Prank Gone Wrong: Vlogger catches flak for pretending to faint at mall amid Wuhan virus fears

Some jokes are not funny at all.

A vlogger was arrested on Sunday after he pulled a hilaaaarious prank in which he went into the Yashano Mall in Legazpi City, Albay and pretended to pass out — while wearing a face mask — amid the ongoing rash of heightened fears over the Wuhan coronavirus, all in the name of creating “content.”

Marlon de Vera, a resident of the village of Bigano, pretended to faint right in the mall’s entrance at around 6pm on Sunday. After a short period, he gives a few sickly twitches, then suddenly springs back up, does some token stretching, and whips off his mask — the very picture of health. The stunt was captured by De Vera’s companion on video, Pang Masa reported.

The original clip has been taken down, but the video was copied by several other accounts on YouTube, and boy, were a lot of netizens pissed at de Vera, accusing him of being an irresponsible attention-seeker tastelessly preying on people’s fear of the Wuhan coronavirus.

At least one Albay politician was also not amused by de Vera’s stunt. City Councilor Vince Baltazar even went so far as to tell Manila Bulletin that what de Vera did could be considered a grave public scandal, a serious offense under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines.

Read: Oops: Foreign man who collapsed in Manila street not Wuhan virus patient, just drunk

Crispin Tormes, Yashano Mall’s administrator, told The Philippine Daily Inquirer that they interrogated de Vera, and the vlogger confessed that it was all just a prank. The mall decided not to press charges against de Vera because he apologized for the incident.

“He said he did it just to be famous,” Tormes said.

It apparently wasn’t long before de Vera himself thought better of the stunt.

On Sunday, the same day he made the video, de Vera posted a public apology on his vlog, Uragon Vlogger, in which he thanked the administrators of the mall for forgiving him.

“I will take a break from creating these video blogging pranks. It has become scary. I don’t want to repeat it because I already promised that I will never do it again. I’m just a human being and I make mistakes.”

 

Was it right for the mall to forgive the vlogger? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.

This article, Prank Gone Wrong: Vlogger catches flak for pretending to faint at mall amid Wuhan virus fears, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!