‘Vital signs po’: Palace spox’s ‘vital statistics’ remark spawn memes as netizens correct term used

March 19, 2021 - 12:24 PM
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Harry Roque March 18
A photo of Harry Roque at a press briefing on March 18, 2021 (Harry Roque/Facebook)

Social media users corrected the presidential spokesperson after he mentioned his “vital statistics” were checked instead of vital signs.

In a briefing on March 18, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque was explaining to reporters how he was treated in the hotel which served as a temporary isolation facility after contracting the virus which causes COVID-19.

The Palace official announced he tested positive for COVID-19 at a briefing on March 15, a day after taking an Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test.

Doctors and nurses come to check on his condition at the facility, he said, citing they are taking his “vital statistics” twice a day.

“Hindi po ibig sabihin na palibhasa isolation facility kayo pupunta, wala pong doktor. Mayroon pong mga doktor, may mga nurses po dito sa hotel where I’m staying right now. Dalawang beses po ang rounds nila at dalawang beses kayong kinukuhanan din ng vital statistics kasama na po iyong oximeter to measure your oxygen level,” he said.

While both refer to measurements, vital statistics is mostly heard as an informal word to refer to body sizes in beauty pageants.

Another definition would be “statistics relating to births, deaths, marriages, health, and disease,” according to Merriam-Webster.

Vital signs, meanwhile, which is the term Roque was referring to, are measurements that medical professionals monitor on their patients.

These include pulse rate, rate of breathing, blood pressure and body temperature.

Some doctors such as Dr. Jai Cabajar corrected Roque on Twitter.

“Vital signs po,” he wrote.

Others poked fun at Roque anew in the form of edited photos of Roque in a beauty pageant and other memes.

Some shared witty remarks about the official’s own “vital statistics.”

“Doctor: Harry, your vital statistic is 36 24 36. Charot!” one user wrote.

“Roque preparing for Miss U 2022 well maintained ang vital statistics (clap emojis). Go girl make the dolphins proud,” another user said.

The Palace spokesman’s whereabouts

In the same address, the presidential spokesperson also denied rumors about him staying at a luxury hotel in Pasay City. He pointed out that he was quarantined at a two-star hotel.

“Iyong tsini-tsismis po na nandoon ako sa Pasay, I do not even know if we have the means to pay for that hotel dahil masyadong grand po iyan, seven-star hotel po iyan. Ang alam ko po, two to three-star hotels lang po ang kinukuha natin including motels. Hindi naman po ako nasa motel, two-star hotel lang po,” he said.

Some Filipinos previously speculated that the official was quarantined at the Conrad Hotel Manila, a five-star luxury hotel in Pasay City.

Others observed that the curtain behind the official at a briefing on March 16 was similar to a curtain of a posh suite.

“Tigilan mo ko. Walang isolation centre na ganyan ang kurtina,” one user wrote. 

They also noticed what seemed to be a ring light in front of him during the same virtual conference.

“Not Harry Roque having a ring light at an isolation,” one user said. 

As of writing, no hotel or accommodation issued statements about the matter.