Why do Singaporeans hate Filipinos?

It’s the obvious question everyone is asking nowadays amidst a raft of hate blogs and other such digital artifcats going “viral” all over the Net. Many of these seem to have stemmed from the whole fracas surrounding a plan by Filipino community leaders to stage a 12th June Independence Day event at a major shopping centre in Singapore. The plan attracted a lot of debate and, with it, anonymous trolls lobbing racist abuse into the mix.

Politicians on boths sides of the sea have since chimed in even as organisers of the event withdrew their plans presumably under the weight of the harrassment. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has condemned Singaporeans who were involved in the online harrassment for their “thuggish behaviour”. Charles Jose, spokesman of the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) assured everyone that this is an “isolated” incident and that such attitudes reflect only that of “a small number of Singaporeans who don’t have the full appreciation or understand of the role of Filipinos there”.

But the more important question remains the elephant in the room politicians and mainstream commentators tiptoe around:

What is the source of this hate, and why does it seem to resonate amongst a big sector of Singapore society; big enough to shut down a major community event such as this year’s Independence Day commemoration there?

The most recent and, by far, most virulent sower of hate against Filipinos in Singapore involves a 24th May post in which the author encouraged his (or her) compatriots to “step on them, push or shove them” when boarding a train. Before that there was another blog published by a different author proposing that Filipinos be made to ride in separate buses owing to their being perceived as too loud and annoying.

This intolerance seems baffling considering that, by any measure, Singapore is one of the most racially-tolerant societies in a region where racism is often an institutionalised part of society and governance. Racial and religious harmony is regarded by the Singapore government as a crucial part of Singapore’s success, and played a part in building a Singaporean identity. But achieving and maintaining this harmony was (and continues to be) no easy task.

The 1964 race riots were a series of riots that took place in Singapore during two separate periods in July and September between Chinese and Malay groups. The first incident occurred on 21 July during a Malay procession marking the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. In total, the violence killed 36 people and injured another 556. About 3,000 people were arrested. At that time (1963–65), Singapore was a state in the Federation of Malaysia. In 1969, seven days of communal riots, a result of the spillover of riots also occuring in Malaysia, resulted in a final toll of 4 dead and 80 wounded. Singapore would not experience a major riot until 44 years later when the 2013 “Little India Riots” erupted on the 8th December 2013 after a fatal accident occurred at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road. About 300 migrant labourers from Tamil Nadu and Bangladesh were involved in the riot which lasted for around two hours.

According to the Philippine government, Filipinos are important to Singapore at a macro-economic level.
According to the Philippine government, Filipinos are important to Singapore at a macro-economic level.

Where do Filipinos figure in this scheme of things?

According to the records of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas, there are 180,000 Filipinos living and working in Singapore. The Philippine government’s stated position on this large presence is that these residents “remain an important part of the city-state economy”. That is, of course, seeing it at a macro-economic level. The way individual Singaporeans see that presence at a street level may tell a different story and may have deeper social implications separate from the economic numbers. And that is, perhaps, where the “debate” around root causes should be. As such, the Philippine government’s position on the matter may be incomplete, which means that an incomplete or, worse, a flawed solution to resolve this (if any such is actually being planned) may aggravate the problem further. The last thing we need, specially in times when the Philippines grows ever more dependent on foreign capital and employment for its survival, is for the proverbial elephant in the room to keep growing bigger.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from various Wikipedia.org articles related to Singapore in a manner compliant to the terms stipulated in the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License that governs usage of content made available in this site. Photo courtesy Pinoy-OFW.com.]


Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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169 Comments on "Why do Singaporeans hate Filipinos?"

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victor m. hernandez

It would e interesting to have a psycographic profile of Filipinos in Singapore. And a survey of Singaporean’s attitude towards OFWs in
Singapore. I see that one comment states that OFWs are too loud, which annoys others (Singaporean, particularly). Maybe, we’ll make the OFWs tone down their voices. It seems too superficial. That comes to me as low tolerance by Singaporeans of others, OFWs in particular. Some socio-psychological intervention may help.Dialogues, communication exercises, sensitivity training among OFWs may help in adapting to another culture.

As a Filipino living in the Philippines, I can totally understand why the some Singaporeans* hate Filipinos. (*Or XXXXX<-insert random butthurt-of-the-day hate target here.) Why? Because if you ^really^ think about it, most Filipinos on some level are corrupt racist sexist prejudiced narrow-minded hypocritical ignorant assholes with double standards who feel that they are mandated by religion and gratuitously entitled to use the entire world as both their toilet and dinner plate. (What the hell, might as well insult 100 million Filipinos all at once. At oo, bilang Pilipino, kasama din ako.) As for the inevitable hate comments, read again:… Read more »
Jake Estrada

Why do u worry about it? Even God has haters and USA is still the most hated country in the world. Dont lose sleep over it


the issue is apparently big enough for singaporeans to suggest using labour from other countries

Noy P. Salaula

Why can’t a Phil Government agency, the DFA for that matter, conduct a “culture sensitivity” training about the host country prior to shoving the OFW out of the country? Ooooddps! Me and my loud mouth! Another fee/money making scheme looming on the horizon.


