Friday, January 6, 2012

It's more fun in the Philippines

It's more fun in the Philippines. That's the new slogan that will underscore the country's revitalized tourism campaign, as unveiled by the Department of Tourism just this morning. As he had already been stressing before, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. said the slogan answers the fundamental question, "Why the Philippines?"


 After that controversial slogan, Pilipinas Kay Ganda, which, thankfully, was scrapped, I have mixed feelings about this one. I like it but at the same time I'm not sure. Or maybe it needs a little getting used to, I guess. Jimenez himself said that it's "so deceptively simple" but after reading through his other statements, I kinda see where they're going.

He cited ways on how the campaign will be carried out. In New York, for instance, they hope to buy space over a parking lot for a billboard that will show boats lined up along the beach in Puerto Galera with the people laughing. The boats will carry names like "Tom Cruises" and the headline will say, "Parking. It's more fun in the Philippines." Believe me, I've seen lots of funny names painted on boats and jeepneys and tricycles everywhere, so I find the idea both cute and smart.

One thing I'm sure I love about this new slogan is the accompanying logo. Thankfully they did away with that tired and overused "design" of cramming photos of just about every tourist spot in the country into letters that spell PHILIPPINES. This time it's a graphic banig weave that forms the Philippine map. It's bold, it's striking, and I love it!

I'm optimistic and I'm hoping this new campaign will be carried out effectively and that it will indeed help increase the country's anemic tourist arrivals dramatically. Although none of my trips would add to that number, I'm just happy to do my share in boosting domestic tourism and I'm starting off with a short getaway to Sabang in Puerto Princesa, Palawan next month. It's been nearly a decade since I've seen the famed Underground River (recently named one of the provisional Seven Natural Wonders of the World), so I think it's high time I should go see it again.

Haven't decided yet, though, on where to go this Chinese New Year long weekend.

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