I remember St. Francis Square at Ortigas Center with fondness. The building used to house the Christ’s Christian Fellowship (CCF) weekly services, and it was there that the church grew to one of Philippine’s megachurches of today.
St. Francis was also a place where you can get the cheapest clothes, shoes, and bags in the area. The ground floor had a lot of Muslims selling jewelry accessories and cellphones, while the upper floors was where you get the best fashion bargains.
Today, St. Francis is different.
Instead of the tiangges, the ground floor has been replaced by a Chinese internet company called MeiYa Internet Company.
The building beside it has offices staffed with Chinese nationals. You can always see Chinese milling around the area.
To complete the look, the second floor now houses a Chinese grocery.
No wonder a lot of Mainland Chinese have invaded the Ortigas Center area. They have most likely leased out most of St. Francis Square for their own use, and live, work and spend their time in Ortigas Center.
My Reactions to Mainlanders “Invading” the Ortigas CBD
Honestly, I think that if the company and the Mainland Chinese staff have applied for and received the right permits to operate and work in the Philippines, then they have every right to set up a satellite office here. The Philippine economy needs a catalyst. Back then, it was the BPO and now it’s the Mainland Chinese companies. These additional people is not really invading our country, but rather, investing in us.
The money that they will flow in the Philippines will only benefit the Filipino people, as these people would have to:
- Sleep: Hence, they will need to rent/buy property here and furnish them
- Eat: Restaurants will benefit as there will be more people who will be eating
- Live: Consumption will rise as Mainlanders are the world’s best and most generous shoppers. Retail companies will benefit.
The only caveat I have is that if they live in the Philippines, the Mainland Chinese should also follow Filipino laws, policies and regulations.
They should NOT be arrogant and think they are beyond the law. Even if they live here, they still should defer to the Filipino authority and only do things that are legal. Yes, we are okay with having the Mainland Chinese set up a business in the Philippines, but please do not use the Philippines as a drug hub, a prostitution ring, or have your kids pee anywhere and everywhere.
If you live in our country, respect in our laws. If you respect our laws, then you are warmly welcome in our country.
But what about them stealing our money and our jobs?
That’s what’s great about capitalism and democracy. Whoever offers the best value gets the benefit. If the Filipino wants to protect their own construction workers, the latter should wisen up with the competition and start:
- Coming to work on time — No “I can’t come to work because I’m drunk” excuse
- Work as hard as the Chinese nationals — In the Philippines kasi, uso ang petiks
- Do their work properly as per the contract — Not renegade on the contract mid way and blackmail the client from giving them more money
The time has come for us to wake up from our sour laziness and work better. Our foreign neighbors are working harder, longer and better than we are. Why can’t we do the same?
If the Filipinos do their job properly, they will ALWAYS have job security regardless on how many immigrants there are. However, if the Filipino chooses to be sketchy, unprofessional and lazy, then, why blame the Chinese for getting the contract?
This is a wakeup call. The Chinese has come. Now, what are we going to do about it?
Do better — or cry foul?
You be the judge.
Updated as of December 20:
One 40-footer container filled with inverter aircons are offloading to St. Francis square. Galing!