Tourist fined for wearing nearly non-existent bikini: 'It was literally a string'
A Taiwanese woman was slapped with a fine over her tiny bikini bottoms while vacationing in the Philippines this week.
The traveler, believed to be in her early 20s, caused a stir on social media with her bold swimwear choices on both Wednesday and Thursday while soaking up the sun on the popular tourist island of Boracay.
Photos of the beachgoer's risque attire began circulating on social media, where they caught the attention of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG), which notified police.
Maj. Jess Baylon, police chief of Malay town, which includes Boracay, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that authorities were able to track down the tourist at a hotel with her boyfriend. The pair, along with a hotel representative, were then brought to a local police station on Thursday evening.
"Several residents and tourists took photos of her on Wednesday and Thursday because of what she was wearing," Maj. Baylon told the Inquirer. "It was literally a string."
The tourist, however, said she saw nothing wrong with the bathing suit, asserting it was just her personal "form of expression and of feeling comfortable with her body."
She was issued a citation for violating an ordinance that forbids the taking and displaying of "erotic and lewd" photographs and hit with a fine of P2,500 ($50), which she was told she needed to pay before she could leave the island as she had planned, on Oct. 11.
"Maybe it is her way of expressing how they appreciate the beauty of the island and the beauty of her body," Maj. Baylon told local outlet Panay News. "But in our conservative culture, it is unacceptable."
BIARMG chief Natividad Bernardino urged tourists on Friday to observe "proper decorum" as a form of respect for Philippine culture and tradition following the incident, which made global headlines.
"We have our own cultural values as Filipinos and Asians. [Tourists] should be able to respect that," Bernardino told the government-run Philippine News Agency. "There is no dress code. Maybe it is just common sense."