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Are you a diva of righteousness?

Abraham Lincoln once said “What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”

I think Yolly Ong is just making it worst.


“Coordinated online outrage?” Where did she get that idea? A lot of social media users are scratching their heads now over Yolly Ong’s “Pilipinas Kay Pangit” article.

A wide range of comments from social media users describe her piece as:

“Typical holier-than-thou ”
“kung walang blunder, walang issue”
“target of a conspiracy theory”

But one comment from a reader strikes me the most.

It would have been more prudent if you just kept your silence and stayed humble. After all, nobody’s perfect. It is when you accept your failure graciously that makes you truly admirable. Why blame the “net-dicts” when your idea was not properly executed? Correction, it’s not about “Pilipinas, kay pangit” but rather “Ideya n’yo, kay pangit”. Indeed, the Philippines is beautiful and it deserves more than just a mediocre and plagiarized idea.

I speak for myself when I criticized on the country branding and non-implementation of the Tourism Act of 2009. None of it are politically motivated or an intention to be a “diva of righteousness”. It is not about being right. It is about having an opinion on something so close to our heart. Our country. Social media have given us a voice and collectively, the buzz generated went against “Pilipinas kay Ganda”.

There are lessons that I have learned the past week about the “Pilipinas Kay Ganda brouhaha”

1. One cannot predict the outcome of online discourse. You heard that right. One cannot predict if a tweet can become “viral”. From the start, when I shared my voice, it was not all about “Campaign and Grey”. I knew about the company hours later. Besides, I don’t even know Yolly Ong so definitely it was not about her. Maybe the industry practioners? You might want to read my husband’s “Pilipinas kay Praning“.

2. Social media can blow up a story for good or bad in a matter of minutes. It’s been seen before. Here are some Best Practices for Crisis Communications over Social Media that suggest

“First 24 hours of a crisis is when people are turning to each other for answers. Be ready to respond.”

“Monitor real-time content to answer questions, not sentiment ”

“Good crisis communications in the social sphere is not a panacea for everything ”

At the end of it all, no matter how much social media you do, the disaster will always outweigh crisis communications. A real disaster is a real disaster.

3. Our residents just could not connect to the verbal and visual elements. The recent findings of a bench marking study on country slogans and logos affirm this. I notice some comments were about country pride. People wanted to take ownership of the country slogan, and identify with it,

4. It is okay to make mistakes and learn from it.

Mary Kay Ash says that for every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. I commit mistakes too but I don’t start blaming people for my failures, I also get my fair share of criticisms but I chose to ignore it because “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Only when I fall do I get up again. I have learned wisdom from failure much more than from my success. I discover what will do, by finding out what will not do.

5. Lastly, it’s never a good idea to make a decision when you are angry or make a promise when you are too happy. Though Yolly Ong was willing to stake ” whatever reputation, credibility and success I may have”, it left a bad taste on those that didn’t even bother with her. I am sure some carried an “indifferent” attitude that turned to an “appalled reaction” after reading her article.

We can all learn from the brouhaha. The blame game is part of the process of rejection but there will come a time, action will need to be done. Get a grip soon.

Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle. – James Russell Lowell


What do you think? Diva kay Ganda?

Ma. Yolanda V. Ong is the current Group Chairperson of Campaigns and Grey and six affiliate companies. Having won several awards for her contribution in the advertising and PR industry, Ms. Ong is one of the leading resource persons when it comes t o media communications, public image-building and political campaign strategies. . With her extensive experience in advertising and public relations, she has broad knowledge in image building and media campaigning for political candidates. Ms. Ong graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in AB Journalism and earned her degree in Masters in Public Administration (major in Leadership) from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 2002.

Other Blog posts on Yoly Ong

Pilipinas Kay Praning

Yolly Ong, former Usec. Vicente Romano III, and ““Pilipinas kay ganda”

Social Media gave us a voice (No it wasn’t GMA’s fault)

Campaigns and Grey’s Ong in Defense

pilipinas, kay pangit? yikes, yoly ong!

Huling Kabit — Magapatuka na lang ako sa ahas

19 thoughts on “Are you a diva of righteousness?”

  1. I cannot agree with you more on this, Noemi. I was also part of those who tweeted and retweeted and expressed MY OWN opinion about the slogan and was not motivated by anyone. It so happened that the issue really gathered steam because a lot of people who have THEIR OWN opinions chose to speak out. It’s a free country so why is Yoly Ong sourgraping? Did she lose more that P4M because of the aborted tourism campaign brought about by the recall of the failed slogan and logo?

    Ahh…now, this is one way of showing everyone how powerful social media can be nowadays. That would make everyone extra careful with everything he/she does.

    By the way, how can Ms. Ong be so sure that the lambasting of the DOT slogan/logo was given more mileage than the Maguindanao Massacre and the like? Does she have data on that?

    Also, isn’t she quite late about her sentiments? The slogan/logo had been pulled out, USec Romano has resigned, Sec. Lim vowed to consult the stakeholders and the DOT has asked suggestions from the public about a new DOT “Battlecry”.

    She’s the one who’s gonna be under fire this time.

  2. I know for sure each of us had our own opinion.

    Re: more mileage- yes how dare she judge? I did tweet/blog about those issues but as I mentioned earlier, we cannot predict the outcome of online discourse.

    She comes out really defensive. I wish she didn’t sound so angry in her article

  3. I don’t understand. I thought Noynoy said na we are his bosses? Now that Filipino netizens have conveyed their distaste for the said slogan why is this woman whining about it? Of course we have the right to convey our sentiments because the almost Php 5 M budget for this plagiarized slogan came from us! Aiya, it really shows that educational attainment can’t really measure one’s wisdom.

  4. Two thumbs up for this, Ms. Noemi! Obviously, her pride cannot take all the negative reactions created by their slogan/logo. Lessons learned the hard way. Thanks for the inclusion of my comment in your blog. It’s an honor. 🙂

  5. Two thumbs up for this, Ms. Noemi! Obviously, her pride cannot take all the negative reactions created by their slogan/logo. Lessons learned the hard way. Thanks for the inclusion of my comment in your blog. It’s an honor. More power! 🙂

  6. thanks to ong’s lame, uninspired & borrowed branding idea… every pinoy adman’s presentation to clients these days are followed by the phrase… “can i first google that?”

    God’s gift to philippine advertising must realize that all it would have taken to clean up her mess was one word… “sorry”… (but maybe she didn’t pick that up in her few weeks at harvard)

  7. It comes to me that she is also more of a victim more than one of the perpetrators. She felt her efforts were wasted. Typical and understandable reaction anyway. She put her effort, faith and trust in something she believed in. Unfortunately, not everything you believe in can be the right thing to believe in. Efforts are really wasted when aimed in the wrong direction.

  8. Pingback: pilipinas, kay pangit? yikes, yoly ong!

  9. Sometimes, when people get to a certain lofty status, they feel that they are beyond criticism and always look down on others as inferior. That’s regardless of how obviously idiotic they are.

  10. Pingback: Lack of class of the Aquino Government rubs off on classy lady Yoly Ong

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