The Hong Kong Legislative Council passed a resolution last week seeking to impose sanctions on the Philippines for its failure to apologize and compensate victims of the 2010 Manila bus hostage crisis. And one of the threats being dangled was the revocation of Filipinos’ visa-free access to HK. The timing couldn’t be better as the warnings were made just as super typhoon Yolanda beat down on the Visayas with full force. It left a rather bad taste in the mouth.
For most of us in Manila, the common reaction was: “who the hell cares? We will go to Bangkok, or Singapore! Your loss, not ours.” And somebody even coined the acronym: FUHK! 🙂
This gets me into thinking if sensible Hong Kong deserves to reelect those legislators seeking to rock the boat on their next best neighbor (us!) I agree that the Philippine president SHOULD NOT be made to apologize on bended knees in behalf of 100 million Filipinos for the psychotic act of one disgruntled police officer. The problem was local, not national. Rolando Mendoza’s state of mind at the time the heinous crime was committed doesn’t reflect the mental faculties of the gazillions among us who negotiate through our big city everyday. So why put us on your travel blacklist and make it hard for us to travel to you? It doesn’t make sense.
We haven’t forgotten that story of Shell executive Emmanuel Madrigal and daughter Regina who were hacked and slashed to death while getting off a tourist bus in Tiananmen Square in August 2005. Or how about Dr. Rizalina Bunyi who was killed in the same Square in a terrorist attack only last Oct. 28? In all these instances, the Philippines didn’t raise a howl about apologies or even demanded a $10 compensation….. $75,000 of which Hong Kong refuses as “too small” for each of those who died in the Manila bus incident. Hah!
Anyhow, I’ve travelled to Hong Kong with the regularity of a viajera in the past year. There are many posts I have pending from my visits which I will probably not get to write. How can I help promote a place which doesn’t love the Philippines back??
I shall see you in my dreams roasted goose plus barbecue bun….
Sigh. Heavenly macarons from Pierre Hermé and Laduree. They don’t have branches in the Philippines. What will happen now?
The genteel surroundings of Ritz Carlton, Caprice Bar at Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental in Connaught Road.
Gosh. My friends are really angry.
Think again Hong Kong. There are lots of other visa-free countries you know. With budget airlines and competition for tourism heating up, it’s better and much easier for us to travel where at least we will be welcomed with open arms! Tse nyo lang! 🙂