A Taiwanese tourist has been arrested and fined after wearing a bikini that has been described as ‘just a piece of string’.
The young woman in question had been holidaying with her boyfriend at the beautiful holiday destination of Boracay Island, Philippines, when she donned the barely-there string bikini.
Staff at her hotel had reportedly warned the woman the string bikini would be considered inappropriate by those on the island. However, she opted to ignore their advice and wore it for a second time, apparently defending the itty-bitty item as a ‘form of art’.
As reported by The Phillipine News Agency, the woman was stopped by authorities on the afternoon of Thursday, October 10. She was arrested and made to pay up a fine before she could leave.
Speaking with The Phillipine News Agency, Malay police chief, Major Jess Baylon explained the tourist had been fined PHP2,500 (£38.58) for her ‘erotic and lewd’ bikini bottoms:
We have this action taken for other tourists not to follow (the act) and (it is) also an eye-opener for resort owners to brief (their) guests to dress appropriately.
Major Baylon added:
Her boyfriend said, ‘It’s quite normal for us in our country and that was her way to express herself with confidence.’
But their customs and traditions are not the same in our country. They have to respect our culture and tradition, and our proper decorum.
Boracay Inter-Agency Management and Rehabilitation Group (BIAMRG) police chief Natividad Bernardino has also spoken out about the incident, urging other visitors to respect the cultural norms of Boracay Island.
Chief Bernardino said:
We have our own cultural values as Filipinos and Asians. They should be able to respect that, There is no dress code (to be followed). Maybe it is just common sense.
They were told not to by the hotel management, but they said it was a form of art.
Going forward, both the BIAMRG and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have encouraged hotel and resort owners to implement their own protocol for letting guests know about what should and shouldn’t be worn on Boracay Island.
Hotel and resort owners in the area reportedly do already have such measures in place. However, according to Chief Bernadino, such protocol is ‘not very extensive’, leading to avoidable offences such as this.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.