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  • Aug 2, 2014
  • Updated: 12:18pm
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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jihm.ramones
This is only step 2. Banning OFWs is step 3. Use your brain.
voltaire.balbastro
we are using our brain jihm, that is why we are not going to that place, no earthquake, no typhoon, no rebellion, no islang puting bato, no boracay, no shooting the rapids, Disneyland is not their own,,,nothing,,,what a boring place,
YBJ
if banning OFWs occurs, then that will have a major impact. Only the Filipino PRs will be spared.
marketgod
Hong Kong is already overrun with Chinese Mainlanders...
they Need Filipino money like they need more pollution
jihm.ramones
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.
tksiow
The problem is that the Aquino govt. is so stubborn and arrogant that they even would sacrifice the innocent and hardworking Filipinos who leave home to earn the decent dollar to be sent home. Now their citizens working overseas especially Hong Kong has to be the butt of ridicule and mental abuse.
andypl
You are an enlightened gentleman and well written. Grace,hard to find these days.
erlestanley
TO HELL WITH HONGKONG!!! HK politicians trying to cash in on the issue for the next election? SHAME on YOU!!! WINDBAGS!!!!
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.
archipelago
try to bubble or cry first in your own world or to Xi Jinping before u bubble to the earth, Chinese = small-eyed clown
-
Chinese stud flood HK univs? OF COURSE, HK is a small city of china, people there are called Chinese. Who do u expect to study???

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