It’s more fun in the Philippines
The new slogan of the Department of Tourism in its campaign to boost the number of foreign visitors to the country, has been met with both acclaim and derision.
The leakage of the slogan, “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” in online social networks way before its official launch was welcomed as free publicity for the country by Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr.
Tourism officials, however, do not have the luxury of having fun lurking on Twitter or Facebook to gauge public reaction to the reengineered marketing campaign.
They need to work double time to finish the construction of the Philippines’ new tourism portal.
As of last weekend, netizens who logged on to www.itsmorefuninthephilippines.com see on the site’s index page could only see a slideshow of George Tapan’s photographs of climbing the Banawe Rice Terraces (with the text “Getting upstairs. More fun in the Philippines”); swimming with a whale shark (“Status updates. More fun in the Philippines”) and riding a banca (“Commuting. More fun in the Philippines”).
A brief statement in part reads: “Wherever you go in the Philippines, it’s the Filipinos that will make your holiday unforgettable… In fact, Lonely Planet guidebook calls us ‘among the most easygoing and ebullient people anywhere.’ Find out for yourself why it’s more fun in the Philippines. And make the most out of your next vacation.”
The website should be finished soon for it to make the most out of the curiosity-driven frequency of page hits.
In the meantime, critics who slam the new slogan as a rip-off of a six-decade-old Swiss tourism advertisement should give their lament a rest and rechannel their energies into bridging the disconnect between the slogan and many of the nation’s realities.
Instead of complaining because of the DOT’s use of a supposedly pre-loved line (we give Jimenez the benefit of the doubt, that the campaign is no copycat), why not accept it as a challenge to prove that it’s indeed more fun here than in Switzerland or any other place on earth?
For a change, some critics might consider refraining from spoiling the fun, which they do by their constant mimicking of the shrew.
Then, the rest of the naggers may lighten up and stop flagellating self and neighbor with their sarcastic litany (“Traffic. It’s more fun in the Philippines;” “Pollution. It’s more fun the Philippines;” “Robberies. It’s more fun in the Philippines;” “Bloody drinking and videoke sessions. It’s more fun in the Philippines.”)
Every Filipino knows in their heart of hearts that it takes more than just a slogan to vanquish the poverty and corruption that plague the land. Wasting time and energy fighting over the battle catchphrase does not help.
Can the critics campaign, for instance, the preservation of the terraces, saving of the whale sharks and securing of our marine transportation? Then they will be doing something new.
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