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Now, Taiwanese show they care about Filipinos


TAIPEI—After badmouthing and hitting them with baseball bats two weeks ago, Taiwanese on Sunday tried to tell Filipino migrant workers they didn’t really mean to hurt them and that, in fact, they cared about them.

To show they really did, they threw a concert in a park here for the migrants and offered them free food and drinks and T-shirts bearing a slogan that they thought the Filipinos were familiar with: “You’re not alone.”

Well, not all, as most Filipinos know the slogan in their own language: “Hindi ka nag-iisa.”

It is language from the Filipinos’ struggle against the oppressive rule of dictator Ferdinand Marcos and it refers to the continuation of that struggle after the assassination in 1983 of opposition leader Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., father of President Aquino.

But those who recognized the slogan were glad to receive the

T-shirts and more so the food and drinks from Taiwanese students and employees of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs who sought to ease the Filipinos’ fears and assure them that they were safe on the island.

Three Filipino migrant workers were attacked on the streets of Taiwan two weeks ago as Taiwanese exploded in anger over the fatal shooting of Taiwanese fisherman Hung Shih-chen, 65, by Filipino coast guards in overlapping Taiwanese and Philippine waters.

One migrant worker, identified as Joey de Leon, was hit with a baseball bat. His attackers later apologized and paid him P164,000 in compensation.

OK with Filipinos

In the park on Sunday, Filipinos said they approved of the use of the slogan as long as the Taiwanese government protected them.

Taiwanese artists peformed for the Filipinos during the concert and local residents came to the park wearing armbands marked with the slogan to show that they, too, cared about the migrant workers.

“This never happened before. We hope they will always give us food,” a migrant worker said in an interview with the Inquirer.

Cynthia Lee-ling Hung, chief of the foreign correspondents section of the press office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the event was intended to show “Taiwan gently cares for the migrant workers.”

Earlier, the mayor of Kaishung City was reported as being seen at Mass held at St. Christopher Church, one of two churches in Taipei attended by Filipino migrant workers.

Improved situation

Fr. Leonilo Mantilla, St. Christopher parish priest, said the situation had improved and no more attacks on Filipinos were reported in recent days.

Early in the crisis, he said, a priest and his companions were turned away when they tried to buy ice cream from a grocery store in Taipei.

“The Taiwanese refused to sell ice cream to them and shouted at them, calling them bad names,” he said.

Mantilla said a santacruzan was held in the parish on Sunday but without the traditional procession of queens.

“Due to the situation, though it had calmed down, we deemed it safe not to have the procession and just held a march inside the church,” Mantilla said.

Originally posted: 8:16 pm | Sunday, May 26th, 2013

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Tags: Diplomacy , diplomatic tensions , Foreign affairs , Global Nation , International relations , ofws , Philippines , Taiwan

  • Joseph St John

    I’m happy to know that Taiwan realizes that Filipinos are friendly and hospitable people. We don’t resort to violence unless stepped on. I’m also grateful to President Aquino for being calm to settle the dispute with Taiwan thru diplomacy. That’s what I called a true leader.

  • mikez

    PH and Taiwan have been good friends. We shouldn’t let an incident divide this camaraderie. We should scrap the 1-China policy. It’s only for the deceitful benefit of China. No nations even benefit. What….Chinese products w/ zero-quality and be sold at at a most affordable price?…is that a benefit? We should review the 1-China policy as this is only for the 1-sided benefit of deceitful Chinese Govt. China will lose export of their infamous low-quality products. We are a top-exporter. They will say ouch.

    PH & Taiwan should re-establish cooperation and agreement on Economic, Political, Socio & even Military partnerships.

  • http://www.facebook.com/didi.clear Didi Clear

    they said the phils. gained from taiwan about 1 billion dollars a yr. from exporting, but taiwan gained from the phils. about 4 billion dollars a yr., aside from that, having efficient and productive filipino workers in their factories. get the picture?

  • Deanmartinstyle

    No illegal fishing please. Please stay away from our water because we only have Banka and sagwan, unlike Chinese and Taiwanese you have High Tech fishing boats and your market is around the world. Please do not take advantage of our ignorance in Fishing Industry.

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