By: Wenceslao E. Mateo Jr.

WE have a new slogan in Iloilo City, which the mayor announced in connection with the celebration of the city’s Charter Day on Aug. 25: I AM ILOILO. PROUD TO BE ILONGGO.

This slogan simply means that what each of us is – as this is also known to other people, of course – reflects on the City of Iloilo. So, as we ought, let’s show the bests in us. First, among ourselves, as Charity begins at home, and to our visitors.

This slogan must have been thought of by city officials to sell Iloilo City as a tourist destination in the face of great competition from rival cities, both here and abroad. We are also promoting the city as gateway to the best tourist destinations in the region like Boracay, Guimaras and northern Iloilo’s pristine islets.

I find this slogan especially important to our public officials, who are supposed to be the firsts to show it in their personalities. As what many of them are today, however, we are afraid that we might even drive away tourists. Many of our public officials, as many Ilonggos, themselves, have observed, are simply “bastos”, “manloloko”, “abusado”, “kulang ng pansin”, “mayabang”, “manggagantso”, “magnanakaw ng pera ng bayan”, etcetera, etcetera, na “nakakahiya”.

Kaya, kayo po ang unang sumunod sa slogan na ito! Kung ano kayo, malamang na ganun na rin ang mamamayan. Maliban, of course, sa mga merong sariling bait, who prefer the Godly rules despite the temptations to their human frailties.

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