Online Filipinos were asked to stop “bullying” James Aquino Yap Jr. or “Bimby” after he gave a letter to actress Miles Ocampo last Valentine’s Day.
Based on her Instagram Story, Kris Aquino‘s younger son gave Ocampo a bouquet of flowers with a handwritten note that reads:
“Dear Ate Miles, maraming, maraming salamat for being such a loyal ate. Sana, you will get a letter from a boyfriend and not me lang, hehe. But in all seriousness, I will forever love and respect you.”
Ocampo shared a picture and wrote “Sweetest Bimb” with a white heart emoji to express her appreciation.
Ocampo also shared a picture with the mother-and-son pair on the photo-sharing platform and similarly expressed her appreciation to Kris, who celebrated her birthday on February 14.
“From being my nanay Roxanne 8 years ago til now, thank you for loving me. Thank you very much for everything, tita Kris. I love you always. I love you too, Bimb. Thank you for being the sweetest,” she wrote as a caption.
Ocampo also has a clip of Kris blowing a candle from a cake as part of her Instagram’s “Highlights” section.
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Ocampo worked with Kris on the 2013 ABS-CBN drama “Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw” where the latter played a main character named “Roxanne” while the former portrayed a supporting role.
Meanwhile, news outlets reported Ocampo’s Instagram story about Bimby on Thursday which gained traction on social media platforms.
While some Filipinos found Bimby’s gesture heartwarming, others shared less-than-stellar comments about his handwriting. There were also some malicious comments about him and Ocampo.
A Twitter user noticed this and called out the local online community for “bullying” the 13-year-old.
“Enough bullying Bimby, Internet. There’s nothing wrong with sending a gift to his friend. Remember, he’s still a kid. If I were the socmed (social media) manager of those news sites who carried the story, I’d block every nasty comment. Rude comments are uncalled for,” Jerald Uy wrote.
Another Facebook user defended Bimby from some who criticized his handwriting.
“Kung maganda sulat ng anak mo, then good for you. Pero no need to shame Bimby. Hindi lahat pare-parehas maganda sulat,” the Facebook user said.
Bimby has been the subject of memes—some offensive—and snarky comments on social media, along with his older brother Joshua.
In 2018, Aquino told an internet basher to “get a life” after the latter commented on Instagram that Bimby was “gay.”
A year before that, the “Queen of All Media” warned those who were making fun of her son that there would be “legal consequences.”
“I have taken a screen shot of your negativity (and) we keep a file of these types of comments w/ my lawyer Atty Fortun. You must really have a boring life for you to need to get cheap thrills commenting at the expense of a 10-year-old,” she told a critic in 2017.
Online bullying was reported to be “prevalent in the Philippines” as of 2019, according to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund or UNICEF.
Children aged 13 to 17 were revealed to be the most affected.
“One-third of cyberviolence experienced by Filipino children are in the form of verbal abuse over the internet or cellphone, while a fourth are through sexual messages,” UNICEF said in a report.
“Violence against children, in all forms including online bullying or cyberbullying, has devastating effects on the physical and emotional wellbeing of young people. This can create lasting emotional and psychological scars, even physical harm,” the United Nations agency warned.