WOW! Only in the Philippines!

Here is a #HelpDOT Suggestion. I endorse this tourism marketing concept from mentor Willy which builds on the WOW Philippines campaign and highlights the uniqueness of our country!
Let me know what you think about the concept and how we can build it further.


Where else can you find a land as beautiful as its people, a people as warm as its climate

Where else can you find a nation as rich as its history, a culture as colorful as her transport (vintas and jeepneys)

Where else can you find a workforce as talented as her artists, an economy as vibrant as her freedoms

Where else can you find dining as delightful as her shopping, fairways as tranquil as her spas?   

Where else can you find fruits as delicious as her hillsides (Bohol Chocolate Hills), a nightlife as breathtaking as her sunset?  

Finally, where else can you find a people with pride in her past, a passion for her present, and faith in her future

All these and more . . .


“Only in the Philippines”

It is a familiar line often quoted by locals and foreigners alike to capture the unbelievable sense of exasperation and frustration over a country that has been blessed with abundant beauty and a people imbued with nobility, yet shamelessly exploited by dynasties of “trapos” and greedy oligarchs.


Yet perhaps it is also the best line to use to at once drive local and foreign tourism, rekindle patriotism and unify a divided nation.  It represents nothing less than a dramatic paradigm shift that buries Filipinos’ crab mentality.

It can be argued and it cannot be denied there is also so much natural beauty and goodness that can be found “WOW! Only in the Philippines”.  The same line arouses curiosity among new prospects (there are 1 billion tourists globally) who have never been to our shores. “What can be found ‘Only in the Philippines’”?  It reinforces the experience of past visitors who can attest to the country’s uniqueness, while presenting new and more varied experiences.

It is simple and memorable, specific and unique.  It is already a popular throwaway line among Filipinos and foreigners alike who are both delighted at our hospitality and aghast at our idiosyncrasies.

People from all around the world would say:


It is colloquial “tourist expression” that can be adapted in foreign languages for marketing.  Importantly, it is campaignable even for domestic tourism because the normal course of tourism development is for locals to explore domestic travel destinations before venturing overseas.


“Sola en las Filipinas!”

The real excitement is in its global application across multiple languages beyond English-speaking nations like the US and Canada, the UK and Australia.  In Mandarin Chinese, the line is “Jin Zai Fei Lu Bin”.  In Cantonese, “Gan Zoi Fei Lud Ban”.  In Japanese, it’s “Filipin Dah-Keh”.  And in Korean, “Filipin Esoman”.  The Russians would say, “Tolko V Filipine”.  In Spain, our slogan is “Sola en las Filipinas”, which can also be used for most of South America.  The French will say, “Seulement dans le Philippines” while the Germans will say, “Nur in der Philippinen” and the Italians, “Soltanto nelle Filipine”.

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DISCLOSURE: Intellectual Property Rights Advisory

This presentation is an unsolicited recommendation by Business Mentors, Inc., represented by its President, Willy Arcilla to the Department of Tourism in its desire to assist DOT in enhancing its global and domestic marketing and communications campaign.

As such, all contents of this presentation remain the intellectual property rights of Business Mentors, Inc. and remuneration for its services and ideas shall be mutually agreed upon by both parties and in the best of faith if and when the DOT so decides to accept the recommendation.

(For questions and suggestions, email me or

P.S. Here is the entire concept:



“WOW! Only in the Philippines” : A Paradigm Shift

While the potential is boundless for the tourism industry to become a growth engine for the Philippines as it provides valuable foreign exchange earnings and employment opportunities, and acts as a catalyst for direct income redistribution to the countryside, it remains sadly underoptimized.  We salute the accomplishments of the Department of Tourism, but we also lament the fact we continue to lag far behind our Asian neighbors. China has long surpassed 50 Million while Malaysia has drawn more than 20 Million.  What can we all do to dramatically improve our travel and tourism industry?

The answer does not lie in foreigners, but in us.  We will never achieve a quantum leap of growth in foreign tourists or dollar receipts without first achieving a quantum leap in our  patriotism and love for our countrymen.  We cannot expect to attract foreign visitors to our country if we ourselves continue to leave our country in droves.  Before we expect others to fall in love with our country, we must first rekindle our love for her.  This is a must to the success of any human endeavor.  Noone can sell what he or she does not love.

Excessive Negativism

The men and women of the DOT have been tireless in campaigning overseas, but sadly, their efforts seem to be undermined – not by other countries, but ironically, by our own negative news reporting about the latest scams and scandals, crime and violence, rebellions and insurgencies.  All the negative journalism and pessimistic editorials, self-flagellation and finger-pointing, conflicts and controversies characteristic of media sensationalism have gotten so bad that not a few neighboring Asian countries now use our bad news as their own headlines.  We may enjoy press freedom as a democracy, but at a steep cost of scaring away tourists and frightening foreign investors; at the risk of disillusioning our youth and accelerating the diaspora.  The role of media in creating public perception is so far-reaching in today’s borderless world driven by information and communications technology that we must be mindful of its risks and consequences.

Today, the Philippines is invariably perceived across the globe as a country suffering from rampant graft and corruption in government, a communist insurgency and Muslim secessionist movement, unchecked kidnappings, criminality and anarchy in the streets, culminating in the recent fiasco of the tragic hostake-taking incident that took the lives of 8 Hong Kong tourists. It is incorrect and unfair to say that this is true of the whole nation.

Press Freedom and Responsibility

The 2008 recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Honorable Governor of Isabela Grace Padaca, herself a former radio personality, said, ““Media itself is Power.  The power of the media should be in the hands of those who will not use it for their own selfish interests.”  In fairness to the press, Rhonda Byrne, author of the best-selling book “The Secret”, confesses, “When I discovered The Secret (which is the Law of Attraction),  I made a decision that I would not watch the news or read newspapers anymore, because it did not make me feel good.  The news services and the newspapers are not in any way to blame for broadcasting bad news.  As a global community, we are responsible for it.  We buy more newspapers when a huge drama is the headline.  The news channels’ ratings skyrocket when there is a national or international disaster.   So the newspapers and news services give us more bad news because, as a society, that’s what we are saying we want.  The media is effect, and we are cause.  It is just the law of attraction in action!”


