Our press release on HK writer Chip Tsao’s racial slur vs Filipinos

News Release
Blas F. Ople Policy Center
March 29, 2009

Ople Center denounces HK journalist for using Filipino maid as “pawn” in Spratly controversy

Former labor undersecretary Susan Ople called on the Philippine Consulate particularly its Office of the Labor Attache to look into the work conditions of “Luisa”, a household worker employed by Hong Kong journalist Chip Tsao after the latter mocked the Philippines as a “nation of servants” in his column written for HK Magazine.

“His very announcement that he gave her Filipino maid a harsh lecture and warned her to tell every one of her compatriots that Spartly Islands belong to China or she’d lose her wages, is already a sign of an unstable, irresponsible and racist employer who resorts to verbal abuse even for perceived bilateral and historic infractions. Luisa deserves a sane and more humane employer while he deserves to clean up his own filth,” Ople said.

The Blas F. Ople Policy Center said the Philippine Consulate in Hong Kong should immediately call the attention of the Hong Kong magazine’s publisher and editorial board for Tsao’s provocative and bigoted write-up. “The household is not the place to resolve multiple claims to the Spratly Islands, and Filipino domestic workers should not suffer because of it,” the Center stressed.

It also called on the labor attaché to check on Luisa and on other Filipino maids who may be facing harassments from like-minded employers. “I am sure that Tsao is quite unique in his small-mindedness but the fact that the article was even published calls for vigilance, if not outrage, on the part of our consulate and the Department of Foreign Affairs,” the Center said.

In a column that went online on March 27, Tsao wrote:

“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.” (Source: http://hk-magazine.com/feature/war-home#comment-2773)

Ople also called the attention of the national government to the last paragraph of Tsao’s column:

“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.” (Source: http://hk-magazine.com/feature/war-home#comment-2773)

The Center denounced such actions of Tsao’s friends as a concrete example of racial and political intolerance. “Apparently, Mr. Tsao and his friends think they are the more supreme race, and are now using what should be strictly an employer-employee relationship to drive home this point. We must not allow them to use our workers as pawns and hostages as a consequence of our just and historical claim.”

Author: Susan Ople

Susan "Toots" Ople is the President of the Blas F. Ople Policy and Training Institute. She's an OFW and labor advocate based in the Philippines.

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  • I urged our government officials to look and study this malign and derogatorey remark of Tsao not only to his maid but also to our Nation.
    Tsao should be bomabarded with millions of emails
    and given a lesson in impartial comments.

  • Pingback: Chip Tsao Racial Slur « Broxichow’s Blog Too()

  • we must really look at the welfare of “Luisa”, as he said Luisa is working 16 hours a day. is this modern slavery?

    also, aside from denouncing other Nationalities’ insulting remarks to us Filipinos, we must also criticize ourselves!

    Self- criticism is essential for our growth as a nation. We must strengthen our country and brainstorm why we ended up as a “nation of slaves”.

    How can we be a strong nation ,if we cannot even unite as people? NPA, MILF,MNLF,rightist, leftist, so many division in our country.. The Noisy Minority (like the church, “environmentalist”, militants, are very noisy and influential, we don’t even have a nuclear power plant for cheaper power cost to power our industries and give Filipinos job at home!

    Also, now is 2009 but have we already know how to fall in line and not to throw the garbages at vacant lots?

  • Dear sir

    Haven’t you heard a word called “sarcasm”?

  • ino

    And here i was thinking that louisa was simply part of the satire

    which means she is made-up.

    yet another brilliant move, philippines. -_-

  • Tsao owes the Filipino an apology. Ang ginawa at sinulat nya ay hindi nagpapakita ng pagiging isang tunay na mamamahayag. While the citizens of every nation claiming the Spratly Islands is entitled to their own patriotism, he should not let his own patriotism degrade us, especially us who have a valid and historical claim on the islands. Mr. Tsao, not everything on the South China Sea is yours (not to mention Tibet).

  • Louie M

    What the Center could have done was talk with HK Magazine or the author. i think the so-called bigoted article was written satirically. It actually exposes sino-centric mentality and the poor treatment of Filipino domestic workers in HK and abroad. It also criticizes Philippine society for focusing on issues like the Spratley Islands whilst its educated workforce is doing slave labor in countries like HK.

  • John

    this is an outrage to Filipinos. i strongly believe its about time to totally ignore China products worldlide which are known for low standard.

