No amount of recall or a generated effort (advertising monies) to establish a presence to improve our tourism will succeed, unless we begin to brand the Philippines with an integrity the world can see and experience. The catchy, however, duplication of the advertising campaign “It’s more fun in the Philippines” or the new “Choose Philippines” will not succeed until we Filipinos change our ways.
Who in his right mind will commit themselves to a holiday should they be made vulnerable during their stay. From the monies extracted by dubious airport personnel as one arrives, to the taxi’s they hail and the pick-pockets along the way is enough to deter one’s optimism. Then there are the astronomical fees charged to foreigners as they book themselves outside the over-priced five-star hotels considering the value for money paid for. The culture of corruption is obviously imbedded into our culture and no matter what the government does, it cannot seem to shake it. Possibly the problem stems out of government making the citizenry cynical either way.
While the world is not necessarily corrupt free, we Filipinos somehow have become masters at the game to our detriment.
Branding the Philippines will require an integrity we need to generate. However difficult to change our ways—we need to start now regardless if decades is what it takes. Our regulators should be required to be strict and uncompromising be it for tourism or the economy as a whole to improve the Philippine brand. However, before we even begin, we need to strategize what it is we Filipinos are like and what we wish to be. A branding strategy needs to be established as we venture in this national identity we intend to project to the rest of the world. Marketing will not suffice regardless of the advertising dollars poured into the effort. We as a nation, as a people need to brand ourselves, and by this we need to deliver with consistency whatever we promise; be it for our countries natural resources, its beaches and mountains, our culture and courtesy, security of course and the proper infrastructure to absorb the demand we intend to generate. Our hospitality is already in place and our smiling nature is already embedded, but for one reason or other we lose this all as we rob and kidnap our tourists for money.
Branding the Philippines will require a gamut of ideals that need to be apprehended if necessary, if only to generate an integrity we require. This discipline is not necessarily elusive if only our judiciary will step up to the plate and act with responsibility. The President has started this ball rolling with his daan na matuwid (righteous path) now if only government will follow these ideals. No one should be above the law! This is the brand we require.