We need to engender a sense of patriotism among our ourselves, our families and our own countrymen.  Patriotism will motivate us to invest in the “HEARTS” of successful tourism – Hospitality and Hotels + Enjoyable Experiences + Airports and Airplanes + Roads and RORO Bridges + Tour Packages and clean Toilets + Safety and Security.

Patriotism means loving our poor  — uplifting them from the squalor that is the breeding ground for gambling and alcoholism, criminality and violence, which in turn will translate into cleaner and safer surroundings, with no street urchins or roadside beggars.  Patriotism means sharing our abundance to reduce the income disparity and social injustice, enabling less fortunate Filipinos to improve their lot, propagating prosperity to benefit the common good, including even the rich because all ships rise with the tide. Patriotism means addressing the plight of the rural poor — farmers and fishermen, thus addressing the root cause of our 40-year communist insurgency and Muslim secessionist movement, and ensuring the safety of local and foreign tourists in the countryside.  Patriotism means controlling if not eliminating graft and corruption, bribery and rent-seeking between government and the private sector, which will promote the growth of commerce and industry, inviting local businessmen to invest, thus providing more employment opportunities, raising living standards, educational quality and purchasing power, in turn enhancing the overall investment climate to attract foreign investors. Patriotism means paying the right taxes which can be used to provide adequate basic social services, translating to cleaner streets, lighted neighborhoods and safer cities.

“Only in the Philippines”

It is a familiar line often quoted by locals and foreigners alike to capture the unbelievable sense of exasperation and frustration over a country that has been blessed with abundant beauty and a people imbued with nobility, yet shamelessly exploited by dynasties of “trapos” and greedy oligarchs.  Yet perhaps it is also the best line to use to at once drive local and foreign tourism, rekindle patriotism and unify a divided nation.  It represents nothing less than a dramatic paradigm shift that buries Filipinos’ crab mentality.  It can be argued and it cannot be denied there is also so much natural beauty and goodness that can be found “Only in the Philippines”.  The same line arouses curiosity among new prospects (there are 1 billion tourists globally) who have never been to our shores. “What can be found ‘Only in the Philippines’”?  It reinforces the experience of past visitors who can attest to the country’s uniqueness, while presenting new and more varied experiences. 

It is simple and memorable, specific and unique.  It is already a popular throwaway line among Filipinos and foreigners alike who are both delighted at our hospitality and aghast at our idiosyncrasies.  It is colloquial “tourist expression” that can be adapted in foreign languages for marketing.  Importantly, it is campaignable even for domestic tourism because the normal course of tourism development is for locals to explore domestic travel destinations before venturing overseas.  Sadly, Filipinos aspired to fly overseas before even appreciating the beauty of our own land and the nobility of our fellow Filipinos.

Synergy of Domestic and Foreign Tourism

“Only in the Philippines” lends itself to widespread adoption by all regions and provinces offering unique travel destinations and tourist attractions.  The line creates synergy where the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.  The international and local campaigns will be seamlessly integrated as one, and shall mutually reinforce each other to attract both foreign and domestic tourists.   “Only in Ilocos – Only in the Philippines” showcases Vigan, in Ilocos Sur, Pagudpud Beach and Fort Ilocandia in Laoag. The Banaue Rice Terraces, Mt. Pulag and La Trinidad Valley beckon with “Only in Benguet – Only in the Philippines”.  In promoting the majestic Mayon Volcano, the pristine Caramoan Islands, and Pacific Ocean surfing in Daet’s Bagasbas Beach, we promote “Only in Bicol – Only in the Philippines”.  “Only in Panay” can you experience the “Ati-Atihan” and indulge on the paradise island of Boracay.  “Only in Palawan” do you find the world-renowned Tubbataha Reef and the world’s longest Subterranean River.

Unity in Diversity

All local government units can now leverage on the national and international tourism campaigns in promoting their respective local destinations.  In the process, we recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of each region, but within the context of one country.  “Only in the Philippines” also dovetails into the “One Town-One Product” (OTOP) program created by the Office of the President to promote entrepreneurship, identifying products which small towns can produce at a comparative advantage vs. other neighboring towns.  “Christmas Lanterns — Only in Pampanga”. “Strawberries – Only in Benguet”.


“Sola en las Filipinas!”

The real excitement is in its global application across multiple languages beyond English-speaking nations like the US and Canada, the UK and Australia.  In Mandarin Chinese, the line is “Jin Zai Fei Lu Bin”.  In Cantonese, “Gan Zoi Fei Lud Ban”.  In Japanese, it’s “Filipin Dah-Keh”.  And in Korean, “Filipin Esoman”.  The Russians would say, “Tolko V Filipine”.  In Spain, our slogan is “Sola en las Filipinas”, which can also be used for most of South America.  The French will say, “Seulement dans le Philippines” while the Germans will say, “Nur in der Philippinen” and the Italians, “Soltanto nelle Filipine”. 


Where else can you find all these and more?

Where else can you find a land as beautiful as its people, a people as warm as its climate?  Only in the Philippines. Where else can you find a nation as rich as its history, a culture as colorful as her transport (vintas and jeepneys)?  Only in the Philippines. Where else can you find a workforce as talented as her artists, an economy as vibrant as her freedoms?  Only in the Philippines. Where else can you find dining as delightful as her shopping, fairways as tranquil as her spas?  Only in the Philippines.  Where else can you find fruits as delicious as her hillsides (Bohol Chocolate Hills), a nightlife as breathtaking as her sunset?  Only in the Philippines.  Finally, where else can you find a people with pride in her past, a passion for her present, and faith in her future?  All these and more . . . “ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES”. 

82 thoughts on “WOW! Only in the Philippines!

  1. Yes, I remember sir Willy Arcilla published an article on Patrio-Tourism. Was able to encounter that during my previous stint at a magazine. Way better. And have to agree we do say “Only in the Philippines” more often, especially when we brag about our country.

  2. Even mike enriquez was criticizing the ‘Pilipinas kay ganda’ slogan of the DOT.
    i think ‘WOW Philippines’ is a good campaign but if they want to refresh it,
    ‘WOW Only in the Philippines’ also sounds good 🙂

  3. Yey!!!! What a perfect slogan!!! It’s catchy – already commonly used by foreigners and locals alike, with a twist – turning the negative connotation into something positive! It also builds upon the successful branded message of the previous promotion. I really hope they change it to this suggestion instead! Awesome!

