Fact check: Photo of Manila Bay dolomite beach, murky waters is true to life

June 22, 2022 - 6:39 PM
Screenshot of the aerial view of Manila Bay taken April 2022. (Manila Girl Tours/YouTube)

CLAIM: A pro-administration Facebook user claimed that Filipinos “full of hate against the government” intentionally took photos of the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach and made the waters appear dark and dirty. 

Facebook user MJ Quiambao Reyes, who shares posts supporting President Rodrigo Duterte, posted a side-by-side collage of different photos of Manila Bay on June 22. One photo, taken from a high angle, shows a green-black color of the waters. Other photos were taken from a lower angle and featured waters with a lighter, more bluish color.

The caption reads:

“’Pag tayo ang kumuha ng picture ng Manila Bay, maganda, maaliwalas, malinis. 

Pero bakit pag kumuha ng picture yung mga punung-puno ng galit sa gobyerno at kapwa Filipino (na hindi raw totoong tao), lahat na lang bumabaho, pumapangit, dumidilim. Pati yung mga puno na dapat sana ay berde naging black. 🤭“

The post with the “dirty water” image was taken from a screenshot of a tweet that said the dolomite beach’s waters looked like that of an estuary. 



Videos of the Manila Baywalk Dolomite Beach posted by different sources in 2021 and 2022 show that the water has a dark color similar to the post in question.

Aerial footage posted by a travel-related account in 2021 shows that the Manila Bay waters have a dark and greenish hue.

Similarly, a Youtube channel with free-to-use clips of various places in Metro Manila also posted a drone shot of the Manila Bay in 2022, where the color of the waters appears identical to the photo at the 1:48 mark

The Department of Public Works and Highways conducted desilting operations (removing silt from water) in 2019 and noted the soil’s dark color could be due to pollution, according to a VERA Files report

Why it matters

The Facebook post with the false claim has garnered more than 5,000 reactions and almost 200 shares. 

Most comments and replies to the featured tweet accuse critics of the government of editing the photo with malicious intent.

This story is part of the Philippine Fact-check Incubator, an Internews initiative to build the fact-checking capacity of news organizations in the Philippines and encourage participation in global fact-checking efforts.

Interaksyon is part of #FactsFirstPH, a multi-sectoral initiative promoting truth in public space and demanding accountability for falsehoods. For those interested to join the initiative, email [email protected]

Interaksyon is also a founding partner of Tsek.ph, a collaborative fact-checking project for the 2022 Philippine elections. It is an initiative of academe, civil society groups and media to counter disinformation and provide the public with verified information.