The proposed Hollywood-style signage at Taal Volcano, as seen from Tagaytay City. (Image from the Office of the Governor of Batangas, via Inquirer.net)
MANILA, Philippines – The Batangas local government may think it will look pretty, but online reaction to a proposal to put up a Hollywood-style sign at Taal Volcano is getting uglier (and funnier) by the minute.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported Thursday, October 20, that the Batangas provincial council has approved to erect something similar to the Hollywood sign in the United States – a big BATANGAS sign – at the side of Taal Volcano.
The Inquirer reported the council approved the building of the supposed landmark, an idea of Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, last October 5.
Vice Governor Mark Leviste told the Inquirer that the premise of the idea was that the volcano was the “heart” of the province.
The sign, Leviste said, would help establish the identity of the lake and volcano as part of their province, which he said many mistake to be part of Tagaytay City in Cavite.
Online reaction to the story was swift.
The story, first posted at the Inquirer site in the wee hours of Thursday, already had more than 7,000 shares on Facebook, and more than 500 shares on Twitter.
A quick search on Twitter yielded almost purely negative reactions.
“Inspired by the NAIA, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos goes for another crown: the world’s ugliest volcano http://ow.ly/72SaP #Philippines.” – Neil Risos (@neilrizo)
“This Hollywood-like Batangas sign on Taal is so stupid, I wanna cry.” – Addi Dela Cruz (@additur)
“Protect Taal Volcano from this idiocy! Argh so stupiiiddd” – Carla Barretto (@heycarlaaa)
“Hooray for crazy officials? Stupid. Really. ‘Hooray for Hollywood’ on Taal Volcano Island http://shar.es/bu7Ie” – @laragirl78
“”BATANGAS” sign a la Hollywood to be put up on Taal Volcano? This is just… gross.” – Jopet Reyes (@yalikethathuh)
“@markleviste Putting up that BATANGAS sign on Taal Volcano will not help. Let’s focus instead on UNESCO bid @TourismPinas @RonsNebre.” – travel blogger Ivan Henares (@ivanhenares)
“Gov. Vilma, you’ve done well so far. But you don’t have my vote on defacing Taal Volcano. #DoNotDefaceTaal.” – Jos Ortega (@josortega01)
“I don’t want to see a stupid sign on my country’s natural beauty spots. “‘Hooray for Hollywood’ on Taal Volcano Island” http://shar.es/bu2Ag.” – Wanggo Gallaga (@wanggo_g)
“The proposal to have a Batangas sign where Taal volcano is simply stupid. It’s the penchant of politicians to put their names everywhere.” – Fr. Jboy Gonzales SJ (@jboygonzalessj)
On Facebook, graphic artist Macky Pamintuan was among the first people to make fun of the situation. He created a parody of the idea: placing huge, Holywood-style signages on major tourist spots around the country:
Via Macky Pamintuan (View original here)
Meanwhile, blogger EJ Padero had another idea.
Other online parodies of the idea quickly spread throughout the web. Here is one, via Facebook user Noah Valdez. Lastly, Facebook user Dan Gil has an entire album here.
What’s your reaction to the idea? – Rappler.com