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‘Epal’ papal visit tarps in Manila removed but more sprout in Pasay

Just as authorities began removing some so-called "epal tarps" that appeared in Manila on Sunday, more sprouted in Pasay City, especially near the Villamor Airbase where the pope is to arrive on Thursday.

Photos posted by dzBB radio Sunday afternoon showed many of the large Pope-themed tarpaulins along Andrews Avenue in Pasay City.

The tarps, like those in Manila, had blue backgrounds and featured the logo of a soft drink company and the name of local barangay officials.

"Welcome His Holiness Pope Francis," read the message on the tarps – along with a large soft drink logo and the barangay chairman's name underneath.

Another tarp minus the soft drink logo but with Pope Francis with the Philippine flag as backdrop also featured the barangay official's name. It was posted atop the barangay hall.

Earlier, another dzBB photo showed the tarpaulins along Quirino Avenue being removed and placed in dump trucks.

An Instagram video showed crews removing the tarps.

The epal tarps were first seen Sunday, just four days before the pope arrives for a five-day visit.

"Epal" is a Filipino word for officials who post their names and faces on tarpaulins used as signage of their projects, or in greeting people on special occasions.

It has now taken the meaning of candidates introducing themselves to voters for election purposes. — Joel Locsin/LBG, GMA News