  • Linda

    hi chip tsao.. what a WEIRD NAME you got there.. i know you dont understand english i hope that someone would translate what i said…you’re a DICKHEAD you can have SPRATLY ISLAND and SHOVE IT IN YOUR ASS!! you dont have the right to call our country a nation of servants i know you want some attention you retarded Chinese well here’s a FACT i never heard a Chinese became a chef on the white house, i never heard a Chinese became famous on U.K i never heard that Chinese done something good but here’s what i heard about you
    1.Spit on your drinks and meals
    2.Use a Spoiled Rice washed it and then Fry it and sells it
    3.Put poisons on your powdered MILKS
    4.Sells Drugs
    5.tell FUCKING LIES on Feng Sue to earn money
    6.smuggle stuffs

    Chip Tsao Chinese are not a supreme being. japanese are far greater than you and they dont even discriminate us. try to fire your filipina maid and well see if you can survive w/o us.

    we EARN our money by serving and making other people HAPPY..

    you EARN your money by making other people SUFFER

    see the difference?

  • micci

    OMG! i am hearing the news right now, watching TV Patrol. And the hell Tsip Chao is! He should not have hired a Filipino maid if he is like that! Just because a lot of Filipinos are maids there, it doesn’t mean he has the right to mock the Filipinos! And to think, a lot of the tourists there are also Filipinos! I myself am planning to go back to HK this summer. I hope this Chip Tsao should be a responsible journalist/writer, because I really don’t think he is! I have a lot of Chinese friends, and they hate him! HK magazine should proofread what articles they are publishing!

  • Minjee

    That is so mean!!! What does he think about us Filipinos? hrr… -_-”

    why don’t he visit our country and see that even Chinese bloods here are also working as a maid…

  • countrymen(PINOY)

    this is all about “CHIP TSAO” well im not going call you “MR” coz you dont deserved it.. “well all filipinos knows how to speak ENGLISH unlike your country!”

  • Julius

    WANTED: chip tsao!!! you are so cheap! very unprofessional! go to school and study good moral values!

  • Charles

    I reckon the magazine website is now blocking IP Addresses from the Philippines since it’s no longer accessible.

  • Marivic H. Malinao

    Why make a big fuss on the article written by Chip Tsao, it’s true. The Philippines is a nation of servants!!! Reality really bites. Why blame him for the insult. We deserve to be insulted anyway. Blame our government for not providing the much needed employment here at home. Blame your colleagues in the Senate, in the House of Representative and in the Executive Branch. Even our own President exerts effort to train our Filipinas, majority of whom are holders of Bachelor’s Degrees only to become professional domestic helpers. Haven’t you realize that, that our country is going to the dogs. We have no right at this point in time to question the personal opinion of the writer, though defamatory, but it’s true. Can we charge him for libel? NO!

  • christopher

    Are you for real? Or you just have not been here in our place of “servants”? Well let me urge you to come here you “cheap chow” and i’ll feed you to my dogs. Let alone let you feed them first then feed yourself to them. That would be a sight to see. I havent been to your place but I reapect your kind coz im a chinese-filpino. And im fully educated. Its no wonder you and the magazine your working for need the attention coz im not even familiar with it. Well you got the attention now lets see you get out of it. If ever you’re here send me an email so you’ll see what we are made of. Or you’re just shivering down there? When I saw your “cheap” face on tv I thought you were gay. We’ll are you? Thats my challenge to you now lets see if you are “man” or “woman” emough to accept it. Chow. …..and oh thats the name of the food i feed my dogs everyday.

  • Ric Cruz

    Working abroad is one of Blas Ople’s infamous legacy. His failure to spur local jobs is covered up by encouraging overseas employment. What is Philippine gov’t’s responsibility is deflected towards other governments abroad. I wonder why a building was even named after him.

  • Ric Cruz

    In the spirit of freedom of expression, I hope my earlier comment will not be deleted. I mean, Blas’ boss Marcos is long gone, and so was his repressive era.

  • Comabig,Roche

    Chip should apologize to us filipinos, he has no right to call our country “nation of servants” because he and his friends are fools and thinks like they rule the world…

    We should take legal actions and he should pay and suffer for his foolishness

  • ericson

    Boiling blood welcomed me when i heard the news on the tv. I immediately opened my personal computer and search the CHIP writer. The page of the contoversial “The war at home/hk magazine.com” cannot opened because it was already removed. He’s very inconsiderate because hes trying to target our innocent domestic helper regarding the spratly controversy. The controversy must be settled in proper place and by the proper authority. Im not sure about the content of the archipelagic base doctrine but i think it resolves the problem regarding our claims on spratly.

  • Yanos Ordron

    please take a look at this and consider what to write before actually writing it…


    And try to look up the meaning of the phrase “political satire”

  • nisette

    nisette :
    nothing…it is useless to put into life again, the past issues…maybe it’s time to end up that thing….maybe it will serve a lesson to each one of us and don’t discriminate the races of the people….just remember we are in same level in the eyes of God….;]

  • Poor Chip Tsao doesn’t know anything about Filipino Culture. We are not just there to serve you. We are also a nation of fighters. Now you know.

