Tuesday, January 16, 2007


And after much hoo-hah, the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Cebu has finally wrapped up. And despite one postponement (due to a simultaneous terrorist alert and a typhoon), construction problems, budgetary complaints and a food poisoning incident which gave the runs to 58 performers (including Lea Salonga's younger brother Gerard), one can safely say that the event went off without a hitch. And although the summit wasn't as big a deal as say, the Olympics, the IMF-World Bank Meetings, or Miss Universe, I was still heartened to see my family's home province of Cebu pull off a large scale international conference without any major screw-ups. A small moment of pride, I must say. Perhaps a precursor to larger events, like the World Expo or something.

The only kvetch I have about the whole thing was the aesthetics. Truth be told, the summit didn't register as beautifully on television and print as I would have expected. There were hardly any shots of Cebu's major tourist sites, no televised pageantry, and no really exciting sets or backdrops for the journalists who covered the event. Frankly, there was no over-all "look" or "theme" to the whole thing. And if the non-descript designs for the Cebu International Convention Center (below) and the ill-fitting outfits that Jeannie Goulbourn designed for the world leaders weren't already bad enough, it was the logo of the damned event that was the real coup de grace (above). I mean, really, who the hell designed this thing? A monkey with basic photoshop skills could have done a better job. And despite all the steering committees justifications, I'm sorry to say that the logo does not at all symbolize hope, fidelity, purity, and whatever other corny value that's listed on your website. The logo just comes across as sophomoric, simplistic, unimaginative, and plain ol' FUGLY to me. And with all the wealth of graphic design talent that the Philippines has produced, there is simply no excuse for this travesty. But then again there is always next time. So, Cebu, the next time you get a gig of this calibre, DON'T do your graphics in-house, call Filipinos like Team Manila, BBDO, Inksurge, or Lucille Tenazas to do your collaterals and get the job right.

And don't even get me started on the slogan: "Caring and Sharing". It sounds like it was thought up by the freaking Care Bears.

Thank you markiiiboi for the great photos.