‘Buwaya in your area?’: Netizens fall for ‘Lolong’ publicity stunt

June 27, 2022 - 5:59 PM
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A real-looking animatronic prop of a crocodile for GMA’s upcoming series ‘Lolong’ tied on a truck. (Gaea Cabico/Philstar.com)

Has anyone seen a huge reptile roaming around Antipolo and Marikina over the weekend?

GMA Public Affairs on Saturday, June 15 posted pictures of a huge crocodile tied behind a truck with a blindfold on its eyes. The crocodile is said to be over 20 feet long and has been roaming the roads of Antipolo and Marikina.

Hours later, GMA News revealed that it was an animatronic prop “Dakila,” the main character for the network’s upcoming series titled “Lolong.”

The post original reads: BUWAYA IN YOUR AREA? Isang higanteng buwaya ang nakitang pakalat-kalat sa mga kalsada ng Antipolo at Marikina. Sakay ng isang truck, nakatali ang bibig at katawan ng buwaya at nakapiring ang mga mata nito. Tinatayang lagpas 20 feet ang haba nito.

It garnered different reactions on social media with some people making fun of the publicity stunt while some expressing concerns about the lack of disclosure.

On Twitter, user @0523_Mark was among the the first to call out the stunt expressing his concern about the panic the post might get due to the lack of disclaimer.

“Anong iisipin ng hindi nakakagets nyan na for a show lang yung buwaya na yan? GMA, please clarify your post, hindi na ba tayo natuto dun sa ‘MOA globe incident’? ‘“ he said, referring to an incident in November 2021 where it was reported that the globe at the Mall of Asia Arena has been stolen.

The incident also turned out to be a PR stunt for Netflix’s action-comedy film, “Red Notice.

Another user, @albertlirio, concurred with @0523_Mark’s concern.

“Oh diba,” he replied in a retweet.

“It [is] the MOA Globe all over again,” he added.

Meanwhile, the reactions on Facebook were more jolly and welcoming, where netizens made fun of the publicity stunt.

The lead actor of the network’s upcoming series, Ruru Madrid, lead the comment section.

“‘Buwaya’ minsan nasa tubig, minsan nasa kalsada,” he said

“Nagkalat na mga buwaya, sa tubig sa kalsada sa basketball court sa opisina kung san san pa! Tag niyo kilala ninyong Buwaya,” another actor, Joross Gamboa commented.

“Buwaya nga sa amin, nagpapataya ng jueteng,” Facebook user commented with “haha” reactions.

“Nagpapakita maraming susulpot na gutom na buwaya,” another Facebook user commented.

Some perhaps did not get the stunt of the network, still expressing concern on the reptile.

The government-controlled Philippine News Agency (PNA) meanwhile apologized for “erroneously mentioning” that the animatronic prop was alive.

PNA has deleted the post on its website and social media platforms.

“Kawawa namang buwaya yan, naging simbolo ng kurapsyon tapos nakatali pa. Dapat pinapakawalan na lang sila sa kanilang natural na tirahan! Kawawang hayop dahil sa kaperahan,” a Facebook user commented with a “sad” reaction.

As of writing, the Facebook post garnered 86,000 reactions; 13,000 comments and 35,000 shares. On the other hand, the Twitter version earned 690 likes, 314 quote retweets, and 116 retweets.