MANILA, Philippines (2ND UPDATE) - The new tourism brand of the Philippines, "Pilipinas Kay Ganda," hasn't even turned a week old, and yet criticisms have been thrown at the Department of Tourism left and right.
The latest criticism--and accusation--making the rounds of social networking sites on the Internet is that the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" logo was lifted from Poland's own tourism campaign, Polska.
A check with the official travel website of Poland showed that indeed, their logo has a striking similarity to "Pilipinas Kay Ganda," from the font, the colors, and even the use of a tree (well, granted, that of the Philippines is a coconut tree, while that of Poland is, well, a generic tree).
Blogger Spanky Hizon Enriquez in his blog "Manila Boy", has put the two logos side by side and called on someone from the Department of Tourism to resign over the alleged plagiarism committed.
In true Pinoy fashion, Enriquez called on Pinoys to go the humorous route in this situation.
He posted a link to an application on Facebook wherein users can type in their name--or any name, say Manila--in place of "Pilipinas" in "Pilipinas Kay Ganda", and voila! A personalized name logo with the tagline "Kay Ganda" comes out.
The advertising agency Campaigns and Grey admitted it had a hand in the "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" tourism brand, but "only in an advisory capacity," said Campaigns and Grey Group Chairperson Yolly Ong.
She told ABS-CBN's RG Cruz, in a text message, "We only did the logo and theme line as I had to leave for a business trip."
Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim, in an interview with ABS-CBN News, admitted that there were some similarities with the "Polska" logo.
"There are similarities, pero sa pagkakaalam ko...sa atin mas makulay," Lim said.
Tourism Undersecretary Enteng Romano, in a text message forwarded by Palace Spokesperson Abi Valte, said, "There is no plagiarism. There are enough elements in the Pilipinas logo to differentiate it from that of Poland. The color scheme and visual elements are markedly different."
Meanwhile, the website www.beautifulpilipinas.com drew controversy, after a pornographic website shared a similar title - only one letter spelled the difference between the two sites.
"Hindi nga na-research 'yon... wala kasi kaming alam sa mga porn sites eh," Lim jokingly said.
Twitter users were abuzz with comments about the matter.
__Shaun wrote: "Philippine Department of Tourism = F*CKIN' PLAGIARISM FAIL!"
renaguila tweeted: "plagiarism? if that's how they're playing it, I won't #helpDOT until Aquino puts COMPETENT people there."
ipe posted: "Ang nakakahiya dun sa 'plagiarism' nakita iyong source. Pero diba sa Graphics Design uso ang peg-peg? (Peg-peg LOL). #HelpDOT"
wynmarsy tweeted: "As an artist, i felt really bad when i knew about this Plagiarism issue for the new logo of DOT's Pilipinas Kay Ganda."
Screenshot from Manila Boy blog
With a report from Chiara Zambrano, ABS-CBN News