Genovia and Wakanda, meet Norwegia: Netizens react to latest PCOO flub

Marguerite de Leon
Genovia and Wakanda, meet Norwegia: Netizens react to latest PCOO flub
PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy dismisses the gaffe as a typo

MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) is in hot water again. 

Netizens on Thursday, June 14, spotted an error in a post on the PCOO’s official Facebook page about outgoing Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner, who paid President Rodrigo Duterte a farewell call in Malacañang. In its caption, Forner was dubbed “the representative of Norwegia.”

Forner’s nation, however, is known the world over as Norway. The country is even officially known as the Kingdom of Norway, and while Norwegians also refer to it in their local tongues as Norge and Noreg, they do not refer to it as Norwegia. 


The original post has since been edited, but netizens continued to flood its comments thread with indignation. PCOO Undersecretary Lorraine Badoy responded to the top comment by Matthew Pirante Pérez, dismissing the flub as a typo and challenging him to discuss her department’s budget. (FAST FACTS: What’s in the PCOO budget?

A few netizens also defended the PCOO, stating that Norwegia is an accepted form of Norway in the Polish and Bahasa Indonesia languages, and that ancient French and Latin chronicles have used names similar to Norwegia. 

Many other netizens, however, were not putting up with the error. Here is a sampling of their reactions:

The PCOO under the Duterte administration has been the constant butt of jokes for its glaring errors over the past years, from its Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson sharing misleading photos, to USec Badoy’s malicious comments on Facebook regarding the European Union, to the PCOO-helmed Philippine News Agency using pineapple producer Dole Philippines’ logo in a piece about the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). (READ: 2017: A year’s worth of the administration’s online faux pas)

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Marguerite de Leon

Marguerite Alcazaren de Leon heads Rappler’s Life and Style, Entertainment, and Opinion sections. She has been with Rappler since 2013, and also served as its social media producer for six years. She is also a fictionist.