Nora Soriño .
ILIGAN City — We see the news in Hong Kong these days, and it’s grim. The tourist will have second thoughts going to it.
Yet not very long ago, HK was a tourist destination, a paradise. The place is cool, say the millennials.
Now we see the leader, a humorless Carrie Lam, facing the media and all those concerned and being asked among other things: “When will you die?”
The trouble there will continue. Maybe, it will “get worse before it gets better.” Now where did we get that phrase?
Just a few days ago, media showed us a spectacle of umbrellas in bloom, say the caption in some paper. They were the umbrellas of the protesters pursuing an “enemy” — meaning, they came prepared for the rain. At this point, I remember some lyrics of a song: “Out of doorways black umbrellas came to pursue me/Faceless people as they pass were looking through me/ No one knew me…”
Yet the umbrellas were not all black. They came in all colors, blue, white, red, green and yes, black.
This makes this government of ours, and, of course, families of OFWs here fidgety. But recruitment consultant and migration expert one Emmanuel Geslani believes that OFWs in HK will be reluctant to leave this paradise even in these troubled times, so we are told. Unless their own employers decide to pack up and leave HK.
So, we just keep our fingers crossed. That this will not escalate into something very very serious.
It is said that some state media ran images of military personnel and armored personnel carriers across the borders in Shenzhen, prompting the US to warn Beijing against sending troops.
It is said by analysts that any intervention by Chinese security forces would be “reputational and economic disaster for China.”
It is also said that with these protests, which is borne out of desire of Hong Kongers to do away with the Extradition Bill, the economy there is hurting badly. Yes, the people of HK are scared out of their wits with that. To the point that they had been prodded to protest with all their determination. Somehow, they’ve succeeded somewhat and a little. For the bill is suspended in the meantime.
But they don’t want suspension for the time being. They want it to be abolished for good.
China then is in a quandary. They want really complete control of HK. They can’t wait for 2050 or thereabouts, anymore. They want it to be now, if that could be possible. It’s like that joke on some male and female cats of which the male meows, “now, now, now.” And the female cat meows, “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…”
It isn’t tomorrow for the Hong Kongers though. It is “never, never, never.” Hence these now very “obscene” protests, in the eyes of the Chinese in the mainland.
Oh, by the way, when this writer went to HK in 2010 with a sibling, we saw that it really is a paradise. There in Disneyland, fairy tales did come true. There was Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the other beauties. There were their “prince charmings,” too, and some other characters that came with those tales. But at one point, some “dwarfs” pulled some hoses and sprinkled us, poor “tourists,” to our watery delights. And there were plenty of us lining along the streets, waving at Snow White and Co. as they were also waving their hands and giving us flying kisses.
HK wants to be treated like a separate country. We thought there won’t be any trouble after it was handed over by the British to China in 1997. Nothing has changed much there after that, it is viewed. Why is it that all this is happening only now?
Of course, this might only be a simplistic view of things there. Maybe, something was really brewing in HK since 1997. We just didn’t know.
Now, the economy there in HK is hurt. Yet, I like to view one positive thing regarding the economy of this troubled paradise.
Methinks it has boosted very much some sales. And that is, the sales of the umbrella manufacturers!