What does it mean to be a local?

Does the distinction of being a local go to the ones born in their locale? Shouldn’t there be certain qualifications? What does it mean to truly be a local?

What about those who have moved and lived here? Do they deserve a chance to called locals?

Proud Local shirtThere was a time in Cebu that “locals” literally had violent reactions when people would speak Tagalog, “Ngano nag Tagalog man ka? Naa man ta sa Cebu?” Thankfully, that isn’t the case anymore.

Many people from all over the Philippines have been immigrating into Cebu. I don’t blame them. There are plenty of great reasons to move to Cebu. There are many who weren’t born here that rightly call Cebu their home. They may not call themselves locals, but they should.

Which brings us back to the question, what does it mean to be a local?

Who really knows? But I personally think it’s a distinction that is earned. It goes beyond knowing all the secret spots to go to. Beyond knowing the hole in the wall that serves great pochero.  A true local respects the place they live in.

Respect the place. Respect the people. Respect how they live. Embrace the customs, the peculiarities and make them your own.

We don’t blindly defend the imperfections. No place is perfect. At the same time, we don’t obnoxiously complain or criticize. Accept the grit, the grime, the dirt, but at the same time try to make it better. True locals do something to better their home.

As long as you are doing something to make the place you live a better place, you’ve earned the right to call yourself a local in my book.

Be proud.

PS – If you want to get the shirt, you can order it online. ZeroThreeTwo has an online store called the Assembly. That’s where we keep all the good stuff. Click here to get the shirt.

Photography: Steph Senires

Model: Some dude we found on the streets.

Proud local shirt

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