‘Respect nature’: Martin del Rosario draws flak over viral starfish photo

March 8, 2023 - 5:58 PM
A photo of Martin del Rosario during his vacation in Palawan (MartinDelRosarioOfficial/Facebook)

Actor Martin del Rosario was once again criticized online after he posted a photo that showed himself posing with sea stars on his body.

Martin, who recently starred in the latest episode of Kapuso’s “Magpakailanman,” uploaded this on his social media accounts on March 2.

“Starfish attack,” his caption reads.

The species of the starfish was not indicated in the post.

The post soon gained traction across social media platforms.

It also caught the attention of some concerned Filipinos who criticized Martin for taking the starfishes out of the water.

“I love you Martin del Rosario but please next time, do not take the starfish out of the water, they do suffocate,” one of his fans on told Martin on Facebook.

“Sea stars are important members of the marine environment and are considered a keystone species. A keystone species [prey] on animals that have no other natural predators and if they are removed from the environment, their prey will increase in number and may drive out other species,” another Facebook user said.

“Respect nature. A starfish shouldn’t be touched nor be taken out of the water,” an Instagram user said.

Some also defended Martin, saying the actor might not be aware of how starfishes should be treated.

“Hindi lang siguro [siya] aware. Kahit ako, ngayon ko lang din nalaman. Aminin na natin na kapag sa beach tayo at nakakakita ng star fish, pinaglalaruan at pinipicturan din kasi nakaka-amaze naman talaga,” one Facebook user said.

Martin also previously faced backlash after he dressed up as the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during Halloween.

Following the backlash, the actor deleted the photo and penned a heartfelt apology to the public.

The apology was posted on his Instagram Stories.

“I sincerely apologize if I offended some of you with my Halloween costume. I did not intend to create buzz for my personal gain nor exude that attitude of indifference towards the victims of the character I wore,” Del Rosario said back then.

READ: ‘Nothing intentional’: Martin Del Rosario apologizes for Jeffrey Dahmer Halloween costume 

As of writing, Martin has yet to issue any response to these new criticisms against him.

Starfish 101

According to National Geographic, around 2,000 species of starfishes live in different parts of the world. Species also vary in their striking colors and the number of limbs.

A marine biologist from the Smithsonian Institution explained in an article from NZ Herald that some species of sea stars immediately experience stress when taken out of water.

“Most nearshore stars could probably handle just being out of the water for a few seconds, maybe up to five minutes. When you get into 15 to 60 minutes, there’s stress and death … It’s awful,” the marine biologist named Christopher Mah was quoted in a report as saying.

In 2018, a group of alleged teachers caught the attention of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources after their photo that showed them tossing starfishes into the air during their beach trip in Palawan went viral.

The post itself was immediately deleted. Several Facebook users, however, managed to make copies of it and report it to the DENR.

READ: Why starfish should not be thrown into the air