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.

My Year of Philippine Travel

I traveled a lot in 2011 that some of my friends have labeled me “laagan“. Laagan  is a Visayan term for wanderer. The word describes someone who can’t stay put.  I know a lot of travel bloggers who went to a lot more places than I do. Compare to them, my trips looked mild. Nevertheless, I felt I traveled more this year compared to my trips for the past 30+ years.

2011 was the year I started to fulfill my travel dreams.  I am hoping to see new places this year.

Dalaguete, Cebu

This is a town in Southern Cebu. My paternal grandfather came from this quiet town. Their town fiesta (300+ years!) is on a February. My cousins invited me to come along and coincidentally, we had a Cebu Pacific trip scheduled on those dates. (Dalaguete is pronounced as “dalaget”.)

Cebu City

We always visit the Sto. Niño whenever we are in Cebu.  However, it was my first time to check out Magellan’s cross.

Davao City

Although I spent 4 years of my life in this city, it has been 8 years since I last set foot on this place. I attended some important matters in Davao in April and I squeezed in some touristy activities by visiting Jack’s Ridge and People’s Park.

Masao, Butuan City

Butuanons (and several acclaimed historians) claimed that Magellan landed here and not in Limasawa.  For us, Butuanons, this is also our beach.

Checkout the sign: Do not "ride' the boat. If you want pictures, use ground area. (rough translation)

Luneta, Manila

My quest to visit the Rizal monument remained a dream. More stories on this post.

Magallanes, Agusan del Norte

The oldest tree in the Philippines can be found here.  One can reach this place via a 30-min boat ride.

Camarines Sur

It was the first time I traveled with friends. We had so much fun that we are planning another trip this year to another Philippine destination. There was so much to see in CamSur that I wrote 4 blog posts about this trip: here, here, here and here. 😀

Legazpi, Albay

The two-hour trip from Naga city was all worth it. Mayon Volcano, the world’s most perfect cone, was magnificent.

Bit-os, Butuan City

One need not go so far to see new places. Even a small city like Butuan has hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Intramuros, Manila

It was a short yet memorable visit. I will explore more of this place next time. I should join  Carlos Celdran’s walking tour .

Tagaytay City

The short trip with relatives was still fun.  Taal Volcano is always fascinating.

Bantayan, Cebu

Bantayan rekindled my love for the beach.  This place is paradise. I hope Bantayan does not get too commercialized.

Cebu City

I traveled to Cebu again and explored it on my own.  I walked to the Plaza Independencia early in the morning before my trip back home.

Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur

We braved the roads during Sendong to attend a friend’s wedding. I would have taken pictures of Pagadian. The city’s unique features are the inclined streets and angled tricycles. I failed to take photos because my mind was in CDO and Iligan. We went to Lakewood and the place was beautiful. I relaxed a bit before traveling back again to Cagayan de Oro. We traveled during the night along Lanao del Norte.

I will travel more this year.

I end this post with this video.

Tara na!

Ten things I love about Bantayan

I was supposed to write a chronological post about my experience there but I always end up looking at photos instead. I get sidetracked every time. Bantayan is such a beauty. I get mesmerized by looking at photos which consequently brings me to dream land and I start reminiscing the 3 days I spent there without writing them down. My thoughts run faster than my typing speed.

So I come up with the list of things I love about Bantayan Island.

1. The BEACH!

Of course! What else could it be? We stayed in the town of Santa Fe and the beach there is gorgeous. Do you see the sand bar? In the morning, when the tide is low,  that large area with water is all sand like this one below. 2. Bantayan Sunrise

We woke up early to catch the sunrise.  The cool morning breeze jolts us up. No need for coffee to perk me up. It is worth waking up early.

3.  The Bantayan Sunset

The sunset was also beautiful. We were fortunate we were near this area when the sun set. 4. Empty beach

I am quite selfish when it comes to personal space. This may be the reason why I was not a beach lover before because the beach near my city was always crowded. I like the comfort  wide open spaces bring. It is like owning a beach.  What I like most is that we can just leave our things on the sand and swim to our heart’s content without worrying about our belongings being stolen.  Well, there was one little scary moment when a dog sniffed on our bags on the sand while we were in the water. The dog went on his merry way afterwards. No harm done.  Mental note: Do not bring food on the beach.

5. Affordable food on the street

I like it when I can spend less that P100 for a meal. I had chicken barbecue, puso (rice in basket of coconut leaves) and softdrink. I think it only cost me around P60 for that meal.  Another meal I had is grilled chorizo on a stick.  One stick only costs P15. Not bad. I had fresh pineapple for dessert. Sweet deal!

Chicken barbecue and puso

Chorizo and pineapple

6. Clean streets

I like walking especially in streets that are not familiar to me. It is an opportunity to explore. Walks are lovelier on a clean street. 7. The small town charm

Bantayan town proper is small yet charming.  Key establishments surround the town plaza. The church, municipal building , market and port are all accessible by foot from the town plaza. 8. Danggit!

Danggit is a fish.  When one mentions danggit and Bantayan, the term danggit often refers to dried danggit. It is a boneless dried fish. It is cooked by frying. It is best eaten when it dipped in vinegar and paired with rice.  Our hotel served danggit for breakfast.

But that was not enough for me, I had to bring danggit home. Thus, we trooped to the market to buy a kilo. A kilo costs P400.

Other dried products were also available. I also bought dried squid.

9. Getting the tan

I am Filipino. I have brown skin.  I love it that way. After my trip to Bantayan, friends and family have noticed that I got darker than my usual brown color.  The thing is, I don’t fret over dark skin unlike some Filipinos.  My only concern is sunburn. I did not get it so I am fine. It has been 3 weeks since the trip, my cousin still teases me that I am dark. I do not mind. I love my color.  My father often told me before that I was red when I was born. Now, I declare I have the tan of Victoria’s Secret model.  I do not need to post a whole body shot to prove it.  My tanned legs (uhm, logs!) are enough proof. HA!

10. Zero-talent photography

I do not need photography skills to capture perfect photos.  Bantayan is just perfect that way.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...