  4. I liked ‘More than the Usual’ sana. But with the explanation, I find Only in the Philippines a good campaign slogan. Also, all cities/provinces can use the tag line. It also helps bring out what is unique and special about a particular destination. Even our customs can be talked about here – remember that book that was released before about things only Filipinos do?
    Good suggestion on translating it to different languages. I really believe English in not a selling point here.
    I can hear all the jokes in my head with people saying ‘Only in DA Philippines’ hahaha. Tama! It is a phrase we use a lot to describe how we are as a people.
    It’s all a matter of execution. Sana magamit to:)

  5. WOW! =) sounds like intelligent people took time to think about it. =) A lot better than the “Pilipinas kayganda”

  6. I still prefer “More than the usual” and I think their videos didn’t have enough airtime elsewhere.
    “Only in the ” is common in every country. I don’t think it will come striking to foreigners.

  7. “The answer does not lie in foreigners, but in us… Noone can sell what he or she does not love.” I completely disagree in the context of the recent campaign. Many of us love the Philippines so much that’s why we were outraged of the lame “Kay Ganda” concept.

  8. i agree with can we sell anything to anyone when we don’t even take care of it the least? there’s nothing wrong with the old slogan…there is in “US”..

  9. I like the flexibility of the campaign tagline that translates to the synergy of Domestic and Foreign Tourism. This is a WAY BETTER campaign than what we have now.

  10. pwede rin na:
    global philippines
    wow!….uniquely philipines
    undiscover…. philippines of asia etc. etc. tapos mga open sampayan
    pero yung naka clip na mga damit o mga t-shirts skirts pajamas o mga small
    kumot eh pictures like of lake sebu tinuy ann falls halo-halo lechon noche buena table settings o piknik mga fiestas cyclings o marathon at sports o mga water sports din tapos sa may hagdanan pababa sh litrato naman ng mall of asia na puro shopping of jewelries clothings accessories naman ang nasa isip ng mga shoppers at outside restaurants dining naman ng adobo pinakbet laman loob-bbq’s lol

  11. Thank you Anton and everyone for your comments and “thumbs up”. This slogan was written by every Filipino and belongs to all of us. More importantly, it will also, bury once and for all, the infamous “crab mentality” we are known for. If we can turn this line into anything and everything positive about the beauty of our country and the nobility of our people, we are on to something really big. Slogans should be simple and memorable, unique and relevant. We will extol the diversity of our regions, while unifying all of them as part of one country. We will also honor the people of different countries as we allow the line to be translated into different languages. Indeed it can be timeless and universal — another hallmark of the global Filipino. Mabuhay po kayo!
    Willy A
    Mabuhay and God bless!

  12. Be careful with Willy Arcilla, he is a marketing genius. I say that with the greatest of compliments. I truly like the Only In the Philippines campaign, especially if executed well. Because it rings true particularly in this country which is filled with both diversity and irony at any given turn. And I think Filipinos are really a “character” in every respect of the word. KAKAIBA! We cannot afford a MEDYO-CRE campaign, this is our image to the world. Let’s raise the bar once and for all because we keep accepting, time and time again, what is PUWEDE NA. And the Filipinos have far more greatness hiding underneath them, ready to come forth…..

  13. hi anton! this is so much better! it builds on the original slogan and it is SO UNIQUELY PINOY. kudos to the creator. i’m re-posting it. thanks!

  14. The Philippines’ best asset is its people besides its natural beauty. Filipinos are very friendly and full of life which makes visitors feel very welcome. Promotion of the Philippines should revolve around are friendliness which is very unique to our country.

  15. Hi Anton, great effort with WOW Only In The Philippines. Don’t we have jokes about Only In The Philippines? Some of these jokes portray negative images of the Philippines and the filipinos.
    There are many links online about Only In The Philippines…
    There’s even a Facebook about Only In The Philippines
    Just my two cents.

  16. I like the “Only in the Philippines” catch phrase. Though it reminds me of a defunct sitcom with the same theme song “only, only in the Philippines”. The humor in the catch phrase is very Filipino as we Filipinos are known to find humor even in the midst of tragedy.
    Remember, the commercial “walang ganyan sa states”. That phrase is so true! I’ve met a lot of foreign tourists all over the Philippines who said that they wish they could take the islands with them (referring to the white sand beaches, food, people, seafoods and even mango shake). Well-travelled people could attest that the best white sand beaches, seafood, and mango can be found “Only in the Philippines”.
    While on tour in South East Asia, other travelers would ask me what the Philippines can offer that the other countries cannot. Tough question indeed. But with 7,107 islands we can boast of, I could go on and on about our country for more than an hour.
    Now that I’m in the states, I could very well relate to the saying “Only in the Philippines” every time I would crave for mango shake and seafoods. I’m sure Filipinos abroad will be able to share their own “Only in the Philippines” moments.

  17. nice campaign! is this to replace “Pilipinas kay Ganda” recently launched? but why not stick to WOW Philippines which was well accepted by everyone? “Only in the Philippines” has somehow in the past have negative connotation of our kapalpakan. Just my two cents. Hopefully our tourism industry will boom again 😀

  18. Just to share again, I came across with a blog that negatively connotes Only In The Philippines..
    There are even images under Only In The Philippines tag which pokes fun at our society and puts our country in a bad light.
    Here are the tourism tag lines of our neighbors:
    Malaysia – Malaysia, Truly Asia
    India – Incredible India
    Singapore – Your Singapore (previously Uniquely Singapore)
    Korea – Korea Be Inspired (changed as of Feb 2010)
    Japan – Endless Discovery

  19. Hi sir. I believe what we have here is a classic case of ‘if it aint broke dont fix it’. We have a fantastic catchphrase already, Wow Philippines. It already captures how amazing experiencing the Philippines. It’s definitely more than the usual.
    What we need is a better exposure of this catchphrase: Wow Philippines. Those ‘More than the usual’ ads should be re-engineered and repackaged and put back to the international screens. I wonder why there is a need to change all of these.
    I noticed that with new governments, people in power feel that there is a compelling need to change even the best ideas from previous administrations. And this one is a classic case.
    Sorry but in my opinion, Only in the Philippines is a bad idea. =(

  20. ^^^ With “Only in the Philippines” having negative connotations, I believe DOT should just put it’s energy and resources in improving the WOW Philippines brand. Why not work with new jingle, additional tagline, better voice over. WOW Philippines was a powerful brand, it just needs improvement to better appeal with the foreign market.
    “Only in the Philippines” would’ve been a nice additional tagline if only the negative sites can magically disappear.

