Why Filipinos are taking selfies while inside a coffin

November 1, 2018 - 4:25 PM
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Pink coffin selfie booth
A death care company improvised a pink coffin for Filipinos to have their selfies taken as part of their marketing plan to promote their services. (Reddit Philippines/philippinefails)

A death care company cleverly took advantage of the Filipinos’ selfie-loving nature when it offered a picture-taking gimmick inside a pink coffin near cemeteries.

St. Peter Life Plan and Chapels was responsible for the gimmick that was done in “over 200 memorial parks and cemeteries” for the Undas season.

Most Filipinos enjoyed the gimmick but others claimed that it was “f**ked up.” Nevertheless, it earned laughs from the online community.

Apparently, the company has been doing it on a yearly basis since 2009.

According to Estrellita Retardo, the branch manager of St. Peter’s Memorial Chapel in Talisay, Cebu that time, it is part of their marketing gimmick to promote their life plan services.

“It is free, they can take a look inside and have a picture of themselves, this is our way of celebrating Halloween, this is something different,” she said in an interview before.

"Free Picture Taking" inside coffin right outside the walls of the city cemetery from Philippines

St. Peter Life Plan and Chapel has a “Death Care Week” where they aim to promote public awareness on death care planning and preparation.

It is part of their social responsibility program and their way to commemorate the Undas season.

Their “Death Care Week” starts every October 27 and lasts up November 2—which is also considered the company’s anniversary date. Activities include coffin picture-takings and providing tricycle rides to Filipinos who need to go to memorial parks and cemeteries.

The fascination with taking selfies

Filipinos are known to be fond of taking selfies. This is not a surprise since the country is the “social media capital” of the world since 2016.

According to a 2017 report, a Filipino spends an average of “almost four hours on social media everyday.”

The study was done by creative agency We Are Social and social media management platform Hootsuite.

Statistical figures show that on Facebook alone, Filipino users are expected to reach an estimated count of 36.2 million in 2018.

Four years ago, TIME Magazine dubbed Makati City as the “selfie capital of the world.” Part of the report reads:

“An examination of hundreds of thousands of selfies—the low-fi, self-shot photographs that are intensely popular among younger social media users—suggests that the city, part of metropolitan Manila and home to 500,000 people, produces more selfies per capita than any other city in the world.”

Woman taking a selfie

The Philippines is considered the ‘social media capital’ of the world and Makati and Pasig, the ‘selfie capitals.’ (Creative Commons/File photo)

The study was conducted by examining all of the photos on Instagram with the hashtag “selfie” that included geographical coordinates.

Makati and Pasig City came at the top of the list with about 258 selfie-takers per 100,000 people.

Terri Apter, a psychology lecturer at Cambridge University, attributes the fondness of selfie-taking to people wanting to validate themselves and expressing this portrayal to others.

“It’s a kind of self-definition. We all like the idea of being sort of in control of our image and getting attention, being noticed, being part of the culture,” she said in an interview.

Apter added that the phenomenon is normal since people “are social beings.”

“We want to engage with other people. There’s also a sense that if we’re not seen, then we’re invisible. That can be depressing and frustrating,” she said. — Featured photo from ‘philippinefails’ via Reddit Philippines