The man, who wished to remain anonymous, told Taiwanese outlet Apple Daily that he and his girlfriend first spotted the offending swimsuit on sale at a shop in Boracay when they arrived at the island on Oct. 9, Aisa One translates.
He said then he proposed an undisclosed bet with his girlfriend, for which the punishment for losing was to wear the swimsuit in public. Apparently, she did lose the bet, and the couple took to their hotel pool on Oct. 10, with her donning the string bikini.
The man told Apple Daily that they were later asked to leave the hotel pool by an employee, who assured them the request was out of consideration for younger guests in the area. The couple then went to the beach, where, unbeknownst to them, other tourists and locals began snapping photos of them and circulating them on social media.
An image of the woman caught the attention of officials with the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group (BIARMG), who notified police in the region. The couple was later tracked to their hotel and brought to a local police station, along with a representative from their hotel.
The woman 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). The fine was the first time either of the travelers learned about the viral bikini photos.
The woman's boyfriend said he swiftly paid the fee in order to settle the matter, even though he didn't agree with the accusations against her.
"We didn't even know people were taking photos, we were not the ones who took and spread those photos, yet we were the ones who were penalized," he told Apple Daily.
"If this swimsuit is considered flouting the law, then why was it sold in a local shop?" he also questioned.
Ultimately, the man said the incident and subsequent cyberbullying has taken a toll on his girlfriend's mental health, adding that he feels guilty for the role he played in the international incident.
"Please don't blame her," he said.
Following the ordeal, BIARMG chief Natividad Bernardino urged all future tourists to observe "proper decorum" as a form of respect for Philippine culture and tradition in order to avoid similar fines.
"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."
RELATED: Check out these money-saving travel tips:
8 summer travel tips to save you money
8 summer travel tips to save you money
"You're probably thinking that doing an all-inclusive vacay (that's a vacation that includes both your room and food and drink) is just way too expensive, but you would be wrong in almost every case. While it's true that some of the world's great and expensive resorts have an extensive and expensive AI policy, there are many that are very nice and very affordable. All you need is to consider a number of options that can save you money every time."
"Like the old expression "it's 5 o'clock somewhere", that phrase also applies to peak and off-peak travel as it's always off-peak season somewhere! Traveling off-peak doesn't mean you try and go skiing in in Colorado in July either! But, traveling and saving money going OP is a real money saver."
"The first question to ask yourself is this: "Do I really need a car on my vacation?" That answer will depend on where you are traveling, when you are traveling, and what you want to do when you get there.
If you are getting away just to relax and sit in the sun, you may not need a car at all. See if your hotel offers free transportation to and from the airport and/or if there are such services publicly available at a low cost."
"You can get some incredible upgrades if you just ask. One way to do it is when you are flying, ask about an upgrade at the gate when you are celebrating something like an anniversary or birthday trip. Airlines are willing to upgrade you if they have the room in first class as a courtesy, but only if you ask. It's best to do it when you are standing right in front of them at the counter and not on a phone or via an internet message. That's when they will respond positively most often."
"Checking the net is a huge way to save money on your summer—or any—vacation. Websites like Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, and Kayak will do everything from finding you the best deals on air, hotel, and cars to supplying specific venue information and free reservations. You probably already know that these places work well, but they are just a few of the many available, and more are coming all the time. When you have enough lead time for your travel, spend a few hours scanning the best deals and reading real customer reviews online before you reserve. It gives you a much better idea of what you can expect."
"One of the most annoying things that can happen to you is to find out that you will have to pay extra on you baggage when you are checking in at the airport. How are you going to avoid that? Here are a few tips that have worked for me: Pack lighter than you think you may need... Weigh you bags at home... Try "wearing" your luggage like a backpack... Leave room for souvenirs."
"When you can, try scheduling your flights, hotel stays, and car rentals on the less travelled days of the week. That's generally Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But the best way to take advantage of your flexibility is to select the flexible dates option on your travel site so you can find the least expensive choices. Or try a site like Fareness which is based on date flexibility."
"If you are fortunate enough to have choices in your airport departure and arrival sites, check them out online. Because there are usually some differences in those airfares, check out your options. Here in New Jersey, we can fly from Newark, Trenton, or Atlantic City, or from NYC at LaGuardia or JFK. There are even the choices of Allentown PA and Westchester NY that are also close enough to make the air savings worth it. Sometimes it's worth a few hours' drive to get a significantly better airfare."