Friday, July 20, 2012

Up high in Tagaytay

Ready with a good camera; a pen and notepad for scribbling random thoughts, and a buddy with a devil-may-care travelling attitude, of course, spur-of-the-moment trips can sometimes be more fun and exciting than the ones you plan. 

My good friend Rhea and I have been planning to go to Vigan for the weekend but upon learning that the universe did not conspire to make the plan happen (yet), we opted to go to Tagaytay instead. 

From Baclaran, we took a bus to Tagaytay, which was about a two to three-hour ride. Tricycles are the main  mode of transportation in Tagaytay and can get you around the city easily. There are jeepneys too, but the routes are definite and you have to wait for them, thus, may take you longer to get to where you want to go. 

Breezing through Tagaytay made me forget about the hot and humid madness of Metro Manila and Cebu. The cool climate makes it a popular spot among locals and tourists who want to get away from the city's hustle and bustle. 

Our first stop was at the Tagaytay Picnic Grove, where we got a picturesque view of Taal Lake. I'd love to come back here with my family, spend quality time whilst enjoying the breathtaking view with them.

The ground was muddy post rain, making it quite uncomfortable for me to walk around in my slippers. Some areas, with it's somewhat steep orientation, have sadly become a dumping site for trash, an eyesore that obviously do not go well with the lush green surroundings. 

Tagaytay Picnic Grove

It was already late afternoon, perfect time to go to what I've found as the perfect spot to get a magnificent view of the sunset - People's Park in the Sky. And boy, we sure weren't disappointed. 

View from the top. Rustic charm.

Here comes the sun. It goes, and we're all in awe

Although with happy souls, our muscles were tired from moving about the entire day. It was then time for a relaxing massage at the hotel's spa. 

O Spa at One Tagaytay Place

The next day, Rhea and I took a bus to Nasugbu to check out Sonya's Garden. We got off at Buck Estate and then rode a tricycle that would take us there. Travel time takes roughly about thirty minutes from Olivarez. 

Just one of the garden's many wonders in full bloom

Busy taking pictures hehe

A downside, perhaps, of a spontaneous trip is that the impulse that comes with it may make you forget about  what to take well note of (like bringing cash, as there are not a lot of ATMs in sight or that only a few hotels accept credit cards) or what other interesting places to see, aside from the most popular and highly visited ones.

But then again, spur-of-the-moment trips can give you that unexplainable, often fulfilling sense of high not knowing what to know, and yet still having the balls to go with it. And if it means satisfying my inner nomad, which to me is a lot better than only getting stuck in my comfort zone.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

BELOw the belt advertising

My brows still creasing, I wonder if that Belo ad, which promotes skin whitening products for men was well thought out, or if the people behind the said concept were in their right minds to have come up with such. I've always been a staunch believer of responsible advertising - it's impact does not just rest on how creative the ad is, but the kind of message it delivers to people. I see nothing creative nor intelligent about this Belo ad at all.

The visual aspect of the ads could be forgiven, more so forgotten - it was not enough to tickle my fancy. But more than the visual works, the copy just made the ad below the belt, slapping one's intelligence as if people do not think at all. 

Maybe if I were the approving authority of this ad, I'd take a good look at the copy and examine it more deeply, putting myself not just in the shoes of those I am marketing the product to, but to those who can see the ad when it goes up and live.

I would change everything about this ad. Everything about it is misleading and offers no inherent value, even if, say I'm offering this to a more discerning market.

My take on the ads would be these:

Ad A.) A guy being surrounded by ladies.

Argument: Qualify, not quantify. The measure of a man is not by the number of ladies he has, has had or can score, but the kind of person he is towards them, and to everyone else.  

Ad B.) An elderly man introducing the guy as his future son-in-law to his friends. 

Argument: Any doting father would not mind if his daughter's future husband had bright white or dark skin, as long as he is confident that he could give her a bright future.

Ad C.) A guy throwing his car keys to a valet.

Argument: A whiter complexion does not equate to being 'sosyal'. On a personal note, I'd never go for a guy who speaks conyo. It's like hearing nails scratching on a chalkboard.

So much for the Streisand effect on the ad, this was recently pulled out after receiving so much flak. I'm not sure if the 'creative team' behind this were not aware of that Bayo ad gone haywire or if they just haven't learned from it.

Apologies have already been issued. And so this soon shall pass and die in no time.

Lesson learned: Creativity can go a long way, but a little sensitivity makes a big difference.