  21. Though I love the concept of “Only in the Philippines” as the main part of the slogan, I agree with most people here. It’s been used by our fellow countrymen and foreigners to refer to negative things about our country and our people.
    BUT, it could be a great challenge to turn things around and make “Only in the Philippines” showcase how beautiful our country is. It might intrigue foreigners when they hear the slogan. The adding of the word “Wow” helps in making it sound positive. I like this slogan BETTER than Pilipinas Kay Ganda. I hope DOT listens.

  22. I LOVE IT!!!!! I sincerely hope and pray that this information/plan becomes viral
    it’s good that you included the fact about Filipinos’ excessive negativism – we should control this mouth of ours. ^_^
    complaining is actually the habit of mediocrity – if you are so bothered about it, maybe, it is your destiny/duty to change it.

  23. ‘WOW’Phils was sen.Dick Gordons slogan right during his time at DOT?
    Anyway mukhang ginastusan po talaga yung recent ad ng DOT i read it thru the newspapers and i knew magaling yung hinire nila na ad agency,pero i like the new proposed one hehe.
    Basta sa ikagaganda po ng pagpapakilala sa PILIPINAS sa buong mundo.
    I would like to recommend an “ASTIG” ad agency that also might help them.
    (MANILA SEVEN 028870777)
    another great article from sir anton.

  24. Anton, if i may share, the ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES connotes a negative aspect. It was once used by Louie Beltran or some writer pointing to bad things that can only happen in the Philippines. If I remember they would use the ONLY In the Philippines phrase during catastrophes, tragedies, accidents, etc. It has also be used in Malaysia:

  25. I think Only in the Philippines is good on its own. I like the land=beautiful people and people= warm climate. 2 phrases that summarize what DOT is having a hard time expressing.
    and i guess it’s the most appropriate way to counter its original negative connotation.

  26. I don’t like the line “where can you find” because it implies a certain kind of hubris where in fact, beauty of the land and warmth of the people is all over the globe. What I do like is the “only in the Phililppines” but it has to have breathtaking photos of the Philippines for truly, you find it “only in the Philippines.” One thing though, I agree with other people who commented that the Wow Philippines campaign was really great. World of Wonder Philippines was really catchy, creative and captured the Philippines at its best. I think the “More than your usual….” campaign of Wow Philippines was a classic. The song was truly Filipino but given an interesting twist. (Heard Lea Salonga sang it.) It deserves the most vigorous media campaign. But if we stick to the “Only in the Philippines” it might work ONLY to prove the negative “Only in the Philippines” exasperated expression. Just my two centavos worth.

  27. if i may. if they really want to change catchphrase, make it sound more appealing so that foreign and local tourists will go out and explore our country.
    something along the lines like “7000 islands, one nation. explore, Philippines.”

  28. I kinda like DOT’s idea of making it in Filipino so that it can potentially stand out. I agree though that “Pilipinas kay Ganda” has no impact. I heard some suggest “Pilipinas Astig!” or better maybe “Philippines, Astig!” I think this could work given that there’s only 1 unfamiliar term in the tag line. Instead of saying “cool” foreigners can learn to say “astig” 😉 How cool would that be? ^^

  29. This is way better than DOT’s “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”.
    From Wow Philippines to more than the usual, there seems to be a continuity in how we promote the Phils. We can extend this continuity if we use Wow Only in the Philippines.
    Only truly brave people accept mistakes and go on doing something to change things for the better. Hopefully people in DOT are not politically biased and their egos are small enough to take criticisms.

  30. Dear All, Thank you for your comments. Allow me to elaborate further, specially in response to negative concerns. “Wow! Only in the Philippines!” indeed is the “Paragon of a Paradox”.
    1. “It’s not unique”.
    a. Quite the contrary, it is a “Filipino Original”, coined and used by Filipinos for various occasions over many years, albeit mostly in a negative context. Thus, it is the FIRST TIME we will use a very familiar line for a tourism slogan. That’s the secret to reinventing brands – striking the right balance between what is familiar yet presented in a refreshingly new and different way.
    b. Against the tourism slogans of neighboring countries, it is not only unique but distinctively Filipino. I have not heard of identical lines like “Only in the Malaysia” or “Only in the Singapore” or “Only in the Thailand”.
    2. “It’s negative”.
    a. For whom? Foreigners? Of for us Filipinos who see only the negative side. Bingo! We ARE the primary target because we can never expect other people to love us if we do not love ourselves. A deadly cocktail of colonial mentality with crab mentality. This requires nothing less than a paradigm shift.
    b. That’s why we need Patrio-T-ourism. We can never have a quantum leap in Tourism without a quantum leap in Patriotism. In like manner, no successful company will tolerate employees or other stakeholders who publicly expose the problems and weaknesses of the company for the whole world to ridicule.
    c. Yes there are negative things that you find “Only in the Philippines”, but that is only HALF the story, and as an old Yiddish proverb goes, “A half-truth is a whole lie” because it has a tendency to deceive and mislead the people — scaring away tourists, turning off investors, and worsening the OFW diaspora.
    d. It is no different from how our Almighty God and Heavenly Father sees us – as hopeless sinners or hopeful saints? The latter, of course, because of His unconditional and perfect love for us. Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. So, is your glass still half-empty or already half-full?
    “Wow! Only in the Philippines!” can be a potentially strong tourism slogan because it is simple and memorable, relevant and unique, timeless and universal, local and global, in plain and familiar consumer language but most of all, it can turn the tide of negativism into positively Philippines.
    Goodbye Colonial Mentality! Goodbye Crab Mentality! Mabuhay and God bless!
    Thanks again, Anton and all! Let’s hope and pray DOT considers our proposal. 🙂

  31. Dear Anonymous,
    Many thanks for sharing the Malaysian video. It was brilliant! Comedy is NOT Negativism. In fact, the ability to laugh at oneself is the true mark of a mature person or society. This is characteristic even of the most patriotic countries like the USA — where TV comedians make fun of Americans all the time — but never in the context of destroying, tearing apart or pulling down their country like crabs. Malaysians are patriotic — no wonder they are the leading Southeast Asian country for drawing in more than 20 Million tourists anually!
    FYI, the song is one of Malaysia’s most popular folk songs “Rasa sayang hey rasa sayang sayang hey . . .!” which speaks of love in the context of friendship — I can almost visualize our own version of using “Dahil Sa Iyo”! 🙂
    Mabuhay and God bless!

