How do you say “best wishes” to a departing traveler?
After an uproar on social media, airport authorities scrambled to correct a funny—or embarrassing—greeting recently flashed on a LED display at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1, which left spectators either amused or mortified.
“Von Boyage,” the misspelled French greeting for good or safe journey, was promptly changed to “Bon Voyage” after a photo of the blooper became viral on the Internet, particularly on Facebook.
“We were alerted to the mistake when we saw it on the airport authority’s Facebook and Twitter accounts so we corrected it soonest,” Connie Bungag, chief of the Public Affairs Office of the Manila International Airport Authority, told the Inquirer on Friday.
GMA Network’s official website, gmanetwork.com, found humor in the blooper, as it quipped beside a photograph of the misspelled popular French phrase: “Who’s paging for Von?”
Others thought it was no laughing matter, as it gave visitors, particularly foreigners, the impression that Filipinos are ignorant of widely used foreign phrases.
‘V’ for ‘B,’ ‘F’ for ‘P’
But perhaps it has something to do with some Filipinos’ penchant to mispronounce the letters “V” for “B” and “F” for “P.”
An airport source told the Inquirer that even some government personnel assigned at Naia 1 were unsure about how the French phrase is spelled.
“We had corrected it already when someone from the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) called up the airport official in charge of that LED display to tell him that the send-off greeting was misspelled,” the source said.
The airport official himself checked the LED display and saw “Bon Voyage” crawling on the display.
But the DOTC representative said it should be “Von Boyage.”
“Finally, the airport official called me up to ask what’s the right spelling. So I told him, ‘It’s Bon Voyage,’” said the source.
The next day, the source said, there was a meeting among airport and airline personnel on the preparations for the Brunei trip of President Aquino.
“My staff texted me and said, ‘You won’t believe this. The PowerPoint presentation showed ‘Von Voyage,’” the source said, laughing.
So how did airport officials finally resolve the spelling issue? The airport terminal manager decided to use this: “Maligayang paglalakbay! Happy trip!”