  • Call it satire. But it is not comedy. Placing your maid on the frontline to absorb all your disgust is a no-no mister. We have known about our Kalayaan group of islands even before you were born. If we can revive the Spaniards you would know that those islands are properties of the Philippines. China was just passing through when you were the poor traders visiting us.

    At this present age, you are the the nation with the poorest quality of products the world has ever encountered. Hey Tsip… your products in the Philippines are cheap… and so are your write-ups.

  • ekim

    mga walanghiyang tsekwa eh mga chinese dito mga prostitutes worth 5dhs (approximately 65 pesos).

    ngaun sino mas worst?



  • emman

    gandang arw po,..wlang karapatan ang cheap tsao n yn n laitin tyong mga filipino,..malaki tkot ko sa Diyos,pero makita ko lang tsekwa n yan,masaktan s’kin yn!..

  • Leona

    We are all equal. We all eat using our mouths, with what we eat passing through our stomachs and coming out in the same hole….all of us….so no one should feel superior over the other.

  • reno ilaga

    ang mga chinese pag yan ang employer sa pilipinas walang kuwenta pati producto nila nakakalason wag nga siyang mamintas tumingin muna siya sa china.

  • ronald cruz

    why bother, true naman!!nasakit ba katotohanan?

  • eMo pRiNcEsS

    Apology is not enough, he should face prior consequences of what he wrote, which shows that
    he is not capable to declare himself a writer even if he is award winning. What he wrote shows his wrath,inhumane and ignorance.

  • ramil

    chip tsao should go here in the philippines and try to say the words he said in that article in order for him taste the consequences of his words. his act is a clear manifestattion of how educated he is, it reflects the kind of school he came from, it reflects what kind of curriculum his school has, it is way below of the accepted standard. does he is not aware that discrimation is strongly condemned internationally, i think he should go back to school to read and study again he need to be reeducated. this kind of person is a shame to the world of journalism, he lacks the basic principle of journalism that is “responsible journalism”, does he know this, i bet his ignorant about this.

  • yel

    About CHEAP TAO (Chip Tsao).

    I was just wondering about his background and his so-called reputation of being a best-seller author.

    If we will dissect his opinion, it is obvious that he is nothing but a superficial and uncerebral writer. He is definitely illogical and with a dysfunctional cerebrum.

    First, the dispute over spratly island is a political issue. So as a socalled writer, he should know that the quantity of Filipino workers in Hongkong has nothing to do with this issue nor this should silence our nation (or corrupt government) in claiming ownership to these islands. That is tantamount to say that America has a right to claim a chinese island and China should keep quiet and submit itself to USA. Following the logic of this so-called writer, there are a lot of chinese in USA who cooks greasy food in their sub-standard and dirty kitchens. Or Canada can claim ownership to hongkong because there are a lot of chinese in Canada. So many that they are on the top of the list when it comes to violating health standards not to mention those empty bottle pickers who roam around the malls and street because they can’t get a job. They cannot simply speak English.

    If he wishes to express his disapproval, he needs to think better to come up with sound arguments. He should site political issues, international laws and logic. Expectedly, from a writer who does not think, he insults the people who feeds his family and takes care of his children. His article is a total crap, rubbish, junk and a work of a single neuron.

    We are not a nation of servants. We are a nation family-loving people who would work hard just to take care of our family. Unlike them, they are a nation of wealth but their lives revolves on money that they live their entire lives worrying about money. Their values evolved and revolves around money. Their blant and flat affect and faces show it. They are a nation who are obsessed on prawning and that is their national identity. They are totally void of human relations.

    Hongkong should start rethinking about their socalled writers. It is a grave insult to them to even think that this creature is a writer.

  • Thanks for publishing this so that people around the world may know that we, Filipinos contributed so much to the growth of their respective countries by providing them with human resources. Little do they know we have so many IT professionals working for big IT companies around the globe.

    This is something that is very much tolerable (at least to me) but indeed hurt the feelings of not just to professional Filipinos but to the Filipino masses as well.

    I wanted to share a very relevant quote on this issue by Jasmine Guy, “Bigotry and judgment are the height of insecurity”

    Go go go Pinoy! Be proud to be one! We are highly skilled and most judgment are based on their insecurities, ha ha…

  • Map

    I guess Mr. Tsao got a wrong info about the course of his domestic assistant Louisa. Based on my research, the University of Manila is not offering a certain ‘international politics’ degree.

  • Arvin Yana

    This man deserves to be crucified. He is an embarassment to BBC and all other media outfits he’s been associated with.

  • Louie M

    The article was satirical. Please allow responsible people to comment freely on your site. My comment about the article being satirical and actually critical of the sino-centric mentality of many HK citizens was deleted. Thank you.

