VIRAL: Netizen claims discrimination incident at Kalibo
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Ryan Layug, a Filipino soldier, said he experienced discrimination at a lounge near the Kalibo International Airport on Friday, January 1.
Layug said he wanted to check in at the Airport Lounge beside the Kalibo International Airport to wait for his 5 am flight to Cebu. The Airport Lounge is leasing space from the Discover Boracay Hotel and Spa.
When Layug approached the woman at the front desk to check in, she told him the service was only for Korean customers.
The staff member then informed Layug that the owner was Korean. Her supervisor, also Korean, approached the two and reportedly said, “No Filipino! No Filipino! No Filipino!"
After the encounter, Layug reported the incident to the police, who then escorted him to meet with the manager. The manager then apologized for the incident, but Layug was having none of it.
Layug later received a Facebook message from the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Aklan office. He was told to submit a complaint to DTI-Aklan’s provincial director, Engineer Diosdado Cadena Jr.
Layug's post has since been shared more than 15,000 times.
A Facebook post from Discover Boracay Hotel & Spa + Airport Lounge said: “We would like to clarify and set the record straight that Discover Boracay Hotel is a different entity with the restaurant (VIP Lounge) that was mentioned by Ryan Layug (the one who wrote the post). The VIP Lounge and Korean restaurant was only renting a space and managed by the Korean.”
The post said the hotel was investigating the matter. “Discover Boracay is a Hotel and at the same time a Travel Agency that caters for [sic] everyone,” it added.
An email from Discover Boracay reiterated that the Airport Lounge is under separate "operations and managerial standards," and the Discover Boracay Hotel and Spa is a different entity, and thus, has no control over the lounge.
Layug apologized to Discover Boracay, saying "Discover Boracay neither discriminated me or have refused check-in to their hotel." He added he was contacted by one of the hotel's representatives who told him they were reviewing the lounge's contract.
The Philippines is host to significant Korean population, many of whom are students, tourists, missionaries, and business owners.
In Metro Manila, most Koreans live in Quezon City, Makati, Manila, and Parañaque. Outside the metropolis, they have communities in Baguio, Boracay, Angeles, Subic, and Bataan.
Many Korean business owners in the Philippines also employ Filipinos and provide services to the country. Cultural differences, however, have caused some friction. (READ: A Welcome Invasion)
In the workplace, Filipino employees have accused managers of physical or verbal abuse. Filipino executives have also seen Korean counterparts as rude or aggressive. Korean bosses, on the other hand, say their Filipino employees complain before following orders.
Koreans have also been detained in the past for what Filipinos perceive are attempts to pick fights.
The Philippines has also been labeled a “rising star” in travel and tourism in 2013, according to the World Economic Forum. By 2016, the tourism sector is expected to provide 18% to 20% of the country’s employment.
Part of the Philippines' success has been the high volume of tourists visiting the country. On December 21, 2015, the country hit the 5 million tourists mark, posting an increase of 11.5% from the 2014 figures.
In 2014, around 25% of these tourists were Koreans, equivalent to 1.17 million arrivals. – Rappler.com
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