Filipino officials dress up as ‘Star Wars’ characters to enforce lockdown

As COVID-19 has taken the world by storm (and not in a good way,) it has been interesting to observe the various approaches each nation has had to the pandemic

Now, the Philippines have come up with a pretty creative approach: playing dress-up.

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Officials delivering goods to residents in the flooded Artex Compound in Malabon, Metro Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

Local officials in the Philippines dress up as Star Wars characters as they enforce the country’s quarantine measures and hand out relief packages.

Local youth leaders and government-elected officials have created homemade costumes to dress up in out of various objects such as rubber mats and old plastic, which they wear to catch the attention of villagers, reminding them to stay at home. We’ve got to admit though, for bits of scrap and plastic, these costumes are pretty impressive.

Muriel Baldago, an elected official who dresses as a stormtrooper to enforce quarantine laws described to Reuters:

“We tell off residents who still go outdoors without the proper quarantine passes needed and also those who do not wear face masks. We make sure the government guidelines are properly followed.” 

Not only has this method been surprisingly effective, but their creative costumes are most often greeted with smiles and laughter with many villagers welcoming a little distraction from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Members of a youth group walk down a road in Malabon, Metro Manila, Philippines, April 30, 2020. Photo: Aaron Favila/AP

May 4, which is widely celebrated by fans as International “Star Wars” Day saw the young government workers in costume riding small wooden boats as they distributed relief packs containing products such as rice and canned goods. 

The Philippines’ capital and main cities are currently under strict quarantine measures which are set to be in place until mid-May. The country has confirmed 9,485 cases of COVID-19, meaning that every measure is essential in protecting the population. If it puts a smile on some faces too, then why the hell not?