PH tourism department presents ‘Love the Philippines’ at SF Ferry Bldg

The Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) booth at the event on the second floor of the Ferry Building. Tourism Director Soleil Tropicales is standing at extreme right.
AJPress Photos by Joseph L. Peralta

THE Philippines Department of Tourism (DOT), in conjunction with local organizations and business, held an event at the iconic Ferry Building along the Embarcadero in San Francisco last December 30, 2023 to celebrate its new tourism campaign.

Dubbed as “Love the Philippines in San Francisco,” the event was the culmination of a series of events to promote the new DOT campaign, “Love the Philippines.”

The well-attended “Love the Philippines in San Francisco” event featured food vendors, artisans, and other businesses, aside from featured performers and a fashion show.

“We just launched this campaign in the Philippines in 2023, and later in the year we launched it internationally,” said Tourism Attache Soleil Tropicales, who heads both the Northern and Southern California tourism offices, adding that they have had activation events in the United States, other parts of the globe (Australia, China, Japan, England) and in locations where there are DOT offices.

The iconic Ferry Building, according to Attache Tropicales, was the perfect venue and culminating event for the campaign as it is a go-to place for many locals where they get food and other items.

Since early December, the DOT has been hosting events in different locales to promote their new campaign. Among the events that the DOT has hosted include Merkato Philippines, Love Adventure (an event with riders, where they had a motorcycle rally who crossed the Golden Gate Bridge with a “Love the Philippines” flag), Love The Tradition/Love the Music (in partnership with Philippine Airlines), and Love The Food (an event in partnership with Abaca Restaurant at the Fisherman’s Wharf).

“We were lucky enough that the Ferry Building was available for our event, and we brought in a lot of Filipino vendors and partners to put this together,” she said.

“We hope to continue the programs in promoting the new campaign and, of course, in promoting the Philippines as a tourism destination,” Tropicales added.

In choosing the new campaign, Tropicales explained that “Love the Philippines” applies to everyone – because of the campaign, Filipinos realize and appreciate more the country, the culture, the food, the music, and they, in turn, become ambassadors in promoting the Philippines to non-Filipinos.

She revealed that “Love the Philippines” is both a branding campaign and a commitment, saying, “For non-Filipinos and foreigners, when they visit the Philippines, our commitment is they will love it, they will enjoy it, whatever experience they would have whenever they go visit the islands.”

Filipino American girl group One Vo1ce performs for the audience.

Attache Tropicales said that they are all beyond excited and proud of this new campaign as it has evolved into a deeper, stronger and more impactful campaign from the previous campaign, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” and has been embraced by both Filipinos and non-Filipinos.

“It’s so easy to say, ‘if you love food, you are gonna love the Philippines, if you love culture, you’ll love the Philippines, you love fashion, you’re gonna love the Philippines… it applies to everyone,” she said.

The event was highlighted by a fashion show by Francis Libiran featuring Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel as one of the models.Photo courtesy of PDOT

Attache Tropicales, who holds both Hotel & Restaurant Management bachelor’s and MBA degrees, hopes that this new campaign inspires more people to visit the Philippines and add to the country’s tourism numbers, which has bounced back and is now approaching pre-pandemic levels.

“We hope that through this campaign, we can inspire more people to visit and to come back, for those who have been to the Philippines before… (the) tourism industry in the Philippines is really looking good in the coming years as we have surpassed our forecast, and we are looking forward to 2024,” she stated.

“Love the Philippines in San Francisco” featured Filipino food vendors and artisans at the marketplace. Among the featured performers at the event were One Vo1ce, Drop N Harmony, DJ Shortkut, Adrian Marcel & CSRB, DJ Umami, Elmer Abapo and Nate Guinto. A Francis Libiran fashion show also took place during the event that was graced by 2022 Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel.

Drop N Harmony belts out one of their songs at the event.

Among the Filipino merchants at the event were Arkipelago Books, Fancy Headz, Hey Lay!, Hulma, Ina Sol, JMN Nails, Kokak Chocolates, Kumalma, Kusina, Mango Tours, Mie Makes, Oodaalolly, Para Sa ‘Yo, Rejins, Señor Sisig (which has a location within the Ferry Building), Studio Damili and Teofilo Coffee Co.

Lucky patrons won roundtrip tickets from San Francisco to the Philippines, courtesy of United Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Starlux Airlines, and the DOT distributed giveaway bags to attendees.

To learn more about the new tourism campaign, special offers and to get more information, visit (Joseph L. Peralta/AJPress)


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