  32. thanks sir. I’m enlightened. I just had a bad experience with that phrase from our journalists who used it negatively like ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES can you have…., you can experience. But they also used the phrase like the Malaysians did in a comedic but startling way. God bless

  33. The problem is not just “negative journalism” but realities that we’ve been ignoring for sometime.
    For example, up to 40 pct of children are undernourished, and 60 to 88 pct of citizens live below the poverty threshold. 50 pct cannot finish primary school, and of those who do, another 50 pct cannot finish high school. Around 60 pct of schools lack basic facilities ranging from roofs to blackboards to potable water. We have some of the lowest ratios for doctors and police officers to citizens in the region and some of the lowest amounts spent on public health care, education, etc.
    We are also seeing environmental damage on such a scale that only a fraction of forests and coral reefs remain.
    More than half of GDP is controlled by only around 15 families, and only a fraction of the population own much of the land and resources of the country.
    The economy is heavily dependent on exports and overseas work, but client industrialized nations are now suffering because of an economic crisis that may be chronic and permanent. It turns out that much of our wealth is essentially made up of money, and most of it are merely numbers in accounts. Meanwhile, our actual wealth is declining considerably, with fish stocks worldwide dropping by up to 40 pct, 25 pct of top soil destroyed, and abnormal weather leading to destructive flood and droughts.
    The government is considered one of the most corrupt in the world, and according to the WB Doing Business site, the country is one of the worst places in the region, if not in the world, to do business.
    Finally, oil production has been relatively flat since 2005 and is estimated to drop by 2015. Much of what we have and need is heavily dependent on oil.

  34. Dear Anonymous,
    I’m glad you’ve been enlightened! 🙂 In reaction to the blogs of suite101 and samonteh, let me just say that we cannot deny there are unpleasant things that happen only in the Philippines. But it is up to us to decide and we have the free will to choose whether we wallow in negativism and pessimism or we accentuate the positive and live optimism. Remember Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret”? It is the Law of Attraction — if you project bad news, you get more. If you project good news, the universe rewards you with even better news. Besides, nobody wants to follow depressing blogs. Proof? Just compare the followers of negative sites vs. Anton’s Our Awesome Planet! 🙂 Hooray!

  35. Dear Monk,
    Thank you for your comments and pointing out the deficiencies in our economy. Again, let us work together in finding creative solutions to these seemingly intractable problems; let us turn the perceived crises into opportunities. I think this is the mindset we can learn from the Chinese who look at “crisis” and “opportunity” as 2 sides of the same coin. Combine this Chinese mindset of creative problem-solving with Filipinos’ resiliency and we have the ingredients for an economic dynamo. Or, you can also join an NGO or launch your own advocacy. Like they say, be part of the solution, not part of the problem. 🙂
    Furthermore, I suggest you take advantage of the economic boom that is unfolding in the country. The Philippine economy is booming – GDP growth rate is accelerating while inflation remains benign. The stock market is on a bull run and the real estate sector is soaring. OFW remittances, BPO and export revenues are reaching record heights. Unemployment is falling as the job market grows and employee compensation rises. Interest rates remain low, encouraging investments in high-potential industries like real estate and tourism, manufacturing and BPO, agriculture and mining. The consensus of local businessmen and economists, foreign investors and MNCs is that the future is very bright. Based on the latest independent surveys, even the percentage of people claiming hunger and poverty is retreating.
    God bless and Mabuhay.
    PS — More than 70% of our country’s electrical requirements are already being generated from geothermal and hydroelectric plants.

  36. I remember now why WOW was so successful. Their commercial and their message was very clear and exciting. Posted by a reader of the Philippine Star –
    Wealth of Wonders – showing Banaue Rice Terraces
    Warm over Winter – to endorse the Philippines’ sparkling beaches
    “Walk our Walls, ” – to promote Intramuros in Manila
    “Watch our Whales” – to market the butanding (whale sharks)
    Wish our Wares- to promote our arts & crafts/shopping
    That’s why the WOW Philippines campaign was successful.
    BTW, I read in a post of Ivan Dy, his friend told him that our tagline should be “Philippines, It’s Complicated.” I think this really sums up our country 🙂

  37. So far though, WOW has worked well. The sad part of it is that it had to be rebranded because the Aquino administration wishes to undo everything that is GMA even if it made more sense.
    Now that it has received much criticism and proved rationale especially because of a horrendous mistake that it’s website is just one letter short to leading to a porn site, this president suddenly wants to take it out.
    I think WOW Philippines works. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Just because it’s GMA’s? Only in the PHilippines seems to have a negative connotation though, which is why I’m sort of not inclined to it. But the copy you presented seems great!

  38. Thank you Auntielicious.
    I agree we should not fix something that ain’t broke. But we can also BUILD on something. This is what progress and development is about. The Japanese call it KAIZEN or continuous improvement. That’s why “Wow! Only in the Philippines!” can work because we will honor and retain all the goodwill created by “Wow! Philippines”, but take it a notch higher or a level deeper, evolving it to communicating the uniqueness of traveling to the Philippines — the beauty of our land and the nobility of our people.
    “Whereelse can you find a land as beautiful as her people, and a people as warm as her climate?” ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES.
    Let us please disabuse ourselves from the half-truths (or whole lies) that we find negative things “Only in the Philippines”. That is a hangover from the fatal cocktail of “Pro-Foreigner Colonial Mentality” and “Anti-Filipino Crab Mentality”.
    (Now imagine this translated into major languages around the world and even in our local dialects!)

