IN CEBU, a netizen posted on Sunday afternoon, February 2, on Facebook pictures of nine foreign nationals, insinuating that they were mistreated.
"Ingon ani mo treat ang mga Cebuano sa mga Chinese (Is this how Cebuanos treat Chinese nationals)?" read the caption to the social media user's photos, which gathered 1,800 reactions and was shared more than 4,500 times as of 4:25 p.m.
The foreigners were sitting on the wooden benches inside the Fuente Osmeña Circle in uptown Cebu City. Most of them wore surgical masks.
Superbalita Cebu went to the area to verify if they were Chinese. A woman in the group refused to divulge their nationality, saying their privacy must be respected.
The woman said they were not refused by any hotel, adding that they had checked out of the hotel before they went to the Fuente Osmeña Circle.
She said they were waiting for the vehicle that would transport them to Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City.
Cebu City Tourism Commission head Jocelyn Pesquera said Cebuanos must refrain from posting discriminatory statements on social media or making fun of Chinese nationals on social media.
Pesquera said the Chinese tourists have contributed to Cebu's economy.
"We should give them respect because in the same manner, if it will happen to us, we don't want the same thing nga himuon ta'g subject of ridicule," Pesquera said. (JCT/NDT/KAL/With Mae Fhel Gom-os, USJ-R Intern)