If it’s any manifestation of amusement, the new Department of Tourism’s slogan is indeed living up to its meaning as it is eliciting so much excitement. If the initial intent is to draw awareness, then such advertising campaign is a clever inducement.
However, would it similarly attract its target market – the tourists? And would it generate economic growth? Fact is that it is the key rationale. In view of that though, may we not be accused of false advertising; more so, such “branding” be attributed as merely for the sake of commerce.
How could it not appear as if it’s just business when even among its own people, ridicule is apparent. It is as if there’s no serious truth to it considering the “unflattering reality” behind every mockery comes from among those who could attest to its “funny” exactness. Yet then again, the fun-loving disposition of Filipinos in whatever circumstance is one engaging fact. Even under depressing situation, we get to good-naturedly joke and optimistically laugh about it… Now I believe that’s an attraction. More than the amenities, it’s the hospitality of the people that would ascertain much more recall among guests. And what better way to manifest such sociability is through one’s innate cheerful personality.
Let us not be too sensitive and dwell on negative criticisms which squeeze out some certainty. Uncalled-for remarks by the likes of Claire Danes have some truth to it actually. (Why is it that when it’s not a fellow citizen commenting on our obvious destitute state, we deem it as bigotry?) Let’s just put our inherent sense of humor into good use. We might as well either do something about it or perhaps by the same token just “capitalize” on how and why it is in fact more fun in the Philippines… Local artist Ogie Alcasid had that wit to build on a charm when then 1994 Ms. Australia Michelle Van Eimeren stepped on a cockroach (if my memory serves me right)… Also let’s not disagree on how funny and delightful Fil-Canadian Mickey Bustos humorously personate the “Filipino way” as if we don’t know “what’s going on ibon!”
Though the new tourism catchphrase is under scrutiny and criticism for lack of originality, what sets it apart is the sincerity and reliability behind it. Well at least it should be… And I don’t see it as an imitation of some sort as it is just a bold assertion that “it’s more fun in the Philippines” (compared to anywhere else perhaps) by way of some rightful basis. Regardless of its affirmation by any nationality, it’s the visitors who would best confirm such claim. Thus, it’s up to any host to substantiate his guest’s unforgettable fun-filled experience.
Philippines’ diverse culture makes it fun for anyone who’s up for the pleasure of experiencing different means of Filipino warmth. We don’t have to suppress the truth nor defend a disconcerting fact. We just have to be true to ourselves via our ethnicity and civilization then validate it towards others, more so for our expectant tourists.