BAGUIO residents have come up with memes that have turned viral, pouncing on the recent confession of actor Paolo Contis that he was in Baguio only to sort out his marriage woes and that he had brought “a friend.”
One meme called Baguio City, “The Friendship Capital of the Philippines” while another mentioned the “Baguio curse” of ending relationships. Others featured pictures of Contis in Baguio.
Contis confessed that when his long-time partner LJ Santos went to the United States, he decided to go to Baguio for some soul-searching.
“Naging insensitive ako about the possible effects ng issue and I invited Yen for a day para may makausap since malapit lang siya sa North din. She went there as a friend,” he explained.
Yen is Yen Santos, his co-star in the movie, “A Faraway Land” although he said that there was nothing to it all.
Baguio, despite the memes, can no longer afford to welcome “friends” coming into the city because of the surge of COVID-19 cases.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong said that they have been turning away about 50 to 70 visitors a day from its borders after it made its COVID-19 protocol much stricter.
Magalong said the most common reasons for entry refusal were the lack of proper documents and the non-essential purpose of travel.
From Aug. 1-21, a total of 377 travelers were sent home for incomplete travel requirements.
14 have so far been apprehended for presenting fake documents.
Border rule implementation was tightened as early as July to address gaps in drop-and-go and passing-through travels and later as part of the contingency measures against the more dangerous variant.
The mayor has specifically ordered stricter monitoring of all entrances to bar residents in areas placed under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from coming to the city, with several going to the extent of using fabricated travel documents to skirt the city’s entry requirements.
He has instructed personnel manning checkpoints and triages to be vigilant and discerning in their scrutiny of travel documents including vaccination and identification cards.