Why “it’s more fun in the Philippines”?

Photo of Shem-shem Pablo

I can tell you exactly why it’s more fun in the Philippines in one sentence: because it is only in the Philippines that you have the best and the worst of the world; a mixture of sorts; a unique blending of people, language, economic status, food, culture and religion that despite the yin and the yangs, living and being in the Philippines is truly an experience!

You can agree or disagree with me on my statement that I just wrote but being born in the Philippines and keeping my Filipino identity despite the fact that I have pledged both to my native home and to my adopted country (which I am very grateful  and proud of!), the United States – I know exactly why everyone is buzzing with the Philippines’ Department of Tourism’s newest campaign:  “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.

The Philippines is a gorgeous island with beautiful people ready to rise above any adversity they are faced with. It is the land of the educated, the ardent politicos, the most-talked singers/celebrities and where gay people are appreciated in every corner of the land. It is also the land where every citizen is proud to fight for freedom and democracy (think People’s Power). It is the land where religious beliefs are strong and even dominates the decision-making of the statesmen (think RH Bill and birth-control issues). It is the only land where languages/dialects are different from the 7, 100 islands across the country but its people are unified with the common understanding of “karaoke singing” and eating with bare hands!

Truly, there is always a divide among the Filipino people: sikat (well-known) and the unknown; rich and poor; homeless and mansion-sheltered; Tondo and Alabang; Catholics and Muslims; Bisaya and Tagalog; barefooted and Imeldific – among others. Yet, with the inequality prevalent and ceaselessly acknowledged the irony is that this is where the beauty of the Philippines comes through. This is the reason why “it’s more fun in the Philippines”, the perfect harmony of negatives and the positive. Where else in the world would you see such a scenario but in the Philippines?

And this is the reason why I was instantly hooked with the campaign.

Browsing through the hundreds of interesting “it’s more fun” photos over the course of last week, made me smile and laugh at how people portray the Philippines in their own exclusive experiences. Every photo shared as part of the campaign is equally creative – and also, humorous. However, the humor part can hardly be appreciated if you don’t know exactly what the “pun” is intended for.

Let me try to unpack a few of them for you and see if you can share a laugh with me or two:

 

1. Beer – this was the first picture that got me laughing. Yes, beer is on average $3.50 at a local bar in the United States but in the Philippines you can buy bottles of beers. The last time I was home, a bottle of beer is only 25 cents at the bar! It is only in the Philippines where a minor can be asked to go to a store and buy a case of beer without getting ID-ed, such fun!

 

2. Tweeting/Logging Out/Facetime – Philippines loves social networking and it penetrates in every household. But despite the percentage of Tweeter/Facebook users around the country – the beauty of the island is more evident among the people and the hands-on activities around.

 

3. Bath Time – while it is more convenient and more personal to take a bath in your own bath tub, the Philippines have a lot of falls and other bodies of water where people are free to take showers and bath, not to mention several way to exfoliate themselves.

 

4. Public transport – cars, jeepneys, tricycles and motorcycles abound the metropolis! You just have to be prepared to squeeze yourself in as compared to sitting alone in your car during your morning commute. Talk about body heat and body odor sharing.

 

5. Shopping – it is an open and wet market, where flies and other flying bugs can certainly land on your potential meal. Though there is that factor, what is best is that most vegetables and fruits are freshly harvested and mostly, organically-grown.

 

6. New Year – it is only in the Philippines where firecrackers and other noise-makers are allowed for use by any people of any age in the Philippines. That is why every new year’s day hundreds of people (young and old) are rushed to nearby hospitals and welcome the new year with less than a finger on their hands.

 

7. Commuting – traffic along the major highway? That is nothing compared to Manila’s most congested area during rush hours.

 

8. Rugby – Because Filipino children are very creative and resourceful, they can use anything for their toys.

 

9. Privacy in paradise – if you are looking for absolute privacy go to Amanpulo (a luxury resort located in the island of Pamalican in the province Palawan) or choose from the rest of the islands where you can do some real private R and R.  

 

10. Naptime – nothing beats the siesta or the Filipino way of relaxing: just plop your head under the coconut tree or in a hammock and you are all set!

Now, why don’t you add your comment and tell me why in your own opinion it is indeed more fun in the Philippines. Start typing away and show your support!

Comments

  1. Dicky says:

    It does look fun.

  2. Pryncessyndrome says:

    I really enjoyed your post! My husbands brother is fillipian (hope I spelled that rt) lol we would love to go visit and this visual just made me want to go even more. Thanks for sharing your heritage w us :)

  3. One of our presentation in our Tv production is IT’S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES! I can relate. :D

  4. Sunshine says:

    My favorite would be nap time!
    I brought you a gift : http://wp.me/p1RzUf-zj
    Enjoy!

  5. After 6 trips in the past 7 years and experiencing just about all of the above (and more), it’s still fun in the Philippines, as long as you know where to look…

  6. BEC says:

    It’s more fun in the Philippines because they have the happiest people in the world! Who doesn’t want to hang around with people like that? It just makes you not think and not feel about the negative side of life in the Philippines.
    love your blog! You got me interested just seeing your blog title. :)

  7. shahanifudge says:

    I love your post and I very much agree with you. I miss Philippines so much. Most people are happy even in poverty. Filipinos are very much appreciative with every little things…

  8. haroldmillet says:

    its more fun in the Ph because you get to talk to weird people who’d like to have fairer complexion or rather whiter complexion whereas foreigners like caucasians europeans, north americans and others wish to have that kind of Filipino “kayumanggi” (tan-like) complexion. And Filipinos who wish to marry foreigners and foreigners marrying Filipinos.

    very ironic.. =)

  9. Xax says:

    The traffic is not fun for me! Everything else is fun!

  10. Leslie says:

    I loved the Philippines. We spent an entire week diving off Cebu (near Moalboal), and a week in Manila helping with a world-wide conference. Everyone we met was so friendly! I’d go back in a heartbeat!

  11. Paul says:

    You said it with words…. good blog. and thanks for the follow on Imagebreakers.wordpress.com
    Paul.

  12. rebeccaspath says:

    I have yet to travel there but loved the photos and want to go. The public transportation photo reminded me of seeing similar in Rome: multiple people riding on a moped. Reallly enjoy your blog for the variety and the positivity and added it to our blog roll at 3sharedpaths.com. -Rebecca

  13. This is a great article!

  14. You really have me chuckling! So true, so true. I’m sitting in my little house in Puerto Princesa, Palawan right now – we are Americans who have lived in the Philippines for most of the past 30 years. I think we’ve seen pretty much the best and the worst in that time. I do think that the Filipino people, with their resilience in face of adversity, and upbeat, friendly outlook on life are the best of the best of the Philippines. Of course, there are some mighty fine beaches, too.

    Thank you for your like on my blog, too. Appreciate you stopping by!

  15. Karena says:

    Hello! Thank you for liking my post “90′s for a night”. It’s so good to know that you are a filipino who though no longer living in the philippines is still proud of our mother country. Continue to spread good news about our country. Take care! :)

    Karen

  16. EVERYONE I know that is from the Fillipines IS happy, they love music, love to dance, and are so much fun to work and socialize with. Thhe only sad thing is that they have to take jobs that are not equivilant to where their education is (ie Doctor working as a night watch for handicapped kids) when they immigrate to another country. However, it is only a little hiccup in thier life. Perserverance is almost a poetry. Hats off to the people of the beautiful islands!

  17. Katrina says:

    Hello, so i was having my research paper, would you mind if I share this article and add this to my term paper? This article is so great. Thank you po :)

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