• Fri
  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 3:10pm
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
why should i visit hongkong? no typhoon,no eartquake,no rebellion,no boracay, no isla puting bato,nothing, what a boring place,
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.
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.
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.
mightysimon
Personally, I totally against the idea of sanctions towards tourist or anything that will harm the relationships between normal citizens of Hong Kong people and Filipino.
I doubt many people who had posted "extreme comments" here don't even know what had happened that day. Youtube and watch how the professionals comment on the issue.
Was it only the killer who is at fault?
Can the entire tragedy be prevented?
Can more lives be saved?
Has the police force done a job that can be described as "best effort"?
Was there any improvement in the police force three years after the tragedy?
Who is eventually responsible to all government departments, the Filipino citizens (including the killer) and all the foreigners who live / tour in the Philippines?
As parents, can you say..."It's not a family tradition to apologize on behalf of my problem kid!"?
jihm.ramones
You don't need to get a visa if only stopping over. (i.e. hub/transit as you say)
It has been 3 years in the making. Sanctions didn't happen just over night, nor have they even started yet. Our "leader" has had a long time to do the right thing. Aquino is the one that involved us, not HK IMHO.
We claim that the Philippines is a dangerous place with dangerous people, and that travelers should know and accept the risk. If our people are so dangerous that they murder tourists with automatic rifles and smuggle drugs into HK thru the airport luggage (and get caught on a regular basis), then a visa system would surely make sense.
We can still goto HK, we just require a visa, which is simple. If we travel to China, a visa is also required. So what?
We should all ask Aquino: Why are you so stubborn and why does an apology, in your mind, a sign of weakness? Refusing what is ethically and morally correct is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of immaturity - something that the opposition have said about Aquino.
I am proud to be Filipino. I'm just ashamed that we have an incompetent leader and also ashamed that most of Filipino commenters here are do not show any class.
To the rest of the world: We're not all stupid and ignorant and arrogant. It's just that those that are are usually the loudest in our culture.
cblunt
While there can be no doubt that those responsible for law enforcement and security in Manila badly screwed up in the hostage incident, I don't think it's fair to punish ordinary Filipinos for that by making them apply for visas. Filipinos have to suffer enough already from the incompetence and corruption of their own government officials and don't need things made even worse for them by Hong Kong.
-
Although Hong Kong may justifiably be entitled to an apology and compensation for the hijacking incident they should direct their anger at the right people. A lot of the corrupt money acquired by those incompetent officials in the Philippines finds it's way out of the country through the banking system in Hong Kong. If Hong Kong really wants to retaliate for what happened maybe they should look at ways they can help prevent these ill-gotten gains from leaving the Philippines via Hong Kong. At least that would be targeting the sort of people whose leadership failure resulted in those Hong Kong people losing their lives.
marian
actually contrary to popular belief to some arrogant hong kong people, there are actually very rich Filipinos (those 700,000 people you want to ban in your precious province) and who can afford to travel abroad and liked Hong Kong for spending leisure and such. they are not there to clean your toilets but really like spending their money in Hong Kong]!!LOL! and these Filipinos actually don't take their smelly **** in the middle of the road or expensive stores or let their children urinate in the middle of a crowded road in Hong Kong(give this credit to HK"s very precious tourists the Mainlanders!lloL!). so meh... these people can afford to go to other countries to do some spending.LOL!
alpot_scmp
Even assuming that Filipinos still choose to go to HK aren't they just adding more work to the HK immigration, more paper work to process the visa application?
dienamik
Unless they are the maids, Filipinos do not matter to Hong Kong at all.

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