Saturday, October 17, 2009


And so the people behind the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress decided to ditch Baguio for Subic. This comes at a time when the city and its neighboring communities can really use some much needed push to rise up from the devastation caused by typhoon “Pepeng.” “Ito ang tama!,” a beer commercial says.

A number of reasons have been cited for this insensitive, selfish decision – the safety of their delegates, the much longer travel time to Baguio because of the damage to roads brought about by floods and landslides, etc. They gave up on us so easily, when these are the same people who told us, in a garments commercial, that “Impossible is nothing.”

“Is it in you?,” an energy drink slogan asks. Obviously, it’s not in them. It’s beyond them to walk the extra mile (or in this case, drive the extra few kilometers in their flashy SUVs) to really put some meaning to the words “Corporate Social Responsibility.” They sit behind those desks for hours waiting for that most memorable slogan to come to them so they can put a human face to that corporate logo, and then turn their backs on this real opportunity to really do something noble. Didn’t they tell us, in a car rental ad, that “We try harder?” No they don’t, and they won’t, in this case, they obviously didn’t.

Sure, some roads leading to Baguio are currently damaged, but didn’t you see the city rise from the ashes after the carpet bombing of the city during the liberation of Baguio from the Japanese, or get back on its feet after the 1990 earthquake? “We’ve got it all for you,” as that mall chain slogan says – a healthful climate, breathtaking scenery, efficient world-class facilities, and of course, the city’s greatest treasure: its warm, hospitable, friendly people.

Fine, “Have it your way,” as a burger joint tagline says. But really, can’t you take it from that ice cream brand slogan, “Follow your heart?” You people know how much help this congress will bring to the City of Baguio and its neighboring communities, how much it will boost the morale of its people struggling to get over the tragedy of losing their loved ones, their homes, their means of livelihood, and yet, just like that, you walk away from this opportunity to show us that those catchy one-liners aren’t just empty words. To paraphrase a softdrink brand slogan, “Magpakatotoo kayo!”

Well, at least now we know that there’s one slogan out there that you really do practice, “Think small,” as one compact car advertisement says. To the heartless people behind the 21st Philippine Advertising Congress who chose not to hear the pleas, turn a blind eye to the destruction, and not see this golden opportunity to show that they actually care at all, wala ba kayong “Haplos ng pagmamahal?” Because really, “It’s all in your hands.”

As for Baguio, I say “Nasa dugo lang ‘yan” and let’s “Just do it,” and “Keep walking.” We just need to “Think different.” Let’s “Fill the air with love” and soon, we shall see, to paraphrase that airline catchphrase, “The beauty of Baguio shining through.”

Baguio has the heart that’s “Simply amazing,” and that’s among “Some things money can’t buy.” “No more tears,” and believe in the “Power of dreams,” and start “Turning dreams into reality.” Baguio will soon get back on its feet, really, because, see...

... “I can feel it… yeah!”

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