So apparently, three months after Tropical Storm Haiyan (local name Yolanda) hits the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) comes out with a short video called “The Philippines says Thank You”, with the accompanying hashtag #PHthankyou.
Ok. So what then?
Frankly, the video just fails to move me. I’m probably only a handful of Filipinos who’s not going to be amazed by such a WTF move from the DOT.
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As a first impression, it was rather underwhelming to see that video because, as usual, a big deal is being made out of something that is considered a common courtesy in civilized societies. You know, the type of society that the Philippines has long been aspiring to but has consistently fallen short of?
That it even took three (3) months for the Philippines – one that is represented by a government they elected, mind you – to muster what can be considered a collective thank you message should be rather appalling in itself. Plus consider the source – the Department of Tourism. So does this mean that the Philippines is pitching itself as a tourism destination because the people know how to say thank you for being helped? And that makes them and the Philippines as a tourism destination special?
And just like the previous promotion “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, this one is one big walking ambiguity. The tag line “You’re making all the difference” is of no help either.
One cannot just stop at taking this “thank you message” at face value because of the context of the typhoon relief efforts.
No matter how loud or how many times the Philippines says “thank you for the donations”, it misses the bigger point, and the more fundamental question that people observing the Philippines have been wanting an answer to:
What has happened to all the donations?
At a time when the Philippine government is neck-deep in controversy regarding the Haiyan donations, they come out with a tourism advertisement. The foreign aid that has either vanished or not arrived to the victims, the permanently crappy temporary shelters, the mound of clothes discovered in Cebu believed to be for the victims, etc. No matter how one looks at it, this “show of gratitude” is seeming more and more like one big distraction from all that, while at the same time providing another opportunity for shameless self-aggrandizement and promotion on part of the Philippines.
In a way, they tried to be clever – and nearly succeeded, but the DOT and the Philippine government might have done better to keep their mouths shut.
The underlying point that many Filipinos will most likely miss is that if they want to be really sincere about showing gratitude, then they should be able to show results that the foreign aid that has been received has been utilized very well. Unfortunately, the Philippine government has been nothing but one inefficient, wasteful, corrupt, and highly politicized bureaucratic mess. And as government is merely a reflection of the people who voted its constituents in, Filipino society is nothing but one inefficient, wasteful, corrupt, and highly politicized mess. It’s a hopeless basketcase.
That is no way to show gratitude for being helped no matter how one looks at it.
Yep, “You’re making all the difference” all right – because Filipinos have shown just how helpless and pathetically dependent they are on foreign aid. They are unable to translate that foreign aid into anything sort of a local initiative that will eventually wean them away from it.
Under normal circumstances, a Filipino thanking someone for help is rather rare. What is the typical Filipino response to being helped?
Go ask for more help. If you stop giving help, they will come up with yet another pathetic whiny victim or sob story. Worse, if you criticize, they will give you the middle finger.
As one GRP commenter has put it, eventually the law of diminishing returns (or generosity, in this case) will settle in. That the Philippines has not shown any less inclination to depend on foreign aid is, quite frankly, becoming tired and embarrassing.
It’s more fun in the Philippines – to be an ungrateful mendicant.
[Photo courtesy: collegemagazine]
А вы, друзья, как ни садитесь, все в музыканты не годитесь. – But you, my friends, however you sit, not all as musicians fit.
47 Replies to “‘The Philippines says Thank You’ video: missing the bigger point #PHthankyou”
To the Philippine government: Thank you for showing to the world that you are opportunists and selfish idiots whose only concern is to get richer by hoarding relief goods for money, leaving the typhoon victims in a crappier state.
Thank you for proving once again, that PNoy is only good in blaming other people instead of galvanizing the the whole nation.
Thank you as well for proving that Filipinos are not water-proof, with more than 5,000 dead in Yolanda’s wake.
Last but not the least: Thank you for proving to the whole world that your words are as empty as your souls and that our economy deserves to get f’ked because we voted idiots to run this country.
They are not idiots. They are thieves that are arrogant enough to steal in front of the entire international community, and watch (in true filipino fashion), they’ll do it again whenever the opportunity arises.
