At lunch today, I was at the Travel Café in Greenbelt for the launch of the new song of the DOT to promote tourism in the Philippines to Filipinos here and also to Filipinos all over the world. DOT Secretary Alberto Lim was there looking very excited to unveil this beautiful new song. The “Pilipinas, Tara Na!” set of songs and music videos features the country’s numerous tourist attractions and was recorded for free by 57 of the country’s leading musical artists and entertainment personalities - a mix of established and up-and-coming stars – to help promote tourism around the Philippines.
I was standing somewhere at the front when they started playing the song on a widescreen right behind me. It’s an upbeat tune created by master creatives Mike Villegas and Rico Blanco, and then Rene Nieva of Perceptions chimed in with the lyrics. The video itself showed clips of all the stars who participated in the making of this video, singing a portion of the song in their own ways. Some sang it with outstretched arms, others had their eyes closed, and still others danced around. But everyone looked extremely happy to be promoting the Philippines.
ENCOURAGED TO VISIT MORE OF THE PHILIPPINES
Even I was encouraged to get on a plane or car and go somewhere in the Philippines. I’d just been to Puerto Princesa last week and I’m off to Malaysia next week; but if I was actually free this weekend, I know where I’d be in a flash: back to somewhere in Palawan, or else to Cebu. I really enjoyed my Palawan trip and I realized there is so much to discover on this beautiful and remote island.
I spoke to Kitchie Nadal, one of the artists who participated in the video, about her experience with this project. She said: “I’d just returned from living abroad in different countries for two years, and was just then enjoying traveling around the country and discovering the beauty of the Philippines, when I got this invitation to join the Pilipinas, Tara Na! music video. It was very timely to have just finished traveling around the country, and then to be doing a video promoting travel in the Philippines.”
CRAZY ABOUT ILOCOS
Mike Villegas, who composed the melody, also told me, as we stood outside the jampacked venue: “I love to travel but I haven’t traveled enough because I’ve been so busy. But this project has really encouraged me to discover more about the Philippines. I’ve just come back from Ilocos and I’m crazy about it. I’m now promoting Ilocos to everyone I meet.”
In his speech, Secretary Lim also said: “I would like to thank the members of the Biyahe Tayo! team as well as the 57 artists who joined in the singing of the new Pilipinas, Tara Na! songs for giving generously of their time and talents in creating the new versions of the song for free. The fact that the team and these artists, who usually charge big amounts for performances and endorsements, joined in the creation of the music video for free and for love of country makes their gesture even more laudable. I salute them for their noble and patriotic act.”
Some of the artists who participated in this music project include 6Cyclemind, Aiza Seguerra, Barbie Almalbis, Bayang Barrios, Billy Crawford, Bituin Escalante, Boboy Garovillo, Christian Bautista, Cookie Chua, Dolphy, Ebe Dancel, Gabby Alipe, Gail Blanco, Gloc 9, Itchyworms, Janno Gibbs, Jaya, Jay-R, Jed Madela, Jett Pangan, Jim Paredes, John Lesaca, Jong Cuenco, Karylle, Kevin Roy, Kitchie Nadal, Kris Lawrence, Kyla, Martin Nievera, Nikki Gil, Noel Cabangon, Ogie Alcasid, Pepe Smith, Raimund Marasigan, Regine Velasquez, Rico J. Puno, Rivermaya, Sam Concepcion, Spongecola, Yeng Constantino and ZsaZsa Padilla.
AN AIRLINE INDUSTRY EVENT
& BBMS WITH J TONIGHT
Then tonight, I joined Gigi Baroa of Emirates, Mon Magno of Continental, Nenita Chan of Eva Air and other top airline industry executives for a gala dinner to celebrate the re-launch of DNATA.
I left work late afternoon to make it in time for dinner; and as I was in the car navigating awful traffic, the prodigal J and I had a pretty interesting conversation. And he actually gave me permission to write about it in this blog. Yes, I have to admit that he's a pretty good sport even if I complain about him sometimes. But I'll write more about J tomorrow as the final edits of our Frequent Flier pilot episodes just arrived and I can't wait to see them. Yes, my Frequent Flier TV team has been working overtime, and it's close to midnight and the DVDs were just delivered to my home.
Good night from Manila and best wishes for a wonderful weekend, wherever in the world you may be.