I ghostwrote this for one of the more prominent Dumaguetenos to use as an opening address at a local book launching. The "cool city" concept is an idea broached by Jong Fortunato, based on similar initiatives in San Francisco.
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I'd like to welcome you all to this book launching of our esteemed author and friend, ____________. At the same time, I would like to extend our heartfelt thanks for taking the time to be with us this afternoon.
A book launching is always a special event. More so if the author comes from our own ranks in our own city. It furthers the cultural life of our community, raises our standing among our sister cities, and, we hope, inspires other authors with the literary germ to follow suit.
Within the past year, Dumaguete and Oriental Negros have been in the news for our efforts to promote Information and Communications Technology. Those efforts have started to bear fruit. Just look at SPI Publisher Services which runs its copyediting operations in Bacong for prestigious science publications from Europe.
Understandably, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done in the field of ICT. But now that those wheels are set in motion, it's time to look at the other legs on which further growth of our city stands: research, culture, arts, literature, music, food, architecture. In short, all those things which comprise a “cool city.”
What do I mean by a “cool city?” It's a city that the upwardly mobile twenty-somethings and thirty-somethings would want to move to: to live in, to play in, and to work in. A “cool city” is one that approaches the perfect balance of working conditions and living conditions. Here, career does not have to override concerns for health, family, and leisure.
Friends, I really believe that Dumaguete has the seeds to become a “cool city.” No, no, we're not there yet. To get there, we have to honestly admit where we are in order to work to where we're going.
And what better way to start than at this book launching, which celebrates Dumaguete culture at its best: in our literature, and in our cuisine?