Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A nation of servants?

What do you think about this?

The War At Home
HK Magazine
March 27th, 2009

The Russians sank a Hong Kong freighter last month, killing the seven Chinese seamen on board. 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 $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 every one 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.

Chip Tsao is a best-selling author and columnist. A former reporter for the BBC, his columns have also appeared in Apple Daily, Next Magazine and CUP Magazine, among others.

It's true that there are a lot of Filipino maids in Hongkong, so what? What the writer do not realize is that if all the Filipino maids in Hongkong would go on strike, the whole Hongkong economy would be paralyzed.

Also, if he knows how to interpret maps, he would then see that the Spratly Islands are very very far from China. His Filipino domestic assistant did right by her degree of International Politics because if I was in her place, the writer would not have been able to write the article above.

The fact is, not everything in the South China Sea belongs to China.


Anonymous said...

I'd rather have my country as a nation of servants rather than have it as a nation of cheaters (i.e., China).

e-souled said...

Hi there cat! welcome back!

In my article "Philippines: A Nation Of Servants" i mentioned Condoleezza Rice, the first black woman to become the United States Secretary of State. She was born in Alabama and suffered discrimination on account of her color. But she was taught from a young age by her father, that she had to be “twice as good”and prove that she was deserving of advancement. Condoleezza Rice explains, “I was going to be SO WELL PREPARED, and I was going to do all of these things that were revered in white society SO WELL, that I would be armored somehow from racism. I would be able to confront white society ON ITS OWN TERMS.”

That's what we need to do.

Unknown said...


i would like to share with you and your readers this article by Conrado de Quiros. Very informative and also an eye-opener.


Cathy said...

Dear Edik,

I like his reasoning but it won't work because even Filipino mothers abroad don't teach their children to be Filipino, I don't think Filipino nannies would be inclined to do so. Unfortunately, I don't think Filipino nannies would be loyal enough to the cause to be spies...just look at what "Nicole" did...


Anonymous said...

What can you expect from a country that invaded Tibet without shame!? Do you really think that Spratly Islands would be an issue for a country like China? They will just take these islands and do not care about the international opinion.

In my opinion Spratly Islands should be shared between the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Just look at the map! Do Chinese people know how to read maps?