A Hollywood feel-good movie filmed abroad can boost tourism. Mama Mia shown in 2008 drew tourists in hordes in the Greek Island. Suddenly, sleepy town Forks, Washington – home of the Cullens – became a must-see destination in the US after the movie Twilight, even if it was mainly filmed in Oregon. And the upcoming movie Eat, Pray, Love, based from Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 memoir, has helped the battered Bali bring back its former glory.
In 2006, around 4 million tourists dropped Bali in their must-see list after the tsunami disaster, bird flu scare, and government security issues. But the memoir book, which sold seven million copies worldwide, has made Bali a popular destination again. Time reports that new packages by luxury resorts and spas promise to recreate Gilbert’s experience and even help bring enlightenment.
But have you ever read a best-selling feel-good book that has a Philippine setting? Or have you watched a movie filmed in our country that is not a killing field, a prostitution hub, or a garbage dump? Movies about these issues may give the director a Cannes award, but on the contrary, is it a good reward for the country’s tourism?
Beat the stigma. Pray for a miracle. Love Philippines.
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