Is this another social media experiment starring embattled actor Baron Geisler?
Earlier this week, environmental groups such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), and Greenpeace Southeast Asia criticized the organizers of the Miss Universe beauty pageant in the Philippines for letting contestants swim with endangered whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu.
"WWF noted that feeding the whale sharks in Oslob to lure them [to] a particular spot for tourists modifies their natural behavior as migratory animals," reports ABS-CBN News Online.
Meanwhile, Vince Cinches of Greenpeace Southeast Asia told Agence France-Presse (AFP), "We are afraid because with Miss Universe going there, the Philippines is promoting a bad tourism practice. We are telling the world it's okay to do this, aggravating this kind of behavior."
For his part, MWWP director A.A. Yaptinchay also told AFP, "It's irresponsible and unsustainable. It's not even ecotourism. You sacrifice the environment just for a selfie."
However, Department of Tourism (DOT) undersecretary Kat de Castro pointed out that the whale shark visit was coordinated with the help of local officials: "The marine wildlife interaction was pursued after having been assured by both Cebu and Oslob government officials that it would be well managed according to their guidelines."
With the debate over the Miss Universe whale shark swim activity still raging, here comes Geisler on the scene.
The controversial actor was recently banned from doing TV and movie projects by the Professional Artist Managers, Inc. after he urinated on his then co-star Ping Medina.
On Friday, December 16, Geisler posted on his Instagram page a photo of himself swimming near a whale shark in Oslob as well. He captioned it: "We meet again my gentle giant friend."
He added a quote from environmental activist Paul Watson: "Ships are expendable; the whales are not."
We wonder what environmental groups will say about this now.