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Number of posts : 74
Registration date : 2009-03-13

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PostSubject: Boycott Hong Kong   Boycott Hong Kong Icon_minitimeTue Mar 31, 2009 11:18 am

MANILA, Philippines - Chip Tsao would go down in the short-term memory of Filipinos, along with Malu Fernandez and the Desperate Housewives slur as one who demeaned hardworking and often harshly treated Filipinos working abroad.

His comment triggered an uproar in the Philippines, with one lawmaker urging Filipinos to boycott Hong Kong for a year.

It took three days for the publishers and editors of HK Magazine to say sorry for the “politically incorrect" column it ran last March 27 following calls from Manila for an apology.

The infamous column by the “best-selling author" called the Philippines nation of servants and even threatened a Filipino maid of being fired should the Philippines finally take over the disputed Spratly Islands.

Asia City Publishing House, HK Magazine's publisher, with office at 301 Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road in Hong Kong, issued the statement on Monday:

"The publisher and editors of HK Magazine wish to apologize unreservedly for any offense that may have been caused by Chip Tsao’s column dated March 27. HK Magazine has long championed the rights of Filipinos working in Hong Kong. We note that Filipinos have often been unfairly treated in Hong Kong, and that they make an important contribution to this community."

The column had disappeared from the magazine’s Web site as of posting time.

Despite admitting that Tsao’s column was offensive, the publishing company defended that the column was satirical and could be read “in different ways."

“One aspect of satire is that it can be read in different ways. In this particular case, many people have read meanings into this column that were never actually intended."

Tsao wrote in his March 27 column for the HK Magazine that the Philippines has no right to lord over the disputed Spratly Islands because it is "a nation of servants" who shouldn’t “flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter."

China has a long-standing claim over the islands, which lie at the South China Sea.

’Chip’/Cheap shot

A non-government organization assisting migrant Filipino workers on Sunday scored Tsao for his “satirical" tirade on the Philippines.

Former Labor Undersecretary Susan Ople, head of the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, said Chip Tsao should be blacklisted as an “undesirable foreign employer" for allegedly using his Filipino house maid as “pawn" in the Spratlys controversy.

This, Ople said, “is already a sign of an unstable, irresponsible and racist employer who resorts to verbal abuse for perceived bilateral and historic infractions."

Ople asked the Philippine Consulate, particularly its Office of the Labor Attaché, to look into the work conditions of “Luisa," the Filipino maid, as she expressed personal concern for her safety and health.

“Luisa deserves a sane and more humane employer while he [Tsao] deserves to clean up his own filth," Ople said.

Soon after, Filipino lawmakers sounded the alarm over the racist column.

In a telephone interview with GMANews.TV on Monday, Foreign Affairs committee chair Cebu City Rep. Antonio Cuenco said he would ask the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to lodge a protest.

"That comment is uncalled for, it's atrocious. We should protest vigorously against this slur against Filipino workers in Hong Kong," Cuenco said.

Likewise, senior deputy minority leader and Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez said the DFA should lodge a formal protest over the incident.

In a text message to reporters, Golez also proposed a six-month boycott against Hong Kong by not traveling to the place and not purchasing its products.

"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," Golez said.

The lawmaker also slammed Tsao by saying "he does not know there are many Hong Kong and multinational companies where key management positions are held by Filipinos."

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) tried to douse the flames by saying that Tsao does not represent the entire Chinese population.

"It's the view of one person and we don't think it is shared by the Hong Kong community and society.... I think we ought to take it as that," DFA spokesperson Ed Malaya said in an interview on radio dzBB.

This was echoed by Center for Migration Advocacy head Ellen Sana: “Will you dignify this? He is not a representative of the Chinese people, not even the Hong Kong-Chinese people."

Nevertheless, Sana disapproved the government turning a deaf ear on the issue, especially since it puts the entire country in a bad light.

“The government should always react, especially since the Philippines is being branded as a nation of maids," she said.

This is not the first time such clamor was heard from Filipinos. Sana recalled that back in the early ‘90s Filipinos protested the inclusion of the term “maid" as an encyclopedia definition of ‘Filipinas.’

“We protested so it didn’t push through," she said.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde called the article "reprehensible," but said Malacañang will still look into the issue to decide on its response.

Not the first time

Although his name has yet to ring a bell with Filipinos prior to his maid-country remark, this is not Tsao’s first brush with controversy.

In 2005, the columnist drew the ire of Chinese women in Hong Kong over his column entitled, “Have Hong Kong girls stopped looking for Mr White?" where the former BBC reporter described the Caucasian men or “gweilos" left behind by the British “had no choice but to move to dorms on Lamma Island or to rent stone houses that people in Sai Kung used to house pigs."

Tsao warned local women to veer away from these gweilos unless they opted for a one-night stand in a small flat with "a guy who was muscular but did not last long in bed."

"In this day and age you have to be careful when choosing a gweilo. They no longer have cars or property. You might end up stepping on a penniless landmine. It's too much to sacrifice for a passport," he added.

Tsao told the Sunday Morning Post shortly after a public outcry of his column that his article merely reflected his personal observations and those of his friends.

"Hong Kong used to be an international city and English was important. But now we are just like the mainland. We talk about loving the motherland. In today's atmosphere dating a gweilo is like selling out your country," he was quoted in the report as saying.

Despite his magnet for controversy, the HK Magazine did not fire the fiery columnist.

Sana said this could have been a strategy to keep the magazine’s readership. But Luis Teodoro, editor-in-chief of the Philippine Journalism Review and a well respected print columnist, said Tsao clearly violated many ethical standards.

“The paper should police their writers, don’t they have standards?" he told GMANews.TV in an interview.

According to Teodoro, Tsao had an obvious bias and was chauvinistic in his stand on the Spratly issue.

“He should just stop being a journalist, stop calling himself a journalist," Teodoro said.

Teodoro said the current controversy is similar to the Malu Fernandez issue two years ago.

In 2007, the self-confessed diva narrated how she would rather “slash" her wrists than be “trapped in a plane" with any Filipino overseas worker.

“On my way back, I had to bravely take the economy flight once more," Fernandez wrote. “This time I had already resigned myself to being trapped like a sardine in a sardine can with all these OFWs smelling of AXE and Charlie cologne while Jo Malone evaporated into thin air," she said, referring to her expensive perfume brand.

A month after the magazine article was published, Fernandez wrote another column, titled, “Am I being a diva? Or do you lack common sense?" in the Manila Standard Today to answer the negative feedback generated by her first opinion piece.

But instead of pacifying the public, her response further irked the OFW and other sectors. Ultimately, after much pressure from bloggers all over the globe, Fernandez resigned from the magazine. She was re-hired later on.

Teodoro said both Tsao and Fernandez were guilty of being unethical by committing lapses in judgment and making sweeping generalizations.

But Sana said in both cases, the publications must be made accountable for letting their writers’ columns pass without a scratch.

“There should be responsibility of the papers as well," she said. - GMANews.TV

More here:
http://donavictorina.blogspot.com/2009/ ... ongue.html
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Registration date : 2009-03-20

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PostSubject: Re: Boycott Hong Kong   Boycott Hong Kong Icon_minitimeTue Mar 31, 2009 11:30 am

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