“ONLY Mocha can move a volcano.”
This was the verdict of netizens after Communications Assistant Secretary Esther Margaux “Mocha” Uson became another subject of controversy, this time in geography.
Uson, in a video, mistakenly placed Mayon Volcano in Naga City, which is two hours from the city.
“At yung pinakamahalaga pa, yung nangyayari sa Naga, yung pag-aalburuto ng Mayon Volcano,” (And the important thing is the eruption of Mayon Volcano in Naga City) Uson said in her video from India, where she accompanied President Rodrigo Duterte who attended the Asean-India summit.
Netizens and celebrities were quick to make fun of the Palace official’s mistake.
“So hindi lang pala perfect cone ang Mayon. Naglalakad din pala!” (So, Mayon is not just a perfect cone, it also walks!) said netizen Krishna Senga.
“Makauwi nga ako sa probinsya ko. Balita ko may bago kaming bulkan,” (I can finally head home. I heard there’s a new volcano.) tweeted actor Enchong Dee.
“It’s just one or the other. Either Mocha is so powerful she can move mountains, or Mayon can bi-locate,” singer Jim Paredes tweeted.
Pinoy Ako Blog, the website critical of the Duterte administration, also joined in.
“Luh, wala naman sa Naga ang Mayon. Nasa Albay po. Absent po siguro kayo sa school nang tinuro yun no? Or baka naman hindi kayo nagbabasa ng dyaryo. Kasi nasa news siya everyday, ha?” (Mayon is not in Naga City. It is in Albay. I suppose you were absent in school when this was taught to you or you might not be reading the newspapers, because it’s in the news.) the blog wrote.
“Ang Mayon Volcano po ay permanenteng anyong lupa yan, hindi yan parang bangko na may Legazpi branch or Naga Branch,” (Mayon Volcano is a permanent piece of land, it’s not like a bank where there’s a branch in Legazpi or Naga.) the blog added.
Uson later corrected herself in another video, but this time claiming that it is in the Bicol region.
“Nagkamali ako, hindi sa Naga. Bicol,” (I was wrong, it is not in Naga, but in Bicol.) Uson said.
The Pinoy Ako Blog once again said she was mistaken.
“Ano yan, may Mayon Volcano tour sa buong Bicol? Gawa kayo ng announcement na ganito?” (What’s this, a Mayon Volcano tour in all of Bicol? You make announcements like this?) Pinoy Ako Blog wrote, showing the map of Albay and even presenting its possible “stops” in Sorsogon, Masbate, and Catanduanes.
Naga City is the home city of Vice President Leni Robredo.
Uson was a subject of controversy over the past few days. Her award for government service by the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association on Sunday was criticized by UST students and alumni. She returned the award through her assistant on Wednesday.