Social media erupts with Mocha Uson's 'Mayon in Naga' remark

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Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson mistakenly said that Albay's Mayon Volcano is in Naga.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 25) — Is Mayon Volcano in Naga?

Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson initially thought so, while explaining why she returned her award from the University of Santo Tomas Alumni Association on Wednesday.

"Ginagamit po ng ilang mga tao ang isyu na 'to, itong isyu sa award, para pagtakpan 'yung isyu ng Dengvaxia, isyu ng pagtanggap diumano ni Senator Drilon ng pera kay Napoles, at ang pinakamahalaga pa, 'yang nangyayari sa Naga, 'yang pag-aalburuto ng Mayon Volcano," Uson said in her video blog (vlog).

[Translation: People are just using the award issue to cover up Dengvaxia, Drilon receiving money from Napoles, and more importantly, what's happening in Naga, the continuing activity of Mayon Volcano.]

Critics have questioned her eligibility to receive the UST award for government service. But the assistant secretary said the issue has been blown out of proportion when there are more important issues that need to be discussed.

READ: UST alumni association awards Mocha Uson for gov't service

Mayon Volcano is an active stratovolcano at the heart of eight municipalities in Albay province. It is around 88 km away from Naga, Camarines Sur which is more than a two-hour trip by car.

The active volcano has been spewing lava and columns of ash since January 13.

Uson's remark gained so much traction on social media that it merited the creation of the volcano's own parody Twitter account, @MayongBulkan.

Other netizens took the opportunity to poke fun at the mistake.

A Twitter user said Mayon's successful "transfer" to Naga is due to community efforts.

The tags "Mocha Uson" and "Naga" trended on Twitter Philippines as of 8 a.m.

Uson then issued an erratum in a vlog post around 10 p.m. Wednesday, entitled "Trending tayo dahil sa 'Naga'."

"Pasensya na po, inaamin ko po na nagkamali ako," she said.

[Translation: I'm sorry, I admit I made a mistake.]

She then called out her detractors to focus instead on more important issues such as Albay's relief efforts, Dengvaxia, and the death of slain UST student Horacio Castillo III.

Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that over 71,373 persons have been affected by the series of Mayon eruptions, with more than 55,000 residing in evacuation centers.