  • Chonga Bonga

    C. Tsao thinks he is a patriotic Chinaman, the kind of patriot that incites others to hate his country and people. I wonder how he and his publisher could come up with a bizarre notion that what he wrote is a satire. Would it be satirical and hysterically laughable if I write that the Chinese are a bunch of pimps for not too far in the past, they sold their daughters as whores? Would it be satirical to say that since this Tsao wrote that he finds the Russian and the Japanese are worthy opponents, and not the Pinoy, that perhaps, the Rape and Massacre of Nanking by the Japanese is just fine by Tsao’s measure. If I made Tsao and his cohorts mad, please understand I’m just being satirical (LOL).

    Now – addressing Tsao directly: Your notion of self-importance and Chinese supremacy is laughable. I guess it stems from your country’s history of inferiority complex. If your inflated sense of power over others represents Chinese attitudes then your country does not deserve the respect of its neighbors – people like you are proving China does not know how to handle power and it’s scary because of your bush-league mentality.

    Sorry to say but you’re a sorry-ass racist trying to hide your true sentiment under the guise of “satire”. You’re doing your country a disservice with your chest thumping. BTW, your behavior towards your “servant”, by all human standards, is shameful and you seem to be proud of it. I’m a Filipino-American, I know what a decent wage is, so don’t be boastful of the pittance you pay your Filipina help. Also, don’t forget where the term “Amah” came from.

  • pinay-jak

    wow naku ang mga skolar na ang nambatikos sa chip munks na Chip Tsao!

    alah kung nasaktan kayo, ako hindi kasi..

    ‘The War at Home’

    ang realidad nyan hindi lang ma-express ni Chip Tsao na galit sya sa kapwa nya na chinese…

    in his article mapapansin mu na inilalarawan nya na ang kanyang bansa ay umaasa lang sa mga pinoy ofw..

    at yung ilang kapwa nilang chinese ay nawawalan na ng trabaho dahil mukhang occupado na ng mga pinoy… anu ba yan! Gumawa sya ng storya upang mapansin ng gobyerno nila na nasasadlak na rin sa pinansyal krisis ang katotohanan na dapat na sila ma-insecure dahil nawawalan na ng employment ang tau nila, napupunta lang sa mga Filipino lahat ng pinaghihirapan nilang pera kuno!

    “The reason: There are more than 130,000 Filipina maids working as HK$3,580-a-month cheap labor in Hong Kong.”

    abah hindi pa sya nakuntentu…

    “you don’t flex your muscles at your master, from whom you earn most of your bread and butter.”

    ipinarinig nya eto sa mga pinay, pero patama sa inang bayan nila ang linyang eto, kasi ang master nila ay ang higanteng pula.. aminin nya man o hindi
    isa syang takut na pusa sa dambuhalang daga na amo nya! sa totoo naman nagpasakop pa sila sa higanteng pula diba instead of magcrave sila na lumaya eh they don’t flex their muscles at their master, from whom they earn most of their bread and butter patama sa higanteng pula… ah hindi ko pala nakailmutan na alila din sila ng triads este anu ba yun thriads ng big red!

    “gave her a harsh lecture”

    harsh lecture? or torture? he mean that his kabayan now doing harsh things against Filipinos! dahil ingit sila! or baka naranasan din nila eto noon!

    “but we have a hostage in each of our homes in the Mid-Levels or higher”

    oh they have big nuber of hostages ever since, we oftenly hear real news regarding some ofws ikinulong at sinasaktan ng amo nila! ganun din nangyari sa ilan nilang kababayan sa kanilang mother land nuon!

    ” paying her to wash my toilet and clean my windows 16 hours a day”

    maliwanag po ang nasabi nya nagmamalabis na sila sa mga pinoy! ang eksenang eto ay ginagawa nila para ibaling sa mga pinoy ang gulong nararamdaman at nararanasan nila sa kanilang bakuran na sila rin ay inaabuso din ng kanilang mga landlords!(sinu nga ba ang kanilang lords?)

    bakit ba malayo sila sa Tibeth na nais nang kumawala sa higanteng pula?

    oh ayan atah ang picture ng ‘The War at Home’ by Chip Tsao! looking sa dating buhay ng Hong Kong!

    modernised na ang knilang bansa ah bakit hindi na nila i-asa pa sa mga robot yung gawaing bahay nila…

    bwahahahaha buti pa ang robot i switch on mo pwede mo na alilain… at di na mag reresbak… pero ang taong nakaranas ng pag mamalabis nung sya ay isa pang alila di magtatagal kapag umasenso na gagagwin nya rin ito sa kanyang kapwa kahit sa kanyang alipin na tumulong sa kanya upang bumangon!