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if you get the chance to watch this ad from youtube, you'll find a number of indignant reactions from Filipinos who consider this ad to be racist. the biggest irony of it all is that most of their posts are in spanish. i guess you can take a filipino out of his country but you can not take away the indio part.
that aside, there are some interesting things to note about the advertisement:
we don't wear the "salakot" anymore, nor do we swing from one tree to another. (believe me, a friend taking up her masters in manchester got asked that question). but the harsh reality is that 80% of the philippines is still considered rural, and another half of our population without access to electricity (pero may cellphone) and basic services (schools and hospitals).
on the brighter side, the ad showed a gorgeous rural setting (supposedly in Mindanao - check out the first three seconds of the ad) and filipinos speaking in tagalog with a gorgeous banaue rice terraces as a backdrop (how's that for authenticity? off with the head of the research group!).
the lead actor arrives on a motorcycle loaded with what i presume to be overloaded balikbayan boxes - this is really nothing new, in my travel all over the country i've come across habal-habal drivers or motorcycles that defied the laws of physics, time and space by piling on six people to a motorbike (add to that their manok, baboy, kanding etc), and best of all - the townspeople built their own metro overnight. speaks a lot about our BAYANIHAN spirit doesn't it? i can already predict a congressional probe why our own MRT and LRT took years to finish, and not even half as nice as this one.
it's all a matter of perspective. we can probably come up with a tourism ad where the Portuguese Magellan got filleted by Lapu Lapu on the white sandy beaches of Mactan. Uh scrap that idea.