  39. First, I love how “Where else can you find…” was thought out and articulated. Unfotunately, I’ve heard the terminology “Only in…” countless times in other countries and unfortunately it does connote a lot of negativity. “More Than Usual”, on the other hand, takes in notions of comparisons and we may be getting more flak than we bargained for.
    If “WOW” had to be re-thought, I would suggest using “One Philippines” instead (or even “Only One Pilippines” = “OO, Pilipinas!” and further stretched to suggest “One Philippines. Yes!” or “Yes, Philippines!”). Allow me to explain the thought process as you read along.
    Why use “One Philippines”? It hits two birds with one stone. If we start seeing our nation as one, and not as fragmented as it is today, we regain our sense of nationhood, a crucial element that’s been missing in our fabric of consciousness. “One Philippines” unifies, itself already a bold statement and goal. Yet without it, whatever campaign we come up with can only equate to statistical number of foreign visitors = dollars, but lacks a more motivating internal objective. Indeed, patriotism = tourism.
    The other bird is “being number one” as an emboldening battlecry versus mediocrity and towards excellence. If we choose to reignite our sense of pride and refocus on or reach for our “number ones” this time (e.g., Boxing-Pacquiao, other upcoming boxers; Entertainment-Lea Salonga, Charice; BPO industry, and much much more!), we only have everything to gain–and our so-called crab mentality and other psychological chains to lose.
    In the eyes of foreigners, seeing the variety of options in “one destination” equals that determination to say “Yes, Philippines!”
    The underrated “One Town, One Product” (or OTOP) even makes an excellent extension of the campaign, which can in turn refocus not just on products but other unique characteristics of the town or region.
    Imagine. Countless Options, One Destination. 7,107 Islands, One Philippines. Yes, Philippines!

  40. Apologies but I forgot to add that not only does the motivation to see all islands apply internationally, but locally as well. Metro Manila used to be central to everything Philippines; that is fast changing these days with the rise of new industries and the accompanying infrastructural changes in the rest of the regions. Even Manilenos are striking it out in other regional centers and finding new lives there. Truly, the notion of being “one Philippines” is not lost on them.
    In a Filipino’s lifetime, when was the last time s/he has seen all other islands beyond his/her original home? All 7,107 islands and you’ve only been to one or seven of them? It’s about time we embrace this change.
    Now, let’s take this campaign digitally and imagine an interactive dashboard application that shows what every island or town has to offer, shared by both local and global traveling communities, wih everyone trading travel tips, photos and what-nots. Not only do we get to showcase our “one of many” Philippine island adventures but we get to connect people and their experiences in one platform, instead of your typical website.
    Would-be-travelers then get a richer picture of the thousand possibilities they can get with just one destination. How can anyone say no to that?
    So, how many of Philippines’ 7,107 islands have you visited lately?

  41. Dear “dentorre”,
    I think ONE PHILIPPINES is a superb slogan to unify the country, as our lack of unity has been one of our strongest weaknesses. As Jesus Christ admonished, “A kingdom divided against itself will not stand.” The greatest leaders of the world have succeeded on this platform — Lincoln (US Civil War) and Roosevelt (The Great Depression and WW II), Mandela (Apartheid in South Africa) and Pope John Paul II (East and West Germany, Communism). As I also like to say, the Philippines, the “sick man of Asia”, can only truly recover, once we truly unite.
    However, while UNITY is a must for Filipinos, remember that one strong motivation for tourists and travelers is CURIOSITY. And that’s the beauty of a line that arouses CURIOSITY, “What can be found only in the Philippines?”
    Again, we can forget those who will continue to think negatively about the line. Remember the market is 1 Billion Tourists!!! It’s a vast blue ocean where the majority have not even heard of our country, much less that line which piques the natural interest of tourists and travellers, and entices them to experience what is unique and different, in other words, what can be found “Only in the Philippines”.
    Again, we cannot expect other people to love us if we don’t love ourselves (not in a narcissistic way). So the first and foremost target is all of us Filipinos who continue to think, speak or act negatively about our country.
    Great question on how many islands I have visited todate. Quite a few but never enough.
    Maybe Anton can publish his choice of The “100 Must-See Sites and Must-Taste Delicacies Found Only in the Philippines” to start putting a positive spin to the line, and engender a stronger sense of patriotism and national self-esteem. Truly, you cannot sell what you don’t love, and you cannot love what you don’t know. What a great kick-off and a huge opportunity for partnerships. Bicol Express — Only in Bicol. Pinakbet — Only in Ilocos. Yum!
    Mabuhay and many many thanks to one and all for sending your comments and feedback. It’s helping us crystallize our thinking further and sharpen the idea.

  42. YOU GOT IT Jin-Jie!!! Jin zai Fei Lu Bin! Filipin Eso Man! Filipin Dah Keh! Tolko V Filipine! Seulament de la Philipin! Ad Infinitum!

  43. I WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR EVERYBODY FOR YOU & PHILIPPINES TO GAIN MORE THAN TEN MILLION TOURISTS NEXT COMING YEAR-YEARS….PHILIPPINES ‘ MUST BUILD ‘ DECENT ACCEPTABLE STANDARD BY LAW ‘ HOMES-HOUSES-CONDOMINIUMS ‘ TO ALL IT’S POOR FILIPINO FAMILIES BUT DESERVING CITIZENS….IT IS THE SLUMS-SQUATTERS-INFORMAL SETTLERS ARE PULLING DOWN PHILIPPINES CHANCES TO ATTRACT MORE THAN TEM MILLION TOURISTSNEEDED TO PAY FOR PHILIPPINES NEEDED BULLET TRAIN THAT MUST BE OPERATIONAL NOT LATER THAN NOVEMBER OF 2012{BULLET TRAIN IS A MUST}NO OTHER WAY BUT TO HAVE IT sooner than later i will not let you down but philippines must do it’s part & that is removing all unacceptable housing-home standards by giving them warning tickets first that they have to fix-build new homes-houses to meet international housing standards if not their illegally built homes-houses will be legally removed within 30-60 days i heard that is part of former lady president gm arroyo’s pprogram Mdo it now to salvage future time & spaces so good luck hardworking deserving philippines salamat po lol!

