Heritage Conservation Advocates
Photo of Rene Michael BañosWhat's in a name?
By Rene Michael Baños

I beg the indulgence of my friends Konsehal Alden Bacal and Commissioner Nanette Roa of the Historical and Cultural Commission. I fail to see the necessity, much less urgency, of an ordinance making "CdeO" the "official moniker" of Cagayan de Oro City.

Just because the name CDO has been registered as a brand name for a line of canned food products isn't reason enough to legislate that CDO cease being used as an "official moniker" for the city.

Konsehal Alden reportedly likes "CdeO" better because of the "historical basis" for it, Cagayan de Misamis being the former name of the city when it was still a municipality. "De" is the historical link in that name? Hello? Am I missing something here?

Personally, I don't find it offensive when people (both from outside and inside the city) ask me if the CDO carne norte is made in Cagayan de Oro. I'm sorry, my friends, I just cannot buy that frankly tenuous line of reasoning to ban the use of CDO just because it also happens to be the same initials as that of CDO-Foodsphere's owner.

I also doubt very much that Corazon Dayo Ong, the "carne norte and sardine maker" as Konsehal Alden and Commissioner Nanette are wont to refer to the lady, will accuse anyone of copyright infringement for using the name CDO in referring to Cagayan de Oro City. I think Ms. Ong has just got too much class to stoop that low.

In fact, we should instead welcome the CDO label of Ms. Ong because she is a successful, and multi-awarded entrepreneur, and a Filipino at that.

Her website shows that CDO-Foodsphere's technoplant was adjudged the Best Meat Processing Plant in the Philippines under the "AAA" category by the Department of Agriculture - National Meat Inspection Commission, Department of Health, Department of Environment and National Resources, and Department of Interior and Local Government for three consecutive years (1999, 2000 and 2001). It was also voted as the Most Outstanding Meat Processing Company for five consecutive years (1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003) by the Consumers Union of the Philippines.

Personally, CDO founder, Corazon Dayro Ong, has also been cited with the following awards: 1996 Most Outstanding Dietitian Award (Nutritionists-Dietitians Association of the Philippines); 1997 Agora Awardee for the Most Outstanding Medium-Scale Entrepreneur (Philippine Marketing Association); 1999 Most Outstanding Professional in the Field of Dietetic (Professional Regulations Commission). With a resume as esteemed as hers, I fear it is CDO (the City), who pales in comparison to the "corned beef and sardine maker."

Furthermore, if we follow the rationale behind the proposed "CdeO" ordinance and expand our research to the Internet, we can instantly see that "CDO" has multiple meanings in banking, metereology, computers, music, education, etc. such as collateralized debt obligation, climate data operators, collaboration data objects,  CDO Technologies, Chromosome Deletion Outreach, Inc., College of Denturists of Ontario, Chief Dental Officer,  Canyon del Oro (CDO) High School, Arizona; Canyon del Oro (CDO) Baptist Church, Arizona; climate data online; CDO Music Group; and Church Deployment Office, among a multitude of others. Just put "cdo" in google.

The moniker is secondary to what our city is and what other people's perception of it and its people are. My friend Elson T. Elizaga's initials are ETE, but he has no problem living with it.

I believe there are more pressing and urgent matters which require the undivided attention of our lawmakers without perpetuating this dubious legacy in the annals of our local history.

Nuff said about this topic already. Pray let's move on and take care first of what matters most and are urgently needed by our fellow Kagay-anons.

Michael Baños is correspondent for Business World. He worked extensively in business promotion with the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) and the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor (CIC) Special Development Project Management Office. Published April 15, 2008.
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