‘Sulit sa sarap?’: Brands drop campaigns inspired by NAIA bill-swallowing incident

September 26, 2023 - 5:53 PM
Composite photo of promotional gigs from Lola Nena's and Authentic Bootleg (lolanenas, Authentic Bootleg/Instagram, Facebook)

Several local brands referenced the alleged bill-swallowing incident at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in their advertisements.

Last week, a transport security was caught on surveillance camera stuffing something in her mouth at the NAIA Terminal 1. The officer was later accused of stealing $300 or P17,000 worth of cash from a traveler. She was allegedly trying to swallow the stolen bills to avoid getting caught.

This incident triggered outrage from local travelers and concerned Filipinos who slammed the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) for having such personnel within its ranks.

READ: NAIA security officer under fire for trying to swallow money in alleged theft 

Some local businesses, however, took the news as an opportunity for their marketing promos.

Lola Nena’s, a bakery and restaurant known for its donuts and pichi pichi, uploaded an Instagram Reel that showed supposed footage of one of its employees eating a whole can of Spanish sardines.

The video was also part of a social media post resembling a news report.

“A video obtained by our CCTV at Lola Nena’s HQ (headquarters) shows a member of the team seemingly enjoying Lola’s newest product, The Premium Spanish Sardines. She allegedly couldn’t help herself from finishing the whole bottle kasi ‘sobrang sarap’ di umano nito at packed to the brim with zesty sardines and spices,” the post reads.


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A post shared by Lola Nena’s (@lolanenas)

Lola Nena’s parody has since garnered 1,900 likes, 50 comments, and 228 shares on Facebook.

Razon’s Zamboanga, a halo-halo dessert store, also referenced the airport screener in a Facebook post promoting its product.

In its advertisement, the store juxtaposed the poster of its signature halo-halo costing P135 with a screenshot of the CCTV footage used in news reports.

“Sulit sa presyo at sarap,” the post reads in reference to the affordable halo-halo as a snack.

It garnered 85,000 reactions, 1,900 comments and 7,800 shares on the platform so far.

Authentic Bootleg, a toy store selling products inspired by popular memes, also jumped on the bandwagon.

It promoted its “security officer starter kit” costume comprising a bottle of water and a handkerchief in reference to the bottle of water and handkerchief that the security officer used during the alleged theft situation.

Its post also gained buzz among its followers. It has garnered 4,500 reactions, 292 comments and 2,900 shares on Facebook.

Security officer supposedly swallowed chocolate

Last Saturday, the OTS screener filed a counter-affidavit against the accusations lodged against her.

In her statement, she claimed that what she was put in her mouth, which was seen on CCTV, was chocolate and not wads of alleged stolen bills.

OTS administrator Ma. O Aplasca confirmed that her office received the worker’s counter-affidavit.

The Department of Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, meanwhile, earlier expressed dismay over this case at NAIA, citing his efforts to “promote among potential foreign investors who may want to operate and maintain the country’s main gateway.”

The case is still under investigation as of writing.