That it was a gov’t. agency may be a hint, or a wink, at where all the supplies went. A good way to say thank you is to show what was done with the supplies, as the author contends.
Taking 3 months is not that bad considering the wreck the country was/is in.The idea that Filipino’s know how to say thank you for being helped and then people should visit here is just a weird thought/suggestion to mention.
BUT, what was done with all that aid? The money? The food? The clothing? The Medicine? Forget saying thank you, how about an honest accounting of what was done with all that aid,eh?
If I was the donor, I’d say “Yeah yeah whatever, but what have you actually done with what I gave you? Because what I’m hearing isn’t very good: Slow response times, slow recovery and relief efforts, abysmal logistics, overpriced and substandard bunkhouses, lack of livelihood opportunities, widespread looting and lack of security, politics and overall lack of planning, among other things.”
Sounds like they’re actually saying, “Thanks for the load of money we can spend on ourselves and our spoiled children!”
From my observations from living here for the time I have, it’s rather everyone’s fault. Let’s take a look at a simple example of a homeless guy on the street. How many people will actually give him money? No one actually cares about him and there’s too many homeless guys to give money to. But what drives him to stay at that corner is the knowledge that he knows he can survive with whatever comes in from those who do give him something. That’s why some of them stay at hot spots like ATM machines or convenience stores.
Bringing it back, the government won’t help because they simply don’t care (even though they’re supposed to use the money correctly) and the people aren’t doing anything to help themselves anyway.
shameless and pathetic. i know that advertising people (im actually an ad and pr man myself)will go many lengths just to make a fast buck but this latest stunt by jimenez really tops it all, a cheap production with a monumental budget, i wonder where andre fits in this equation
Just got back from visiting a friend in Dapitan. SHOCK HORROR! – At the Junction of the SaveMore/Shooting Gallery Road and Aurora Boulevard, I was the first in the queue to turn left, onto Aurora. As the Traffic Lights changed, a Silver Toyota Frontera (Plate Number JCR 20) turned right from Aurora into what is a ‘One Way Street!’ Not content with being ignored, he continued to advance, wanting me (facing in the correct direction) to move, with a queue of cars behind me! – When are these Quasi Politicians going to learn that they do not own the road! – They do not own the people, and to be quite honest a Frontera is only a Hi-Lux Van in disguise!
A week ago, I was at Bonifacio, being blocked by a ‘Flotilla’ of Black Cars, with Black Windows! – What is that all about?
When you give, you don’t have to expect anything in return. And if the receiver says thank you, that’s a bonus already.
Be happy that you able to help someone. The genuine joy lies to the giver and not to the receiver. You don’t need to criticize the receiver. That’s the civilized way and that’s humanity.
Wow, to you a common courtesy is a bonus.
So, if I get what you want to say, you’re justifying that the Philippines should just keep on receiving aid, and they don’t need to say thank you because it’s a bonus.
And if the receiver is inquired on what happened to the thing he was given, that is not “a civilized way”.
Tsk tsk. Typical Pinoy mentality.
When you give, you don’t expect anything in return. But that doesn’t mean that you, as a giver, have no right to ask what happened to what was given to the receiver.
Makes perfect sense? Not to Pinoys.
The act of giving itself established through a generous heart. Sincere act does not expect anything in return because the doer already received the joy and happiness within after giving. It’s not how the receiver acted upon on it. Clear conscience promulgated to where the credit is due and that is only on the part of the giver. You will feel much better if you are giving than receiving. It’s up to the receiver then on how he/she utilize it.
You don’t necessarily need to monitor where your help went especially when those aids of yours are intended for the victims of calamities. It’s not always happening every day. And those victims were not beggars before the typhoon struck their place. The foreigners were already happy by just giving away aids to the victims without expecting anything because they have seen in their own eyes how devastated and distraught those Yolanda victims were.
