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|
|Earthquake Baroque Paoay Church (18th Century)|
Ilocos Norte, Philippines
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 http://itsmorefuninthephilippines.com/have-fun-funmedia/ 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|
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.
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!