• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:17pm
NewsHong Kong

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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If you invite people into your home, you treat them as guests.If you do not treat them with respect, you should not expect to be treated as respected guests in their home either.This is a simple matter of ethics and diplomacy.If we Filipinos do not understand this, we should not call ourselves a civilized democratic people and nation.Lest we not forget, a simple apology is exactly that.A simple thing.If our democratically appointed leader cannot even muster up the courage to face accountability and apologize (without a smart-**** smirk), then expect to pay up in 1 form or another and be prepared to have our country, government, people will continue to be viewed as pathetic joke to the rest of the world.If we really want to break down the math of things, we are comparing our hundreds of millions of 'lost' tourist dollars to HK vs the lost BILLION of OFW wages to domestic helpers alone (a year).But all of that are just minor facts about money, relatively unimportant compared to life and death.So let's talk about life and respect instead.Aquino is a elected representative of our country.No respected elected official of a civilized state should have to be reminded to apologize for the loss of life of foreign tourists in his country. If he thinks an apology means "kowtow", then frankly speaking, we're not a very educated country if this is the guy we choose to represent us. I don't care about the visas, but we should not be petty.Take the highroad and say sorry.That's patriotism.
@Wiifredo.garrido - "We will endure 100 typhoons than be bullied by the Chinese."
Youve seen what destruction Yolanda did right? early reports as much as 10,000 dead and Billions in damages. Possibly more.
So... you'd rather have 99 more Yolandas happen in our country (1,000,000 dead and 100 billion pesos damage)... rather than a short " I.AM.SORRY. " from the President??
way to go, Pinoy Pride!!!!!
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.
It is sad to know that the HK Legislature has shown its displeasure in having Filipinos visit Hong Kong visa-free as was the case before. This will be catastrophic for tourism in the region as a whole and I would urge both the SAR and Mainland Governments to resolve this issue with the Philippines as soon as possible to foster neighbourliness and cooperation in the Asian continent.
I demand the HK Chinese government to finalize the sanctions and publish worldwide, as if we care. In "meow" or Cantonese tone, "kwik, kwik la"! HK is just a small Chinese city with nothing special in this century seriously. Oh wait, on behalf of her majesty and the british empire, I demand apologies for the british pilot stabbed in HK. And what's going on with the Lamma Island ferry tragedy??? how about the HK Chinese died in the ferry tragedy in Thailand, did u ask the kingdom of Thailand for apology to the little crying city of HK???
CY is only trying pathetically to gain back his plummeting popularity particularly after the license TV fiasco. I don't think he cares a bit for the victims and families.
Hehe, you are funny. You are just another reason why the world thinks of us Filipinos as slaves...and why white people definitely impose visas for our kind. Way to show your idiocy you fool...Pinoy pride brother.
Hong Kong is already overrun with Chinese Mainlanders...
they Need Filipino money like they need more pollution
while it is sad that if the HK government will show its wrath to the people of the philippines instead of the people who committed the blunder in the philippine government, HK will clearly be the loser here, even if they dont need the money filipinos bring in to HK, its still a loss to them. what they should do instead is to ban filipino workers much like what taiwan did, to pressure the philippine government to do what is right.
Oh, yes, dcuniverse. Better be dead than kowtow to a foreign power.



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