The video was in fact a bonus, an added bonus and not so important to look upon. I guess it doesn’t matter anyhow to the helpers. When foreigners came to the Philippines to help those victims, personally they already received a barrage of “Thank You” from the victims before them with a smile up to the neck. There was an instance that after some Filipino victims received relief good from foreigners, they handed the latter the same generosity like coconut juice and some important things belong to the former, which they originally made. The foreigners commented that they were just there to give and not to expect anything in return from the victims. That’s also the mindset of other donors because they were purely moved through sympathy and compassion to the survivors. They can ask where those aids went but they don’t make it a big deal as if to criticize and rant if the aids went wrong. They even cooperate to each other. They felt that they are there to help and to give just like “Santa Claus”
Wow…I never thought the DOT would go so low as to use 6000+ dead people into their bogus campaigns. “Thanks for your help! Now come to the Philippines where its more fun!” Damn! Makes me wanna wash my hands after typing it.
I mean, just look at the posters they’ve been spreading. Instead of showing pictures of the results of all that given aid, they show random pictures beaches and people posing cute for the camera. Wouldn’t a “before & after” photo with a the word “Thank You” superimposed on it look more ‘thankful’ than a picture showing a bunch of vacationers doing a “jump shot” for the camera? Even the video shows nothing but tourist attractions and people making cute poses. Those DOT nitwits won’t know self-centeredness even if it hits them in the face!
On the other hand, we truly are thankful for the aid. But us non-noytards don’t need stupid gimmicks to show it. If you want a real THANK YOU video, watch this. “Arigatou from Japan Earthquake victims”
A video were the improvements made are shown in detail and the people in it are the victims themselves. Now that’s a sincere video right there! It was released months after the disaster happened too.
just* months, I mean.
The very fact that someone thought to create a “Thank you” campaign represents progress of sorts. I have given funds to help less fortunate people here and I have never received a “thank you” in return. One time I paid for an ambulance ride that saved a child’s life. Not a word. Another time, the recipient fell on his knees and cried “Thank God!” Why aren’t Filipinos comfortable with saying thank you? Perhaps, thanking someone means having to admit to their own inadequacy and that means losing face. What do you think?
Maybe you’re onto something with “having to admit own inadequacy and thus losing face.”
I think Filipinos think that they are entitled to be helped – in which case they expect that others will help them, no questions asked.
Dapat lang tinulungan mo ako – It’s only right that you helped me. Though you will not hear these words straight from Filipinos’ mouths, this is most likely the thinking pattern that many have. So in a sense it’s not really surprising that Filipinos rarely show gratitude.
Keep in mind one simple thing about Filipinos:
They are takers, not givers.
“Keep in mind one simple thing about Filipinos:
They are takers, not givers.” —
MotherFather!!! its like saying all birds can fly! a middle finger to you!
Tsk tsk. Another one of those wag mo naman lahatin responses:
Generalizations apply to the collective properties of sets though they may not apply to all elements in the set.
For example, though the Japanese may generally be – and collectively are – disciplined, not all Japanese are necessarily disciplined. In the same manner, Filipinos are generally – collectively – a nation of takers, even if not ALL of them are.
The thing in “wag mo lahatin” is that Filipinos will always say, not all filipinos are (insert negative trait here). And finds a way have himself as an exception but the truth is , he is guilty of the same trait. Which brings us to the notion that pinoys are also liars.
——-Dr. Gregory House
The Philippines thanked the world for their support and generosity, so what’s the beef? Damn if you do and damn if you don’t. Okay, Japan had an outstanding video of Arigato, it’s longer and very meaningful. The Phil. did the best it can in a few seconds or minute, did it ever occur to you that maybe there’s a time limit for the Phil. thank you video? Do you want a two hour full movie? Why don’t you produce a full length documentary then? A thank you is a thank you in every way, the heart expresses it’s gratitude in the most sincere way…TO THE WORLD…MARAMING SALAMAT PO…
Did it ever occur to you that foreign donations that should have been received by the typhoon victims were hoarded by the local government itself? I think the “Thank yous” should come from the victims. It would have been better if the local government presented their accomplishments in that video as well.
Foreign aid is always welcome but hoarding that aid by the local government is unforgivable.
Read the article again, because it seems you missed the point I was trying to make.
Look…it doesn’t matter if its 30 seconds or 30 minutes (or 2 hours, like what you’re suggesting), just as long as the video shows 100% sincerity.
