ILOILO CITY • A Taiwanese tourist was fined 2,500 pesos (S$67) for wearing a bikini in the Philippine resort island Boracay that one police official said was "literally a string".
Photos of the skimpily-attired tourist circulated on social media, dividing the island's netizens between those who did not see anything wrong with her swimsuit and those who cried indecent.
The tourist, in her 20s, was summoned to the Boracay police station after photos of her wearing a two-piece string bikini along the famous white beach of the island circulated on social media.
"Several residents and tourists took photos of her on Wednesday and Thursday because of what she was wearing," Major Jess Baylon, police chief of Malay town which includes Boracay, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
On Wednesday, she wore a white string bikini and the next day, she donned a red one with a similar cut.
"It was literally a string," Maj Baylon said, adding that the police tracked down the tourist to a hotel in Station 1. She and her boyfriend, along with a hotel representative, were taken to the police station on Thursday.
The woman, who wore a dress when she went to the police station, told officers that she found nothing wrong with her bikini.
The woman, according to Maj Baylon, considered it "a form of expression and of feeling comfortable with her body".
There were mixed reactions on social media from residents of Boracay, with many, including expatriates, saying they found the bikini "indecent".
As the authorities could not find an ordinance prohibiting the wearing of very skimpy swimsuits, the tourist was given a citation ticket and handed the fine based on a provision of an ordinance prohibiting the taking and display of "lewd" photographs.
The couple left Boracay yesterday afternoon after paying the fine, according to Maj Baylon.
PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK, DPA