Wow! "Kay Ganda!"

“Incredible India.” “Malaysia Truly Asia.” “Korea The Soul of Asia.” These are just a sampling of the onslaught of award-winning ad campaigns we see over international media crafted to lure tourists. Sadly, in the midst of the tourism fray, here in the Philippines we are still debating whether we should keep the “WOW Philippines” brand or drop it altogether and adopt the supposed new “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” (“Philippines so Beautiful”) brand. Columnist Alex Magno nailed it on the head when he wrote in his “First Person” column, “There is nothing wrong with the old tourism campaign logo. The [Dept. of Tourism], it appears, wants to change it simply because there has been a change of administration. But it adopted an inferior campaign motif whose design is uninspired and whose message is unclear.” (Philippine Star, Nov. 20, 2010) In her usual sharp wit, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago blasted the tourism officials, “Let’s think of something else. Let’s start some neurons in our brains working. Their neurons are not working. It is just ignorant, and ignorance is boring.” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov. 19, 2010)

And it is not just a matter of taste. The new logo appears to be plagiarized from Poland’s tourism logo. We are known internationally as Philippines and not “Pilipinas.” There’s no instant recognition for the slogan because we even have to translate “Kay Ganda” on the logo for foreigners to understand it. The slogan actually sounds like a combination of the names of a game show and a morning talk show over a major TV network here. “A day after the ‘so beautiful’ brand was launched, [they were] forced to ditch its freshly overhauled website after receiving urgent notices from concerned citizens on Twitter that a porn site had been using a ‘very similar’ name.” (Ibid) While we are debating, we are losing the tourism war by default!

We Christians should make sure our Gospel message is crystal clear.
We may change our methods but we can and should never change our message (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). In fact, the apostle Paul warned, “I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you!” (Galatians 1:8, CEV) We must also make sure our medium or the manner we present our Gospel should not cloud the message. Simply put, our walk should not contradict our talk. Our words and our works should match. We should not lose the soul war by default.

Brethren, our Good News should be loud and clear.

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