Let me take it at another angle. Isn’t it hypocritical that others would be enraged if a politician has his/her name plastered on a bag of relief goods, yet those very same people would commend the DOT for a video that has its tourism agenda written all over it?
Epal politician: “You’re welcome! Now vote for me!
DOT with their Thank You video: “Thank You All! Now choose Philippines!”
See the similarities?
A thank you may be a thank you in every way, but it’s terrible if there’s an underlying agenda to it. That’s what I’m getting at here; that there’s should be no other purpose in saying that special thank you from our country, other than showing the gratitude itself. The “Arigato” video proved did just that.
The Phils did the best it can? Oh, so you’re saying the DOT’s video the only one Philippines can do? I don’t believe it. The Philippines CAN make many more videos, and I hope it makes one that truly is sincere and with no hidden agendas to it whatsoever. On the other hand, try to wonder what happened to all the foreign aid (like what the article wants you to think).
This post is an example of just how Get Real Philippines should get real. Because you’re nitpicking now. I’ve had my season of protests against the establishment and I’ve done my fair share. But I am not a person who will protest just for the sake of protesting.
This post is an example of the Filipino stuck in a crab mentality. What’s wrong with saying thank you? It is commendable. And yet, because this site fancies itself as a contrarian, hipster Fox News kind of elitist holier-than-thou snarkfest, even this gesture is viewed under the lens of people desperate to stain everything in shades of black.
Ironically, in so doing, you are also representative of what is wrong with the country. I mean, what’s wrong with you people? Do you have daddy issues where nothing you do ever gains their approval? Is that why you are lashing out?
Ian the Brown Juan: Your post doesn’t even make sense. You blame the government for the worst typhoon in modern history?
Bjorn: Your questioning where the aid has gone is valid. But this post is about a thank you video. It’s the blogger’s fault for mixing up the two… because that’s the only way he can rile up people about a thank you video.
Josh: I don’t understand your point. You say nobody cares about the homeless and in your next breath say that they know people will give them dole outs. Make up your mind when you’re constructing your smug “story” about who the Filipino is.
Danny Carino: You style yourself as an ad man? I don’t believe you. Your comment exposes you as a fraud. Ad men would understand and appreciate the message and not the peripheral issues.
Ding Dong: WHAT IS YOUR POST EVEN ABOUT?!
Krauss: What’s the difference between the Japanese video and the DOT video? See, this is why you represent the worst of the Filipino crab mentality. If someone else does it, it’s good. If we do it, it’s bad. You’re so full of anger that I wouldn’t be surprised if your wife is sleeping with someone else behind your back.
To all of you who frequent this blog. I get it that you want to see the contrarian view of the world. But grow a brain too. Don’t be sheep that are being herded into a place of extreme darkness. Otherwise, you’re just as bad as the Filipinos you gripe about.
“Ian the Brown Juan: Your post doesn’t even make sense. You blame the government for the worst typhoon in modern history?” – It’s rather obvious you didn’t read my post thoroughly. Tell me then, why did the government hoard donations from foreign and local aid? Isn’t that already a violation of common sense that’s enough for me to do a sarcastic “Thank you” message to the government for their poor handling of the disaster?
Grow a brain too, hypocrite.
To which I say you need to exercise your logical faculties more. Do you have specific, empirical proof that the GOVERNMENT as a whole is screwing up relief efforts?
Oh you don’t? I see. You’re just saying it because it’s fashionable to say it. You want to feel hip. You want to curry approval with the people who read this site.
Yes there will be corrupt elements there. But I’ve also seen sincere GOVERNMENT efforts too. See if your clouded judgment can make sense of that.
You need spoonfeeding? Well, I’ll humor you for now: http://www.tribune.net.ph/headlines/dswd-hoards-foreign-aid-inside-aquino-stadium
For the record, I don’t need to “curry” approval with other people for my post. And I don’t understand why you have to namedrop people that are against you – a clear proof of lowball standards.
To paraphrase my previous statement from another poster: I think the “Thank yous” should come from the victims and it would have been better if the local government presented their accomplishments in the video as well to show that they really have done something to the victims. Problem is it’s a video that’s disguised as a tourism video. That’s the point of the article written here.
