The Baguio City hotel that hosted eventologist Tim Yap's viral birthday party has 72 hours to explain why it should be spared from sanctions, the city government said Wednesday.
Yap said guests were provided with masks and shields which were taken off for photos. Guests also tested negative for the virus before going to The Manor at Camp John Hay. These were things not seen on social media, he said.
"Every activity was supervised, contact-tracing measures were followed. It's just sad what's being magnified... There's no excuse for that and I apologize for that. There's no excuse for not wearing your mask. We have to be at all times be really vigilant," he told CNN Philippines.
The hotel has yet to release a statement about the event as or early Wednesday.
Photos and videos on social media showed guests line dancing with Yap, along with photos of high-profile personalities without masks or shields. Some photos of the buffet showed servers and guests wearing masks.
According to Yap, the event was coordinated with the city government and was held outdoors, a 5,000-square meter garden. It was also an effort to promote the city's art and culture.
Even Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, who serves as the country's tracing czar, attended the party to thank Yap and the organizers for promoting the City of Pines. Despite measures to ensure that all guests would follow safety protocols, he acknowledged that minimum health standards were violated during the event, even by his own wife.
"Mayroon pa rin, even my wife violated it kasi nagtanggal nga [ng mask] dahil may picture taking," he said.