Pilipinas Kay Ganda – The Philippines’ New Brand


Last night, I attended DOT’s launch of the Philippines’ new brand.  It sparked debates here and there, people not liking it generally.  And while most people are already pointing out what they don’t like about the new brand, let’s balance it out by enumerating the things I like about our new brand.

  • I love the fun and playful logo!  It is very catchy and it drives attention to it.  A head-turner I must say.  I hear comments saying it looks like a “Google Doodle” but hey, look at where Google is now Smile I really love the colors and it just shows how colorful our culture, people and places are.
  • The smile, coconut tree, tarsier, sun and the sea – they are all symbols of what Philippines is and at a simple glance, a foreigner would know what the Philippines is all about.
  • The use of the word “Kay Ganda” may sound like a TV show but it’s just to us locals.  If the “Umagang Kay Ganda” show was not conceptualized, then I probably think we wouldn’t think of it is a talk show.  It is just unnecessary word association.
  • The use of Filipino Word “Kay Ganda” might not relate to foreigners, but I think this is a conversation starter.  Foreigners would naturally ask what “Kay Ganda” means just as I asked my Malaysian friends what “Selamat Datang” means when I saw this Malay phrase it everywhere (airports, roads, tourist spots) when I toured Malaysia.  Now, that word is so stuck in my head.  It means “Welcome”. So I don’t think it would hurt using a local phrase on our logo – it shows pride for our language.  They have the translation in the logo itself anyway with a playful dictionary type of translating it.
  • So Beautiful – when you explain what “Kay Ganda” means – it translates to “So beautiful” and THAT’S IT.  I don’t think foreigners would think deeply and interpret it otherwise as beautiful girls only… and even if they do interpret it that way, SO WHAT?  It is true, Filipinas are really beautiful.

The Philippines is more than just a logo and a brand.  I lived here my whole life and I say  I am proud of our great culture, our sights and natural wonders here, our food and of course our people.  I worked for an international bank before and foreign counterparts from all over the world would have business trips here in the Philippines.  They would always say, everyone is always smiling.  And in our office, even with hectic month-end processes, they seem to feel less stressed compared to where their workplace abroad.

Here are photos of the Pilipinas Kay Ganda launch at Oceanic near SM Mall of Asia.  They gave us 3D glasses for a 3D presentation of the video.  It didn’t really made the crowd go WOW, but at least, slowly they are thinking of going digital and high tech.  We can do better and there’s more room for improvement.  They also had fireworks display synched with a performance of Ryan Cayabyab’s “Umagang Kay Ganda”.

Here are more links talking about our new brand:

Noemi Dado’s write-up on POC http://www.thepoc.net/commentaries/10257-country-branding-the-philippines.html

Anton Diaz’ suggestions on Our Awesome Planet http://www.ourawesomeplanet.com/awesome/2010/11/pilipinas-kay-ganda.html#more





Want to read something more cool?

Check out my post featuring 10 bloggers from Malaysia who travelled Northern Luzon, Philippines.  Backpacking, with style!

Road Trip Patapat

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  5. I respect your opinion, but you have to remember Malaysia uses “Truly Asia” as their slogan. They use “Selamat Datang” (much like how we use “Mabuhay”) to welcome visitors that are already in their country. When designing an identity, one must think of the end audience, which will be foreigners who more often than not do not understand tagalog. A logo should immediately show what a country or brand is all about and not make people ask what the logo stands for.

  6. Hey Jaycee, 🙂 Thanks for sharing what you think. I know the launch had a generally negative response from people. I just made this blog post to try to be more positive about it. (I think I’m the only one thinking it might work – well at least I hope) Like I said, we never truly know the campaign will work not until 2 or 3 years after when the campaign is all full blown (and millions were spent alreaedy?) eek I just support our tourism whether or not the DOT is making a good job or not. Half of my readership traffic is from outside the Philippines and I don’t want to blog something negative about our country because I believe the Philippines is still one top destination regardless of whatever campaign DOT has and I’m sharing and encouraging my readers to visit ^_^

    yeah, I know it’s “Truly Asia” like I said I don’t mind using Tagalog. Maybe the Tagalog words they chose don’t have enough oomph factor “Kay Ganda” I read somewhere that someone was suggesting “Hataw Na” instead…

    Seriously, most foreigners ignore the logo of the country… I don’t look and stare at logos of Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and any country else I visited as if they are artwork in a gallery…

    So what I’m just saying is, at least, the foreign word might bring more attention to our logo (like the foreign word “selamat datang” drew attention to me). Malaysia by the way is kinda trying to renew their brand in a way their moving to “1 Malaysia” or something like that.

  7. Hi Hannah,

    Thank you for the reply.

    That’s is what bothers me, we cannot afford to wait for years and millions spent to find out if the campaign works. I agree with what Sec. Lim that we do have to take risks, but they have to be calculated. Veering away to much from a brand that already has some mileage and had some success is just too risky.

    Using “Pilipinas” instead of Philippines is one thing I don’t agree with, We are already known worldwide by our english name, specially with the success of Pacquiao and Charice. Maybe a tagalog tagline may work but not the name of the brand.

    I wouldn’t expect anyone to stare at the logo but I want them to have an initial understanding of what it is about with the first glance. Pique their interests but not confuse them.

    Well, we both have our thoughts on this and I am just hoping that our discussion might help your readers be more informed since we are coming from opposite ends but have the same goal in our minds and hearts. I applaud you for not wanting to blog anything negative about the country and because of this I will now be an avid reader of yours.

    Oh by the way, the 1 Malaysia program is directed at the locals, it was started because to bring all the races in that country together. There is somewhat of a divide between the malays, chinese and indians in that country because of Mahatir’s malaysia for malays policy.

    Once again thank you and all the best!


  8. All good, it’s a healthy conversation. Thanks for pointing out stuff and for making time to comment 🙂 I just found out that they might have patterned the logo after Poland @_@ do check it out… oh well… I am not sure how they are going to fix their “fixing” when they can’t get support from anyone. Anyway, cheers! have a great week 🙂

  9. The first thing that came to mind was that of the tv program ‘umagang kay ganda’. But my immediate reaction was that it is ‘corny’ and very inferior to the previous one. Only now have I actually seen the logo. It’s not bad. In fact I like it. But I also still like the old phrase ‘wow philippines’ better. So if we need to change it (was there a need to really change it?), can’t we just make the new phrase go like “Wow Philippines, kay ganda!”? The sun-sea-nature implication of the logo and the universally-positive word ‘wow’ should be unmistakable enough to all tourists. The additional ‘Kay Ganda’ phrase would imply a ‘something more’ mystery and thus might encourage them to ask what it means.

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