It’s simple, really. As commentor Libertas and a few others pointed out: The bottomline is results. A drug addict, for example, may be eternally grateful (and express it gratitiously to boot) to a passerby who drops a few pesos into his open hand. But the real question in that thought experiment is what those pesos will be used for. Will that same passerby walk by, say, a week later and find the same bozo panhandling on the same street corner? Quite likely.
So same with the Philippines. The recurring question when it comes to the Philippines has always been: Where are the results?
“Thank you” does not answer that question.
For that matter, neither Filipinos nor their government have so far answered that question convincingly over the last 70 years since they were granted “independence”.
Why do you shoot commentator one by one, who are merely stating / elaborating the very simple fact that the video made by DOT was pointless. That ain’t a thank you to me, if at all it appears to be some sort of promotional video, however badly done as it is.
So, the bottom line, as others have said in this thread, is that saying “thank you” does not answer the question of “where did the donations we gave you go?”. And that question is more important, and more fundamental, and definitely more pressing.
In other words, you missed the point. As expected.
Again with that ‘crab mentality’ crap. It’s a myth, dude. You put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and all they’ll do is crawl out, not pull each other down.
And in what part did I say the Philippines can’t do a good video compared to that of Japan? You assume too much, and that’s the problem with you. See, I DO believe that our country can make a good “Thank You” video. I do believe that our country can come up with many more videos showing our gratitude to the world THAT IS BETTER THAN THE DOT’s VIDEO. The DOT’s video does show its gratitude, but at the same time it’s shamelessly promoting its tourism agenda which I find sickening; and that’s how it’s different compared to the one from Japan. The “Arigatou” video has no agendas to it whatsoever as all it aimed was to show it’s gratitude (not to promote its tourism, no to promote its government, but just to say “Thank you.”).
And you think I have a wife who cheats on me? And again, I say you assume too much. I’m actually just a 20-year old living on P200.00 a day and sharing an old house with two other people to whom I split salaries with to pay for the bills. Yeah, I’m single. You can go ahead and insult me for not having a girl, and prove by doing so how low your sense of judgment truly is.
International contributors would have been more interested in where the donations have gone, the difference those contributions have made, and the plans for the future.
Maybe any campaign should have been backed up by a website to visit, giving specifics on donations, projects, expenditure etc (compared to a global advertising campaign, it would have cost petty cash)
I just remembered that the philippines did launch a website!
FAITH – foreign aid transparency hub.
I just checked
Launched – 14 nov 2013
Last update – 20 nov 2013
Says it all.
Have FAITH in the philippines – that would have been an ironic advertising strapline.
Does anyone know where the money has gone. Local mayors are complaining they have seen none of it.
Out of curiousity, I went to Gov’s FAiTH site (http://www.gov.ph/faith/). Then, I tried accessing the full report (http://www.gov.ph/faith/full-report/) and it’s just a list countries and organizations who donated, the amount donated. It looks like a summary report to me.
In addition, it has a “nice” infographic on the how the information, money, and goods will course through its different agencies. (Rappler?)
Gee, I wonder if the Government will hire a third party auditor to verify how “FAiTH”ful it is in handling the donations and publish a detailed report.
Oh, my mistake :-(. The full report has a detailed list of what was donated, viewable on CSV or as text file.
I had issues accessing the report as it hungs, hence I have to use wayback back machine to check the list. Still my mistake.
I checked the link in case i missed something.
It is just an out of date list of pledges – as opposed to money/goods recieved and nothing on expenditure.
It looks like a site put together in a few hours so that it could be announced ( in november when appealing for aid) that all donations would be transparent, and then forgotten about. A bit of window dressing.
So no transparency or reporting on the aid.
I bet the daily mail who wrote about the aid goods being resold would soon uncover another scam here
The #PHThankyou video did show some relief effort of building wooden houses and a glimmer of hope by showing children playing basketball. But after these scenes, it was other people, noticeably not from the devastated areas thanking. This is a tourism ad after all. It has to look good.
Although, I think, foreign countries would appreciate our “Thank you” if they see more of the relief efforts rather than other fellow Filipinos thanking for those affected by Haian/Yolanda. Or maybe there’s no need for the words of gratitude, rather their efforts materialized by looking at rebuilt communities and the grateful smiles of those who live there.
