Friday, April 13, 2007


I remember driving down Edsa on Black Saturday (April 7) and seeing black paint splattered on several of the smaller billboards that line the partition wall of the MRT. [News story]

It was obvious that the black paint was a deliberate act of vandalism, because far too many of the billboards had been defaced in the same manner.

At first I thought the vandalism was meant to be an attack on one of the Pantene shampoo endorsers, but as it turns out, all four of them got the same gob of black paint on their smiling, billboard faces.

By the time office work resumed on Tuesday, the defaced billboards had been taken down, and new copies of the shampoo ad were up. And a new set of billboards now encouraged everyone to "Report the Wet Paint Rag Vandals!"

I can only imagine how shocked below-the-line advertisers all over Manila must have felt when they first saw the ads. Billboards have become so popular and effective in recent years that even I felt a little jolt the first time I saw what the vandals had done.

Hopefully, the vandals won't have another chance to indulge in such mischief again. Edsa was predictably deserted during the Holy Week holidays so it was possible to do this without being seen. The thoroughfare has far too many vehicles at all hours of the day and night the rest of the year, so perhaps that will be deterrent enough.

Side Notes: I wonder who came up with the term "Wet Paint Rag Vandals." The phrase doesn't exactly roll off the tongue easily, although I must admit that it is both picturesque and accurate. I also wonder why they decided not to write the "Report!" billboard in Tagalog.

Update (June 14, 2007):
Mystery solved. The MMDA admits to being responsible for the vandalism. Doh! Visit Bambit's blog for the relevant links and more information.


bambit said...

by now you must know that it was the MMDA themselves who were the wet paint rag vandals. the videos were all over gma news early this june.

mdy said...

I actually didn't know. How strange is that?!

I clicked on your name in the comment and found links to more information.

Thanks for pointing me to that! And thanks for visiting too.

christin berlina said...

I see.