Only in the Philippines…(Part Whatever)

From GMA Network News: “Starting Monday, the Philippines will adopt “Pilipinas kay Ganda” as its new slogan in what Malacañang described as a bid to “reinvigorate” the country’s tourism campaign. President Benigno Aquino III said the new slogan to be launched Nov. 15 will replace the existing slogan “WOW Philippines”.

“The slogan aims to ‘reinvigorate our country’s tourism campaign and double tourist arrivals within the next three years,’ said a Malacañang statement posted Saturday night on the Presidential Communications Operations Office website. Aquino, who is now in Japan for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, said the government will also train tourist police and guides to ensure the safety of local and foreign tourists alike.

“Earlier this month, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said it would allocate P100 million for new media promotions, including a new website, to reach its goal of doubling tourist arrivals.  Philippine tourism suffered a blow last Aug. 23 when retired police officer Rolando Mendoza took hostage a busful of Hong Kong tourists in Manila.

“Mendoza was killed along with eight tourists, prompting Hong Kong to issue a ‘black’ alert discouraging travel to the Philippines.”

From the same network, there is news that the new website isn’t getting the raves the producers hoped it would get.

There are now complaints that the new website is beset with problems, not the least of which is the use of Tagalog in the slogan. Considering that the website is aimed for non-Filipinos, the use of Tagalog really leaves a strange taste in the mouth.

Add to that, there are typos and grammatical errors. One commenter said, “The website shouldn’t have gone public yet. There are so many errors that could have been easily spotted with the proper QA. Also, the site really isn’t too ‘social’ enough. There are no ‘Facebook Share’ or ‘Retweet’ buttons anywhere in the website. Since this is international, they should also think about how they could have tapped Digg, StumbleUpon, and other social networking sites that can potentially drive significant global traffic.”

Department of Tourism Undersecretary for Planning and Promotions Vicente “Enteng” Romano III replied: “We will just review page and correct errors before we republish, hopefully in three to four weeks…This is not yet the full-featured website that we are envisioning as part of our digital strategy. That will still be bidded out. Only the look and feel was [sic] changed to match the new brand, but the content was lifted from different existing DOT websites. So (the current site) is really just an interim site,” he explained.

So they put it up, take it down, then put it up again. Normally, that doesn’t sound bad, but since it’s made in the Philippines…  Question: if they really had a more permanent site, why bother with the interim site? And why does this little incident seem to reflect the whole state of our country, albeit on a smaller scale?


On a similar note, below is a picture my beloved M and I took when we were in Boracay last March.


© Dennis Eric Ohsan

Where to begin? Aside from the unnecessary capitalization of “Always,” “Keep,” and “Gate,” the sign begs the question: Close to where? Close to my heart? The ellipsis at the end may mean anything.

Of course, we all know what the owners of the sign meant when they posted this at the gate, but it’s still funny.


PS. Lest someone misunderstand, I love my country. Since I am a law-abiding citizen and I pay my taxes (or my taxes are taken from me), I guess I have earned the right to laugh at my Philippines every now and then. =)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s