. His dreams and ambitions, his compassion, wisdom and search for truth are as boundless as the blue sky.

While he is looked up to as a person of honor, piety and courage, the Nagueno is also known to be calm and responsible, proud of his heritage and respectful of his elders.

The color white provides a neutral backdrop to allow the other colors speak with a louder voice in the collective discourse for what is best for the city. Naga ‘yon! A place that is beautiful. A place where one should be.


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