HK Filipino maids react to latest ‘racism’ row as impact of Singapore hate blog ripples across region


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.

A report on the matter addressed to the Singapore Filipino community was posted in Tagalog on the website of the Philippine Embassy in Singapore on the 17th June. According to the report, the Philippine Embassy had lodged formal complaints with the appropriate authorities in Singapore to (a) highlight the community’s concerns regarding the repercussions of this blogger’s actions, and (b) take action within the framework of Singapore law against this person.

The other key messages of this report are:

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(1) That the Embassy believes that the views expressed by the author of the offending blog post are his (or hers) alone;

(2) That Filipinos residing or working in Singapore should not stoop to the level of that blogger and desist from responding any further to such types of content online;

(3) That the community continue, instead, to focus on upholding its good relations with Singaporeans and be models of good manners and behaving in accordance to the law and being sensitive to local customs; and,

(4) That individual Filipinos take the necessary precautions and help Singapore authorities investigate threats against safety and security.

Police in Singapore have reportedly confirmed that “multiple” complaints have, in fact, actually been lodged.

Typical Sunday in Hong Kong: Filipino OFWs congregate at the HSBC Bldg at the Central District.

Typical Sunday in Hong Kong: Filipino OFWs congregate at the HSBC Bldg at the Central District.

Filipinos, for their part, have been known to be exceptionally sensitive to racial profiling. In Hong Kong today, Filipino maids working there are reportedly “up in arms” over an insurance commercial perceived to be “racist” in nature. The ad which pitches an insurance product provided by Hong Leong Bank of Malaysia shows a Chinese actor depicting a Filipino maid named Maria while wearing “dark orange make-up and a curly wig”.

“I think they should make a public apology,” Eni Lestari, spokeswoman for the Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, told AFP, describing the ad as “very racist”.

“You are making comedy out of someone, out of a community,” she said. “For (Hong Kong residents) it’s funny, but what they don’t realize is what’s funny is actually racist.”

This follows a trumped-up row over Hong Kong school books depicting a Filipino as typically being a “domestic helper”. Images of the supposedly offensive page from the school book had also gone ‘viral’ and incited outrage amongst Filipinos both in Hong Kong and in the Philippines.

However, the fact remains that Filipinos working in Singapore and Hong Kong are predominantly employed as household help and, if not, are working in largely menial jobs, often under oppressive conditions. Many of these workers are university graduates who cannot find work in their home country owing to the inability of the Philippine economy to absorb the Philippines’ enormous labour supply. That Filipinos are willing to suffer those conditions far away from their families and other loved ones is a testament to the untenable way of life the majority of their compatriots suffer in their homeland.

For as long as Filipinos remain dependent on foreign employment (which accounts for a whopping 10 to 12 percent of the value of the Philippine economy) and for as long as economic growth there is almost entirely dependent on foreign capital to fuel it, very little beyond desperate diplomacy can be done by the Philippine government to address the root issues of the racial tensions Filipino overseas workers contend with.

[Photo courtesy]

36 Replies to “HK Filipino maids react to latest ‘racism’ row as impact of Singapore hate blog ripples across region”

      1. Not sure, but I don’t think “Xenophobe” is the correct word here…

        In any case, remember the time Iran beat the Philippines in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championships? From what I can recall, the Gilas “fans” were quick to bombard Haddadi’s Facebook page with numerous racial slurs.

        But when one person bashes the Philippines (possibly from pure hatred or for the purpose of trolling), these same people are quick to jump on the defensive, calling said person a racist forgetting all about what these ‘defenders’ have been saying about other foreigners for years.

        These people dish out insults but can’t really take one insult themselves.

        “Wag mo kong asarin! Ako lang dapat ang pwede mang-asar!”

        1. Put it simple, they have this racial double standard which apparently gives them the right to make fun and discriminate others, but not their own out of “social and class” injustice and prejudice because they’re the “underdog.”


        2. Well, those are just stupid butthurt filipinos but do you see any website or group whose purpose is to organize a xenophobic movement against other races? ie

      2. therealsingapore thrives on hatred. without “xenophobia” the site would die.

        it’s somewhat of a tabloid site that uses anti foreigner sentiments to stir things up against the PAP govt .

        generally speaking singapore and japan shares the same views on “gaijin”
        not saying locals don’t commit crimes but the feeling is when a crime is committed fingers are pointed at foreigners first.

        that’s the basis of why they posted all those articles.
        one of the founders of the site was a minor politician attempting to run against the PAP .
        and initial words exchanged between them and detractors stated clearly they intend to make a mark in social media no matter the means.

        nationalism is one of the paths they choose

  1. What I see here is a kid who wants undue attention from his classmates. And now he has got the attention (though, in a bad way) he cries foul. “Wawa naman”.

    I have been working in numerous places as an OFW. I have lived through this by being faithful to “be inconspicuous when in a public place”. Be seen by the result of your honest day’s work. Most OFWs just don’t get it.

    We filipinos should grow up, if we ever want to get out of that stereotype, then each individual should strive to do so.

    1. As can be gleaned from the article, as long as Filipinos are significantly dependent on foreign entities to prop them up, they can’t expect to have much say or control as to how the world perceives them.

  2. No matter how you embellish it, DH is a menial work looked down upon by people anywhere. Admit you are a servant when you work as DH. If you don’t want to be stereotyped as DH, then don’t work abroad as DH. It’s just as easy as that theoretically. But in reality, ask the Labor Department or B.S Aquino if Filipinos can do without that job abroad, if affirmative, send all DHs from all over the world back to PH, if not, please endure and learn to rise above discrimination.

