Frasco’s Fiasco


Despite massive public outrage over a slogan that her communications consultant deemed worthy of 49 million pesos, Tourism Secretary Maria Cristina Frasco insists that “Love the Philippines” is worthy of her and her department’s support. I spoke with some very close Frasco friends and associates, and most just shrugged about Frasco’s demeanor, even suggesting that such is “typical” Frasco. One even told me that Frasco is the most hard-headed, stubborn woman among daw former Cebu governor’s grandkids.

We don’t know about you, but we don’t care if Frasco is irascible or not– we are only concerned with the effects of her decision to keep this slogan. For one, who owns the rights to this slogan? Common sense dictates it is the agency which she, Frasco, suddenly cut ties off. Is Frasco suggesting that she still intends to do business with this agency whom she publicly humiliated by a disgraceful exit? Is Frasco aware of the consequences of such? Probably. Does Frasco intend to buy the rights to use that slogan, and for how much this time? The same amount? Or more? Why does she still insist on using this slogan when it has already received so much flak? I agree with Senators Gordon and Binay that such use is “unsalvageable” already.

I don’t know what is wrong with the previous slogan that Frasco is hell-bent on replacing. That “More fun in the Philippines” slogan has worked wonders for decades, and replacing it with another one is only a waste of public money.

What is markedly sad is how Frasco seems to project herself as more knowledgeable than advertising experts. The way she stubbornly insisted on using this slogan reflects her class status— feeling powerful that she feels she must always be obeyed. Iha, wala ka sa Cebu, nandiriyan ka sa pwestong gobyerno. Respect the will of the people whose taxes finance your lifestyle now, your sinecure, and your department budget. The Department of Tourism budget is not yours–unless, of course, you decide to finance the tourism program of the government with your inheritance or personal money; go ahead, we will keep our mouths shut. But, for as long as you intend to use public funds, we, the people, have a say in what you do. You did not inherit that post thru royal succession–you are a political appointee. The person who appointed you, we, the People, elected him, and he is accountable to us. As his alter-ego, you, Secretary Frasco, is accountable to us, the Filipino People.

Let me remind Frasco and all those who now occupy sensitive posts in government–you are public servants, not our lords or overlords. You serve upon our will. Sige, iha, ipagpilitan mo ang mali. 

Poor Secretary. At the very start, no one is blaming her for this fiasco. Clearly, someone sabotaged her and sent the video online. Likewise, everyone knows the intervention of a presidential adviser that turned this into a scandalous affair.

But because of her stubborn-ness, Frasco has just created her own fiasco. I don’t believe there is a conscious effort against Frasco. For one, Frasco is a relative of a former Duterte close associate. Frasco attack a demolition job? Purely speculative. And just a ruse to deflect the real fiasco that Frasco created for herself.



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