• Fri
  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 8:20pm
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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This article is now closed to comments

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...
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.
hey allan94, i guess you lost the last barangay election, you sound like a defeated candidate who claim he was cheated,
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.
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,
Are they closing Hongkong Disneyland for good..
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
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?
To answer your question, no, you cannot say "It's not a family tradition to apologize on behalf of my problem kid!" You should, because those children are your responsibility. In this case, your citizens and lawmen are your responsibility. If we open our doors to tourism, we must abide by these common sense rules. If these were Americans, we'd be on our knees begging for forgiveness in humiliation.
All Mendoza wanted was his job back. Give him his job back. Then throw him in prison for breaking the law of taking hostages. Sorry, you have a criminal record, so even after you get out, you cannot work for law enforcement.
Noynoy does not want an inquiry into the whole ordeal. Nobody wants to find out all the dirty details of why he was dismissed in 2009 for extortion. It's humiliating and even more so if publicized on an International stage. The truth is, the whole of Philippines is corrupt. All the parties involved including the police, Noynoy and Lim are corrupt and this is simply a cover-up gone wrong. These idiot Filipinos give the rest of us a bad name and I'm ashamed of them. One cannot help but to ask, was 2013 and Yolanda in particular a message from God? You be the judge. All I know is it's hard for others to feel sorry for you if you constantly disrespect them for no reason.
broaden your horizons my dear
don't put yourself to shame, you just can't defend and be proud of your country
i guess that's shameful WiNK



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