• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 4:22pm
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

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!
andypl
No economy on this planet "needs" the Philippines money. Its a small unimportant, uninteresting, poor, uneducated and irrelevant country with an arrogant attitude. Not to mention the disgusting poverty that their own government is incapable of improving much. Its about time they learned to be more humble and reasonable. They need to accept responsibility when they mess up. They are not a superpower nor should they act like it.
michael.michael.1447342
Snub HK? You idiots think HK needs you? There are nearly 250,000 OFWs in HK, 2.5 times compare to the number OFWs in Taiwan.
If Aquino couldn't get jobs for the 80k to 90k OFWs in Taiwan had Taiwan booted them all out, what makes you think any of the 250,000 OFWs in HK would get a job back home? This is the TRUE REASON why the PH apologize to the Taiwan because 90,000 people would be out of a job and the third world country Philippines couldn't provide for them!
Second, you morons FORGET that HONG KONG and TAIWAN were Prosperous nations EVEN BEFORE all the OFWs came. Get that in your head, Hong Kong and Taiwan were, are, and still is two Prosperous nations even before all you OFWs decided to come.
We don't need you and you measly cheap tourist dollars. Tourist from the Philippines rank among the cheapest group in terms of tourist dollar spent.
Truth be told the only countries capable of absorbing ANY siginifcant amount of OFWs all belong in the Middle East and I know all you Filipinos have heard horror stories of the countless abuse, rapes, and jailing of OFWs by Middle Eastern Countries. I'm sure all these OFWs would love to go there instead of work in HK or Taiwan.
chanaa
nice bubble you live in. You should get out once in a while
steve.veloso.37
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.
rael.kristine
Some concerned countries like US, UAE and UK are working on helping the Philippines in response to what the dreadful typhoon Haiyan has left the country while Hong Kong is still busy working on the sanctions which they can't wait to impose. Come on!
Philippines' politicians/leaders have lots of things piled up to do to cater to its people who lost not just 8 lives but thousands. Not saying that we just ignore the 2010 HK Chinese killing or abandon the issue, no. No one was happy about their death and we were actually saddened by it and hoping that this gets resolved but in a rational way.
Just saying, back off a little and don't make it seem like the death of your people was the entire country's fault for you to create this egotistical unnecessary war and to affect each and every Filipino's lives.
Still hoping that this issue gets settled. Let's not make decisions out of anger….
armaan.genomal
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.
archipelago
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???
aethelwulf
HK is nothing special? And Philipines is? I've lived in HK over 6 years, have been to most places in Asia several times, but ZERO times to PHIL and ZERO interest to do so.
mightysimon
You are so shallow!

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