Explaining the #ManilaBayChallenge

Published September 21, 2020, 8:39 PM

by Jules Vivas

The hashtag is trending, but what is it all about? You dolomite have a clue

They say that the manmade white sand beach at Manila Bay is meant to ease everyone’s anxiety. People did not buy the gimmick, and even used it to poke fun of project instead. And so, memes about white sand satirical posts surfaced.

Despite the many controversies tied to it such as sand mining, the questionable pricing, and the timing of its implementation, the beach has been partially completed. As a matter of fact, over the weekend bystanders were seen flocking the area near the finished portion of the coastline that was temporarily opened to the public.

The internet exploded once again, as an outpour of posts that showed visitors hoping to experience the most talked-about dolomite sand filled social media sites. Aside from existing contentions about the artificial beach, the crowd formed by people waiting for their turn to get inside the esplanade along Roxas Boulevard Manila also drew flak as the beachgoers seemingly forgot about social distancing rules. Earlier today, Malacañang urged the public to observe social distancing in response to photos of crowding by the shoreline.

Currently there are 290,000 cases of Covid-19 in the country, and this figure is still on the rise. Breaking the physical distancing rule seemed ridiculous in order to view the 389-million-peso beach. 

Officials opening the beach to the public on Sept. 19 and 20 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. added to the long list of controversies for Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)’s beach nourishment program. Concerned Filipinos voiced out their frustrations over the situation through various satire posts, witty memes, and video clips, which quickly circulated all over Twitter and Facebook.

#ManilaBayChallenge and #Dolomitechallenge was born. The tags were supposed to be associated to actual photos of the artificial beach, yet netizens found a way to turn them into a joke. Now, an image of onlookers all paparazzi-like, holding their cameras, cramped at a footbridge, has become a template, juxtaposed with random beach photos.

Now do you under-sand?

Here are a couple of posts linking celebrities to the #ManilaBayChallenge, together with the funniest versions of the social media challenge.