Last Tuesday June 27, the Department of Tourism (DOT) revealed the country's revamped tourism campaign slogan, "Love the Philippines." This new slogan takes the place of the decade-long "It's More Fun in the Philippines," nearly a year after the Marcos administration declared its plan to develop a new one that embodies the "Filipino brand." This was launched on the sidelines of the DOT’s 50th-anniversary celebration at the Manila Hotel.

According to Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, “The campaign Love the Philippines is not a mere branding campaign, but rather a call to action to every Filipino citizen to remember the beauty of our country, to honor our past, and to look forward to the future armed with the virtues, (and) values of being a Filipino.”  

I sincerely appreciate everything the DOT Secretary and her staff did to introduce the new tagline and the important message it contains.

But I wondered what may happen if the DOT included a comma after the word "Love" in the tagline. And here is what I think about it personally.

Unsung Heroes Of A Sentence.

Language is a multifaceted field that involves more than just words. Punctuation marks are the unsung heroes of any sentence. They control the tempo, mood, and tone of our sentences, frequently making a huge difference with their existence or absence. One example is "Let's eat Lola" vs "Let us eat, Lola". Yung una pwede sa horror movie. Yung pangalawa, pwede pang feel good move. Haha!

Kidding aside, let us see the difference between "Love The Philippines" and "Love, The Philippines." While both express love for the nation, the latter offers a subtle but profound depth of meaning that the former does not.

Love The Philippines Vs Love, The Philippines

"Love The Philippines" is a simple, direct order or recommendation. It exhorts readers to adore the Philippines and value its natural beauty, rich culture, and friendly inhabitants. It's an invitation to enjoy the country's charm and grow fond of it.

But "Love, The Philippines" is more than just a simple command. The comma gives the statement a signature-like quality, giving the nation a voice and image. It seems as though the Philippines is writing a love letter to the entire globe, sharing its history, its splendor, and its victories. The comma gives the statement a sweet ending, a heartfelt conclusion that establishes a personal connection between the Philippines and the reader. It's not just about loving the Philippines; it's also about the Philippines showing its love. I imagined it like how my lolo send love letters to my lola... yung mga unang panahon na di pa uso ang mga text or messenger.

The reciprocity of "Love, The Philippines" is what gives it beauty. It implies an interchange of love and understanding on both sides. It's not a one-sided connection where the reader is just expected to feel affection for the nation. Instead, it's a partnership where the Philippines likewise shows its affection to its citizens and visitors.

Parang Love Letter Lang

Additionally, "Love, The Philippines" provides a touch of authenticity and personality. It is more personal and endearing because it is similar to getting a letter from a friend. This may promote a stronger bond and motivate individuals to interact more deeply with the nation and its culture.

"Love, The Philippines" can be an effective tool for connecting with potential tourists in marketing and tourism scenarios. People may be compelled to find out more about what the Philippines has to offer as a result of its ability to arouse curiosity and intrigue. It depicts the nation as a host, welcoming guests with wide arms and a sincere message of love, rather than just a tourist destination.

A Sincere Message That Transcends Geographical Boundaries

In summary (dami ko na, while "Love The Philippines" is a lovely message, "Love, The Philippines" provides a deeper level of personality, depth, and passion. It turns an idle suggestion into a sincere message from the Philippines itself, encouraging a sense of connection that transcends geographical boundaries. It is evidence of the significance of punctuation in our language and its potency.

Remind ko lang that this is merely my individual reflection wag nyo ako awayin. Mahal na mahal ko ang Pilipinas! Nonetheless, as a Filipino startup founder who established a travel startup with the specific aim of encouraging more Filipinos to develop a much deep affection for the Philippines and all its hidden beauty, I am grateful that our government is actively pursuing a forward-thinking and sustainable approach to tourism.