FALSE: Video of Filipinos ‘eating bats in Wuhan, China’

Claim: Two Filipinos ate bat soup in Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV), as seen in a video uploaded by Facebook page Primitive Movies.

The page uploaded the video on January 28 and titled it “PINOY NA KUMAIN NG BAT SOUP SA WUHAN CHINA #CORONAVIRUS (Filipinos who ate bat soup in Wuhan, China #Coronavirus).” It lasted 5 minutes and 41 seconds, and showed two people speaking in a mix of English and Filipino as they ate bat soup.

The caption read, in all caps: “Sila po ang Pinoy sa Wuhan, China na kumain din ng bat soup. Baka nasa Pilipinas na sila. Pakikalat na lang at ipa-quarantine din sila. Pls share, spread the awareness. This is not a joke.”

(They are the Filipinos in Wuhan, China who also ate bat soup. They might be back in the Philippines. Please spread this and put them in quarantine.)

Primitive Movies' post was flagged by Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies potentially dubious posts. As of writing, the post had been viewed over 181,000 times on Facebook, shared 3,186 times, and accumulated over 1,400 reactions and 527 comments.

Rating: FALSE

The facts: The original video was taken in Palau and was uploaded on YouTube on July 17, 2019 – at least 5 months before a case of the 2019-nCoV was first reported in Wuhan, China.

Using reverse image search, Rappler found a 10-minute-24-second long video on YouTube uploaded by user Marzene Caber. Primitive movies' post only took a part of Caber’s YouTube video, which started from the 0:52 mark and finished at 6:31.


At the 8:58 mark of the original video, the man said: “Dapat ‘pag nagpunta ka ng Palau, i-try mo ‘to kasi ito ‘yung parang... famous soup dito. Kahit sa China daw kinakain ‘to.” This part was cut from Primitive Movie’s post.

(When you go to Palau, you should try this [bat soup] because it’s like the… famous soup here. They say even in China they eat this.)

The man also said: “But sikat siya at mahal siya dito kainin (But it’s famous and expensive here). It’s, I think, $35 dollar for one order.” Palau’s unit of currency is the US dollar, while China’s is the Chinese yuan.

Fruit bat soup is a famous delicacy in Palau.

To date, the source of 2019-nCoV is not yet identified. Although there are studies saying it could have originated in bats, there are still no definitive reports that point to bats as the source.

“The animal source of the 2019-nCoV has not yet been identified,” the World Health Organization said. “This does not mean you can catch 2019-nCoV from any animal or from your pet. It’s likely that an animal source from a live animal market in China was responsible for some of the first reported human infections. To protect yourself, when visiting live animal markets, avoid direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces in contact with animals.”

There are also studies that link other animals such as snakes and pangolins to the virus. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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