Jan 25, 2012

Ang Saya Saya sa Pinas!

The first month of 2012 is the day we will remember as the day the Philippines proclaimed to the world that we are "more fun!". 

When The Department of Tourism launched the new slogan for our campaign, it began to trend on social networks, even putting it #1 on Twitter using the hash tag #itsmorefuninthephilippines. DOT secretary Ramon Jimenez stated in a news article that it is meant to say to the world what the Philippines (truly) is. Although some critics would think otherwise as accsations of copying a foreign tourism slogan..."its more Fun in Switzerland". Despite all the negative reactions, people are optimistic because Philippine tourism is back on the map and on track.   

A New start
I remembered "wow philippines" during the term of former President Fidel V. Ramos when the program was headed by then Chairman Richard Gordon. That time the acronym W.O.W. had different meanings..."watch our whales", "wealth of Wonders", "Warm over Winter", virtaully anything they can think of. WOW Philippines was a success and many Filipinos were proud of its achievements and of course the may tourists and revenues it brought in. 

In 2010, the DOT launched "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" as its new marketing slogan. As soon as it was released...Bam! Epic Fail. It was bashed and eventually scraped due to intense public scrutiny. By then a new Secretary was installed that led to the new slogan "its more Fun in the Philippines". 

My Question though is can they sustain and achieve what Wow Philippines did?

Is it really more Fun?
In the first few days following its release, a lot of Pinoys flexed their creative juices to come up with both funny adaptations or even annoying antics to spoof the slogan. It spread like wildfire in all social networking sites, creating mixed reactions from the public. Here are some of them, you judge for yourselves.

I got this from a facebook post...check it out!
In addition to the DOT's "It's More Fun in the Philippines", maybe we can also have some of these Philippines domestic tourism slogans: 
~ Boracay, You Sexy Beach! 
~ Haller, Baler! 
~ Bohol: Go To Hill! 
~ Be Cool, Bicol! 
~ Thank you, Camiguin! 
~ Maliit Navotas, Lumalaki! 
~ We Fly High In Capiz! 
~ Go Gaga In Naga! 
~ Kaibigan, Punta Na Sa Vigan! 
~ Virac, You Rock! 
~ Kamuning Get Me! 
~ Better Leyte Than Never! 
~ Whee! Tawi-Tawi! 
~ Walang Aayaw Sa Apayao! 
~ Maraming Gig Sa Taguig! 
~ Bongga Ka Day, Sa Norzagaray!
~ I wanna dance with Zambales, I wanna feel the heat with Zambales!
For what I am seeing at this time, amidst successive calamities, we still have the stomach to smile and say, "its more fun". I guess this is what being Filipino is all about. Its normal for us to laugh at our selves and even make jokes in times of trials. Maybe this slogan will always remind us of our Optimistic nature, to always think of the bright side of things as a way to deal with our brewing personal issues.

When will the fun end?
Personally, i think that the fun ends when we fail to reach the expectations of our visitors. To say that we are "more fun" behind ugly airports, overpriced taxis and resorts, mountains of trash,and sub par destinations, would lead to the slogans utter demise. Unless we improve our destinations and the way we run our tourism industry we will fail to deliver "fun".  

No where to Go
In the end it will all boil down to "follow through"...what I mean is that it will boil down to the Filipino character, because its not the destinations and the views that makes this country "fun"...It's the people. 
We should develop more awareness and programs to develop on how we treat our tourists. I know that Pinoys are welcoming and accomodating, but Pinoys are also sometimes harsh and rude. So let's start 
having Fun and enjoy our own country...together let us choose to have fun in our 7, 107 Philippines!

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