10 ways to celebrate summer the whole year round

The whirring of the tricycles in the streets signals the start of schools. When early in the morning children are ushered off to their schools, summer is officially over! But does it really have to end? We can extend the summer by getting involved in fun activities that remind us of summer.  This is a self-serving list because this documents what happened this summer- my summer.

If you have read my previous blog post, you know that have lamented over having a busy schedule. I reminded myself of what matters most: people. If somebody needs my presence, I try to be there. Nobody ever regretted not having time for work. Even with a full workload, I try to make the most of summer. These are the things I did last summer which are not really season-dependent, these things can be done all year round.

1. Take the road less traveled.

My cousin came for a visit and we went to visit her parents.  The house is located in an unpaved area of the city where tricycles refused to go so we just walked.

I welcome the green scenery and we found friends.  Quack! Quack!

2. Explore you  own city. 

This might be difficult to do in the streets of Metro Manila as pollution and traffic can easily wear you down. Try UP Academic Oval, Quezon Memorial Circle and La Mesa Ecopark. 😀

The ubiquitous orange tricycle is the king of the road in my city.

The ubiquitous orange tricycle is the king of the road in my city.

3. Enjoy the burst of colors in flowers.

Can you see the eensy weensy spider?

4. Chomp on street food and summer coolers.

Making tuhog2x the fishball. HA!

This is the ultimate summer food. Halo-halo!

5. Play with cute kids. My nephew grew fast.

6. Visit nearest pool.

We were back at Sprinkles and they have installed their water slides which gave us the license to act like kids. HA!

7. Attend a town fiesta!

May is fiesta time in Butuan and Gingoog! Yes, we were in both fiestas- the first one as a host and the latter as a guest.

This is the simple fiesta menu at home.

This is the simple fiesta menu at home.

  This is part of the dessert table at my aunt’s house in Gingoog.

 8. Vote!

I know you cannot vote all year round. heheh However, you can actively participate in the different issues in the country by letting your voice be heard even through social media.

9. Hit the nearest beach. In our case, we went out of town to… Camiguin! I will blog more about that trip. On the foreground is Camiguin’s White Island where you have to ride that boat to reach the island.  The volcano in the background is Mt. Hibok-Hibok. IMG_8370

10. Listen to music.

When it comes to music, I always ask my friend, Gail, for suggestions. She knows what’s hip (and not necessary popular). She mentioned this excellent guitarist, Igor Presnyakov. Nice!

Here he is playing my favorite, Pachelbel’s Canon in D.

How was your summer? summer

What’s FUN for you?

I love to travel. I dedicated my second blog post of the year to Philippine travel.

Last week, the Department of Tourism  (DOT) tapped social media to launch its tourism campaign. Launch date was scheduled on 10 a.m of January 6. Days leading to the launch date, the DOT hyped up the hashtag #1forFUN on twitter. Prominent bloggers met with Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez to discuss the campaign.  Mr. Jimenez even opened his own twitter account (@MonJQuotes).

I got curious. When January 6 came, I was on Twitter waiting for a word on the launch.  The official tag line was finally announced. Drum roll please. “It’s more fun in the Philippines”. The official website was also launched.

The criticisms

The campaign had some constructive criticisms, namely:

  1. It lacks the brevity and brand recall compared to other countries’ campaigns. Think “Incredible India” and “Malaysia, Truly Asia”.
  2. One does not need to compare Philippines against other countries to gain tourists. Hello, crab mentality.
  3. Grammar police took notice of the incomplete comparative sentence. More fun than what?
  4. The tag line was already used in the 1950’s tourism ad of Switzerland. The black and white poster read “It’s more fun in Switzerland.”

The praises

The campaign was received well.  The hashtag #itsmorefuninthephilippines became a trending topic on Twitter worldwide. Even acclaimed writer, Neil Gaiman, joined in the fun. As of this writing, the mood meter in Maria Ressa’s Rappler.com showed  64% of readers are happy with the campaign and 26% are inspired.

Screenshot of rappler.com

My 2 cents

I was a bit disappointed when I first learned of the new tagline. I have to agree with criticism number 1. I like Anna Oposa‘s suggestion better. It rebuffs all the criticisms raised.


*Note: (1/13/2013) I just read Anna Oposa’s article. Taiwan used “Fun Taiwan” in  one of its tourism campaign.

The memes

Despite my initial feeling about the campaign, the FUN started pouring in. I had to join in. On twitter, I tweeted about why Philippines is fun.  Mon Jimenez might really be the ad genius that people say he is. The end of work week was the perfect time to launch the campaign because by the time weekend arrived, people had the time to create memes.

A meme is "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." - Merriam-Webster online dictionary

Taking the cue from the three photos from the official website, people started creating their own campaign images.

I made my own set of photos from my travels and uploaded them on Facebook. I got positive responses from friends.

Photo credit: Leo Borras (1st photo)

Anton Diaz of Our Awesome Planet has the best collection of memes made by people who joined the fun. I sound a bit biased. It’s because the two photos I shared to Anton ended up in the page. Check them out here.

Want to join the fun?

Download and install the Harabara font. Don’t worry it is free! Check your Philippine travel photos and think of a nice caption. Use your favorite photo-editing software to create the meme.  I use Photoscape.

I’m loving this Harabara font. Simple. Clean.

Tourists, choose the Philippines!  It is really fun in the Philippines.

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