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31 March 2009

jerry liao on chip tsao's racist remarks about filipinos

Philippines called "Nation of Servants" by writer

by Jerry Liao, cnet

Due to Philippines claim over the Spratly Islands which China also claims, a Chinese writer by the name of Chip Tsao published a story in the HK Magazine of the Asia City Publishing Group, calling the Philippines a "nation of servants".

Here is the article by Chip in HK Magazine:

The War at Home
By Chip Tsao

The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen onboard. We can live with that-—Lenin and Stalin were once the ideological mentors of all Chinese people. The Japanese planted a flag on Diàoyú Island. That's no big problem-—we Hong Kong Chinese love Japanese cartoons, Hello Kitty, and shopping in Shinjuku, let alone our round-the-clock obsession with karaoke.

But hold on-—even the Filipinos? 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.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell everyone of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.




Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day. With that money, she would pay taxes to her Government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings.

Oh yes. The Government of the Philippines would certainly be wrong if they think we Chinese are prepared to swallow their insult and sit back and lose a Falkland Islands War in the Far East. They may have Barack Obama and the hawkish American military behind them, but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher. Some of my friends told me they have already declared a state of emergency at home. Their maids have been made to shout 'China, Madam/Sir' loudly whenever they hear the word "Spratly". They say the indoctrination is working as wonderfully as when we used to shout, "Long live Chairman Mao!" at the sight of a portrait of our Great Leader during the Cultural Revolution. I’m not sure if that's going a bit too far, at least for the time being.


We Filipinos are peace-loving people and we don't allow our emotions to get the better of things. Most of all, we have too much class that we will not stoop down the level of Chip Tsao.

The day will come that all of us will become servants to the one and only true master, our Lord Jesus Christ.

God bless us all!

***
GMANews.TV

Filipinos urged to boycott Hong Kong over columnist's racist remark

MARK UBALDE, GMANews.TV
Article posted March 30, 2009 - 11:20 PM
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
***

HK Mag: Sorry for 'maid-country' remark on RP


Excerpt of Chip Tsao's 'The War At Home' column


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.

As a patriotic Chinese man, the news has made my blood boil. I summoned Louisa, my domestic assistant who holds a degree in international politics from the University of Manila, hung a map on the wall, and gave her a harsh lecture. I sternly warned her that if she wants her wages increased next year, she had better tell everyone of her compatriots in Statue Square on Sunday that the entirety of the Spratly Islands belongs to China.

Grimly, I told her that if war breaks out between the Philippines and China, I would have to end her employment and send her straight home, because I would not risk the crime of treason for sponsoring an enemy of the state by paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16
taxes hours a day. With that money, she would pay to her Government, and they would fund a navy to invade our motherland and deeply hurt my feelings. - For full article click this link

MANILA, Philippines - Following calls from Manila for an apology, the Hong Kong based-magazine that ran a column demeaning the Philippines as a country of "slaves" has said sorry for the "politically incorrect column."

Asia City Publishing House, HK Magazine's publisher, with office at 301 Hollywood Centre, 233 Hollywood Road in Hong Kong, issued the statement three days after the controversial column came out.

"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," the statement read.

"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," it added.

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."

Deputy Consul General Kira Danganan earlier demanded an apology from Tsao who had insulted more than 127,000 Filipinos working in Hong Kong as domestic helpers.

“While Mr. Tsao may have intended his column to be a piece of satire, he has miserably miscalculated in this endeavor," Danganan said in a statement on Monday. “Mr. Tsao and Asia Publishing owe the Filipino community in HK a formal apology for the grave disrespect they have shown."

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. - with Mark Joseph Ubalde, GMANews.TV

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Triccie said...

I was caught up with the UP Cat Killer story that I never noticed this D: Some of my family will be coming home from HK this weekend.. this will be an interesting conversation topic..

Tue Apr 21, 07:31:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous deborah natividad said...

For a 'fury' as strong as mine about the chip tsao article, this comment comes in a bit too late. I'd like to quote a blog from a fellow pinoy re chip tsao's cheap journalism. here goes from thestorynook.blogspot.com

"I say, Chip Tsao should remember that all of us, humans that we are, someway, are lackeys to something mundane and mortal. Some lapdogs are just decorated so as to obscure the image of servility. Enough said."

bulls-eye

Wed May 06, 07:22:00 PM 2009  
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