Saturday, January 7, 2012

#1funinthephilippines--reasons and in defense of the new DOT slogan

Someone posted a nineteen fiftish promo poster suggesting that the tagline for the DOT campaign " It's more fun in the Philippines" is similar with Switzerland's. Tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez says "so what?", suggesting that no one has a monopoly of the words or phrase that uses the word "fun" in it.

Jimenez is right but his response is wrong. There is still a gulf of difference between how we used this slogan than what the Swiss intended several decades ago. In terms of usage, the two countries used the same concept differently.

"sun tanning is not the monopoly
of the Swiss people. You can get a tan
anywhere in the world."
Switzerland's slogan is far too different than the Philippines'. The reason the Swiss says that theirs is "more fun" is the fact that you can snow ski and get a tan.

In our concept of fun, it involves Pinoys in it. Meaning, we are not just promoting a place--we are promoting a people's culture. The Swiss have their alps, we have our Pinoys. Snow skiing and getting a tan are activities not necessarily cultural acts.

What's so special about the Pinoy? Well, for one thing, we are somewhere out there in the top 30 list of most happy countries. (Switzerland, by the way, landed second. Maybe because they used this slogan decades ago, that it made a great impact on the way they think about themselves and their country).

Manila placed top 21st in the city's list with the most courteous of people (again faring badly with that of Zurich which is number 2 in the list). That's what the Reader's Digest survey says. Meaning, 20 other countries fare better in this department than the Pinoys. That being said, the  rank is still far better than, Mumbay's or Hongkong or Kuala Lumpur.

Now, what's so special about Pinoy culture? Ours is a spectacular species which sprang from Western ways and Asian thought. See this site to understand what I mean click link.

For a Westerner looking in, we are still predominantly an Asian inspired culture. For a neighbouring Asian looking in, we are heavily Westernized. It takes a Filipino to explain the delicious confusion. :-)

In all honestly, that confusion is simply order in chaos, symmetry in discordance. That's what makes it real fun to be in the Philippines. 

We are far better than Hongkong because our myriad of places to go more than rival theirs. If they have streets that seem too confusing to tread, we have our divisoria that goes practically no where.

Macau prides itself of being Portuguese inspired, while we have so many places that are Iberian inspired too. 

Think of heavenly beaches and isolated islands and ours are far too pristine than Indonesia's, Malaysia's or Thailand's.

Yes, we are still building our monumental skycrapers, and about two to three years from now, we will have our landmark buildings. While waiting for it, our Makati and the Fort skyliners are making their own mark in the world. 

Having said that, our concept of fun, which is deeply rooted in our culture, is acceptable in both Western and Asian tastes. We are the first cosmopolitan place in Asia, mind you. Centuries before China and Japan opened themselves up for Western influence, the Philippines have lorded it over like Singapore did in the Modern Century. Getting that back in is what this slogan intends to do.

Yes, our cities are far apart and really, in a confused state. We have been like that since we suffered World War devastation some sixty decades ago. 

Our culture, I dare say, is the most open thing in the world. You can fashion it the way you see it, simply because it is something which reflects life in this planet. 

Our culture can be likened to an organism, simply trying to survive in this harsh planet. As it tries to survive and do things for survival, it spins a beautiful web in its tracks, catching influences here and there, past and present, and projecting images of crystal clear resonance that shows what life really is, and what it will be sometime soon.

Who spuns this web but us, Pinoy? We are the world's first integrators. We integrate both the best and the worst things in the world, and interpret it the way we see it. 

The good thing is, when we integrate and make things our own, we do these excellently in the fields of art and sciences, never in politics. Even in religion, hundreds of us built our own churches, interpreting and reinterpreting biblical passages, leading these passages to the right and to the Left, up or down, depending on whichever way we want. 

In politics, we have a very poor understanding of it that we misinterpret the Greeks' concept of democracy and make it an anarchy pretending to be a democracy. 

We suck in politics and philosophical thought. Yet, we excel in integrating our own concepts with those of others in the arts, sciences and technologies.

This culture is ingrained in all of us. Having said that, every Filipino's task therefore, is to show the world, in its simpliest terms, how we see or perceive this planet, this world.

The good thing about us is that we see this world differently. And we have this trait of sharing these things to other people. This even explains why 30 million of us sign in with Facebook and millions of Tweets go out virally every, single day. 

Why not be part of this sharing? Share the fun, inspite of our confusion. Fact is, share this delicious confusion which every single human, Western or not, understands.



"There are no original ideas. There are only original people."
Eleanor Roosevelt
Barbara Grizzuti Harrison
Zora Neale Hurston

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