    Learn from the Chinese during the time when they worked as coolies, despite being called Intsik Beho, Chinks, Baboy, quietly they toiled! Their government was weak so they were helpless. Even after they became businessmen, up to these days, they have to put up with discrimination in the form of harassment, extortion etc. from the government. So Filipinos nowadays are just undergoing what the Chinese coolies were experiencing during the time when they were “Sick Men of Asia”! All told, the real cause is a corrupt, incompetent and weak government! If you insist to have a cure, then to change the government is the cure. Can you do that, my fellow Filipinos? If not, what can’t be cured should be endured. Making noise is not a solution!

      1. The difference between the coolies and the maids is that the coolies prospered after some hard work, the maids did not.

  3. Racist? What’s wrong about being a maid? It’s true that most Filipinos we send to Hongkong and Singapore are domestic helpers. And they’re very courageous and loving providers. We should be proud of them. What if we stop obsessing ourselves with this inane image-cleansing propaganda?

    1. There is potential for Filipinos to aspire beyond just being maids, nurses, laborers and other blue-collar type jobs. Problem is they lack the means and ambition to do so. Why settle for less when you’re capable of doing more?

  4. The outrage of OFW hand maid slaves is misdirected. They should vent their fury on those who sold them to the OFW handmaid slavery…it is Aquino and his policy makers; who are to blame. The Senators and Congresspeople also; who do nothing, but steal their Pork Barrel allocations. They did not create jobs and opportunities for our people to stay home.

    Now, even those educated, talented and skilled Filipinos have left to find jobs in foreign countries…Time will come , when you will not find these talented and skilled Filipinos to do jobs.

      1. The best BPO jobs involve talking to other nations in English. That is a result because we are English speaking and cheap. Not sure how government affects those two aspects.

        1. @ Gogs, Cheap being the key word there.

          Those BPO jobs should be paying P400/per hour, not P350/per day…it is a disgrace that the people who run the Philippines allow the World’s Big Corporations to set up shop in the Failippines so they can abuse their citizens with such shit paying jobs.

        2. My nephew graduated from Southampton university U.K in 2008 at the height of the British recession. He took the first job he could find to tie himself over. He worked in a call center for 3 months. The starting salary in 2008 was 16,200 pounds at today’s exchange rate that is 27,540 dollars/1.2 million pesos.

        3. @ YAWN, Yes, in the UK $28,000/GBP 16,500

          is just enough to survive, and not even enough to live in LONDON. So wtf is wrong with the Fail-ippine gov’t. that they allow these corporations to come to the RP and pay Filipino’s ALMOST NOTHING? they have got to be getting kickbacks to allow this to happen.

          The salaries for call center agents in the Fail-ippines should be doubled immediately. The Foreign Corporations would still be making a handsome profit and the local economy would benefit immensely.

  5. it did not help mayyer much that Filipino’s decided to screw like rabbitts and increse the population by 30% in 10 yrs. (2002-2012) as it only drives down the price of already low-cost labor.

    DAH, great thinking there!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  6. it must suck to be Filipino. Oops, I mean ‘Proud to be pinoy’,UH,REALLY?

    bad situation getting worse by the minute.

  7. Honestly, some people just need to get a life and quit being a bunch of whining cry babies. Nobody has forced any of them to work as domestic helpers so if they don’t want to be stereotyped, then don’t work as a domestic helper. This exact same thing happens in the USA with the hispanic population but you don’t seem them crying over it. At the end of the day, rather than wasting time whining about alleged discrimination, why not actually address the root causes of the problem? These whiners should be part of the change rather than do nothing than complain and make noise. Address poverty, address unfair labour practices, address why Filipinos are forced to work abroad in the first place! Start with your own country before you try to criticize the only country that is even giving you a shot in life. More importantly, people are entitled to their opinions and they have a right to express them whether you agree with them or not. If you don’t like it, suck it up and ignore it. After all, does it really matter what they think??

    1. I don’t think “forced” is the correct word here
      they choose to work as a maid because it pays better

      I heard from an indonesian lady middle class workers get paid around 400usd a month can hire 2 indonesian maids . but if the maid choose to leave and work in singapore she’ll be paid around 3-400sgd around $300 USD

    2. that’s another thing that’s funny, there’re probably more indonesian maids than filipinos, but no one calls indonesians “maids “

    3. @ Wilson, u say in the same breathe that everyone has the right to express their opinion and then, in the same breath, tell the to stop whining?


  8. What do you want foreigners to call the maids by the way? Is the word maid derogatory? Same thing with fat, dark skin, short, etc. These are all adjectives from the English language. A maid is a profession. It’s the same as messenger, clerk, and so on and so forth. What are they complaining about? Being called the formal name of their job description?

  9. Uhmmm… Correct me if I’m wrong but there are TV shows (in the Philippines) that regularly depict “dark-skinned” (made-up with black face) people as cursed or evil, Chinese as buck-toothed Charlie Chan look-a-likes and lets not forget the endless racial slurs hurled against anyone who says anything against Filipinos. I think BEFORE folks start getting all bent out of shape over this, they should FIRST deal with their own racial views of the world and the people in it!

  10. Burning American flags chanting hateful anti american slogans inManila is what category? Portraing Americans as rapist oppresers vs. a blog in Singapore.

    1. I’ll give you the same reply the singaporeans gave to the filipinos

      “Americans” isn’t a race!)

      (“filipino” isn’t a race!)

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