We would like to go back to Hong Kong this year and it will be our fourth time. Recently, there had been news about Hong Kong government requiring visa to all Philippine passport holders due to the Manila hostage siege happened more than 3 years ago. The news saddened us because Hong Kong is our favorite place in Asia to spend winter, so far. And one of the obvious reasons is because it’s visa-free (14-days).
This week, we are contemplating of booking our airline ticket but need to check if the law regarding visa in Hong Kong has been implemented. It will be a month from now and we really hope that while waiting for our departure until we are done with our 6-days vacation, this issue will not hassle us.
If you are on the same ground, here’s the advisory page of the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) that you can check from time to time.
From Hong Kong Immigration Department website.
As of this writing, January 14, 2014, Philippine passport holders are are still given 14-day Visa free by the Hong Kong SAR.
July 29, 2014 Update: HK cancels visa-free travel for Filipino diplomatic, official passport holders
Just earlier after dinner, I heard in the news that the Hong Kong government has cancelled the visa-free entry to Philippine officials and diplomats passport holders as its first phase of sanctions to the Philippines which will take effect on February 5, 2014. While it’s clear that there was no mention of regular Filipino passport holders included, I still felt sad and somehow devastated of this news. We are booked and ready for our 4th trip to Hong Kong on second week of February and we are not sure what will happen to our bookings, just in case. Flights and hotels are already paid in full. =(
I know the sentiment of the victims of the Manila hostage last August 23, 2010 and I really feel for them. However, I appeal to the Hong Kong government not to include the common Filipinos like us with the sanctions. We love the place and evidence of it is our yearly visit. I really hope that the Philippine government will do the necessary actions as soon as possible because the Hong Kong executive mentioned their openness of the continuous dialogue. God Bless the relationship of Hong Kong and Philippines!
Here’s the latest press briefing of Hong Kong leader, Leung Chun-ying. Video courtesy of news.gov.hk via Yahoo! News.