A new promotional video from the Department of Tourism (DoT) that came out on June 12 is an experiential, Tourism Assistant Secretary Frederick Alegre said on Tuesday.
The new Philippine tourism promotional clip entitled “Sights,” released during the 119th anniversary of the country’s independence, features blind Japanese retiree M. Uchimura island-hopping in the Hundred Islands of Pangasinan, dancing with locals in the Banaue Rice Terraces in Ifugao, riding an ATV in the Paoay Sand Dunes in Ilocos Norte and enjoying his snacks on the cobblestoned Calle Crisologo in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur.
“Definitely this is experiential and it was not copied from South Africa’s released in 2014,” Alegre said.
“When you’re with Filipinos, life is better,” is the key message of the DoT’s newest campaign.
Netizens have pointed out the video’s striking similarity to a South African tourism ad, which also featured a blind man whose disability was revealed when he pulls out a walking cane.
Alegre said the DoT’s campaign stars a real-life retiree staying in the Philippines.
“We’d also like to add that we have been consistently putting out testimonials of foreigners in the Philippines and retirement is really a key pillar of the Department of Tourism . . . The Philippines is actually one of the best places in the world for retirees and we’d like to believe that the feature about the Japanese retiree really expresses what they feel about the Philippines,” he added.