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Filipinos - Against All Ads – It’s Our Way of Life

“Ads” (short for advertisements) is way of life not only in the Philippines but all over the world. Be it on TV channels, radio, websites, banners, giant billboards, tarpaulins, electronic signages, newspapers, magazines, shirts, walls and ceilings in shopping malls, public utility vehicles, on the roads, along the highways, on the product’s packaging, on Christmas giveaways, on pamphlets; name it, ads are there catching our attention. Just imagine watching a supposedly one-hour TV program. When commercials or ads come in, it is becoming two hours. The noontime shows, remember? They’re full of ads (ads ads and ads!).

On the Photos: Ads Everywhere

NOTE: Company names and logos, personality or groups appearing in this blog are purely incidental and not intentionally displayed/used for commercial reason. Shall you want to delete it, please inform the author by email.

But for the sake of pleasure and entertainment, we Filipinos watch those TV programs no matter how long the commercial breaks are.


Most Filipinos will watch a TV show against all ads – which actually are the real “odds”, literally, in staying informed or becoming satisfied in a country of business-minded people. During election campaign periods, one will accept a t-shirt or calendar or a hat with the face or name of the running politician on it. More about the ads-motivated political campaigning is up to you to find out. Ads-motivated religious gathering? That’s highly possible. Share it in the comment section below.

Sad to say but against all ads, many Filipinos are choosing to become victims of wrong information.

How many soaps or shampoos or milks or coffees or food supplements are advertised this excellent, this beneficial, that high grade, that effective? Ten, twenty, one hundred different products? Mind this, please. Was there really a reliable, unbiased product testing that can prove the claims? Was the expensive price really practical despite the fact that an existing cheaper product (that can’t afford expensive TV ads) has better quality? Does every Filipino know that many advertisements are fooling them? Help me answer this question because I think you have a lot of answers to share.

How many times have you been to EDSA? If you’re working along this 24-kilometre stretch busy superhighway, then this is not only a stupid question that you’ve just read; it’s also an irritating interrogative sentence that completely reminds you of traffic, pollution, and guess what – GIANT billboards!

Day, night, it’s all about the art of making money out of advertisements in the Philippines. Yes, that’s the normal way of life not only along EDSA, but in Metro Manila and the rest of the Philippines – even in the most remote areas. Yes, there are ads there which I will share with you later.

So why posting of ads (be it legal and illegal) is a way of life in the Philippines? Perhaps, marketers will say that advertising is the science of getting customers. True. Those gorgeous girls, colourful graphics, men on trunks, famous TV icons or celebrities holding a new brand of cola, audacious tag lines, and that art of being giant (in the case of giant billboards in EDSA) are all about converting leads into customers. And that’s where the money is! It’s business as usual.

But there is a BIG problem with that!

With posting of ads legally? No. With posting of ads that are too many, too big, too invasive, too attractive, too confusing, too diversionary in a street where cars are travelling at 80kph, the typhoon is blowing at 160kph and city area where the population density is around 43,000 people per square kilometre. That’s a BIG problem for having a normal way of life of a Filipino. Need proofs? Okay. I got you on that. Let me share these concrete examples.

President Arroyo had earlier issued Administrative Order (AO) 160 which directed the DPWH to determine which billboards "pose imminent danger to life, health, safety and property and to abate and dismantle the same." Mrs. Arroyo issued AO 160 after Typhoon "Milenyo" toppled many billboards in the metropolis last Sept. 28, leaving a man dead, injuring many others and damaging millions of pesos worth of property.


Here’s the other one.

Workers remove the tarpaulin from a giant billboard along EDSA in Makati City on Thursday, November 7, in preparation for the possible effects of super typhoon Yolanda. Government officials say thousands of villagers, including those from a central province devastated recently by an earthquake, are being evacuated ahead of the arrival of one of Asia's most powerful typhoons this year.


On the Photos: Ads Everywhere

NOTE: Company names and logos, personality or groups appearing in this blog are purely incidental and not intentionally displayed/used for commercial reason. Shall you want to delete it, please inform the author by email.

Whether you will believe or not, not all ads are healthy to our imagination as well as life as a Filipino, period.

Advertising is a business of making money and we the customers are who’s paying the charges. What? Yes. When you watch a one-minute advertisement, you’re already giving away a few cents to the advertiser which will materialized eventually when you purchase the product shown in that advertisement. And even if you’ll not buy that product, still some cents are being taken away from you. How? Stupid to explain but this is the truth. Your TV is consuming electricity while the commercial is airing. Your time is being wasted when you’re watching or hearing or reading a non-sense advertisement. If you’re a P100 per hour man (or higher), you know what I am trying to say here.

And think about our fellow countrymen who lack the knowledge in fully understanding the message in those ads. They’re losing a lot – even their future is being jeopardized.

And before I forgot, are there ads in the mountains or in remote places? If you see candy wrappers or junk food containers there, yes there are. If you see in the door of a “bahay kubo” or “barong-barong” a government campaign or program (ex. Census) with printed name of sponsors on the side, that’s it – ads.

To clarify, ads can be good. We’re not finger pointing anybody or any company here. There are great, helpful, true and reliable advertisements. And there are bad, time-waster, stupid and money-grabber ads too. The message of this blog goes like this:

Filipinos, don’t be a victim. Don’t dare to get that information from media channels against all ads. Find it somewhere else. Skip ads if possible – though it’s a part of life. Or simply, don’t just believe on ads.

About the Author

Noriel Panganiban is a Filipino blogger who's intention is to bring positive change to the Philippines, his country. He's been blogging for years and his subjects focuses on culture, tradition, way of life, occasions, event and incidences in the Philippines. You can get to know more Noriel on through his website,

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