Our neighbors speak up | Inquirer Lifestyle

Our neighbors speak up

The launch of the Department of Tourism’s new “It’s More Fun In The Philippines” campaign has led to debates between people who either love or hate it.

But here’s the truth: We can argue about the campaign until we’re blue in the face but it’s the opinion of the potential tourists that counts.

Inquirer Super asked people from different parts of the globe about the initiative. Do they like it? Do they not like it? And—more importantly—does it make them want to pack their bags and come here?

“I don’t have strong sentiments about the campaign, and if it’s supposed to make me want to go to the Philippines, it’s not doing a very good job. I think what the Philippines has to offer is more than just fun—my boyfriend and I have spent many Friday evenings wanderlusting from our couch whilst looking up photos of the beautiful beaches there—and all the food you have been hiding from the rest of the world! Fun? The Philippines is way, way more than just that!”—Faz, Singapore

“Personally, I can’t really say that I’m intrigued enough by this campaign to want to hop on a plane; I wish the photos were much larger (that would not only grab, but also hold my eye) and I found the captions, while to the point and catchy, don’t necessarily convey how Filipinos can make everything “more fun.” I sure hope I’m not offending anyone by my opinion. Make the photos do all the talking—that’s what people remember!”—Eugenia, Canada

“I like it!  Fun is one of the most important reasons I travel, and Filipinos drawing attention to their easygoing ways makes me more eager to visit the Philippines!”—Kyle, Canada

“Are people furious because there is no eye candy appeal, no culture and just sound bites of the Facebook generation?”—Ji, USA

“To me it’s quite a catchy slogan. I quite like it because it makes me think that there are fun and exciting things, places and activities for me to explore when I go to the Philippines.”

—Ryan, Singapore

“The campaign is pretty amazing. What I like about the branding are the vibrant colors of the ads and images—when you look at the deep blue sea and the greens, they’re pulling you in. I’ve been to the Philippines—in Cebu, just for three days, back in 2008—we went snorkeling and the food was fresh, taken out of the bloody sea! That was a pretty special time. I’ve always wanted to come back and get to know the country better, more in depth. Of course the poverty was upsetting, but it’s an amazing place nonetheless. So yes, it is more fun in the Philippines!”—Chris, South Africa (now based in Abu Dhabi)

“I really love the concept!  It seems the only things we ever hear about the Philippines are unsettling politics or killer typhoons. The campaign is colorful and fresh. I think all the Sherlocks looking over this with a microscope need to back off—1951 Switzerland ad duplicate or not, it’s a valiant effort and I salute it!”—Nikki, Hong Kong

“While I have never been to the Philippines, every single Filipino I have come in contact with is 100 percent awesome! It must be so much fun to live there and relax with the locals, listen to their stories and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. About the slogan, the first thing that comes to my head is: “What is more fun over there?” When I visited the website, I immediately got my answer. I especially like “Status updates. More fun in the Philippines.” Nice idea!”—Nic Hendrickx, Belgium

“The pictures are pretty cool. If I had just happened by the site, I don’t think I’d be blown away by it. The graphics tend to catch the eye and somewhat overpower the visuals. The picture of the stair-stepped fields is pretty intriguing, the other two pictures don’t do much for me (they could be anywhere). And what the graphics say don’t grab my attention at all. I don’t really feel compelled to visit the Philippines from what I see on this website. I would want to see something that would pique my interest (scenes of activities unique to the best of what the Philippines has to offer) and draw me into wanting to know more.”—Jake, USA

“With the exception of the diving photo, I love everything about it. It’s fresh, hip and definitely inviting me to seek out more information about what  the country offers that would make it a viable vacation destination for US travelers. I love the slogan, it’s unique, authentic and makes me feel like I can find adventure a great deal of fun in the Philippines. Having said this, the site needs to back up the claim, “Wherever you go it’s the Filipinos that will make your holiday unforgettable.” Tourists having a blast with locals is missing.”—Brunilda, USA

“I think this is one of the best viral tourist campaigns I’ve ever seen: Looking at the images you believe the claim. I’ve never thought about visiting before, but the vitality of the people and the beauty of the place just burst through every picture.”—Cahir, USA, arts editor

“I think the campaign itself is a great idea because the average American doesn’t usually consider the Philippines a tourist destination.  In fact I don’t think most Americans know much of anything about the Philippines (except for maybe Imelda’s shoes).  So the diversity of images is really educational but the light-hearted touch makes them fun.  They manage to convey that the Philippines has modern cities, interesting cultural activities, and extraordinary nature without taking itself too seriously.”—Kyle Shepard, USA

Compiled by Pam Pastor, Peter Xander Reyes, James Gabrillo, Jolo Santos and Gia Melanie Tondo