If Filipinos stop going to Hong Kong, their economy would collapse- Roilo Golez, Philippine congressman
One of the things I am impressed by the Filipino community, may it be in the Philippines or elsewhere is that ability to pick news as they are released fresh from the printing press. Or when a sensitive topic gets its fair share of publicity.
When Kraft Foods manufactured a biscuit brand called Filipinos which was released in shops in Spain, the Netherlands and Portugal, the government was quick to react and protest that alleged defamation of the honorable name. This has sparked outrage and prompted many to sign petitions of the "needlessly offensive" brand naming. Maybe, if Filipinos is a brand of toilet paper or sanitary napkin, I'd freak out. But I guess Austrians didn't mind the Vienna sausage nor Germans revolted against the naming of Frankfurters. Filipinos biscuits, Vienna sausage and Frankfurters are all food, mind you.
When Desperate Housewives released an episode where the character Susan Mayer, played by Teri Hatcher said something like: "Can I check those diplomas," she says, "because I want to make sure they're not from some med school in the Philippines." Oh yeah, the writer must have heard about the nursing exam scandal in the Philippines the year before and inaccurately referred that doctors from the country are also products of the same rotten system where those who can bribe can earn degrees and pass exams.
Now Chip Tsao (I wouldn't rename him Cheap, ever) over at HK Magazine made that slur and the tone that seemed to put down Filipinos as incapable beings:
Manila has just claimed sovereignty over the scattered rocks in the South China Sea called the Spratly Islands, complete with a blatant threat from its congress to send gunboats to the South China Sea to defend the islands from China if necessary. This is beyond reproach. The reason: There are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as US$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong. As a nation of servants, you don't flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.
Oops, US$3,580 isn't cheap labor, mate. OK, you made mistakes more than just that currency switch. Working in Hong Kong as maids doesn't prevent the Philippines from staking its claim over territories in the South China Sea. (Just because you got your name on that sea, doesn't mean you own it). Look at the map and get your Vernier caliper to measure if Spratlys is closer to China or to Palawan, that nice province I aim to visit soon.
Does the statement introduction saying Tsao can live with Russians sinking a Hong Kong ship because Lenin and Stalin are mentors of Chinese people, or the Japanese claim of the disputed Diaoyu islands is OK because Japan contributed Hello Kitty, anime and sushi? What about the contribution of Filipina domestic helpers? Filipinas are here to work and maintain cleanliness of households and sanity of their employers, Chinese, American or European. Maybe inconceivable, but I thought of what Hong Kong would be like if there are no Filipinos, especially the humble domestic helpers. Lowly paid and sometimes abused, these Filipinas only wanted to provide for their families back home and never did ask the Philippine government to instigate that simmering confrontation with China at South China Sea. Just because we have an inferior navy, you have all the right to assert your power.
Blame the Philippine congress and spare the maids. The unsuspecting Hong Kong domestic helpers. They've got a truckload of problems themselves; don't add up to the pile.
That's immature Mr Tsao. The article has slowly turned a little Malu Fernandezque type which insensitivity ruled. Yet even if she is a Filipino, many of us hated that woman. How much more for a non-Filipino like you, sir?
But it doesn't mean we need to be overly sensitive and spew invectives that do more harm than good.
Those who can't make sensible comment and useless name calling should just keep quiet instead of trying to resolve things because you can't resolve it that way. It doesn't help if we say Tsao's infected with melamine or poisoned by the polluted air of Hong Kong. See what others think. An attempt to sow anger in a forum was quickly extinguished.
And you Roilo Golez, the lawmaker from Parañaque City who is just too sensitive of the matter. Your suggestion calls for a proposed a six-month boycott against Hong Kong by not traveling to the place and not purchasing its products, as quoted from GMA News.
If Filipinos stop going to Hong Kong, their economy would collapse. I propose a six-month, nay a one-year boycott of Hong Kong and let's see what happens to their shops and hotels. We can do without going to HK and HK products.
Does "their" mean Filipinos or Hong Kong economy?
Nice try, patriot wannabe. You and your congress buddies can definitely impose 100 years suspension of your junkets and useless trips to Hong Kong and elsewhere using public money.
The mentality of boycotting products has always been in the minds of some Filipinos. Stop watching Desperate Housewives (DH), someone would suggest. To me this is short-sighted. Maybe that's why other people look down on us because of this immature act.
The case of discrimination is not new here. Filipino women coming to Hong Kong with suspicious backgrounds are detained. Then the discrimination alarm flag is raised. I guess that's up to the discretion of the immigration department and we can do nothing about it. Maybe they saw a lot of cases involving Filipinas in the past who indeed stayed illegally here? If something goes wrong, nobody else is accountable but the immigration department staff themselves.
Let's stand and improve our standing in the society and do our job well. As long as we do our job honestly, we should be proud of it. We need to be open minded about these things and never be. That's how we can prove we are an educated bunch of people even as Mr Tsao kind of belittles his domestic helper Louisa, who holds a degree in international politics at the University of Manila. A friend even fears that his tea/meals will be laced with poison.
While I support the cause of Filipinos worldwide, as I myself am an OFW for the past eight years, and many hardworking Filipinos are abused everywhere, I would not let's not allow our emotions rule over this.
Why fret about it? Unless proven otherwise, let other people say what they want to say about Filipinos. If that's untrue, why should we be bothered? But the truth hurts and that's what we're sometimes unable to accept. So maybe those reacting immediately are those who find themselves inferior to others. For the record, HK Magazine also provided a feature on Arnel Pineda, the Filipino lead vocalist of the band Journey. I didn't see accolades from the same critics of the magazine for the feel-good story. We assume all news are good news and all stories have happy endings.
I am hoping to grab my copy of the HK Magazine, which is distributed freely in Hong Kong's bars and coffee shops.
Hey, Asia City Publishing Group has already apologized, so we should move on and tackle more important matters instead of dwelling in this mess. Or maybe if I stumble upon Mr Tsao in Lan Kwai Fong or Knutsford Terrace for a drink and tell him how I felt, that would be great, too.