06 January 2016

Filipino Soldier Discriminated in Kalibo

Kalibo Discrimination
(This story was first posted on Coconuts Manila.)

Can you be discriminated in your own country by foreigners? It appears that this can happen in the Philippines after First Lieutenant Ryan Layug, whose Facebook post about being denied entry to the Korean-run airport lounge located across Kalibo International Airport.

The incident happened last 1 January 2016 and the post went viral over the long weekend. Layug already filed a complaint with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

"A representative from the DTI messaged me on Facebook and advised me to submit a report, which I already did on Sunday," Layug told Coconuts Manila.

According to Layug, whose Facebook account is named Phoenix Rising, the Korean supervisor did not let him in when he tried to enter on the evening of 1 January 2016.

He had planned to stay at the lounge while waiting for his 5:00 AM flight.

"Sa ngayon, sa mga Koreans lang po nila ino-offer ang lounge," a Filipina staff told Layug after he first inquired about using the lounge, which is leasing space from Discover Boracay Hotel and Spa.

When Layung contested, she asked her Korean supervisor, who distinctly said "No Filipino! No Filipino!"

He told the locals at a nearby carinderia, who advised him to bring it up with the police.

When the police intervened, the Korean manager apologized, and offered him free stay and free food. Layug declined.

Speaking with Coconuts Manila, Layug reiterated that Discover Boracay Hotel and Spa had nothing to do with the incident.

"It is the Korean establishment, which is only renting space in the building of Discover Boracay," he clarified.

On a Facebook post, Discover Boracay clarified that the airport lounge is under a different management and ownership from the hotel and spa.

The Kalibo International Airport has also posted on Facebook, saying that the airport lounge is privately operated "and travelers can only avail of its services for a fee and not exclusive to a certain national only."

Ultimately, Layug would like business establishments to treat their customers fairly, for the concerned government agencies to review and monitor strictly business establishments co-owned by foreigners.

"I would like no employee be fired because of the incident, change on company policy regarding exclusiveness. It must be comfortable to people of any race," he said.