In the Philippines no social occasion is complete without a group photo. In a restaurant, a passing waiter is called to take the photo. In a public area one of the group might take the photo, or often someone passing by is asked.
These days everyone has a smart phone with a reasonable camera. So the poor waiter or passer-by, after willingly taking a photo with the first phone, is then cornered by other group members wanting photos taken with their own phones. What begins as a simple, quick task expands into an extended photo-shoot that holds up the waiter from serving others or delays the passer-by who might be rushing to catch a bus.
Of course the reason everyone wants a photo on their own phone is so they can post it immediately on their Facebook page. Facebook is hugely popular in the Philippines.
The absurdity of all this has been apparent for some time. As long as seven years ago a great Australian comedy program called The Chasers War on Everything decided to experiment to see how tolerant passers-by were. They assembled a group of 40 people on the foreshores of Circular Quay to see how many photos a stranger would take before getting fed up with the whole thing.
Here’s the result. Make sure you watch it all the way through as the last minute or so is priceless.