Sunday, October 18, 2009

Olongapo City's Best and Worst: Failed re-branding of Magsaysay Drive

(This series is an ongoing thing just for you. Every Friday, I will review one or two party places in the city. Hopefully, this will help you choose where to spend your hard-earned moolah. :-))

Failed re-branding of Magsaysay Drive

Before I spill the beans on some joints along Magsaysay Drive in this series, allow me to digress a little from party places and events. After this post, all will be well again. I promise.

Over the last few years, the city hall kept reminding businesses and the media that the city’s famous entertainment strip should be called RM Drive and not Magsaysay Drive.

Why am I spending a couple of hours writing this post or asking you to keep scrolling for a few minutes for
something that really is about business and politics?

The answer is simple. As a visitor and tourist, you might get lost.

Businesses spent millions advertising pesos to market Magsaysay Drive as the city’s entertainment center, not just in the 80’s, but more so after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1990’s. Why the sudden change? Will this benefit the businesses along the strip?

Let us see. Since Mayor James Gordon Jr., took office, his entire government pushed the renaming effort. 

They’ve spent almost two full 3-year terms for this campaign. They say that the re-naming is meant ‘to diffuse the sleazy image that Magsaysay Drive became associated with.’

Mayor Bong Gordon
Ok, it makes sense… Or does it?
It makes sense if:
1) ---> City hall made enough capital investment (infra, signages, etc) to make the RM thing stick;
2) ---> supported the businesses in their marketing efforts (after all, businesses spent millions of
pesos to print marketing collaterals, broadcast advertisements using Magsaysay Drive for their address);
3) ---> it is not really sleazy (or comparable to a red light district);
4) ---> and, convinced the people that the change would benefit the city.

Item 1    >  No. Check out the streets. It’s not because the strip is peppered with Magsaysay Drive signage. It is because there is no significant signage to alter the memory banks of the people. If a simple name change can’t be significantly implemented in 6 years, then, what else can you do?

Item 2 > Again, No. Businesses are businesses. They will support an endeavor it is makes sense and cents for them. Nobody knows RM Drive, why put my brand and my name in a place that people (clients) can’t find. Even radio stations cringe when they are asked to put RM Drive simply because they wants to help their clients maximize their advertising money.

Here is a sample radio tag. If you were the owner of this joint, which would you use for your print and broadcast advertisement?

‘Come and visit Gigolo Disco Bar at # 23 RM Drive, Olongapo City’
‘Come and visit Gigolo Disco Bar at # 23 Magsaysay Drive, Olongapo City

Item 3    >  Magsaysay Drive is sleazy as can be. It is the reason why people frequent the strip. Sure, there are no more nude dancing and no more drunk Americans. But this is only because they left in 1992. Check out Magsaysay Drive when there are US warship in Subic Bay and you will see what I mean.

Maybe the city officials should ask their fellow city officials if there really is no prostitution, gambling, drugs and other activities associated with the image of the old Magsaysay Drive. (Liars, liars! Pants on fire!)

Circa 1980 photo

Item 4 > Lastly, No. Ask any resident where Sam’s Pizza is and they will tell you that it is along Magsaysay Drive. Where is the City Mall? The answer will be ‘along Magsaysay Drive.

A businessman, who did not have the balls to make his views public, told me that the only reason he can think of for this silly effort to re-name of the famous ‘Gapo strip is because of politics.

Dude (read: Mayor Bong Gordon),
It only made the Magsaysay name a conversation piece whenever people hear the RM Drive stuff.

Olongapenos will vote for you because you served them well, not because your administration removed the
surname of your political rivals; Mitos and, as rumors would have it, Vicente (GoVic).


 Rep. Mitos Magsaysay

 Former Zambales Gov. Vic Magsaysay

Magsaysay to the people of Olongapo is not the politician. Magsaysay is not even the most beloved president
of this country.

Magsaysay is the strip that many generations made a living from. It is the lovely strip where they fell in love with their wives. Where they were touched by humanity by seeing young women dream of a better life with the American servicemen. 

It is the same strip where many residents made millions giving them the resources to provide well
for their families. It is the famous hang out where residents shared priceless memories with fellow Olongapenos and visitors who eventually became friends.

Mayor Bong, you’ve been had by your people. Or at the very least, you got bad advice from your staff.

To Mayor Bong’s bright boys who thought of this idea:

Who ever you are, even if Mayor Bong succeeded in sanitizing the strip by changing it to RM Drive, isn’t he just moving the sleazy image to another strip now bearing the his surname?

I doubt if Mayor Gordon would be happy with that change.


aBu Tiong said...

good stuff pards!

i guess your right all the way.. Bongo's Team thinks that the famous Magsaysay Drive is a free campaign for Andar "GOVIC"..

Having that lingering name on Bongo's favorite area seems like a nightmare for him come election time!

And... he really has a great line-up of advisers... (is eddie tallada one of them? i believe so..hehehe)

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