We travel not only because of the almost free or zero fares airline companies are offering. We travel not because we were invited by a relative who lives in a very exotic islands. We travel not because of peer pressure. Internet has become everyone's photo albums and scrapbooks documenting memorable and new experiences, exotic dishes we have tasted and nice sceneries we have seen. Thank you to social media and internet, it makes us thirsty to see, feel, hear and experience the things our friends have uploaded in Facebook, and bloggers have shared in their sites.
I cannot count the number of travel blogs in the Philippines alone which makes me more proud to be a Filipino despite corruption and poverty surrounding our country.
A brilliant netizen came up with the same idea, not just to share but to promote our very own country by launching http://7107reasons.com. The site name would make you curious, but if you are a Filipino (and quick-witted), you would know that 7107 refers to the number of beautiful islands in the Philippines. Check out this inspiring interview of Janette Toral with Alvin Gale Tan.
Promoting Love of Country Online from Janette Toral on Vimeo.
I have mentioned in my previous entries how blog and social media affect the consumers thinking and decision-making. I commend Alvin for coming up with such an idea of not just promoting our country but making Filipinos involved. Currently, (as of this hour), we are at 254th reason and we are calling out for all Filipinos and tourists to share their views. Reading through the "reasons", it makes me adore the contributors' keen observation of the country and our culture. Philippines is such a beautiful country - looking from the view on the top and diving in to the rich marine life. The travel blogs and sites which are active in the internet today are living proofs of this fact. We should not be surprised if foreigners and backpackers from all over the world would show up in the airport to explore the country. It goes to show how powerful social media is.
My personal album I have uploaded in Facebook which contains all the beautiful scenes in Palawan had received so many "likes" from my friends alone. My favorite comment was from a friend in India who was so amazed with the beautiful beach picture I have uploaded. He said it is a picture that he only sees in paintings; and he wants to visit the place soon. I should be proud - for having a nice camera, a good eye for framing, and a beautiful beach in the land where I live. This shows that even a personal/private album can be a marketing material in promoting our country.
The sad part, however, is because of the accessibility and ease of sharing info, pictures and events online, some people are a little too careless in what they are sharing. I remember the Manila Bus Hostage Drama last year which videos had been uploaded in Youtube and had been shared in other social media sites. We cannot blame news programs for sharing such, but I wish that people were more cautious in posting their comments in these videos. I have read comments blaming the policemen, calling the President names (disclaimer, I am no supporter, but I respect the position), and some were even laughing at how the crisis was managed. We may have failed, but a spotlight is not necessary.
Bottom line - internet is the best place to promote anything - love or hate of the country. We all have a choice.
Please do visit http://7107reasons.com and contribute. Be a reason for other Filipinos to be proud.
This is my official entry to DigitalFilipino.com's Talks Blog Contest. Be part of the conversation. Visit the contest page to join. Feel free to comment on my blog post and share your views.