MANILA -- "Baguio as a friend" became a top trending topic on social media this week following the controversial statement of Paolo Contis on his rumored relationship with Yen Santos.
Contis cleared Santos, his co-star in the movie "A Faraway Land," in his recent breakup with long-time partner LJ Reyes.
In his statement posted on Instagram, the actor confirmed that he indeed spent time with Santos in Baguio, but stressed that the latter was there for him "as a friend."
Contis' remark generated countless memes among Filipino netizens, with brands also jumping on the social media trend.
Among them is the motel chain Victoria Court, which offered to serve as a meeting spot for meetups among "friends."
"Arat? Kape lang as a friend. G ka ba?" it said.
AR Cafe, which has branches in Batangas and Laguna, launched a promo for customers named "Paolo, Paulo, or Pawlo," saying they could get a free coffee if they bring a "friend who pays full for a drink."
"Paolo, Paulo, Pawlo ka ba? Inaaway ka nila. Lika, libre ka namin!" it said in jest.
Book Amiga, an online bookstore, for its part used the meme to promote its sale event.
Its post had the text: "Go na, bilhan mo na ng book, as a friend."
In recent years, Baguio has been dubbed as the place "where broken hearts go," following the success of movies like "That Thing Called Tadhana."
A tourism hotspot before the pandemic, the city is known for its cold weather and delicious, affordable eats.