LOOK: This butanding floats somewhere along EDSA

Published April 28, 2022, 9:59 AM

by John Legaspi

SM Megamall unveils its giant 3D whale shark

“Gentle giants,” that is perhaps an apt description of whale sharks, known colloquially as butanding. These massive creatures with gray and brown hues and white spots are among the largest fish in the sea, and yet they are able to swim with such charming grace. Lucky for Filipinos, the Philippines is home to these water beauties, which are usually found in places such as southern Leyte, Palawan, Sorsogon, and Cebu. According to the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines, there are over 1,950 butanding in the country, “making it the second-largest known whale shark population in the world.”

This time, Filipinos do not need to go to these domestic tourist spots just to see the beauty of the butanding. On April 27, SM Megamall unveiled its newest attraction, the Giant 3D Whale Shark, an immersive art installation that put the spotlight on the whale shark. This high-definition showcase is projected through an LED billboard and aims to “increase the state of advertisement in the country and give awareness to our artistic Filipinos.”

SHARK TANK — This 3D giant 3D whale shark at SM Megamall can entertain commuters stuck in traffic along EDSA’s ‘almost’ normal rush hours

Starting April 28, shoppers can watch the 3D immersive show daily (7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m., and 10 p.m.), near the “Time” sculpture by Filipino-American public artist Jefre Manuel Figueras.

Since 2016, whale sharks have been included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List as Endangered species.

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