Filipino actor and model Martin del Rosario is under fire from netizens for engaging in poor behavior with starfish while on vacation in Coron.
The actor uploaded a picture on Instagram of himself on March 2 with multiple starfish on his chest and captioned it “Starfish attack.” It was taken in what seemed to be Malcapuya Beach in northern Palawan’s island town.
Responses to his post stated that people need to understand the importance of not touching or taking starfish from the sea since they die when taken out of the water.
Private account @iam.lowie commented that starfish cannot stay out of the water for long since they can’t breathe and suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, which leads them to die from asphyxiation.
Another account, @tinatinaypie said, “Sana hindi mo [na] lang pinost or better yet take down this post as it will give ideas to those na mga bb na gagayahin ‘tong ginawa mo.”
“Hindi dapat pinaglalaruan ang starfish. They breathe underwater. They suffocate when they are removed from water,” @brainteaser2020 also commented under his post.
“Seems harmless at first (para sa mga ignrnte like you) BUT please do know na hindi dapat ginaganyan ang starfish. Pinapakealamanan mo at Pinapatay mo ang mga may buhay para lang sa selfie mo. Please be mindful naman!” @ thejayarellano told Martin.
When the population of starfish declines, other species in the same habitat, such as sea urchins and kelp, suffer, causing a detrimental ripple effect on marine life as a whole, @friedoreosss explained.
Del Rosario’s fans, on the other hand, backed him, saying the other commenters shouldn’t be serious about condemning him because he was just having fun in Coron, a favorite location for celebrities trying to unwind from their hectic entertainment schedules.
He was welcomed in Coron on February 28 by representatives of the municipal tourism office.
“Masyadong seryoso naman ung ibang comment syempre after ng pic binalik agad sa dagat ung star fish bakit si Del Rosario lang ba gumawa ng ganyan at nag picture?” said @samsonnicholas.
Another Instagram user, @garydselfie, poked fun at Del Rosario’s critics by claiming they should also protect other marine animals like squid and octopus.
“What you mean is pwede syang magpapicture pag kinain nya after? So bakit di nyo din ipagtanggol yung mga kinakain nyong squid or octopus? So itong 6 na starfish lang na nasa dibdib ng artista na yan kung [sino] man yan, ang may damdamin? Yung ibang lamang dagat walang karapatan ng awa nyo?” he said.