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‘Shoe-burning’ at coliseum lot goes viral on Facebook

By: Aileen Garcia-Yap, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag February 20,2016 - 10:41 PM

BERNARD Banzon was sitting on a yellow chair at the parking lot of Cebu Coliseum while waiting for the concert by a Christian group to end about 10 p.m. on Friday.

To his surprise, Banzon, a ball boy at the coliseum, about 40 people converged at the coliseum’s parking lot on Borromeo Street in Cebu City, with three of them holding pairs of Nike shoes.

The group then formed a circle around the pile of Nike shoes placed on a metal tray.

“Burn the Nike sole for the soul,” said the leader of the group before putting a pair on the pile and setting these on fire.

The group took a video of the burning of the shoes, which was done in support of Manny Pacquiao who was dropped by the international sportswear brand as its endorser after the boxing icon described same-sex couples as worse than animals.

The 2 minutes and 49 seconds video was viewed 685,000 times as of 9 p.m. and had 12,000 shares. It had 30,000 likes and generated 3,500 comments.

The video was uploaded by Oriel Ballano but it was not clear if he was the one who led the burning of the Nike shoes.

There are two Facebook accounts under the name of Oriel Ballano. One identified him as bishop of Doulous for Christ World Harvest Ministry.

In the other Facebook account,  Ballano posted at about 1 p.m on Friday that he was going to burn his “newly acquired” Nike shoes at the Cebu Youth Fest in support of Pacquiao on the night of the same day.

Susan Bacalso, officer in charge at Cebu Coliseum, said the facility was booked on Feb. 19 by an Ezekiel Corcuella of G12 Philippines for a youth festival from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The organizers paid P50,000 for the whole day rent which included the light, power and chair, she said.

G12 Philippines is not a denomination but “a vision to bless the body of Christ and extend the Kingdom of God,” according to its website

Bacalso said that had she known that shoes would be burned on the parking lot,  they would have stopped it.

“We don’t allow such kind of activity because it is too risky even if it happened at the parking lot because of the cars,” she said.

The video showed a man in black shirt holding his pair of gray Nike shoes before the camera and said: “Burn the Nike sole for the soul.”

He was surrounded by a group of young men and women who took their own camera phones to take a video of the activity.

The man then put his shoes on top of a pile of Nike shoes placed on what looked like a metal tray. Using the match, he then lighted the pile of shoes after another man poured gasoline from a plastic bottle.

While the shoes were burning, the man on the video explained that their group does not hate the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community,  who bashed Pacquiao over his remarks, but “we hate (the LGBT community’s) agenda.”

He said they burned Nike shoes as a show of support for Pacquiao and his stand that: “gay marriage is not right.”

“Burning (Nike) shoes is just one way of showing that we Christians can also be loud. We will not keep quiet  while they are laughing at us and being controlled by a few,” he added in Tagalog.

“No! Love and righteousness, love and righteousness and we show support to righteousness by burning these. it’s a sign that we show righteousness,” he said.

The man also thanked those who believed that Philippines should be saved from immorality.

“Philippines is for Jesus,” the man said his while  audience cheered and clapped.

Banzon said the group stayed for almost an hour and a few of them threw water to douse the flame before they left.

“Pag human ug kapalong, nakadungog ko nga naay namakpak. Pag human sad nilakaw ra sila (After they put out the fire, I heard them clapping. Then they left),” he added.

When Cebu Daily News went to the parking lot on Saturday, there were eight pairs of burned shoes that were thrown into the garbage area. Burned particles and a shoe lace were still on the metal tray that was stored at the stockroom of the coliseum.

Cebu Coliseum security guard Jefrey Bitos said he had no idea who placed the metal tray inside the stockroom.

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TAGS: Cebu Coliseum, Nike

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