The Department of Tourism (DOT) of the Philippines revealed its new tourism campaign, “Love the Philippines,” on Tuesday, June 27, coinciding with the agency’s 50th anniversary. The new slogan replaces the popular catchphrase “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” which had been inviting travelers to explore the country for over a decade.
Since its launch in 2012, the previous slogan had generated numerous memes, social media posts, and online discussions, becoming a part of local internet culture. However, the new slogan has garnered mixed interpretations and comments on social media.
During the campaign launch event, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco explained that the new slogan acknowledges the country’s “assets” beyond just fun. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who attended the milestone event, commended Frasco and the DOT team for creating a campaign that aims to provide visitors with an overall travel experience in the Philippines.
Frasco emphasized that the country’s destinations have multiple facets, requiring intensified tourism efforts. She stated that to compete with neighboring countries and establish Asia as a powerhouse tourism region globally, it is crucial to highlight the Philippines’ diverse offerings.
“We have multiple facets of tourism destinations that present a golden opportunity, as we have only scratched the surface thus far,” added Frasco.
Yet reactions on social media revealed that not everyone felt the same, with others criticizing its look and tagline.
“The assortment of illustrations and visual cues is chopsuey as hell!!!” One commented, referring to the Chinese-Filipino dish that is also an expression for incohesion. “At least the past campaign latched on just one—banig (a mat). And the rationale behind it was *chef’s kiss* it had something to do about interspersing and weaving of different cultures and beliefs which is true!” one said.
Others criticized the tagline Love the Philippines, saying it sounded like the country was begging tourists to love us. Some said that adding a comma after love, which would read, “Love, the Philippines” would have made a difference.
Some said that “Love the Philippines” did not carry the same punch as other concepts around the region.
But Harold Geronimo, President of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, said that while “Love the Philippines” may be insufficient and misinterpreted as a slogan, the line offered various possibilities from a public relations perspective.
“While advertising sees it as an imperative statement or commanding someone to do it, PR can use it to tell stories of experiences that will boil down to the emotional take of ‘loving the Philippines,'” he said.