Live Love Lebanon is a private NGO based in that country that is part of the United Nations Global Compact. The UNGC is a non-binding pact that aims to get businesses and firms worldwide to practice sustainable and socially responsible policies. Based in Beirut, Live Love aims to raise funds in rebuilding communities in war-torn Lebanon. It also promotes Lebanon’s cultural heritage to breath new life into its devastated tourism. The name Live Love is also the NGO’s slogan.

When she was municipal mayor of Liloan, Cebu, Christina Codilla Frasco (Codilla was the former marital name of her mother Gwen Garcia by which Christina was born) appeared to have browsed through slogans around the world. From there, Live Love Liloan was born.

When you simply copy tourism slogans from other countries, you skip the dynamics that go into it — market behavior analysis, statistical studies, brainstorming, benchmarking, and infrastructural requirements, among other requisites.

Live Love Liloan probably satisfied one factor in an effective tourism slogan – memorability through alliteration. The occurrence of the same letter or sound among adjacent words makes it easy to remember. One of the most dramatic tourism slogans of the world was “Malaysia Truly Asia” because the rhyme made it easily memorable. Likewise, “Incredible India” uses the alliteration technique.

Once she was appointed the new secretary of the Department of Tourism, Frasco was asked what she would do. Her answer was predictable. “Cebu has shown the benchmark for the effectiveness of tourism governance,” she said, and this is what she will emulate and replicate.

Frasco is no marketing expert. When she was asked what from Liloan can she take for the country to improve its tourism, again she was predictable. She kept on repeating that Cebu had the wealth of products that can be introduced nationally. She repeats “food products,” “local products,” “food tourism.” She talks in motherhood statements and appears to be out of touch with the bigger picture save for Cebu where her mother continues to be the governor and Liloan where she was elected for three terms as mayor.

It is essential to understand how Frasco was appointed. She was plucked out of her dynasty obviously for political reasons. Her husband Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco had preceded her as municipal mayor. When she was elected mayor in 2016, the husband became vice mayor in the usual game of musical chairs. When she accepted the DOT post, her new vice mayor succeeded her. This time it was Aljew Frasco, her husband’s first cousin. Aljew Frasco was CEO of Titay’s Otap. So what happened to Duke Frasco? He is now congressman of the 5th District of Cebu province.

The famous Titay’s Otap is the family business of the Frasco family. Otap began as a homemade cookie in 1907 by their ancestor Margarita Frasco.

During her confirmation hearings in the Commission on Appointments, Senator Nancy Binay had warned Frasco that the country had kept on changing its tourism slogans every 6 years, a drain on the limited budget. It is thus important to understand where the new controversial slogan of Love the Philippines comes from. It is an adaptation of Live Love Liloan without minding the grammatical forms.

And with it came Titay’s Otap. At the 26th Asean Tourism Ministers Summit in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in February 2023, Frasco’s give-away gifts to the tourism ministers was a bag of Titay’s Otap that had a photo of her and her husband. The public needs to know the answers to legitimate questions. Was it paid for by government money that went to the Frasco family business? Is exporting epal behavior now part of our global tourism strategy? Frasco herself posted the photo of the gift giving on her Instagram account.

Now comes the salacious part. Frasco’s new campaign video, part of a P49M expense for its copied tourism slogan, was found by netizens to contain stock footage shot in other countries. A scene showing rice terraces was that of Bali, Indonesia. A fisherman casting a net was shot in Thailand. A plane landing was actually a footage taken at Zurich airport in Switzerland. A scene of dolphins swimming was not shot in the Philippines. Wait for copyright owners to file charges in court.

We rebranded alright, but as world-class copycats, and worse as thieves. It is only right that the Japanese will have the last word in pronouncing Love the Philippines.

Christina Codilla Frasco, a Sara Duterte concession in the cabinet, must go before she inflicts more damage to our unimpressive tourism ratings before the world. Titay’s Otap may need a new CEO.