ILOILO CITY (ANN): A Taiwanese tourist was fined P2,500 (RM204) for wearing a bikini that one police official said was “literally” just a string in Boracay, lighting up social media with photos that divided the island’s netizens between those who did not see anything wrong and those who cried indecent.
The tourist, in her 20s, was summoned to the Boracay police station after photos of her wearing a string two-piece bikini along the famous white beach of the island circulated on social media.
“Several residents and tourists took photos of her on Wednesday and Thursday because of what she was wearing, ”Maj. Jess Baylon, police chief of Malay town which includes Boracay, told the INQUIRER.
On Wednesday, Oct 9, she wore a white string bikini and a red one with a similar cut the next day.
“It was literally a string, ” Baylon said.
The social media photos that went viral caught the attention of the The Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group on Wednesday which directed the island’s police force to call the attention of the tourist.
Baylon said they traced the tourist to a hotel in Station 1. She and her boyfriend, along with a hotel representative, were brought to the police station at 5.30pm on Thursday, Oct. 10.
The tourist, who wore a dress at the police station, told police she found nothing wrong with her bikini.
The tourist, according to Baylon, considered it as “a form of expression and of feeling comfortable with her body.” The woman also told police it was what she wears normally back in Taiwan, Baylon said.
Several residents of Boracay posted mixed reactions on social media but many, including expatriates, said they found the bikini “indecent.”
As authorities could not find an ordinance prohibiting the wearing of very skimpy swimsuits, the tourist was given a citation ticket and meted the fine based on a provision of an ordinance prohibiting the taking and display of “lewd” photographs.
The Taiwanese couple were scheduled to leave the island on Friday, Oct 11, but will be required to pay the fine first, according to Baylon.
Topless bathing, mostly by foreign tourists, was tolerated in Boracay until the early 1990s when there were still few tourists and residents on the island. But a surge in tourist arrivals and residents also meant less secluded and private areas. - Philippine Daily Inquierer/Asia News Network
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