Our third day in Zamboanga and we continue to be treated like royalty. Doug & I began with a tour of Crustacean Trading Corporation, a plant that blast freezes seafood to maintain the freshness and vitamins, so that delicacies like octopus can be shipped worldwide. It was an impressive family-run business, and standing in the enormous freezers reminded us of the frigid weather we are missing back home. Temperatures topped out just above 100 degrees in Zamboanga.
In the afternoon, Mayor Celso Lobregat treated us to a presentation about our host city. Zamboanga has a nearly 400-year history influenced primarily by the Spaniards who occupied the area for several centuries. The Latin culture is still a large part of Zamboanga’s culture today, and lead to a new branding campaign that position’s the City as “Asia’s Latin City.”
Having recently collaborated to implement a new brand campaign for the 10th fastest-growing city in the USA, I was particularly interested in the challenges Zamboanga faced in launching its new brand and communicating with its residents. Despite population differences, (Lancaster, California with 140,000 v. Zamboanga with 780,000) and the entire Pacific Ocean lying between them, these two cities shared many of the same challenges.
Thus far, we’ve been blogging about many of the differences we’ve encountered; our discussion with the Mayor was a wonderful reminder that there are many similarities as well. The opportunity to discuss our shared challenges is a priceless aspect of the GSE experience. Whether through business, or through the development of international service projects, it is amazing what a meeting of the minds from across the world can accomplish.