  44. No amount of branding and ad campaigning will increase our tourist arrivals unless we address the following:
    1. Peace & Order (Mind you not only the sensational crimes but the petty crimes like holdups, snatching, etc.
    2. Good means of transportation and support infrastructure(trains,good roads, airports, terminals direct or near the tourist spots
    3. Cleanliness

  45. OMG Tish! This is exactly what we should be doing! Even the 100 Places to See and 100 Things to Do — Only in the Philippines! That emboldens me even more. I’m attending the Tourism Congress tomorrow at the Traders’ Hotel, and this “ONLY IN LONDON” campaign is further proof we are trivializing a GREAT SLOGAN “Only in the Philippines” that no less than world-renowned LONDON has started to use — in a POSITIVE WAY! And I’ve been pushing for this with the DOT since 2008!!! Aargh!

  46. Dear Anonymous,
    WOW! That’s class. Very slick. High net worth tourists. VVIPs. Very clear target market for Mallorca, the playground of the rich and famous in Spain, including royalty and world leaders. Right on-strategy for an endorser like Rafa, although I think the appeal of Manny may be broader across income classes.
    Guys, I almost feel like Anton’s OAP netizens can collectively develop our own tourism marketing campaign as a group given the tremendous amount of great ideas generated over the past few days. Please keep them coming!
    Where else can you find a tourism campaign developed by the people? Only in PH!
    Mabuhay and God bless!

  47. If I may add my own suggestion
    Slogan: “Welcome Home to Philippines.” OR “Philippines. You’ve found home.”
    Home connotes not just a physical place but the feeling of belonging and of comfort from the things you know and love. Kaya kasama na dyan ang lugar, tao, pagkain, customs…
    Madaming bansa na ang nagpupush ng tourism nila na ang gamit ay ang ganda ng kanilang bansa. Ibahin natin ang approach.Itry natin umapela sa emotion, sa nostalgia. Inde ba bansa naman tau ng drama (manood ka lang ng tv 🙂 ). Tourists can always find more awesome places, higher mountains, clearer beaches. Pero sa atin lang nila mafefeel na super welcome sila dahil sa ating warm and friendly disposition.
    1) BALIKBAYANS – bulk ng bumabyahe papuntang pinas ay mga balikbayan kaya “Welcome Home”
    2) FOREIGNERS – will find pinas like their second home kasi convenient at warm/ friendly ng mga tao who will immediately make you feel na part ng family kaya “Welcome Home”
    3) LOCAL TOURISTS – lalo na sa tulad ko na laking syudad, iniimbitahan sila na mag-travel to their hometowns and around the country para marediscover nila and kanilang roots at pagiging pilipino kaya “Welcome Home”
    Website: Wooden doors na parang galing sa Bahay na bato tapos pagclick enter, bubukas sya to reveal magagandang tanawin sa pinas, masasarap na pagkain, warm family… Sa website may mga videos ng mga tao na ineenjoy ung lugar, pagkain at produkto ng Pilipinas. Ung may interaction. Hindi ung puro postcard shots lang tourist sites. Halimbawa kung ipapakita ung mga ethnic tribes doing their ritual dances, ipakita na ung mga tourists nagpaparticipate din. You let viewers know how they can enjoy in such places.
    Logo: handwritten script/ italic font para mukhang galing sa isang personal na sulat para sa isang minamahal.
    Sub-campaign: For local tourism, “Tara, let’s!” in colorful, banderitas adorned logo at jeep. Tapos ung pinapakita sa mga posters magkakabarkada at family enjoying fun activities and destinations. Yung commercial stop motion ng magkkbarkada na sasakay sa jeepney at maglalakad across pinas (think Levi’s Walk Across America ad).
    I agree dapat pinacontest na lang ng DOT. Mas madaming brighter ideas pa siguro makukuha nila kaysa sa Pilipinas Kay Ganda. At tsaka pag contest may personal na attachment ung public kaya magkakaroon ng automatic na support sa campaign.
    May site ba ang DOT for suggestions para sa kapalit ng Pilipinas Kay Ganda? Nang makapag suggest…

  48. I am not in advertising so I don’t know how it works.
    But, as I’ve seen in the movies, if this is even close to how it is in the real world, advertising agencies have to compete to get the client. A company would go to several advertisers, advertisers give a pitch or present their ad, and if they get chosen the contract if theirs.
    Especially in the government, di ba dapat parang bidding din? I don’t think it is wise to contract a service and spend 4 Mil just for them to say were going to stop it because people don’t like it. 4 Million Pesos is a lot of money to spend for a plagiarized concept and then just call it a ‘boo-boo’. But wait… didn’t the supreme court say one is only liable for plagiarism it the intent was there?

  49. So after what is said and done, “only in the…..” is not an original as well… its copied. D pa maganda yung ginamit na text, its flat and definitely not attractive.
    The WOW campaign… well dami nagpupush ng slogan na ito, but this does not work anyway. Compare tourist arrival before the WOW campaign and 9 years after its implementation… And we have an arrival of still 3 million visitors. Tell me if this is even half of what the other South east Asian countries get. Para bang its a really successful slogan better check the facts…

  50. has “wow! only in the philippines!” been implemented already? i think it is an excellent slogan, even better than “malaysia, truly asia”, which i thought was catchy. good luck with implementing this. it’s true, unique, memorable, and just as importantly, i think the former DOT secretaries as well as the current ones can put their full support behind this one. it leverages our great past, but also differentiates us from other southeast countries! (just read about this slogan in the philippine star today). thousands of pristine islands? world’s pound-for-pound champion? world’s smallest monkey? world’s largest flying fruit bat? world’s whitest beach? chocolate hills? panoramic rice terraces? over 100,000,0000 english-speakers in southeast asia? underwater river? a roman catholic country in asia? balut? largest number of text messages sent yearly? “wow! only in the philippines!”

  51. Thanks Anton and Willy. Am all for it! Not only the slogan and the wording but also the “where else can you find… ” build up.
    WOW! Only in the Philippines!
    More importantly it will change the connotation of the phrase from negative to positive in the minds of pinoys all over the world not only foreigners.
    I do hope Bertie Lim does listen to you Willy.

