Filipinos rally support for new DoT tourism campaign

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By Anna Valmero

MANILA CITY, METRO MANILA – After a series of backlash over supposed unoriginal slogans last year, Filipinos online are excited over the Department of Tourism (DOT)’s new campaign using the tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines!”

The new campaign has been posted and shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, encouraging fellow Filipinos to be more open-minded and support the new campaign.

On its Twitter page, DoT said its website will follow suit in line with the new campaign. It also launched a new website featuring photos by renowned travel photographer George Tapan.

Central to the campaign is the colorful banig or native woven mat made of buri. The slogan would be rolled out to international markets by April. For the local version, the slogan reads as “#1 for fun Philippines.”

Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez was quick to point out that the promotion of the campaign is not the agency’s job alone, noting that Filipinos should help with the much-anticipated campaign, developed by advertising agency BBDO Guerrero.

“This is not my campaign. This is not BBDO’s campaign. This is not DOT’s campaign. This campaign belongs to everybody,” Jimenez said.

“Our strategy is simple: while other countries invite you to observe, Filipinos can offer a more heartfelt and interesting experience. Wherever you go, whatever you do in the country it’s the Filipinos that will complete your vacation and will make your holiday unforgettable, ” the Tourism secretary said in a statement.

Travel blogger Berniemack Arelláno posted on Facebook that Filipinos should not be too nitpicky in questioning the dominant yellow color on the website, with yellow being associated to the Aquino political clan.

“We should help our country move forward, whether with it or not. That’s our responsibility that we have for our Patria,” says Arellano, who writes for the blog HabagatCentral.

He also encourages Ilonggos to promote the colorful Dinagyang festival celebrated during the third week of January in honor of Sto. Niño.

“This time fellow Ilonggos, its time to promote Dinagyang and Iloilo. If it would be left out, I wouldn’t blame the national government like what happened to the previous administration. We are responsible for the promotion of our hometown. Indi guid magsalig pirmi sa gobyerno sa tanan! Maghulag ta! Kita ang magmarket sini! Padayon!

Mae Paner, who is behind the Youtube character “Juana Change”, also encourages Filipinos to own the campaign.

She also posted on Facebook:  “Department of Tourism asks all of us to help boost our tourism by taking ownership of this campaign! The experience of the beauty of our country with the beautiful spirit of the Filipino is what makes the experience special and unique! Come Visit My Philippines!”

Environmental lawyer Ipat Luna, meanwhile, also posted on Facebook: “It didn’t strike me immediately as a great slogan but with the supplemental ‘given two identical islands, one has Filipinos, you’ll have more fun in that one,’ it sold me.”

Pinaytraveljunkie blogger Gay Mitra-Emami says she prefers the slogan “More than the usual” although she praised the DoT for bringing out a colorful banig to signify the colorful fiestas held every month in the country.

“But at least this new one’s better than the last. Fiestas come into mind, and we got lots of them,”  she said.

Pia Hontiveros also retweeted: “RT @indayevarona: Let’s not forget, our capacity to sustain PH #1forfun lies on our capacity to apply ourselves to serious tasks that NEED our attention.”

ToyoCruz also tweeted: “IMHO, the warm welcome given to #1forfun #itsmorefuninthephilippines proves patriotism alive and well among Pinoy netizens :) MABUHAY!”

(Photos sourced from DoT website)

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dae bunao says:

great story, anna. yes, it’s about time for us to have fun while promoting our people and culture, helping our nation move forward. mabuhay!