Old videos promoting Philippines resurface amid tourism campaign controversy

July 4, 2023 - 4:55 PM
1785
Screenshots of videos from FEATR about Basilan and Catriona Gray about Luzon (@featrmedia, catrionaelisagray/YouTube, Facebook)

Several Filipinos brought up old videos promoting the Philippines amid the rebranded tourism campaign fiasco.

These videos were uploaded on the social media accounts of Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and Erwan Heussaff.

On July 3, a Redditor posted a screenshot of a video from FEATR Media, a YouTube channel dedicated to showcasing food, destinations, culture and the people across the Philippines.

FEATR Media is created by The Fat Kid Inside Studios, a production studio owned by Erwan.

In the post, the Redditor compared how the channel and the tourism agency presented the country’s tourism offerings through digital content.

“FEATR is doing a better job at promoting the Philippines than our actual government. DOT should help fund quality content like this,” the post reads.

FEATR is doing a better job at promoting the Philippines than our actual government. DOT should help fund quality content like this.
by u/SuitEducational4810 in Philippines

The post garnered 917 upvotes on the forum.

The video titled “Exploring Basilan Philippines (Best Food and Beaches)” was uploaded on YouTube on June 2.

It was part of a two-part documentary series about Basilan’s food, culture and heritage.

“We visited the former capital of Basilan, Isabela City, to know more about the people and of course, the food. It is considered a melting pot of people coming from different cultures and backgrounds so we are in for a gastronomic treat!” the description reads.

It has so far garnered 109,139 views on the platform.

A photographer named Ibarra Tomas Siapno Rn, meanwhile, reminisced about how well Catriona represented the beauty and diversity of the Philippines back in December 2018.

In his post, he attached screenshots of videos that the beauty queen posted where she featured destinations in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

The Facebook user also attached a photo of Catriona’s standout national costume during the Miss Universe competition where she won the crown.

“Remember Catriona Gray’s promotion of the Philippines prior to her competition in 2018?” the photographer said.

“It did not have millions in budget but the videos accumulated more than 10 million of views. Why did it become viral? HEART and CREATIVITY,” he added.

Ahead of the Miss Universe 2018 coronation night, Catriona uploaded three videos to represent Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, separately.

She also exhibited the rich diversity of the islands through her stunning, colorful ensemble called “LuzViMinda” during the national costume show of the international pageant.

In an interview at that time, Catriona explained that it was her goal to show the Philippines to the world onstage.

“I want to represent the Philippines in all forms. When people see the Philippine sash, it’s just a word on a sash, but really, we’re made up of so many different places and so much different aspects to our culture,” she was quoted in an interview as saying.

READ: How the stunning Miss Universe costume of Catriona Gray came to be 

This costume later became an important part of Philippine fashion and culture over the years.

The DOT fiasco

DOT replaced the eleven-year-old “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” slogan with the “Love the Philippines” campaign last week.

The new tourism brand, however, figured in a string of controversies due to its choice of slogan and the official video.

The catchphrase “Love the Philippines” received mixed feedback on social media.

The campaign video also drew flak for featuring stock video clips of tourist destinations from other countries.

DOT has so far investigated the video and terminated its contract with DDB Philippines, who is behind the video under scrutiny.

READ: Issues hounding DOT’s ‘Love the Philippines’ tourism video earn global attention |Yay or nay?: Social media weigh in on ‘Love the Philippines’ new tourism campaign