Philippine man tattoos his forehead for US$1,770 in April Fools’ Day prank gone wrong

Upon seeing the image on Monday, online seller Ramil Albano rushed to the nearest tattoo shop. Hours later, Albano sent a video of his tattooed forehead to the Taragis Facebook page. He claimed that he did not click on the image before he took up the ink challenge.

Taragis’ account posted screenshots from Albano’s video and said it was “not accountable for events that occurred”. It also acknowledged receiving “a number of messages claiming that our post was executed and that someone had taken it seriously”.

In Philippines, alarm over mail-order bride scheme that trafficks women to China

The account then added this admonition: “Let this serve as a reminder to us all how important reading comprehension is. It’s April Fools’ Day. Never trust anything or anyone. The same as any other day.”

Its posts quickly went viral due to overwhelming public outrage and were later deleted. Taragis’ and Quion’s Facebook pages were inundated with criticisms and curse words.

Strangers also started flooding Albano’s Facebook page with offers to send him gifts ranging from shoes to mobile phones, a huge TV set, an English-Tagalog dictionary and cash.

This Week in Asia has reached out to Quion and Albano for an interview.

In an apparent response to the outrage over his marketing gimmick, Quion, who is a well-known illusionist, filled a duffel bag with 100,000 pesos and visited Albano at his home in Caloocan, a city north of Manila, the next day along with a companion to videotape their encounter.

On Tuesday, Quion posted the video of the meeting on the Taragis Facebook page, which shows him asking Albano, an out-of-work marine engineer, why he had taken up the challenge and failed to realise it was a prank.

Albano explained that he thought it was another challenge since Taragis’ previous social media posts had shown individuals winning 1,000 pesos in cash for eating Takobombs – the brand’s chilli-laced takoyaki – without drinking. He said he had not seen the disclaimer indicating that the challenge was just an April Fool’s Day prank.

He said he was desperate for the money to provide “for my youngest child with Down syndrome and for my other child’s tuition”.

Quion then gave him the money and offered to have Albano’s tattoo removed with laser surgery.

The businessman’s publicity stunt and commitment towards Albano with the payment have garnered him and Taragis, which has over 80 branches nationwide, considerable free publicity.

Offers of goods also continued to flood Albano’s page. Kim Belandres, the owner of Sole U Ilo, an online shoe store based in Iloilo province, offered to send him a pair of branded rubber shoes of his choice.

Philippines’ attractions at stake amid unclear eco-tourism project rules

Belandres told This Week in Asia that Albano has not responded to his offer, possibly because his social media account and mobile phone have been inundated with messages.

“It’s just a small gesture from me,” Belandres said.

“The prank played on him was poverty porn used for marketing purposes. When you are really wanting, you will really take on such challenges,” Belandres added.

Belandres did wonder if the tattoo was real or fake as a social media influencer had implied. However, the heavily tattooed Quion had accepted that Albano’s inking was real.

It was not the first time that a Taragis “challenge” had gone wrong. In June, Marlou Arizala, an influencer who goes by the name of Xander Ford, took on a challenge to eat 11 pieces of Takobombs filled with sliced octopus and ‘Carolina Reaper’ red chilli peppers. He had barely finished the second Takobomb before he was rushed to hospital where he stayed for several days.

On April Fools’ Day, some businesses in the Philippines would post pranks as a way of increasing their public profile. The government once warned against bomb jokes on the day, saying in an advisory that pranksters could land in jail.

Filipinos are also wary of December 28 – known as Niños Inocentes or Holy Innocents Day – as many had been pestered previously on the day with requests for “loans” of either money or goods that were neither repaid nor returned.

Source link

Related Article


Leave a Comment