Freeman Cebu Business

"Why I hate PH" video has constructive points

- Ehda Dagooc -

CEBU, Philippines - Although a recent video that went viral on the internet has said bad things about the Philippines and feared to affect the tourism industry, a Cebuano tourism leader has somehow admitted that the video had some points that were actually constructive.

“The video is a combination of being hilarious, offensive, true, exaggerated, nit-picking, etc. I prefer to laugh about it, and make it constructively,” said Cebu Business Club (CBC) president Dondi Joseph.

In the controversial video, Jimmy Sieczka, an American who lived in the Philippines, specifically Cebu for three years, ranted about his annoyance and how he had been “pissed off” by the unsanitary preparation of food, dirty comfort rooms out of toiletries, traffic and vehicles honking horns, beautiful Filipinas being almost all the time a “lady boy,” and “giggling” security guards.“ “We do have much work to do yet and sometimes a harsh eye and commentary is what it takes to shake our trees a bit. At the end of the day, this is a democracy and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Let’s learn from this and have a good laugh,” Joseph added.

On the other hand, tourism capitalist and prime mover, Jay Aldeguer said that the video was ludicrous and one sided. While a couple of things were true and painful to accept, “many of them were superficial and ignorant.”

Because of this development, Aldeguer urged tourism stakeholders including the government to be vigilant, and improve the things that needed to be improved in terms of infrastructure, services, and facilities.

“With the advent of Internet we have to be ready for attacks and unfavorable publicity like these. I guess the best thing that whould come out of this is that we should sit up and remind ourselves that we need to be vigilant and act on these issues and problems if we want to be a world class destination,” Aldeguer stressed.

Newly elected Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Prudencio Gesta also said that Cebu has to take a constructive outlook on these negative publicity, saying “it is a good wake up call that we still have many areas of concern to improve.”

“I really dont know the real intention of this exercise, but whether we like it of not, it may affect somehow to certain degree in our efforts to promote our city or our country,” Gesta said.

In the video, Sieczka, emphasized the 20 things why he doesnt like the Philippines. The video showed mostly some areas in Cebu.

Tourism educator, and advocate Mila Espina also said that if the video highlighted 20 things against Cebu, “then we have countless ways of showcasing Cebu.”

Commenting on the viral video, Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., said that the video is somehow an “eye-opener”, however people should not also discount the countless good things about the Philippines.

The tourism secretary said that what is important is to keep an optimistic attitude while doing something to address perceived shortcomings.

Jimenez also told prospective tourists the Philippines is a beautiful country with 7,107 islands, but they must be prepared for the worst.

On the other hand, Jimenez said it is important to be realistic as well, saying the solutions to some problems will take time to fix.

He cited the case of airports and other tourism infrastructure, where it will take years before the country can repair or build airports. (FREEMAN)

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