  52. The Marketing Campaign is Great – – –
    But No !!! No !!!! No !!!!
    Take it from a first generation fil-am who has been constantly struggling to convince her “puti” friends that the Philippines isn’t a Mexico. So, NO!! NO!!! NO!!!
    No – “Islas Filipinas” – quit with the Spanish. It’s the connotations of Spanish that confuse everyone around the world that the Philipipnes is some dirty south and central american country. Everything associated with central and south america is violent, and crime-ridden. Every 5 minutes on the US News, an illegal alien is perpetrating a heinous crime: stabbing, rape, homicide, burglary . . . you name it. Stop !!!! STop!!!! Stop claiming the culture is Spanish – it’s not, it never was. The country was ruled via central america. STOP !!!! STOP I implore you – –
    STOP WITH THE USE OF SPANISH – – – it ruins the image in the eyes of affluent professional americans, europeans, canadians . . . . No one can discern the difference between the spanish terminology that Philippine marketers try to use (to think they’re being “different” – BS) – no one can tell the difference between that and TIJUANA marketing.
    I cannot tell you how many customers you turn off by using SPANISH – – – simpy by using spanish you turn away affluent $$$. If you stick with native deep tagalog or sanskrit – – – you do so much more for the nation, for the people.
    Southeast Asia sells…. Spanish Cheapens and Degrades. TRUST THAT. BELIEVE IT if you want your campaign to succed.
    MEXICAN spanish – – central / south america = bottom of the barrel in the consumer market. TRUST it.

  53. Please Please Please promote Tagalog and the kind of tagalog they use on the news programs – – – is it deep tagalog (which is almost all tagalog and no spanish).
    MABUHAY ang Pilipinas (and I’m a very white bread Filipina America born and raised on both coasts – – I am very proud of the Philippines, the land of my parents birth).
    HOWEVER – – – I, like my peers, am not a fan of the use of Spanish – it has only served to confuse everyone around me about the culture. I don’t feel as if it should be allowed to cover up the beautiful southeast asian / malay / sanskrit history beneath it – – – marketing-wise, a more malay southeast asian featuring would boost the Philippines 150% – – – my white friends (puti) and myself are turned off when we see dishes or products with Spanish names. Tijuana Mexico, Mexico, South and Central America and its illegal aliens which clog our borders do not have any positive connotations here.
    Spanish does not work well to sell the country or its products Commercially, abroad. If I have said this once, I’ll say it one million times until someone listens. I’m a sales consultant and have helped market Philippine products for an american audience and I know these things. Do not go with the Spanish – – – it will only degrade the Image of the Philippines – – – go southeast asian, go malay, go sanskrit, go with the the natural inclination of the people, the country – – – Spain left nothing good. Trust me. It did not. The ships they loaded up with your natural resources proves it – they did nothing but steal. Drop it. Drop it from the Marketing – – – it will not bode well. Leave the Mexican and South Central culture in Mexico and the Americas – – – – focus on being southeast asian.

  54. Focus on the Southeast Asian / Malay / Sanskrit aspects of Philippine culture – – – please. Use deep tagalog, no spanish.
    Please promote the culture beneath the veneer of colonial spanish – it confuses Americans and Europeans. It makes them and me think of the violent Central and South Americans that clog the TV news programs with the violent crimes they perpetrate. Spanish phrases like, “La Islas Filipinas,” just sound downright ugly. Phrases like that are very cheap and don’t cater to the Conde Nast crowd.
    Class it up, please? Please leave out the “Dona Macarena de la Islas Filipinas Nobilidad Espana” BS – – – it’s a turn off, a total turnoff. Focus on the southeast asian aspects, the sanskrit words, the malay . . . leave out the spanish. It’s confusing and downgrading – – – any of the foreigners (myself included) Americans, Europeans do not go for that stuff (trust me – – it’s colonial, it’s not authentic, Filipinos can’t even speak Spanish and those who get offended and start speaking spanish only prove my point – the form of spanish spoken is weird, broken, just a joke – – – it is not native culture. Please don’t promote it.)
    DO NOT PROMOTE SPANISH – – – it is not N-A-T-I-V-E .
    SPANISH IS NOT NATIVE (when it is used for marketing purposes it is just so ugly I can’t tell you how much it makes me cringe). You do not have to believe me, but some of my clients highly regard my input.

  55. P.S. – (I’m the person who went on an anti-Spanish rant)
    I totally and wholly support the Campaign – – – yes, fantastic !!!!! M-A-B-U-H-A-Y !!!!
    Just ixnay on the Espanol Colonial Dramatica Lingua – – leave that for Mexico and the Americas where it won’t plain old confuse people.
    I mean – – come on !!! Vietnam doesn’t say, “Bon Jour. Bienvenou a la Islands Francoise” Nous Allons avec le petit natives Viet. Hieureux petite indigenes.”
    These lines just sound like white people saying to other white people – come experience the happy little natives.
    Please don’t do the same for the Philipppines and say: “Bienveniedo a las Islas Pilipinas, donde los nativos son mas Feliz !!!”
    How ignorant would that Marketing Campaign sound? It would be as insulting as I say the use of Spanish in a marketing campaign sounds to me now – “la islas filipinas”
    Oh, and the “I-S-L-A-N-D” propogation – – – don’t even get me started . . .
    The Japanese Marketers don’t say – – – “Bienvenido a las Islas Japon”
    Welcome to the British Islands (oh, you mean Jamaica and Bermuda?)
    Welcome to the Scottish Islas – – –
    “Island girl, whatcho want with the white man’s world . . .” Oh yeah – that’s a great stereotype !!!
    No Spanish. No Islas. That’s all. Othewise I support your campaign.

  56. This is an Example of What I mean – – – Once you market your products or the country in Spanish, white gringos ( my peers here in the United States – the professional ones, the ones that spend money, eat out, and buy products (are consumers) won’t be able to tell the difference between things or the culture from others, like this:
    “CocoFina” – reminds me of “las Islas” – – – oh, and get this galling part of the link I pasted here – – – the blog post says that coconuts are mostly found in Brazil.
    So, let’s keep marketing our products and our country into the ground so that the white gringo world will always think of Brazil when our products, our #1 exports, and the Las Islas are all in places like Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Salvador . . . .
    Good going. Bad marketing has turned a country into this: Las Islas Pilipinas Espanas sin cultura. Las Pinas No tienes cultura propriedad – es todos Espana, Hispanica. Viva el conqueror !!!! Abajo con Filipinos !!!!
    I say change it – – or be forever perceived as Nicaragua, Honduras, or any other dirty nothing central american war zone.

  57. I do consider all the concepts you have introduced on your post.
    They are very convincing and will certainly work.
    Nonetheless, the posts are very brief for starters. May you please prolong them a bit
    from next time? Thanks for the post.

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