• Fri
  • Apr 18, 2014
  • Updated: 10:55am
NewsHong Kong
MANILA HOSTAGE ROW

Filipinos set to snub Hong Kong after visa threat in Manila hostage row

Threat to scrap visa-free access to Hong Kong brings a swift response on social media, with many saying they will turn their backs on city

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 6:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 November, 2013, 6:01am

Filipinos have reacted with bitterness to the decision by Hong Kong lawmakers to push for the scrapping of their visa-free trips to the city and are threatening to take their cash elsewhere.

Jim Paredes, a popular songwriter and performer, posted on Facebook: "OK Hong Kong, it's been nice knowing you. But you will miss us more than we will miss you."

And on Twitter, user @vita_bella88 said: "Dear HK, see if we care. You need us more than we need you. Thank us for your economy. Good riddance."

The comments came after Legco passed a non-binding motion last week to press the government to impose sanctions on Manila and cancel visa-free access for Filipinos.

It followed Manila's failure to meet the demands of survivors and the families of victims of the hostage crisis three years ago.

Eight Hongkongers were shot dead by sacked Manila police officer Rolando Mendoza and seven injured in the bus siege and botched rescue attempt.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying had previously said he would impose sanctions if the Philippines failed to apologise and give compensation. The families and survivors also want to see the officials responsible punished and tourist safety improved in the Philippine capital.

But the lawmakers' call for sanctions has been met with sadness and resentment.

"It's time to move on from our HK obsession," Mavie Ungco posted on Facebook yesterday.

A young professional, she and her husband - a chef/restaurateur - have visited Hong Kong at least twice a year since 2009.

"We go there to shop, eat and unwind," she told the Sunday Morning Post. Ungco said that every time she and her family visited "we spend a considerable amount. We stay anywhere from three to five days. We call it the Land of Everyday Shopping". But she said a visa requirement would "definitely discourage" her family from visiting.

"We like to go to Hong Kong, but if they don't want our business we'll take it elsewhere."

Gabe Mercado, a performer and training consultant, said on Facebook: "While Hong Kong has always been the favourite short haul vacation destination for Filipinos, most of us will start looking at Singapore and Bangkok more seriously, now that there is this de facto ban on us."

Mercado posted Hong Kong Tourism Board figures showing that from January to September of this year there were 517,562 visitors from the Philippines.

He noted: "Assume that 100,000 more will come and visit between now and the end of the year and you have [about] 617,000 [visitors]."

He estimated that if every Filipino visitor spent an "extremely low average" of US$200, that would come to US$123.4 million.

He warned: "Tourist income could be in danger now that Filipinos will be needing visas."

Other reactions to the proposed visa requirement have been stronger. A Filipino with the account @crustedsauce tweeted: "Why dream about Hong Kong? It is an ugly place without civilisation and culture."

And a Facebook user, Ces Clemente-Ocampo, commented: "They just cut off their nose to spite their face. We will simply take our retail dollars elsewhere."

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This article is now closed to comments

dienamik
Unless they are the maids, Filipinos do not matter to Hong Kong at all.
hkgooner
CY Leung - and his LegCo acolytes - must be even more stupid that I thought (hard) to play this game. If the Philippines turns round and annuls Cathay Pacific's air traffic rights Hong Kong's flag carrier will lose approximately 10% of its passengers and somewhat more of its revenue. In short it will become unprofitable. And journeys from Hong Kong to Australia/New Zealand will add approximately 10% in journey time (due to loss of overflight rights) meaning that passengers will switch to Qantas and other airline on that route. Super. The lunatics have taken over the asylum.
brad.canfield.94
I wouldn't go back to Hong Kong if you paid me by the second!!! What a toilet place!!! It's so expensive there, with smelly, disgusting restaurants serving terrible food, choking traffic with resulting air pollution, & few speak English. Much better going to Bangkok or Singapore...
voltaire.balbastro
why should i visit hongkong? no typhoon,no eartquake,no rebellion,no boracay, no isla puting bato,nothing, what a boring place,
allan94
i am just so glad that the philippines continue to elect corrupt and incompetent leaders year after year., from marcos to erap to arroyo and now aquino. Imagine if they actually get their act together and improve themselves....where are we going to get our slave labor in hk? The maids, drivers, hookers and gardeners who are here are all so good and dirt cheap. Why would we want aquino to be a good president? He cant even if he wants to...he is just so incompetent.......
I say, keep electing and appointing idiots to run your country.....we need your slave labor in HK and spore forever more!
Also, no one in hk wants to donate to haiyan bec we know the money will end up in some senator's pockets. The country is a basket case for 40 years bec the people have no shame and self-respect.
Lets hope they remain the same for another 40.
voltaire.balbastro
hey allan94, i guess you lost the last barangay election, you sound like a defeated candidate who claim he was cheated,
allan94
lol u r right! i do sound like a defeated candidate. the thing is, as we all know, if u r a genuine clean candidate, u can never win an election in PI. also, u can never win in life in PI. Why do u think the filipinos are world champs in lying and cheating. the negative culture is so endemic its scary. it didnt used to be like that....in the 50s and 60s, filipinos were the envy of asia. Their culture, democracy, economy was super. Now in 2013, they are literally the **** of asia.
Eat Dirt Drink Mud and Die
Filipinos kills defenseless Chinese, it's about time China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries punish these heartless people for the murders of innocent people. An apologize and compensation to the family is nothing compared to the suffering of the families that lost their loved ones. Filipinos won't apologize because they are not capable of feeling pain and suffering of victims of crime. To the Filipino (if you are still alive after Typhoon Haiyan ) that rather have Typhoon than apologize, don't worry, it will happen. God will wash you people away and make Asia safe for all Asians.
gwapongpinoy
The **** does not represent the whole Philippines. He just happens to be a Filipino. Do not speak as if you are a first class citizen and a saint because you are not. Also, you do not wish people of tragedy, innocent or not.
aethelwulf
The Filipinos quoted have an inflated sense of themselves. Hong Kong doesn't need them; they obviously need Hong Kong if they keep coming so many times. Banned from coming? Hardly; visas are usually just rubber-stamp procedures.

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