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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Halika, Byahe Tayo! Tara na sa Pilipinas! (or not?)

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I have been thinking of posting a blog about our country’s tourism campaign, but a lot of personal and business-related stuff has been my priority. It’s kind of a good thing though because now I have gathered more topics to discuss here.

#1. The Slogan/Logo

I know this has been a sensitive topic since the Department of Tourism changed our almost more than a decade tourism slogan, Wow Philippines! (established by then DOT Sec. Richard Gordon) to Pilipinas Kay Ganda! What is /are the reason/s? One argument is to promote internal tourism “daw” among the Filipino people. Maganda po ang layunin na yan ngunit…duh… Para namang kayang mamasyal sa iba’t ibang lugar dito sa Pilipinas ng karamihan sa mga pamilyang Pilipino. Hanggang sa mall nga lang ang kaya ng budget eh, pamasahe at konting pang-minindal/merienda, palamig sa libreng aircon ng mall, uwian na bago pa magutom ulit! lol

Again, the question is: why do we have to change the slogan? Another argument is to promote our Filipino language. Uhm…why? Are we not supposed to attract foreigners, expats, and tourists from other countries (hopefully those who know how to speak or understand the English language) to come and visit or even live here in our country? Hindi ba kelangan natin ng maraming dollars na makukurakot ng ating mga lider sa gobyerno? (Ay, ibang topic na pala yun, sa susunod na lang.) Kahit pa lagyan nyo yan sa ilalim ng paraan kung papano bigkasin ang “kay ganda” at ilagay nyo pa ang English translation nun, di pa rin yan nakakatuwang gamitin. Oh, I almost forgot! We were also accused of copying Poland’s tourism logo! Sus! Nag-aksaya lang kayo ng panahon at ng pera sa ginawa nyong yan. Why can’t we stick to this simple yet very understandable and easy to remember slogan? Example: Malaysia, Truly Asia. Kudos to whoever it was that coined this slogan! If the Wikipedia data are correct, Wow Philippines! campaign had brought us a record-breaking number of tourist visits since its launching. Ngunit datapwat, hindi pa dyan natatapos ang kwento dahil nabago na ulit ang Pilipinas, Kay Ganda! at ginawa na nilang Pilipinas, Tara na! Question po ulit, who are you inviting to visit? I just hope that hope is not forever lost since according to recent news, the Department of Tourism will release a new slogan before this year ends. Bakit nga ulit?

Just in case you have already forgotten what our tourism slogan/logo looked like (yeah, right!) here they are:

#2. The Jingle

This is where I will give credit to our fellow Filipino songwriters, composers and artists. Sabi nga, kung merong bad news, syempre dapat meron ding good news! I got one suggestion though, and it’s really a given. They should put English subtitles on these videos. It is not enough to induce an LSS based on tone alone. Am I right or am I right? Again, best example pa rin ang jingle ng Malaysia. Even my kids can name that tune from the first note then they’ll sing along with the lines: ♪♫…Malaysia…Truly Asia…♪♫ That is what we need to achieve. A little more tweaking here and there and our tourism jingles will soar high. Following is the music videos of our tourism jingles. First one is the original Wow Philippines! jingle. Next is the latest Pilipinas, Tara na! jingle, which has 3 versions so you better check out their Youtube Channel.

Quick question: Can you still name all of the artists involved in singing the above jingle? 🙂

***Speaking of making a jingle for the tourism campaign, let me share you this one awesome video of what I strongly believe the Department of Tourism should use or at least tap these talented people to make a new one! Introducing, the El Gamma Penumbra of Pilipinas Got Talent!

I hope you noticed their showcase of the Puerto Princesa Underground River which fortunately made it to the provisional list of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.***

#3. The Airport

Of course, I am going to discuss this here! I am seriously pissed off at these taxes that we, Filipinos and tourists, have to pay before leaving the country. The worst part is, there are two separate taxes! The travel tax which is Php1,620/each (depending on class, and if you are an OFW dependent); and the airport tax or terminal tax for international travel which is Php750/each. Not included pa dyan yung processing fees, etc! Imagine if three or more of your family members need to travel outside the country, let’s say Malaysia? How much would you need to shell out from your pocket before you can finally say Bon Voyage?

However, the real concern here is where do these taxes go since the record-breaking number of tourist visits? For the improvement of NAIA? No. (Ngayon pa lang nila naisip na umpisahan ang renovation ng Terminal 1 eh!) The security, safety and welfare of the travelers? No. (Read some horror stories of other travelers about our airport terminals, taxi services, food being sold inside the “safe zone”, etc.) The salary of airport employees? No. (Kaya nga may mga rallies, etc.) The improvement and campaign for the different tourist spots here in our country? No. (Hanggang ngayon makikita nyo pa rin ang paghihirap ng mga katutubong Pilipino sa mga lugar na ito upang mapanatili ang kagandahan ng lugar kahit na kulang sa budget.) The bulky pockets of the corrupt people? Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding! YES! (Sana magka-diabetes, magka-cancer at mabulok ang mga bituka ng mga taong ito na patuloy na kinukurakot ang pera na dapat sana ay magamit sa ikabubuti ng mga Pilipino at mga turista.)

No wonder that NAIA made it to the infamous lists of World’s Most Hated Airports (#5) and 2011 Worst Airports (#1…woohoo…<insert sarcasm here>)

Now tell me, do these taxes make you want to travel abroad or at least even here in the Philippines? If you are a solo traveler, and you have at least Php15,000 budget to travel, why not? But if you are like me, with two kids to consider the budget for everything under the sun, you might want to hide that traveling pants for a while.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it isn’t worth it to travel, I am just saying that the Philippine tourism badly needs a revamp. Let us hope that this will happen in the nearest future possible. ☺