Wednesday, February 26, 2014

5 simple ways overseas Pinoys can help Philippine Tourism

Are you an overseas Pinoy or an OFW?  I am too.  Whether you have moved abroad temporarily or permanently, I think we all have a very important role to play in promoting Philippine Tourism.

The Philippines is a Tourism gold mine

I have always believed that the Philippines is a Tourism gold mine, but somehow our 4.7 Million tourists in 2013 pales in comparison to Indonesia's 8 Million and Malaysia's 25 Million.

El Nido Miniloc Island Resort, Palawan, Philippines
The Philippines offers fantastic beaches (in Boracay, Davao, Cebu, El Nido), unique land formations (Chocolate Hills, Hundred Islands), caves, an underground river, volcanoes (Taal, Pinatubo, Mayon), surf spots (Siargao), diving spots, mountain climbing, and those are just the natural wonders.  You can also go to places of historical significance, 16th to 18th century churches, the massive fiestas and festivals, and the even more massive shopping malls.  And we haven't even talked about the food, the services and the hospitality of the Filipinos.

Earthquake Baroque Paoay Church (18th Century)
Ilocos Norte, Philippines
Being OFWs and Pinoys outside of the Philippines, we should look at ourselves as tourism ambassadors.  Hey, I'm proud to share that I've managed to convince a couple of colleagues here in Australia to spend their honeymoon in El Nido, Palawan (where my wife and I had our 1st honeymoon as well) and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  They didn't even need much convincing - I showed them our photos from our Honeymoon, told them how great a time we had, and they were sold.  Well, it also helped that in 2013 Palawan was named by Travel and Leisure Magazine as the World's Best Island (and #2 was Boracay).

I encourage you to be a Philippine Tourism Ambassador.  Here are 5 simple ways we can all help the Philippines become the Tourism darling it deserves to be...

Promote the Philippines to your Social Media networks

We are all part of the so called Social Media generation, and the Philippines is one of the 20 largest populations in the world that use the internet. The first simple way we can help Philippine Tourism is to use our Social Media networks to share the beauty of the Philippines.

The Department of Tourism is still running the "It's More Fun In the Philippines" campaign. I see the ads on the Transperth buses here in Perth sometimes and it gives me a good boost of happiness every time. Why not head on over to and watch and share those awesome videos on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+ and everywhere else you can.

Talk about the Philippines with your non-Filipino friends

I was not mildly surprised that some non-Filipinos I have spoken to who have never been to the Philippines think that Manila is still a mostly rural city. Err.. I can't argue with Manila being an old city, but wait 'til they get a load of Megamall and Mall of Asia!  My point is, we can help Philippine Tourism by talking to our colleagues, friends and family about the Philippines, even just to help them get a better picture of what's in store for them when they arrive.

I especially like talking to my non-Filipino friends and colleagues about Manila's massive malls, the Philippines' famous lake within a volcano within a lake (or the island within a lake within an island within a lake within an island), the underground river in Palawan, the fresh seafood from Dampa, loads of awesome restaurants much cheaper than here, and, of course, the Filipino hospitality.

Visit the Philippines like a Tourist

We are so excited to visit the Philippines in December, and looking forward to see our family and friends again.  We are also excited to visit Tagaytay, Boracay, and Batangas, among other places.  

Chocolate Hills (made of limestone) in Bohol, Philippines
When you come home to the Philippines, go be Tourist!  Plan your visit like you would if you were a Tourist, try the best the Philippines has to offer, experience new things and go on an adventure.

I understand how exciting traveling outside of the Philippines can be, but it seems such a shame to go so far away when there's so much the Philippines has to offer which we haven't experienced yet.  Now that I am no longer living in the Philippines, I feel so much more excited to travel to places I've never been to in our beautiful islands.

Show off your awesome photos

While on your awesome holiday in the Philippines, be sure to get your cameras out and snap away!  Take selfies, group shots, jump shots, planking, vadering, and whatever else you can think of, but be sure to get some of the fantastic scenery, the sunsets, the coconut trees, the crabs and fish, food porn, the caves, the Rizal statue, the Manila Cathedral, the rivers and beaches, and everything beautiful about the Philippines.

And when you get back to where you came from, show the awesome photos off to everybody!  You can also print a few of your best shots, frame them and put them up on the wall.

Don't forget to bring pasalubong

The fifth simple way we can help Philippine Tourism is to bring a little bit of the Philippines back with us.  One of my favourite Filipino traditions - bring "pasalubong"!

I've taken after my dad in promoting our own brand of "Dried Mango Diplomacy", but you don't have to limit it to dehydrated fruit.  I find Philippine made capiz ornaments or kitchenware make awesome gifts, wood products and tribal textiles are also a big hit.

Go forth and multiply

I honestly do hope you share my enthusiasm for making our country one of the biggest Tourist destinations in Asia and the world.  And I also hope you all do these five simple things to help make it happen.

Can you suggest other simple ways overseas Pinoys can help Philippine Tourism?  Sound off in the comments section below!


  1. I think the simplest way for an OFW to help tourism is to be the best in whatever endeavors they have abroad to encourage other countries to visit the Philippines. Imagine, 7,107 islands to choose from with different scenic offerings!

  2. I send postcards and some of my friends from abroad change their holiday destination to the Philippines simply bec of the postcards i sent.

  3. Erika says...
    It is definitely more fun in the Philippines ;) In our own simple way, any good word about our country is already a way to help it's tourism.

  4. Tourism in the Philippines is indeed a gold mine. We have a very beautiful country and it wouldn't take a lot to convince foreigners to visit us. We just need to learn how to take care of our resources so more tourists will come in. :)

  5. Our OFW brothers and sisters are strong potential tourism advocates that the govt. should also tap and given tools and resources to help promote Philippine tourism. Some ways Filipinos could do while outside the country is to wear their pride,showcasing the many beautiful places of the Philippines, promote and showcase Filipino cuisine.

  6. I agree completely, yes. I love being a tourist in the Philippines and definitely wish I could do it more often.

    Where is your next Philippine travel destination?

  7. Hi Herald, you are correct - I've not really seen any targeted advertising for OFWs to promote Philippine Tourism. That might be the next step higher for #ItsMoreFunInThePhilippines. What do you think?

  8. Gabriela FernandezMarch 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    I'm going to Baler this weekend. :)

  9. Agree Ces. There is hope. I remember the last time we went to Bohol the folks there were very careful with how we can potentially damage the environment. We need a campaign to promote a Tourism mindset among the general population for sustainable development of tourist destinations. Do you think we will see one between now and the next elections?

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Erika.

  11. Hi Wena, have you or any of your family worked abroad?