Haste makes waste

DOG DAZE - Kathy Moran () - November 20, 2010 - 12:00am

It is a work in progress,” said Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim at the launching of the new brand for the country. “Some of you came tonight with your own brand idea in mind. I can tell you with conviction that if you can’t convince 50 people in this room that yours is the best brand, it has absolutely no chance of succeeding.”

So, why am I writing about the new brand of the country in my Dogdaze column you ask?

Well, because, like the many other people I saw and talked to at the launch of the new brand in Oceana near SM MOA, I don’t think the Department of Tourism (DOT) was able to convince 50 people in the room that its new brand is also something we can call our own.

I do not like the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” brand. It’s so generic, so lame.  I seem to have gotten the feeling that people were a little to hasty in getting the brand out that perhaps not much consultation went into it.

Yet, here is what I like about the brand. I like the logo “Pilipinas” which included a tarsier — which is truly native to our country. I also like the playfulness, happiness and warmth that the logo conveys, which is really what this wonderful country of ours is all about.

In the justification of the brand, the guys from DOT say, “Ask any visitor to the Philippines what they love best about the country, and the answer is almost always about the beautiful scenery and the warmth of its people.

“This promise is captured in the new branding for Philippine Tourism. The name is portrayed in a colorful, vibrant logo, which shows both the tropical scenery and the happy smiles of our people.  A cute tarsier, a marsupial endemic to the country, highlights our unique and playful character.”

Finally, we are proud of the animals that are native to this country. Perhaps it would be even greater if we could include an Aspin (asong Pinoy) and a Puspin (pusang Pinoy) which are among the most common animals that greet foreigners no matter where they travel in the country.

In my limited encounters with foreign visitors to this country of ours, they are very compassionate towards the animals they see. Matter of fact, it is not uncommon to see our foreign visitors feeding the animals under the table in beaches like Boracay.

* * *

“Do you like the logo,” Secretary Lim asked me. “It conveys the warmth and the happy vibe of the Filipino people.”

“Yes, I really like it,” came my quick reply. “It has a tarsier, that’s just great.”

But, couldn’t there have been a new song to accompany the new brand?  Kay Ganda ng Ating Musika is a great song, but it is an old one, and is perhaps quite dated already. Maybe something more hip, more young, more vibrant would work.

And, I must admit that I never thought I would say this, but I missed the Bayanihan dancers that night.

I mean really, after fireworks to announce the brand and then a choir singing Kay Ganda ng Pilipinas (to the tune of Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika), the entertainment that followed was by a girl group called Pretty Young Thing that performed foreign songs and were skimpily clad.


Is that what we want to promote our country as, a land of pretty young things?

Filipina, kay ganda?

I hope not.

* * *

I love this country. I have built my life here, just the like the many other Pinoys I know.

On the way home I got to thinking.

I remembered what I was told by my artist- friend Igan D’Bayan when I asked him what his artwork meant. He told me that the interpretation of an artwork is completed by the beholder. It says what the viewer wants it to say.

May I make a small pitch to the DOT, perhaps the Pilipinas logo on its own says it all. Maybe, there is no room for “Kay Ganda.”

The logo is cool, I hope the DOT gets to put it in on our PAL airplanes and also in all the airports around the country.

But, please, Secretary Lim, drop the “Kay Ganda.”

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