The lack of filipino gratitude, always wanting more, and attempt to turn any disaster into an opportunity for a scam/self interest is highlighted by the illegal, repeat illegal, filipinos in the US saying today that they should be granted permanent status (TPS), because “Filipinos say Yolanda victims won’t feel the recovery until Filipinos in the US especially those working without legal status are granted TPS”
I miss the logic here.
So international aid was of no value. The filipinos need money from trafficked people and illegal housemaids/dishwashers to save the day!
pnoy aquino and the government are actually supporting this notion! incredible
Pnoy aquino who clearly has no honesty, integrity, or respect for the rule of law is now supporting illegally trafficked people to the US, wanting the US to ignore the law in their own country, spinning a sob story as justification, and just thinking of ofw remittances in order to avoid creating jobs at home, which he clearly cannot do.
Always needs someone else to solve the problems.
He is as pathetic as his traitor grandfather, commie father, and idiotic mother all rolled into one, plus a few issues of his own! ( not to mention the criminal uncle, and dysfunctional sisters).
This Be The Verse
BY PHILIP LARKIN
They f@ck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were f@cked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
PNoy’s sunken into a new low. You know your economy is f’ked up when your main sustenance for economic growth is OFW remittances.
I just noticed those people against this article are just contented with the “Thank you” message without focusing on the disturbing notion of donations being hoarded by the government agencies that was pinpointed in this article. Then these same people would call us “ungrateful/killjoy” just because we’ve discovered a more disturbing revelation from all of this crap.
I can see why being “open-minded” in this country is some sort of a taboo despite the democracy. What use is democracy if people would resort to doing the same shit over and over?
Never use philippines and democracy in the same sentence! It is like using pnoy aquino and integrity together – an affront to deceny, and to Cleisthenes.
An oligarch run economy
Dynasty based politics
A subservient mainstream press/media
Politically owned survey companies used purely for propaganda
Patronage and personalities are everything
Bribery the basis of law making
Kickbacks the key to government contracts
Corruption endemic and systemic
Impunity and no rule of law
Fiefdoms with ‘little dictators’
No accountability, transparency, or freedom of information
Vote-buying and vote-rigging
Political killings – journalists/candidates
Low quality/standard of politicians/bureaucrats
Self interest driven by easy money
No ideologically based parties
Oh right, we do have a totalitarian state that’s disguised as “democracy.”
The fact that many people still believe that their lives are better with PNoy’s term proves my point that totalitarianism dominates this country.
Foreign aids are like “shabu” or other habit forming drugs. The more they give you; the more you will crave for it.
With such kinds of foreign aids, since from the time of Pres. Osmena to the present. The Philippines, should have been rich. The foreign aids went to the pockets of a few Oligarchs. Who financed with it, to establish their family political dynasties. Maybe, foreign aid also maintained the Aquino ownership of Hacienda Luisita…
“New car sales up 27% in january”
thank you world for my new SUV!
I hope more people will see it like you do. I bet not only car sales, maybe posh condos and houses and lots. Maybe increase in deposits to offshore accounts?
I would have had less of a problem with that ad if it were made by a private organization.
Some commentators have missed the point of the article entirely. Have you people even read the article?
I’ve seen thank you messages being passed around social media right after the typhoon struck that are much more meaningful than the vid DOT made. That probably stems from the fact that those thank you messages were made by private individuals. The fact that the thank you vid was government-made tends to raise eyebrows in light of the looming knowledge of government incompetence in their handling of disaster and relief management, and misuse and wastage of international aid.
That it begs the question cannot be avoided, and what this article simply is pointing out is that any amount of showing appreciation is meaningless when what is given is being misused.
Let me reiterate the point of this article for those who cannot understand: NO AMOUNT OF SAYING THANK YOU WILL MAKE UP FOR THE FACT THAT THE AID GIVEN BY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY IS BEING MISUSED AND WASTED.
In retrospect, the Philippines DOES has a long history of wasting everything that was given it, whether these are natural endowments (natural resources, strategic geographic position, etc.) or man-made.
a very dependent country but then so full of pride!