Tiny bubbles: PNP chief’s NCR ‘policy’ births memes, quips and Nora Aunor references

August 6, 2021 - 2:36 PM
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Guillermo Eleazar
PNP Chief Guillermo Eleazar in a photo posted on his official Facebook page on Aug. 3, 2021.

Memes and quips sprouted on social media after the Philippine National Police chief said that a “tiny bubbles” policy will be implemented in Metro Manila to regulate movement during the enhanced community quarantine.

Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday said every city in the National Capital Region, including the municipality of Pateros, will be considered a “tiny bubble” in which consumers will be barred from going to other cities to purchase essential goods or services.

They would have to buy their goods within their city or municipality, he said.

“From one large bubble, including the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, the NCR will shift to tiny bubbles,” Eleazar said.

Exemptions to the non-crossing of borders are authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) who are physically reporting for work, those needing medical assistance and who needed to go to their scheduled vaccinations.

The rest of the APOR would not be allowed to travel to another city.

Eleazar said that there would be checkpoints in place within the cities and municipality of Pateros to monitor and restrict people’s movements.

“Hindi puwedeng mag-cross ng borders. Meaning to say, kung taga Pasay ka, hindi ka puwede pumunta sa Quezon City or Caloocan to buy groceries,” he was quoted as saying in a DZMM Teleradyo interview before.

The top cop appealed for the public’s understanding and said that it is a way to curb the transmission of the highly contagious Delta variant.

As of Wednesday, the Philippines has a total of 331 Delta cases of which 11 are currently infected. Nine people have died while 311 have been tagged as recovered.

The Delta variant is reported to be between 40% to 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which in itself is 50% more transmissible than the original strain found in Wuhan.

Meanwhile, the police’s introduction of the term “tiny bubbles” prompted the birth of memes and quips on social media.

“Pearly shells na kasunod kaya umayos kayo,” a Reddit user quipped in response to the term.

A Twitter user shared a picture of girls dressed in Hawaiian hula outfits with a text that reads “Pearly Shell vs. Tiny Bubbles.” The girls, according to the edited picture, “represent” the NCR cities.

A cartoonist-satirist with the username “Cartoonist Zach” shared an illustration of Eleazar blowing bubbles while a representation of the virus causing COVID-19 pops it.

Its social media caption is the same term that the top cop has introduced.

Some have quipped of appointing screen icon Nora Aunor as the “NCR Tiny Bubbles Czarina,” a reference to the “czar” titles of officials leading the national government’s COVID-19 response.

Others edited Eleazar’s face into Nora’s album cover featuring her song “Tiny Bubbles” in her 1971 hit album “Blue Hawaii.”

Walang himala ang tiny bubbles! from Philippines

The “Blue Hawaii” album also contains another of Nora’s hits, “Pearly Shells.”

Apart from being a Philippine cinema icon, the veteran actress has a gift for singing and was known as “the girl with the golden voice” and the “princess of songs.”

She reportedly has over 260 singles in the Philippine recording history and has recorded more than 500 songs in her career.

Cinema Centenario’s account also shared a lyrics video of Nora’s song the day Eleazar introduced the term.

Others recalled the song’s lyrics the moment they learned of Eleazar’s usage.

Last March, the Metro Manila Development Authority used the term “bubble” to refer to areas with reinforced restrictions.

It said that workers and travelers will be restricted around the “bubble” of the Greater Manila Area which was under general community quarantine at that time.

Outside the Philippines, the term is used to refer to a “cluster of people outside your household with whom you feel comfortable spending time during the pandemic.”

A “travel bubble,” meanwhile, refers to a “partnership between two or more places with similar rates of COVID-19 that allows for quarantine-free leisure travel in both directions.”

ALSO READ: What ‘bubble’ really means and why GCQ Plus is not much like it