Sometime last week, a sickening piece of news came out that riled a great number of Filipinos, and with good reason.
A young Chinese woman who was about to enter the MRT – the mass transit system that spans the entire length of EDSA – was told that a cup of taho (bean curd) that she was carrying was not allowed inside the trains.
Instead of disposing of the plastic cup, she went ballistic and hurled it at the policeman on duty, soiling his uniform.
A minor, inconsequential event?
Not so. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin sought to dismiss the act as a minor case not worthy of news coverage, not worth making a fuss over.
Vice President Leni Robredo disagreed. According to Ms. Robredo, the Chinese student insulted not only the cop, but the entire Philippines and all Filipinos in general, as well.
That student was identified as 23-year-old Jiale Zhang, presumably in the Philippines on a student visa.
She was, of course, arrested by the police and booked for her misdemeanor. She issued a somewhat lame apology and promised not to repeat her act of discourtesy on a figure of authority.
The Chinese embassy was silent on the matter in hopes that it would be forgotten soon enough.
For the record, I like millions of Filipinos have some Chinese blood. My middle name is Laygo, or Lai Go. My late grandmother spoke some Chinese and her fair skin that my late mother inherited was proof enough that Chinese blood runs in our veins. Heck, a lot of times I’ve been mistaken for Chinese even by local Chinese, whom we refer to as Chinoys (acronym for Chinese Pinoys).
I also grew up with lots of Chinoy friends. Just last week, I went up to Baguio in the company of one of those friends with Chinese blood, his family name being Lim. He also possessed the classic chinky eyes of typical Chinese.
These facts need to be mentioned because I am going to say a lot of things that may seem racist, but I assure you they are not.
I live and work in a Makati condo. I’ve been living in my place for close to four years now. During that time, the influx of mostly young Chinese men and women has become pronounced.
They have not yet overtaken the Indian students who also populate the building in large numbers. But I expect them to in the very near future.
A three minute walk from my place is a mall, where I do my shopping for groceries, dine out when I’m not in the mood to cook, or watch free movies (a benefit given by the city to senior citizens like me) regularly.
Lately, the influx of Chinese has become too obvious for my comfort. This is because – and here is where I will be accused of being racist – they are generally rude and impolite.
The do not believe in falling in line to pay for their purchases or getting on the elevator or escalator.
I’ve had a couple of moments when I matched their disrespect with my own tit-for-tat actions.
Take a walk along Ayala Avenue — the Philippine equivalent of Wall Street – and you will be surprised at the number of Chinese. They are there not because they are tourists, but because they work in any one of the high rises. Most are here on tourist visas, a fact that the government turns a blind eye to.
A week or so ago, social media showed a photo of a Chinese mother letting her toddler son defecate on the grass at the Mall of Asia. Typical, just typical.
The student assaulting a policeman was just the latest act of these Chinese visitors in the country that became known to the public. Who knows how many more such acts are committed by these people while in the Philippines.
Maybe they really do believe that the Philippines is nothing more than a province of China, an impoverished one at that.
Incidentally, China continues to build military structures within Philippine territory with the blessings of the inutile Duterte regime.
This has got to stop. The preferential treatment granted to visiting Chinese must end.
And as for Jiale Zhang who was temporarily detained at the Mandaluyong Police HQ, the proper thing to do is to deport her ASAP. She must be considered persona non grata. She can go to hell for all I care.
Again to be clear, I embrace my Chinese roots, I love my Chinoy friends, but I do not welcome these Chinese men and women who act as if Filipinos were second class citizens in a country that they now treat as their province.