MANILA, Philippines ? Move over, puny billboards.
A 32,000-square-foot photo mosaic that looks like a large?or rather a giant?image of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay was unveiled in Makati City Friday, beating out billboards and streamers of politicians eyeing posts in 2010.
Binay, however, was quick to say that the tarpaulin, which nearly covered the whole field of
University of Makati, was a gift from a private company to pay tribute to his work as Makati?s chief local executive for 20 years.
?This is from the private sector. It?s a way of saying ?Thank you,?? he said in English and Tagalog. Binay is running for vice president in next year?s elections.
Biggest in the country
Around 100 University of Makati students rolled out the photo mosaic on the field, containing 120,000 photos showing Makati as a premier business district, as well as the quality of life of its citizenry.
Binay said the photo mosaic was primarily the Philippines? entry to the Guinness World Records, as the country aims to beat the current largest photo mosaic on record, measuring 9,625 square feet. It was created by the Big Picture project and was unveiled at the Millennium Point in Birmingham, United Kingdom last Aug. 23, 2008.
The Makati photo mosaic was printed on a tarpaulin measuring 200 ft by 160 ft, or a total area of 32,000 sq ft (2,972 square meters), which is almost four times the size of the current world record. It is also considered the biggest billboard in the country.
The gigantic photo mosaic rivals the size of eight basketball courts or two Olympic-size swimming pools. It could fit 400 parked cars or 20,000 people.
Asked what he would say if critics claimed that his poster was self-serving, Binay replied in English and Filipino: ?What would they file? Infomercials are allowed assuming that this is an infomercial. But this is not even an infomercial. This was given to me as a gift. So what?s the big issue about that??
Binay was citing the recent Supreme Court decision which allows infomercials and other activities, so long as it is not construed as ?premature campaigning,? during the period after the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoC) until the official start of the campaign period.
The high court initially upheld the Comelec?s disqualification of Mayor Rosalinda Penera of Sta. Monica town in Surigao del Norte.
After filing her certificate of candidacy for the 2007 elections, Penera held a motorcade to encourage people to support her candidacy. The motorcade was held before the start of the official campaign period?an apparent violation of the Omnibus Election Code on premature campaigning.
Where to hang Binay
But Binay?s rivals need not feel threatened by the enormous tarpaulin, as even the mayor was stumped as to where they could hang it.
?I myself am wondering where to hang it. But this is for the Guinness World Records,? he said in English and Filipino.
Makati public information chief Joey Salgado said the photo mosaic would most likely be displayed for only a few days on the school?s field before it is rolled up and perhaps?recycled.
Abong Gaw, general manager of Golden Touch Co. which printed the tarp, said it took them six months to collate the photos from Makati?s 33 barangays.
?I think one of the [problems] we had to iron out was who can avail of such a number of photos. We thought it should be a city or a large group like Makati,? he said.
Gaw said they slashed the price by half for TMV Productions, which commissioned the photo mosaic, because it would be for the Guinness World Records. He declined to say how much the tarpaulin cost.