Twitter Fun in the Philippines

Michael Josh Villanueva

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Even before the campaign's launch today, the words Philippines and fun were seen frequently together on Twitter.

MANILA, Philippines – January 1, 2012. 5:08pm. Korean actor, singer and all around heartthrob Siwon Choi of the boyband “Super Junior” announced via Twitter that he was coming to Manila, “On my way to the airport now going to MANILA!” he tweeted. 

Almost immediately K-Pop fans in Manila went crazy sending him tons of messages. Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez recently shared to Rappler that in the next few hours that ensued, there was at least one tweet with the words fun and the Philippines in it every six minutes. 

Sounded remarkable if true, so we looked back and found that there were indeed plenty of tweets with the words FUN and PHILIPPINES in them. We counted 243 in all, from the first reply that came in at 5:09 p.m. of January 1st to the last reply that came in well after Choi had left the country around 12:40pm on January 3rd.

Granted most of the tweets were either telling Choi to “have fun in the Philippines” or asking “did you have fun in the Philippines,” the fact remains that when a tourist visits the Philippines, we as a people expect them to have a great time. And most often than not (unless they’re Claire Danes) they do. 

This is one of the reasons why the Department of Tourism is confident that our country’s new slogan will work. “Fun and the Philippines are really synonymous,” said Jimenez, and it goes beyond K-Pop superstar visits. Continuing on our search down Twitter’s timelines we found plenty of other tweets that speak of having fun in the Philippines:

On January 3 Anthony Morse of the History Channel Asia tweeted…

Canadian Jay Svoboda tweted…

@Danial00 from Singapore said…

And Fil-Am Rochelle Anne Jose from Eagle Rock, California tweeted…

Jimenez said the inspiration for the new campaign came from social media, he expects it will also spread via social media. Staying true to its roots, the country’s new official hashtag, #1forfun (read: number one for fun), made an unofficial debut on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, when certain celebrities started tweeting about it, and then again Thursday when the DOT on its official Twitter account also used the hashtag to tease the reveal of the logos today, January 6.

Jimenez told Rappler that once the tagline is out, “people will take it, and I will ultimately cede control.” Now that the word is out, the ball is in our court. What makes the Philippines #1forfun? And what activities would you tell the world are more fun in the Philippines. Follow @rapplerdotcom on Twitter and let us know, don’t forget to use the new pambansang hashtag. –

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