MANILA, Philippines—Even American pop star Katy Perry apparently thinks it’s more fun in the Philippines—and this has Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez over the moon.
Jimenez on Saturday said he was “very happy” that Perry, one of the hottest international pop acts today, included a shot of Taal volcano in her new music video, “Roar.”
“Yes, (it’s) a picture of the Philippines in what is obviously paradise. Of course, I am very happy,” said Jimenez. The story line has Perry surviving a plane crash in a tropical setting.
Jimenez said the government had nothing to do with Taal being featured in the video.
“We just have a very famous volcano. It’s pretty eh. Maybe somebody saw a pretty picture,” he said.
“It’s no secret that when Katy Perry came to Philippines, she fell in love with our country. I wouldn’t be surprised if she made the choice (herself). But I do not know that for a fact,” he said. Perry performed in the Philippines in January 2012.
Jimenez said he now expected other international artists to also feature the Philippines in their videos.
“That’s not the last. We encourage all our friends around the world to feature the Philippines in a good light,” he said.
Jimenez also expressed delight over the increasing number of tourist arrivals in the country.
Despite the Philippines’ tiff with China, he said Chinese tourists continued to flock to the country because they knew how to draw the line “between friendship and political disagreements.”
The number of Chinese visitors has risen by 48.58 percent since January.
“The situation has very much improved. Tourism is not politics. Everyone is being very mature about it. I’m happy that it is healthy and stable. In fact it’s growing,” Jimenez said.
“I think that like the Filipino people, the Chinese people draw the line between friendship and political and diplomatic disagreements,” he added.
Jimenez spoke with reporters yesterday at the Bureau of Immigration anniversary celebration in Intramuros, Manila.
“The major problem they are facing now is they don’t have enough men because we have so many tourists,” Jimenez said of the bureau that is at the front line of welcoming tourists to the country. Philip C. Tubeza