The Department of Health has recently been using memes to remind the public on firework safety and healthy eating for the New Year.
Filipinos were amused and commended the creativity of the health agency’s social media handler.
The first of the witty posts was a popular meme featuring women yelling at a white cat to warn Filipinos against eating too much unhealthy food for “Media Noche,” a midnight feast to welcome the New Year.
It soon made rounds over a thousand times with more than 4,000 reactions.
“Siguruhing kumain ng masusustansyang pagkain sa mga handaan. Idamay mo na rin ang buong tropa! Iwasan ang sobrang matataba, maaalat, at matatamis na pagkain,” the agency said on December 28.
Siguruhing kumain ng masusustansyang pagkain sa mga handaan. Idamay mo na rin ang buong tropa! Iwasan ang sobrang…
The meme first gained fans on Twitterverse early this year. One of the images—that of two women—came from an episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and the white cat is an adorable Instagram personality named Smudge the Cat.
The next day, the health agency shared a cartoon image from Filipino artist named Elmer DS Saflor whose Facebook page is called Superelmer. It was the most popular with more than 10,000 shares so far.
The message, this time, was to remind Filipinos on being safe around fireworks.
“Panatilihing kumpleto ang iyong mga daliri ngayong bagong taon!” the caption read.
Panatilihing kumpleto ang iyong mga daliri ngayong bagong taon!Isang malusog na pasko at ligtas na bagong taon sa ating lahat, mula sa inyong Kagawaran ng Kalusugan!(Original art by Superelmer)
The account posted another popular meme on December 30 which showed the crying face of NBA legend Michael Jordan.
It goes with the statement “Tiyan ko pagkatapos makakain ng panis.” It has immediately made rounds more than 2,000 times with 5,400 reactions.
“Sa panahon ng mga salu-salo, siguruhing laging malinis at ligtas ang iyong kakainin at ipapakain sa mga bisita. Basahing mabuti ang label ng mga bibilhin at i-check ang expiration date,” it said.
Sa panahon ng mga salu-salo, siguruhing laging malinis at ligtas ang iyong kakainin at ipapakain sa mga bisita. Basahing…
The meme originated from Jordan’s emotional speech at his Hall of Fame induction in 2009. An image of it soon became a meme in 2016 and soon became a standard response to public mishaps on social media.
The use of memes to appeal more to the public instead of releasing the usual social media statements gained wide praise.
One Reddit user noted that memes are more informative pieces than horrible photos of victims.
Reiterating the prohibition on fireworks
As of publication, the DOH recorded a total of 54 reports of fireworks-related injuries since December 21.
Of the 54, half came from the use of illegal fireworks such as piccolo and boga. Government agencies have released an infographic of names of illegal fireworks on social media before.
The DOH once again called on local government units to minimize the use of fireworks in the upcoming midnight revelry.
“I hope we can make sure that these illegal firecrackers are kept out of reach of people, especially the children… We should keep a tight watch against those who will light firecrackers on the street where many injuries take place,” DOH spokesperson Eric Domingo said.
In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 28 which limits the use of firecrackers to “community fireworks display” following the rising number of such incidents in the past.
The number of firecracker-related cases in the following years had since been reduced from December 2017 to January 2018. The health agency only recorded 191 injuries, which was a 68% drop from the same period from 2016 to 2017.