• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 4:30pm
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

voltaire.balbastro
inflated ? you got us wrong aesthelwulf ! we are a proud people, proud of our heritage and culture, no amount of typhoon,earthquake,rebellion,tsunami,can stop us in our pursuit to improve ourselves and our country,
Kenny
Obviously, the article is trying to add fuel to the fire. More than 100k Filipinos working in HK and how many people/family are they supporting?? Vice versa, how many HK families are employing Filipinos to do work for them. I think the comments are those who rarely go to HK or affected by it.
jhon.d.legend
actually this was a mistake of no one, it's a very sad incident in which Phl & Hk don't want & don't need. Phl prez really don't need to apologize directly, thru informal channels he can convey his condolence. i hope Hk will understand & accept. it's official protocol other nations are doing that too so why single out Phl. let us all be civil & as citizens of this world we need to cooperate especially being good neighbors for so long. Phl & Hk has no spat ever since, let's do it for both our nation's sake
davemap2000@yahoo.com
Are they closing Hongkong Disneyland for good..
YBJ
Let's hope not. Many talented Filipinos working in Disneyland and they will be affected.
archipelago
HK Chinese = small-eyed clown, every time they cry, they're like spanked puppets. before u cry to the earth, try to cry first in your own world or to xi jinping, we'll see if u can still squat and **** on the next day. HAHA.
jihm.ramones
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.
archipelago
oh my dear
everyone is a slave in this world, even the president or king
obama is a slave of the American people, he needs to work or do his duty
the queen of England as well
don't think too of being inferior, we're created equal in this world and slavery is just in different forms
im proud of being a Filipino and im proud that im working hard but I never thought that im a slave
please don't single out the "white" people and I hope you know why other countries require a visa for entry... SMILES my dear
mightysimon
Archipelago... we are not created equally. I guess you should read more history books.
No one in this world deserve to be slaves but the fact is.... stronger of a country, lesser the chance people will think or treat you as a slave.
Is our country - Philippines considered as a strong country?
Why are there so many TNTs if everyone is so proud of their country?
Same as religious country, why only Philippines has the problem of exploding population?
Why Philippines changed from number 1 rice exporting to number 1 rice importing country in the world?
THINK THINK THINK and ask WHY WHY WHY before you criticize.
archipelago
oh my dear
where are yah? read books? as in books?
a well educated and exposed person will never put down other race, seriously
TNTs? I hope you're not one of them
seriously, it's your choice or their choice to be TNT
not only phils has prob in population and other areas, there's no such perfect society
oh my dear, why I will think the problems that make you hysterical HAHA I rather make things that my country will make proud of me just like the recognition perhaps I got from china and Poland...
wish you are OK and smile :-)
keep reading BOOKS?

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