HK / Macau

Filipino Professionals and Residents in Hong Kong, China

Although Filipino domestic workers vastly outnumber other Filipinos in other professions, there are a notable number of Filipino professionals in Hong Kong. Some are architects and civil engineers, working on some of the more prominent buildings and construction projects in Hong Kong. Some are information technology professionals, and some are in professional services (accounting, law, finance) too. A significant proportion [quantify] of those employed as domestic workers in Hong Kong have other professions in the Philippines, even those with university degrees work in Hong Kong because of better financial opportunities.

The first Filipinos to have worked professionally in Hong Kong were these groups who went to Hong Kong during the post-World War II years and following the fall of the Mainland to the Communists in 1949. A decade ago, prostitutes in the red light district in Wanchai were exclusively Filipinas, some of whom have now married or turned to waiting in bars. Many Filipinos also work in service industries in the Central business district, and also in Hong Kong Disneyland as entertainers or other cast members.

Most Filipinos in Hong Kong communicate with the local population in English (usually a second language for both parties). However, they communicate with their own friends and community in Tagalog or in another Filipino language. Most of them have also picked up a few Cantonese phrases in everyday life. A few are adept at Cantonese usage.

Filipinos haven't settled long enough in Hong Kong to have a large number who know Cantonese fluently, unlike some of the other ethnic minorities such as the Pakistanis and the Indians who often speak Cantonese as well as their Chinese neighbors. This is because most Filipino workers are transients who do not intend to settle in Hong Kong—each year, a large number of these leave Hong Kong permanently, to be replaced by a different set of Filipinos who have to learn Cantonese from the beginning.

Community life
Statue Square is an ideal rendezvous for Filipino maids in Hong Kong on Sundays.
Filipino maids gathering around the Hong Kong Cultural Centre in Tsim Sha Tsui.

The World-Wide House arcade in Central is popular with the Filipinos, as many of the shops are run by Filipinos. The wide assortment of typically small shops caters to their needs, selling telecommunications and banking services, to food, and magazines.

Domestic helpers work six days a week in Hong Kong, and the vast majority have Sunday off work. As most cohabitate with their employers, they spend their free day gathering with friends and relatives. Tens of thousands gather in Central to play, eat, talk and pass time together. 

On Sundays, one can usually encounter a large number of Filipino maids gathered at various spots in Central, including the ground floor of the HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building. Many maids in Hong Kong have Sunday as their fixed once-a-week working day off, during which they socialize, eat self-prepared food, sing, and even sell various items. This weekly gathering is such a long-standing practice that the "No Littering" signs in the vicinity are written in three languages: Chinese, English and Tagalog.

Most Filipinos in Hong Kong are Christians, the majority Roman Catholic. There are also a sizeable number who congregate in Protestant and non-denominational churches. A minority are Muslims or Buddhists. Many spend at least a part of their Sunday mornings attending Mass and various church services. Numerous Catholic parishes in Hong Kong offer Masses in Tagalog or English geared towards the Filipinos. According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong (2011), there is an estimated 120,000 Filipino Catholics who make up a large part of the non-local parish membership.

"The "San Francisco East Bay Chinese" - RCC Church is organizing an event of a life-time. Never before has there been a more important time to see God's plan for the future of China and other nations of the world like the United States. You can help shape and mold God' destiny for the foreseeable future.
This exciting opportunity has come up and we are happy to offer to those living in the United States and Canada a chance to go on a Group China Prayer Tour this coming Autumn.

Contact Us:
"San Francisco East Bay Chinese" - RCC Church
19230 Lake Chabot Rd.
Castro Valley, CA. 94545
David M. Grubbs