When the Department of Tourism launched the “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, I hurriedly posted on my Facebook wall a line from an old DOT campaign to show resistance to it. I thought people from the department can draft something better, especially now when the person who holds the top post in DOT has had remarkable years of experience in advertising.
When a friend texted me to visit the campaign’s website, I said I’d give the campaign a second look. After all, there is some truth to what the website heralds. Conquering Banaue Rice Terraces, delighting your senses in El Nido, and swimming with the whale sharks in Donsol, are of course, activities that are indeed more fun when done in the Philippines. Indonesia has their own rice terraces, Thailand boasts of it powdery islands, and you can swim with the whale sharks somewhere in Africa and Australia. But we Pinoys provide the extra oomph that makes our country “the” destination.
I remember a conversation I had with a French couple last year who was on a four-month vacation across South East Asia. They had been to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The Philippines was their last stop. When asked about their experience in the country, the woman, while all-smiles, gestured her hand to form a peak, while her husband said, “Everything’s just keeps getting better in our travel. The Philippines is a fitting finale to our adventure.”
That is why when I encountered DOT Secretary Ramon “Mon” Jimenez Jr.’s now famous line “You take two identical islands, put Filipinos in one, it’s going to be more fun there,” I surrendered and had a change of heart. Because it’s true. Pinoys make it happen.
It has become my habit of some sort now to ask foreigners around if it’s indeed more fun in the Philippines. Just this January, while enjoying Iloilo’s Dinagyang Festival, I saw a bunch of foreigners getting a kick out of the celebration, I hollered, “Is it really more fun in the Philippines!?” To which they replied with a resounding yes. I did the same earlier in Cebu at the height of the Sinulog Festival. The reply was phenomenal.
Back in Donsol, where I was when I first heard of the campaign, I had a serious talk with a German guest at the resort, who runs his own travel agency back in Germany. He has been in and out of Asia too many times already, and he attests it is really more fun in the Philippines. “Filipinos are friendlier and more kind. There’s no language barrier and they’re fun to be with. Yeah, it’s more fun in the Philippines.”
I know you know we don’t need a foreign guest to tell us that. We feel it. Again, we make it happen.
So to show my support to the campaign (which, I heard, is on a very tight budget and is counting on Filipinos’ Midas touch to turn any viral egg into gold), I went through my current files and came up with my understanding of the campaign. I have previously posted these on my Facebook account.
The next one is my personal favorite, though. I know my friend’s going to kill me if she sees this image once again, but I just can’t get over this picture. I believe my friend has taken camwhoring to a wittier level. Pinoys love taking pictures of just about anything, including ourselves. But to use the camera as you pencil your eyebrows while you’re on a beach? Genius! So pardon, D. 😀
And as if these pictures aren’t enough to show my support to the campaign, I find myself playing this song almost everyday. It’s an instant upper. I understand this video’s not part of the “Its More Fun in the Philippines” campaign, but just the same, it gets me on my feet and makes me wanna travel.
DOT goes on full throttle on the “Its More Fun in the Philippines” campaign this April. For now, try to go on a trip anywhere in the Philippines to remind yourself (in case you’ve forgotten) we, Pinoys, are the reason behind that line. Or hit play button and imagine.
Love and light, everyone. Go, juanderlust! 🙂
- All photos taken with Canon 550d. Boatman Kuya Ramon in El Nido; tourists in Iloilo City; sunset in Port Barton, Palawan; afternoon walk in El Nido; Mayon Volcano in Daraga, Albay; friend D in Snake Island, Palawan.
- Juan in Donsol, fall in love with its sunset (ameramor.com)
- El Nido: That Crazy Little Thing Called Love (ameramor.com)
- Our Lady of Penafrancia (ameramor.com)
- The Enigma That Is Cadlao (ameramor.com)
Tagged: Albay, byahe, campaign, Cebu, Department of Tourism, Dinagyang, DOT campaign, El Nido, Iloilo, juan;, Legazpi, Mayon, Mayon Volcano, more fun in the Philippines, Palawan, Philippines, Pilipinas, Pinoy, Port Barton, Puerto Princesa, Sinulog, Snake Island, tourism, travel, what to do