As I was reading the sentiment of some Singaporeans:

1. Filipinos are taking the Middle management jobs.
2. They are saying their world class education is useless since their graduates can’t find jobs.
3. Paying Filipinos (those in the corporate level and professional level) is CHEAPER.
4. So I believe most of the sentiments are gonna come from their middle class.
5. They resort to Xenophobia and Racism especially the Indians.

Grumpy Citizen

DOLE should take note of this, and incorporate a cultural sensitivity component in their placement programs. Otherwise our OFW’s will continue to act as if nothing is wrong and create only more hostility.

It’s just plain old delikadesa to behave in public, and even in our own land, a lot of Filipinos are just flat out pigs.

Jerry Lynch

I’m an American living in The Philippines and I can say first hand that Filipinos are onion-skinned racists when ANYTHING happens that they take personal offense to.

I believe that if Filipinos do not want to be viewed as “loud and intrusive” then they need to learn not to be loud and intrusive. Filipinos in general are rude, inconsiderate of others and they mistreat animals to the point that animals become annoyances to everyone. I expect responses and I am prepared for them.

It’s more like Singaporeans crying out in the same vein as Americans do when they see Latinos, “taking their jerbs.” I sympathize with them. They can’t get opportunities of work in their own land because these leeches take theirs instead. I bet if it was the other way around, Filipinos would be as salty if not even more so because of their inflated ego. Filipinos should know their place. You are not a tourist, you are under the mercy of the locals where you are working whether you like it or not. Got a problem with that? Go back home… Read more »

I’m here in SG and I don’t see the Filipinos working as middle management angle. We are still the rank and file. In fact the Filipino stereotype here is still the maid. Here’s my analysis. Singaporeans think Filipinos are lower kind of race because they allow themselves to become maids. With this in mind, they think filipinos should have less rights than a normal person, I think you can compare it to how Spanish people treated filipinos back then.


I am filipino and i have been to singapore. The Philippines is a country full of polution, noise and garbage. Generally, filipinos wreaks body odor. Dishonesty is all over the country starting from the dumbass gay president abnoy down to the street children.

Tribal Warrior

As a Filipino tourist in Singapore I see pinoys and pinays worker in different field my comments are simple Filipinos in Singapore are more good looking and beautifuls than singaprean faces. We the Filipinos we dont have a pure distinctions because most of us are mixed race we are beautiful than them. They are insecured and jealous.

Thom Hardy

The whole thing is a non-issue amongst the ‘big picture’. No one gives a shit.
Sure, most people dislike loud people on trains and in movie theatres. Some black people in the states do that a lot, but are tolerated and only hated in private.

You have to lern to live and let live, or you will die in a hurry.

Toro Hyden

In the old Southern State in the U.S. There was a Jim Crow Law; that required blacks, to sit at the end row of the bus public transport. Or to give her/his seat to any white woman or man.

Maybe soon they will require Filipinos to have their own plances: restaurants, comfort rooms, public transport,public parks, etc…

The bad behaviors of Filipinos is brought in in Singapore; where they are guest workers…

Mitchel Lim
What is everyone’s problem here? Please be reminded that no race in the world is perfect, Filipinos like Singaporeans were just the same, but differs to circumstances that put them at the different class status. How could Singaporeans be placed on the shoes of the Filipinos? How could Singaporeans work in the Philippines if it happens Philippines will the last country who can offer them opportunity to survive if our country sink unto the water because of brainless bloggers. Please be reminded that Philippines was the front line of World War 2 that shielded Singapore from Japan’s occupation. Because of… Read more »
Mitchel Lim

I suggest that Idiots and Dumb must learn how the world exist, rather than posting irrelevant comments after masturbating on porn sites.

Common fellow Singaporeans, better find a work cause I am paying taxes to make you breathe and eat! Instead of blaming Expatriates on your misfortunes in life because of your drug and porn site addiction. Or else commit suicide by jumping toward your window.


[…] Tensions between Filipino expat residents in Singapore and so-called hate bloggers and online trolls seems to be escalating. The Philippine embassy in Singapore has asked the Singapore government to hold accountable for inciting hatred a blogger who published an article on the site “Blood Stained Singapore” in which the Filipino community there was described as an “infestation”. Since its publication in late May, the article had gone ‘viral’ and has been the subject of much debate. […]


[…] Get Real Philippines: Why do Singaporeans hate Filipinos? – Uncomplicated Mind: Trouble in the diaspora – Singapore Notes: Xenophobia And Racism […]


I like how many people here feel entitled to say shit about each other. Philistines

Tribal Warior
Why Filipinos is always the center of Discussions? Hhhhhhmm…sikat? Then if I’m going to discriminate singapore too? During my trip in singapore as tourist I’ve seen a lot of singaporean like a typical chinese who eat foods like shit,,,the people eating infront of me at People’Complex area close to china town and their restaurants kitchen are very untidy singaporean restaurant kitchen are the most dirtiest kitchen in the world owned by chinese singaporean. Then in Sentosa Island while I was ordering my foods at KFC the attendant doesn’t know how to speak english im not sure if they Malaysian because… Read more »