#1ForFun Is #1ForCountry

It's more fun in the Philippines

Much has been said about the Philippines’ new tourism campaign, but allow me to join in the *ahem* fun. It’s been three days since the Department of Tourism launched the new campaign, igniting a passionate debate both against and in defense of #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines. I always enjoy talking about politics, but when criticism stops being constructive and becomes destructive, it’s no longer a healthy discussion, is it? Obviously, I am #1ForFun, and I’d like to tell you why.

I loved the old Wow! Philippines campaign, I really did. The 7,107 islands that comprise the Philippines certainly does give you a sense of awe at all that natural beauty and biological diversity.

But It’s More Fun In The Philippines is a lot more relatable. First of all, it’s in English, so most international visitors will be able to understand it (Tara Na! or Pilipinas Kay Ganda would never have worked on a global scale, however appealing they might be for Filipinos). It’s more modern, but it remains rooted in Philippine culture – for instance, the logo takes inspiration from the banig, a local handwoven mat, giving a colorful and geometric twist to the archipelago. It’s flexible, too- there’s a sense of it being open-ended, not just a statement of fact. Like there’s a challenge for you to see for yourself. It’s so simple, but it sticks, because it gets straight to the point. We embraced it, because the sentiment resonates in us. It’s not just about the sights anymore. All the countries of the world have their own tourist attractions, but this sets the Philippines apart.  It’s about the overall experience that you will have when you come visit the Philippines.

Most of all, it’s a campaign of the people, letting the average Juan dela Cruz interpret it in their own way, instead of letting some white collar dudes in an office have all the *ahem* fun. And boy, did we take it and run with it. The meme-ability of It’s More Fun In The Philippines is OFF THE CHARTS. Since they rolled it out, all of my social networks have been flooded with both pro and amateur It’s More Fun In The Philippines photos. It’s our country. It’s our tourism campaign. So we put our talent, humor, and creativity on full display. Everyone was scrambling to find their best pictures and come up with their best captions. Suddenly, everyone was a tourist ambassador. And that, my dear, is what matters.

Let me address some haters. You people are complaining about sky-high taxes and rampant corruption and potholed roads and unending traffic and widespread poverty. I don’t contest the fact that all these problems (and more!!!) are present in the Philippines. But It’s More Fun In The Philippines is a tourism campaign – it is an advertising campaign that is supposed to promote the country and enhance our image. All countries have problems. An effective and successful campaign depends of being able to take these negative aspects and spin them on their head, as well as highlight and emphasize the positive aspects. But no! That won’t do for these ‘well-meaning’ citizens with high standards who, it seems, require that all the imperfections of the country be fixed before any other tourism campaign is launched. In the end, all these naysayers are just being counter-productive. (Not to mention obnoxious and annoying, but let’s not get personal.) This was an opportunity to come together and be #1ForFun. Where is the love, people? But then again, this is just proof national dramas are more fun in the Philippines.  🙂

[Edit: Regarding the Switzerland issue, Incredible Italy preceeded Incredible India, and I’m sure there are countless others slogans that have been recycled through the ages. We have only a limited number of adjectives, people. I don’t think it’s a big deal – nothing is original anymore, remember? – as long as the overall campaign isn’t copy-pasted (which it isn’t).]

How about I end this on a nice albeit image-heavy note. Here are some of my favorites (click the pictures to see more details):

Backpacking. Credit: Solitary Wanderer.

Harvest season. Credits: Crisostomo Ibarra Facebook page.

Rivalries. Credits: Jim Sta. Isabel.

Hitchhiking. Credits: Edwin Soriano.

Drinking. Credits: Ron Cantiveros.

Tour de France. Credits: Ivan Guerrero.

Bubble bath. Credits: Bon Cedrick Doroja.

Change of address. Credits: Frank Aldana.

Anatomy. Credits: Birdie Salva.

Hidden agendas. Credits: Roland Benzon.

Finding Nemo. Credits: Jenica Dizon.

Making a splash. Credits: Roland Benzon.

Mordor. Credits: Ivan Guerrero.

The Dark Side. Credits: Ivan Guerrero.

Planking. Credits: Christian Iglesias.

Social Climbing. Credits: Roland Benzon.

I’d love to hear your thoughts down below. What do you think of “It’s More Fun In The Philippines”? Share your favorite images too! 🙂

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2 thoughts on “#1ForFun Is #1ForCountry

  1. Beer is definitely a motivating factor to visit Philippines. 😉
    Everything will be an added bonus. Love that bubble bath too!

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