Why I think Pilipinas Kay Ganda tourism campaign will fail

Salagdoong Beach Siquijor, Philippines

There’s too much noise in social media regarding the Department of Tourism’s new come on slogan, “Pilipinas Kay Ganda,” and how much of a fail it is. Other than “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” sounding like the title for a tv show, here are the reasons, in my humble opinion, think it will fail.

It’s not catchy enough

The slogan should make an impact in order to achieve successful brand recall. “Wow Philippines” was successful because it was short, explosive, and it connotes a positive meaning.

“Pilipinas Kay Ganda” seems so aged in comparison.

It’s not in a universal language

Aren’t we supposed to be targetting a foreign audience with this ad campaign? Since the slogan is in Filipino, it will just make them scratch their heads. I don’t think they will be curious enough to exert effort in translating the phrase.

The domain is horrible

The web address of the new campaign is http://beautifulpilipinas.com. Another website, http://beautifulfilipinas.com will redirect you to a porn site! Also, beautiful pilipinas sounds like a mail to order bride website.

The budget

The Philippines doesn’t have enough budget for DOT to launch a new campaign. Secretary Rogelio Lim admitted it. That’s why I’m wondering why they believe there is a need to “create a new buzz” for Philippine tourism. We will need a big budget for this campaign.


Because the foreigners will need to know what “Kay Ganda” means besides wondering why Philippines is called Pilipinas. A substantial advertising budget will be needed for this because spreading of information doesn’t come for free. Unless it becomes viral, but I doubt this campaign will become one.

I suggest combine Richard Gordon’s “Wow Philippines” and Ace Durano’s “Take Me To The Philippines” campaigns. Use the “Wow Philippines” slogan and then Durano’s more modern approach to tourism which is what he did when he enlisted Apl de Ap’s (of Black Eyed Peas) help.


The video above is very catchy but fails to showcase our land’s beauty because of the heavy graphics. Re-editing the video wouldn’t cost DOT much. After re-editing, they can show it again on international channels.

Locals are not behind it

Locals, such as myself, do not approve of this campaign. I believe in positive and negative energies and because this “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” is generating a lot of negative energy, outsiders will sense it.

What we really need is to make our country safer

The prevalence of crime and chaos, be it real or imagined— is really putting off foreigners from visiting the Philippines. Even if we allot a trillion dollars for a tourism campaign, media blitz, and hire the best PR firm, it will be futile if potential tourists know they wouldn’t be safe when they travel to our shores. By safe, I mean nobody will try to con them, charge them a higher taxi rate, steal their belongings, hold them up, or kidnap them. They would rather go to a safe but less beautiful country rather than risk a vacation from hell.

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Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.

  • manuelbuencamino ,

    I like Pilipinas kay ganda. Non Pilipino speaking people will become curious and if there are good pictures and stories that go with it then those people will know that those words mean – a beautiful place with beautiful people.

    I hated Wow! Philippines. It’s so dumb.

    How was your Philippine vacation? Wow!

    What’s the Philippines like? Wow!

    Wow! last a few seconds and then you have another week to kill.

    Wow! is exactly like Dick Gordon. He wows you at first but he wears off really fast.

    • Karen Ang ,

      UP n grad – well then we are a misunderstood country. PNoy should invest on good PR firm.

      • UP nn grad ,

        If foren-dyer friends ask about Pilipinas, point them to this:


        And if they ask about criminality, admit that Pilipinas murder rate (3.82 per 100,000) is horrendous compared to Japan (0.44), Singapore (0.38). Switzerland (1.01) or even Malaysia (2.31) but if they feel safe visiting USA, USA’s murder rate is 5.0, way higher than Pilipinas. And surely they’ve thought of seeing Brazil beaches, and Brazil murder rate is 25.0.

        • Felicity ,

          I think they forgot who their target audience was.

          • Karen Ang ,

            Mark and Merejen Borders – I completely agree. DOT should ask for volunteers. There’s no harm in that and I’m sure there will be many who will do it for free.

            Manuel – The video can be trimmed down to a 30 second spot. No problem with that. Regarding criminality, I only half agree with what you said. You mentioned first world countries where police and other kinds of assistance to victims are easier to access or more reliable.

            UP n Grad – Coloma is an ass for just brushing off the Japanese advisory. What he said is so idiotic IMO.

            • UP nn grad ,

              But GandaPilipinas retains world-record on off-key karaoke singing assaults and homicides.

              • UP nn grad ,

                By the way, if an Australian, Irish, Dane, New Zealander or Swiss say they are worried about criminality in Pilipinas, tell them the truth — Pilipinas murder rate is seriously awful compared to their home-country’s murder rate.

                BUT tell them while Pilipinas murder rate (3.82 per 100,000 population) is much worse than HongKong (0.49), Singapore (.38), Australia (1.2) or Malaysia (2.82), Pilipinas(3.82) murder rate is much lower than USA’s 5.0, Argentina (5.85) or Brazil (25.0).

                And who wouldn’t want to go see live-in-action the ganda of Brazil?

                • UP nn grad ,

                  If metro-Manila can’t reduce the level of criminality, then metro-Manila should invite the Claire Daines of the world by reducing in half the roaches and filth along the roads of Malate, Pasay, and other metro-Manila baranggays.

                  By the way — the biggest beneficiary 💡 will be Pinoys-in-Pinas, not the tourists, when Pilipinas reduces the level of criminality 👿 in Pilipinas.

                  The Japanese felt no shame in raising their travel advisory to Pilipinas while President Noynoy was in Yokohama. The Japanese advisory was a renewed reminder “.. be careful, Pilipinas has a lot of kidnappings, robberies, unsafe MRT, LRT and ferries” and did not mention terrorist attacks.

                  Coloma brushed off the Japanese advisory saying that it is the responsibility of Japan to protect their citizens while their citizens are in Pilipinas.

                  • manuelbuencamino ,


                    Come to think of it the porn site might draw more tourists. “Flaunt it and they will come,” said the exotic dancer.

                    • Bert ,

                      pulled out na nga sa internet, kasi plagiarized daw sa isang porno website. si UP n kasi, Pilipinas ng Pilipinas ang tawag, ayan, ginaya tuloy ng mga pornographers.

                      • manuelbuencamino ,

                        I think the video is a matter of taste. It’s also too long for placement on TV. So I guess it’s meant to be a music vid for music channels. and if I understand the mind of those who patronize music vids, then graphics are perfect for them; it allows their imagination some room.

                        As to criminality, well, that exists almost anywhere you go. Even singapore has its unsafe places. Letterman makes jokes about crime in NYC almost nightly and tourists don’t seem to care. So I guess my approach to that issue is that there’s really no safe place anywhere so we just have to make the world understand that the Philippines is not more dangerous than any other place in the world and also that victims are unlucky or just plain idiots for wandering off to places they should avoid. But that does not mean we don’t do anything about criminality. We should and damned hard.

                        • baycas ,

                          • Mark and Merejen Borders ,

                            Actually the Graphics are Okay, but should lead into pictures of actual locations here in the Philippines. This is very easy to do, in fact I happen to know someone who can do that. One of my facebook friends is a graphic designer with video credits in the tourism industry right now.

                            How about doing a volunteer program where people donate their time and talents with the hope of some future benefits being returned to them. I’m sure there are plenty of good citizens here that can make those arrangements. I even know a few that would be more than willing to help.