The Gist


Nadine's out here doing some hot girl sh— by working with organizations for reforestation projects in Zambales, but Filipinos can't seem to get past her "hiking outfit". We're disappointed, yet not surprised.

/ 11 January 2021

National girl crush, Nadine Lustre, has gone viral yet again on the first few days of the New Year, and it’s not for the reasons she should be. It seems that anything the young artist touches turns into a spectacle for the whole Filipino society to mull over and gawk at, and although that includes the huge success of her acting and music career, it also unfortunately means that the whole country seems to have something to say about her outfit choices, and supposedly private love life.

When Lustre’s group of friends started going on social media to share their first hiking trip of the year, two things immediately caught fans’ and critics’ attention. Firstly, James Reid’s presence in the trip that fueled the rumors that the ex-couple has gotten back together over the holidays. And secondly, a single picture of Nadine hiking in her bikini bottoms.

As JaDine fans squealed in excitement over what the couple’s hiking trip might mean, haters were also quick to comment about Nadine being a “bad influence” and “desperate for attention” for allegedly going on a hiking trip in a bikini—as if it’s a big deal. But alas, Filipino haters have always had the knack for picking out the smallest and most inconsequential things in a photo to find reasons to bash public figures.

But Nadine has had enough, especially when she’s been trying to raise awareness for reforestation efforts in Zambales since December 2020, yet media outlets and netizens chose to focus their attention on something as trivial as her bikini. In a series of Instagram Stories, she shared her frustration over people genuinely believing she hiked in her swimwear. And though it really shouldn’t be a big deal and she owed no one an explanation, she shared that the only reason for the photo was that her denim shorts got wet during their trek and it was taken during the 10 minutes that she waited for them to dry.

After sharing her piece, she also wished that it was her campaign with For the Future PH and Bioten Philippines instead that got this much attention.

For years, one of Nadine’s most passionate advocacies has been taking care of Mother Earth, and just before 2021 reared its head into our lives, she shared her partnership with the aforementioned organizations to plant trees to support Make A Difference (MAD) Courses’ 10-year reforestation project in Zambales. The campaign, 88K Trees, encourages concerned citizens to purchase a seedling for only P50, and for every seedling bought, Bioten Philippines has pledged to match.

However, society’s fixation on the Big Bikini Incident completely overshadowed Nadine’s promotions for the campaign, and it’s upsetting to think that she felt the need to explain the situation just so people could move on and focus on far more important things.

Aside from the fact that wearing a bikini during a hiking trip isn’t unheard of—and does not warrant social media persecution—perhaps this is another lesson to us all about the stories we choose to focus on as a society. Between bikini pictures and a massive reforestation project, one story undoubtedly trumps the other in terms of relevance and significance. And it’s not the one that involve’s someone’s personal love life and wardrobe.