Freeze: A literal pause

Mark Demayo
People say that in this fast-paced age, one needs to pause once in a while. Well, some people took it literally

LITERAL PAUSE. Members of Project Awesome Philippines take a literal pause in Fort Bonifacio. All photos by Mark Demayo/ Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – People say that in this fast-paced age, one needs to pause once in a while. Well, some people took it literally.

A ‘freeze mob’ was held in Fort Bonifacio on Sunday, September 1, with a simple message to stop and think in between life’s “busyness.”

In flash mob fashion, participants or ‘agents’ suddenly froze on cue for a few minutes and then unfroze like nothing happened.

Project Awesome Philippines, a group that organizes flash mobs, put the event together via Facebook.

The group claims that more than a thousand agents registered.

“As the first major mob group here in the Philippines, our target is to make an impact or a difference by surprise mobs, inspirational mobs,” said Paul Agabin, the head organizer and an entrepreneur by profession.

FIRST TIME. The organizers of Sunday's freeze mob say this a first of many flash mobs to come

According to the group, the inspiration came from Improv Everywhere, a group based in New York, famous for its viral videos such as a Frozen Grand Central Station and a no pants subway ride.

Asked about the experience, most participants felt nervous since it was their first time to be a part of a flash mob.

“Before it was all planning and now it was the execution proper. We are working with the majority of the mob today,” said Ranjo Isip, one of the team heads or master agents.

STANDING THEIR GROUND. Flash mob participants are told not move despite the jeering from some people

Audience reactions

Based on what they heard as they were frozen, the stunt received positive feedback.

“I’m always amused when it comes from kids that are with their parents. There are quite a number that passed by me earlier. They were even teasing us, ‘Look! They’re not moving!’ and the kids ask why they are not moving,” Isip said.

“I’m just happy when they see us as a photo subject or something unusual,” he added.

Another master agent, Chris Ortiz, found it amusing that some people took photos.

“Others said, ‘picturan mo ako, picturan mo ako’ (Hey, take a picture of me). If you think about it, if you take a picture of a frozen person you won’t notice it. I find the comment funny,” Ortiz recalled.

ATTENTION SEEKERS? Head organizer Paul Agabin says the freeze mob stands for something bigger and not merely a way to seek attention

Not attention seekers

But not all were amused with the stunt.

“The first comment that I heard was ‘mga papansin’ (attention seekers). I almost moved and turned my head around, but remembered that we shouldn’t move and just let it go,” said participant Mitchel Palomo.

Isip also shared, “I’ve heard other reactions like, ‘ano na ba ang ginagawa ng mga kabataan ngayon?’ (What are kids doing these days?)”

Palomo says that negative comments are inevitable, but there are still people who were happy and amused. “There was even one that was prodding me with his dog. ‘Gagalaw kaya to?’ (Let’s see if he’ll move), he said.

The group said that their next act might be a musical.

“But now we’re still seeing places where we can make a big impact,” Agabin said. –

Mark Demayo is a Rappler intern.

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