Social Climate

Pinoys net-disliked in Hong Kong

/ 05:00 AM August 25, 2018

In November 2016, the last time that Hong Kong (HK) people were polled about their feelings toward Filipinos as a people, 20.0 percent felt Positive, 26.5 percent felt Negative, 41.7 percent felt Half-Half, and 11.8 percent Didn’t Know.

These numbers are from “The Philippines—from Hong Kong People’s Perspective,” presented by Dr. Robert Chung, director of the Public Opinion Program (POP) of the University of Hong Kong, at SWS on 7/20/18, posted on


Dr. Chung is also president of WAPOR-Asia, the Asian chapter of the World Association for Public Opinion Research.

The numbers do not imply that Hong Kong is unsafe for Filipinos. One-fourth of the people there may outrightly dislike us, but three-fourths either like us or feel neutral. The net -6 score of positives minus negatives indicates, on balance, a “net-dislike” for Filipinos, as of 2016.


We Filipinos are more poorly regarded than all others.  One—but not the only—sad news is that Filipinos are the only ones with a net negative rating. The others (with their net values in 2016) were: Taiwanese +56, Singaporeans +54, Canadians +49, Macanese +48, Japanese +46, Australians +45, Germans +42, Thais +39, British +39, South Koreans +34, French +27, HK people themselves +28, Americans +23, Russians +19, and Mainland Chinese +8.

The POP poll reveals that HK people have a very high regard for their co-ethnic brethren in Taiwan, Singapore and Macau, a medium regard for themselves, and only a mediocre regard for their co-citizens in the mainland. This pattern presumably does not sit well with the People’s Republic, which took possession of Hong Kong in 1997 and Macau in 1999.

The list of countries in this POP poll were the top 12 best-known to the HK people, according to an earlier poll asking for 10 “countries” the respondents know best aside from Taiwan, Macau and Mainland China.

The last time the Philippines was among these top 12 best-known was in 2016. Feelings in HK about Filipinos had been previously polled six times in 2010-13 (i.e., after the August 2010 tourist hostage crisis in Rizal Park), and showed net values of -12 to -30. The net -6 of 2016 is the kindest result in the entire series.

HK people have a lower regard for governments. When the POP polled about governments, rather than peoples, they got the following net values: Canada +48, Australia +40, Singapore +38, Germany +34, Macau +32, United Kingdom +27, France +18, Taiwan +15, Thailand +2, South Korea -2, Mainland China -6, Russia -6, United States -9, Hong Kong itself -17, Japan -21, and Philippines -46.

The bad Philippine net score of -46 among HK people resulted from 11.0 percent Positive and 56.9 percent Negative; others said Half-Half or Didn’t Know. It compares with net scores of -78 to -89 in 2010-13 and -13 to -36 in 1997-2006. The series turned sharply highly negative in 2010, obviously due to the hostage incident.

Note that HK people are relatively pleased with the governments of Macau and Taiwan, but at the same time critical of the governments of Mainland China and of Hong Kong itself. The Philippines is at the bottom of the negative barrel, although not alone in it.


Dr. Chung says: “Hong Kong people seem to dislike the governments of the Philippines, Japan, South Korea, the United States and Russia, whereas they seem to like all peoples rather than dislike them, except for the people of the Philippines. These findings are worth studying by various governments.”

I fully agree.

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