It’s more fun in the Philippines. Amen.

It’s more fun in the Philippines. Amen.

The Department of Tourism (DoT) has recently launched its new campaign to promote tourism in the Philippines- and thus far, this has been an epic success. The DoT released in the first week of the year, the three versions of star-studded “Tara na, Biyahe Tayo” music videos, which feature the picturesque archipelago.

Truly, the videos which pride for the wonderful spots in the Philippines, are inviting. I, myself, who have gone to most of the places mentioned, could not help but reminisce my PH getaways, and look forward to visiting our country again soon. Apart from the music videos, the DoT also unveiled the slogan to replace “Wow Philippines”- that is, “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, which has become a meme in social networking sites and in Filipino colloquy as well.

I admit that at first, I liked the “Wow Philippines” better because of its originality. When the DoT, early last year, gave media a teaser on this “It’s more fun in the Philippines” campaign, it was bombarded with criticisms for its lack of authenticity as it allegedly copied Switzerland’s tourism promotion in the 1950s. However, after the new slogan was officially launched this January, and for the record, effectively marketed itself, not only to foreigners and investors, but most importantly to the Filipinos, I then reconsidered and embraced this new tourism slogan.

It’s more fun in the Philippines, and I say amen to that.

The slogan is absolutely epic. Panalo. Wagi.

For one, this tourism maxim describes best what to expect in a Filipino culture- joviality, warmth, and adventure. We are a culture that always intends to escape from monotony. We hate just black and white. We seek to be happy at any given moment, and we never fail to find humor, out from scholarly discussions to the most nonsensical talks. Just imagine how Senator Miriam Defensor- Santiago, throws punchlines in her privilege speeches in the Senate, or how the tambays in the streets guffaw at one another’s out-of-this-world arguments or nonsensical stories. Filipinos can laugh about imperfections, problems and mistakes- an attitude that some cultures do struggle with. I guess our attitude as Filipinos have lessened the market and popularity of anxiolytics and benzodiazipines in the country. When we have problems, we don’t go to the doctor, and ask to be drugged with sleeping pills. We rather go to our families and friends, and find comfort just by chitchatting with them, over cups of coffee, or bottles of Red Horse beer. 🙂

The slogan has not only marketed tourism in the Philippines but also given Filipinos from all walks of life to express their creativity. Each Filipino has his own way of telling why it is more fun in the Philippines. As the meme continues to spread, so do the posters, punchlines and puns. From the most wonderful captures of the country’s tourist spots, to distinguishing the-only-in-the-Philippines-way-of-life, to spoofing the slogan itself that cracks hilarity at its best- all these work of art shows Filipinos’ ingenuity , artistry and wit. Here are some of the eye-catching and hilarious posters of “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.

Lastly, I call this slogan epic because it has finally awaken the Filipinos’ love for our culture. Everytime a poster is being added to the “it’s more fun in the Philippines “ collection, it says something about another Filipino realizing another positive value in his country, and thus, showing it off. When they post about a natural wonder in the Philippines, it affirms their appreciation of our country’s beauty. When they post about personalities, like the dancing traffic enforcers clad in clown costumes, or the dancing flight attendants on demo aboard, it affirms their recognition of Filipinos’ ways in adding entertainment to routine work. When they post about something unconventional, like overloaded jeepneys and motorcycles, they recognize that no matter how uncomfy and unsafe some of our public transpos could be, there is still fun to be aboard in these unique rides. (Trust me, I tried them already).

In the end, the recent campaign gives each Filipino the chance to think back and realize that there is beauty in the Philippines despite all the oddness, adversities and poverty our country is facing. Yes, we are a third world country, but our economic status does not necessarily equate our happiness level. We are a fun-loving people, and that attitude, sometimes, could help us get by each day.

It is heartwarming to know that this DoT’s endeavor has turned out to be the Filipino people’s campaign as well. Promoting tourism, in this way, has become a shared vision both by the government, and every Juan dela cruz. On top of all these, the slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, has brought back the Filipino sense of pride and ownership of the country, something that I have not seen for the longest time.

It’s more fun in the Philippines- this slogan does not solely talk about the country’s natural resources, but also on every fun-loving Filipino who is behind the genuineness of the meme.

As I always say, nothing beats Pinoy fun.

Tara na, Biyahe tayo.