Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday acknowledged memes going around social media based on his pose when he invited Filipinos to visit Boracay for the benefit of the local economy.
The Palace official on his official Facebook page compiled some of the memes that featured him in various scenarios of movies, shows, events and pictures with accompanying captions.
“Akala niyo di ko nakikita. Tawa lang kayo. #kalmaAkoLangTo,” Roque said.
He also used “CCTO” in an attempt to credit the edits, which is highly discouraged by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines when it comes to attributing works.
Akala nyo di ko nakikita. Tawa lang kayo. #kalmaAkoLangTo Ctto 😝
“Sa panahon ng pandemya eh natutuwa ako na kahit papano, mayroon tayong kontribusyon para maaliw ang ating mga kababayan,” Roque explained, as quoted by reports.
“Kailangan po talaga natin na magkaroon ng kaunting aliw dahil alam niyo naman na ang mensahe ng presidente, bagamat nandiyan ang COVID-19, kaya po natin mabuhay inspite and despite,” he added.
One of the memes compiled by the spokesperson made it to the trending list of Reddit Philippines, a discussion website, which was not well-received by his critics.
“Okay, if you’re going to equate yourself to someone like Spider-Man, THE VERY LEAST you can do, is know that it’s Spider-Man with a HYPHEN,” a Reddit user said in response to one of Roque’s posts.
“He really thinks he’s a hero….” commented another online user.
“Haai. Not Spider-Man. Maybe spider-pig idk (I don’t know),” a different Reddit user said.
Roque had attempted to run for senator in 2018 before dropping out of the race due to health concerns.
Meanwhile, his memes have been going around after he was seen in a video waving his arms as he invited Filipinos to visit Boracay to boost the local economy, which plunged into a recession last August.
“Punta na kayo Boracay! Tara na sa Boracay!” Roque exclaimed in one of the clips taken by local media on Sunday.
He was seen waving his arms as he encouraged people who are living in modified general community quarantine and GCQ areas to visit the island.
Last Friday, Roque reportedly said that he will hold his regular Palace briefings on Boracay to help attract tourists.
He added that President Rodrigo Duterte may also visit the tourist destination “in the near future.”
The spokesperson reasoned that Boracay’s opening for tourists will benefit the local economy and Filipinos’ psychological well-being after being quarantined for several months.
“Ang muling pagbubukas ng Boracay sa turismo ay magiging mabuti hindi lamang para sa ekonomiya ngunit para din sa kalusugan ng pag-iisip at emosyonal ng mga tao na matagal nang nakakulong sa kanilang mga tahanan at naghahangad na makahanap ng isang maikling pagtakas mula sa kanilang quarantined life,” Roque said on Facebook.
Boracay opened its doors to local tourists on October 1.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the opening builds momentum for domestic tourism nationwide as people in the tourism industry resume their livelihood.
She also assured the public that there are stringent health and safety measures in place as the coronavirus pandemic still rages.