So brief but many intriguing possibilities it said. So plain but pleasant thoughts it evoked. So plain but big wonders it caused. This was the combined precious and loaded message that “Wow Philippines!” very well delivered and so long remembered. Foreign tourist came. Foreign income increased. And everybody was happy: The tourists themselves. The Tourist Agencies and Organizations. The Tourist Industry in general. The Tourist guides and many others, included.
A new administration came. A new tourism leadership emerged. A new tourism come-on was invented. The former proverb “Wow Philippines!” was nonchalantly shelved. A supposedly new and better tourism slogan was invented: “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”—or something the like. Certain perplexing questions came to fore: Was the invention in effect inspired by foreign consultants? Did the invention simply copy some tourism figures from this or that country? Is it true that so much expenses were incurred from the making to the launching of the invention?
The public uproar was immediate and strong. People could not believe what they read and heard. Media was unanimous in their dismaying perception and consequent acrid comments. Even members of the tourism industry registered their dissent and contempt. “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”: What? Why? How come? Who did It? Where did it come from? How much did it cost? These were some of the questions repeatedly asked by experts and ordinary people alike.
The invention was withdrawn. The issue is forgotten. The leadership that did it is gone. The tourist organizations are happy. The administration that made the appointment and accepted the resignation of the appointee is silent. Forget the debacle. Forget the accounting. And forget those accountable. Everyone in Malacañang is observing deafening silence. These are all probably in faithful observance of the KKK principle.
22 August 2011