Tourism sights, sites and oversights



THE line between reality and fiction has blurred, and since no one can tell what’s real anymore, I figure, what the heck –let’s roll with it.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) launched its promotional campaign “Experience the Philippines” highlighting the different tourist destinations in the country during nationwide and simultaneous flag ceremonies on June 12, Independence Day. Before this, two slogans made noticeable imprints in the minds of the global tourism market: “WOW Philippines” and “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.”

Sadly, any new tourism chief has to spend money to change the slogans of their predecessors to make everyone aware that “Hey, I’m here and everything has to change because I am now calling the shots.” Tough idea for taxpayers. Confusing for the market.

With due respect to current DoT officials, tourism is not just about promoting the destinations through advertising. The destinations should be able to promote itself by being attractive to visitors—access, capacity, affordability, environment consciousness, cleanliness and safety, etc.

No amount of advertising can win respect and patronage for a bottle of beer if the content tastes awful. It’s always the product, Jose, and eventually using other promotion tools will be a breeze.

Sad to say, but our major tourism spots are being neglected. This is something serious that all stakeholders should consider. Local executives and citizenry need to have that “fire in their belly” attitude. Surely, we can do more.

Accreditation of destinations or tourism properties should be given back to the Department of Tourism and the private sector. We all know that a mayor can give an undeserved permit or rating if properties are owned by relatives or friends.

A slogan is a short and striking or memorable phrase or motto used in advertising. It’s true that a good tourism concept is hard to come by and to displace successful ones is outright foolish considering money and efforts have been spent on them. I remember former Tourism Secretary Dick Gordon saved a lot of taxpayers’ money by coining the slogan all by himself.

Digital nomadism can explore all creative possibilities to proudly define our country in the tourism map. Using advertising agencies for conceptualization maybe is a safe idea but could be most unkind to my almost empty pockets. And to add insult to injury, we usually end up with copycat ideas and urged to accept, understand and forgive after “claiming full responsibility.”

I am reminded of the Miss Universe beauty pageant held in our country recently. After the laughable and unbelievable pronouncement that we did not spend a single cent, did we enjoy that remarkable impact on tourism receipts that we expected in the aftermath? And we are toying with the idea of bidding again for next year’s event?

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Somebody came up with a sick joke suggesting that Pakistan and Afghanistan should adopt this tourism slogan “Have a blast. It may be your last.”

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President Duterte to US: “Thank you.” US Ambassador Sung Kim prefers him saying “Welcome.”

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In Marawi City, troops raised the Philippine flag to mark Independence Day Monday in a tearful ceremony dedicated to the scores killed in the conflict. Fighting in the city has left 58 soldiers and policemen and more than 20 civilians dead, the military said, estimating that almost 200 militants have been killed in the clashes. And we saw brickbats flying from previous power wielders crying foul over destroyed properties in the city. Property against lost lives? Irrelevance certainly brings in misplaced thoughts.

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We paid so much for freedom. Until now, we seem not to have seen the merchandise.

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Trump willing to respond under oath to Comey’s “lies” is in the news. Perjury is a normal commodity in the political shelves today. And no one is buying anymore.

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Petron, Pilipinas Shell, Phoenix Petroleum, Seaoil, PTT Philippines, Eastern Petroleum, and Flying V announced a huge rollback this week. With the price of diesel and gasoline rolled back by 95 centavos and 80 centavos per liter, respectively, we expect consumption to rise by consuming more fuel in the Edsa gridlock.

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Free internet speed in EDSA is bumper to bumper.

Seriously, free internet is such a big boost to the mood of oppressed consumers being mauled by expensive yet slow connection woes for decades. Even the latest World Bank report on broadband speeds says that every 10-percent increase in broadband internet penetration translates into a 1.38-percent increase in a country’s gross domestic product growth.

Nowadays, one thing is sure. The upside is that you will never get a ticket for speeding in Edsa. On the other hand, they may cite you for illegal parking in the whole stretch.

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Economic gains should trickle down to the nation’s poorest. We just hope it’s a downpour and not just intermittent “drizzles.”

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True sadness is Father’s Day without a Dad, and worse, no Mom to celebrate it with.

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VP Leni: I don’t see myself as opposition, but I also need to voice my concerns. We understand, Madam Leni: You are neither here or there. May we hear from the lost and found department?

Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.


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1 Comment

  1. On VP Leni on being neither here nor there — its desirable than double talk or even harsh talk or aabante pagkatapos kambiyo paatras — lot of examples; Last June 12, I read someone was neither here nor there — nowhere lost nor found – just unseen –cheers