How I found the fun in the Philippines

I admit. It didn’t blow me away. It didn’t rock my world. It didn’t shake me to the core. It didn’t wow me.

When I first found out that the new slogan of the Department of Tourism was “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, I was NR – no reaction. I was disappointed that it didn’t evoke any reaction from me. I guess I expected more, especially after the (in)famous “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda” which was an epic fail in my book even before the ‘plagiarism’ issue came out.

I guess I expected something to wow me more than the “WOW Philippines”. Then I saw this tweet: “Commuting. It’s more fun in the Philippines” – no image attached, just text. I thought, whattheheck?! How can it be more fun to commute in the Philippines – at least in Manila – where you have the traffic to ruin your day, the smog to turn your white shirt into tan, and the risk of your bag being snatched! So I went to the new website http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/ and thought at first that it was not yet done. There were only 3 images and a contact form. By now my opinion meter is going towards to the negative side.

Then came out the Switzerland ad from 1951 with the same slogan – “It’s more fun in Switzerland!” I literally cringed! First, the “Pilipinas, Kay Ganda” logo with the allegations of plagiarism – on top of being a lousy slogan to begin with – and now, this!

I looked at the images on the website again, this time really seeing.

 

I get it. Gets ko na! 

It is more fun in the Philippines!

Come to think of it. With 7,107 islands – that’s more beaches you can swim in and more islands you can hop than your allowed vacation leave in a year! Throw in  the local delicacy of each region in those islands. Be ready to gain more pounds. Plus, the sights and sounds of each town or city from Aparri to Jolo will sure fill up the memory card of your camera. Bring an extra, or two.

Be prepared to fall in love. Fall in love with the shopping in Manila, the beaches in Boracay, Palawan and all around the country, the lechon in Cebu and the durian in Davao, the Chocolate Hills in Bohol,  the cool mountain air in Baguio, the Underground River in Puerto Princesa, the Rice Terraces in Banawe, Hundred Islands in Pangasinan… I could go on, and on, but it will be best to discover them yourselves. Take the road less traveled. You will find amazing places.

But most of all, be prepared to fall in love with the people. The Filipinos are known for their hospitality. Pass by somebody eating, you will often hear, “Kain tayo!” (Let’s eat!) Be it just a piece of bread, or buffet, they will always invite to share their food.

Yes, I finally got it. It’s more fun in the Philippines, not just because of the beautiful places, but also because of the people.

Let this new slogan work for us. Let’s do our part. We are all ambassadors of our country. Let’s make this a ‘bayanihan’ in lifting our ‘house’ – the Philippines.

 

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