Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

People attend a wedding ceremony as Taal Volcano sends out a column of ash on January 12, 2020 in this image obtained from social media. (Courtesy of Randolf Evan Photography via Reuters)
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Updated 14 January 2020

Till Taal do us part: Filipino couple weds under volcanic cloud

  • Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal
  • Despite the alarming backdrop, bridal couple little affected

A couple getting married in the Philippines over the weekend witnessed a surprise guest at their wedding.

In what has made for dramatic shots that have since gone viral on social media, Chino and Kat Palomar exchanged vows in Cavite province on Sunday under a gigantic cloud of smoke and ash from Taal, one of the world’s smallest active volcanoes.

“The mood was surprisingly calm despite the large billows of smoke that were already prominently visible in the ceremony area,” said Randolf Evan, the wedding photographer.

Evan related how the volcano began spewing smoke an hour or two before the wedding started, and said ash began to fall on the party toward the end of the ceremony.

More than 24,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes from the volcanic island on which Taal is located south of central Manila, and in the area immediately around it — normally a popular tourist spot.

Social media users responded with amazement to the shots of the bride and groom and their party in a white canvas tent lit with fairy lights under billowing clouds streaked by lightning.

“Kudos to the wedding planner,” read one jokey comment. “This is going to be tough to top.”

Despite the alarming backdrop, Evan said the bridal couple were little affected.

“They were actually relaxed and collected throughout the whole wedding,” Evan said.

“We later found out their wedding was 8 years and 2 kids in the making, so this day they planned for was going to be special no matter what, with or without the Taal volcano’s intervention!”


KFC apologizes for ‘sexist’ Australian ad

Updated 21 January 2020

KFC apologizes for ‘sexist’ Australian ad

  • The ad shows a woman dressed in a short playsuit as she looks at her reflection in the window of a parked car
  • The Zinger Popcorn box ad has so far garnered over 60,000 views

KFC on Tuesday apologized for an advertisement in Australia that shows two boys ogling at a woman's low-cut top, after calls from a local campaign group to boycott the fast-food giant over the ad it called “sexist.”
The 15-second ad, which has been running on television for the past three weeks and is also posted on KFC Australia’s YouTube channel, shows a woman dressed in a short playsuit  as she looks at her reflection in the window of a parked car.
The car’s window then rolls down to show two young boys staring at the woman, before she smiles and says, “Did someone say KFC?“
The Zinger Popcorn box ad has so far garnered over 60,000 views with over 160 dislikes and 700 likes on YouTube.
“We apologize if anyone was offended by our latest commercial. Our intention was not to stereotype women and young boys in a negative light,” a spokesperson for Yum Brands-owned KFC’s South Pacific unit said.
While many viewers did not approve of the ad, some took to Twitter to label the ad “funny” and said there was no need for the company to apologize.
Collective Shout, a group which campaigns against the objectification of women, condemned the ad and said it was a “regression to tired and archaic stereotypes where young women are sexually objectified for male pleasure.”
“Ads like this reinforce the false idea that we can’t expect better from boys. It is another manifestation of the ‘boys will be boys’ trope, hampering our ability to challenge sexist ideas which contribute to harmful behavior toward women and girls,” the group’s spokeswoman, Melinda Liszewski, said.
Last month, exercise bike maker Peloton Interactive Inc. faced heavy criticism for its Christmas advertisement, in which a woman receiving the company’s bike as a gift from her husband was called “sexist” and “dystopian” on social media.
Some said the husband was “controlling” and “manipulative” as buying his wife an exercise bike suggested that she needed to lose weight.
Both ads were criticized nearly a month after they were first published on online media and television.