Going loco over logos: There’s more than meets the eye | Inquirer News

Going loco over logos: There’s more than meets the eye

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 04:07 PM July 13, 2023

Going loco over logos: There’s more than meets the eye


MANILA, Philippines—As the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) marked its 40th anniversary, its new logo, which was said to be a reflection of the corporation’s commitment to be a “guiding force,” was unveiled.

But like previous government logos that Filipinos took a swipe at, like the one released for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2019, Pagcor’s new logo, which was worth P3 million, immediately drew criticism.


READ: Pagcor’s newly unveiled logo met with jeers


According to lawyer Gideon Peña on Twitter on Tuesday (July 11), the day the new logo was unveiled, the corporation “could have opted to conduct a logo-making contest.”

“With the creativity of Filipinos, a much better logo could have surfaced, especially if the winning design would be awarded millions of pesos,” he said, also posting a screenshot of what he said was the Notice of Award (NOA) given to the new Pagcor logo designer.

Based on the publicly available document dated June 27, 2023, which is a written notice of the acceptance of the bid by Printplus Graphic Services, the contract price was P3,035,714.28.

According to Pagcor chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco, the new logo “incorporates the element of fire associated with energy, inspiration, passion and transformation.” He said “it symbolizes the flame that ignites change and drives progress.”

Tengco pointed out that it also “reflects a beacon, which symbolizes guidance, leadership, and direction,” saying that “it represents a guiding light that helps people find their way.”

“All these taken together,” he said the new logo reflects “the long standing commitment of being a guiding force that illuminates the way forward, drives transformation and development, and brings inspiration and motivation to the lives it touches.”


According to its charter, Pagcor, which is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) that was created through Presidential Decree 1067-A, has a three-pronged mandate:

  • Regulate, operate, authorize and license games of chance, games of cards and games of numbers, specifically casino gaming
  • Generate revenues for the government’s socio-civic and national development programs
  • Help promote the tourism industry

Controversial logos

Pagcor’s was not the first logo, though, that had been ridiculed and criticized. A look at controversial logos paid for by the government and GOCCs would take us to as early as 2010.


  • Pilipinas Kay Ganda

Back in 2010, ANC reported how the then new tourism brand of the Philippines, “Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” drew criticism for striking a similarity to Poland’s own tourism campaign, “Polska.”

The campaign was later ordered scrapped by then President Benigno Aquino III, with the then head of the Department of Tourism, Alberto Lim, saying that “we wanted to give them results right away,” a 2010 report by ABS-CBN stated.

  • 2019 SEA Games

The official logo of the 30th SEA Games, which was held in the Philippines in 2019, was met with widespread criticism, too, with some pointing out its resemblance to common objects, and even cartoon characters.

READ: 2019 SEA Games logo draws flak

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who was then the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, had said the logo’s 11 circles represent the 11 nations bound together in the shape of the Philippine archipelago to symbolize that “we are one and we win as one.”

  • BSP logo

Back in 2020, Benjamin Diokno, then governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), unveiled the institution’s new logo, which highlighted a bright and full-bodied gold eagle. This, however, drew criticism, too.

Diokno explained that BSP’s “visual representation in the form of the logo requires an update to infuse the institution with renewed vitality, underscore its integrity and competence, and further promote the understanding of its mandates.”


Last Jan. 1, film director Paul Soriano, who was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as presidential adviser on creative communications, released the logo of his office.

Filipinos, however, immediately took a swipe at it, with some saying that its design, especially the placement of words “Office of the Presidential Adviser on Creative Communications” was confusing.

Problem’s tip

Raymond Palatino, secretary general of Bayan, said the design of the new Pagcor logo and the amount spent for it were not the only problem, stressing that “cost is not limited to procuring new logo design.”

He told INQUIRER.net via FB Messenger that “the agency will spend more in using it in official letterheads, receipts, chips in casinos, offices, billboards, cars, banners, and other ad placements.”

According to Pagcor’s website, the corporation operates nine casino branches in major cities all over the Philippines. Collectively referred to as Casino Filipino, these branches are strategically located in popular tourist destinations.

Pagcor operates 32 satellite casinos in major cities, too.

As stressed by Palatino, the new logo is “unnecessary spending amid continuing economic hardships,” pointing out the poverty confronted by millions of Filipinos every day.

According to data from Pulse Asia, which conducted a study from June 19 to 23, rising prices of basic commodities remains the most urgent national concern, with six in 10, or 63 percent, of Filipinos saying it is an issue that should be addressed.

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The government’s approval rating on controlling inflation improved by 6 percentage points, from 25 percent in March to 31 percent in June, but its performance on addressing the issue still received a negative net approval rating of -6.

RELATED STORY: Filipinos poke fun at the newly unveiled PAGCOR logo design 

TAGS: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, INQFocus, logo, Pagcor, SEA games

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