Pangyao Magazine Issue #15: Apr/May 24

Page 1

Hong Kong’s Migrant Community

Strengthening ties: Indonesian Consulate General of Hong Kong

Ingat: An anthology by migrant workers

Love is boundless: Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre

Issue 15 Apr / May 24 FREE

Apr / May ‘24


Aileen Alonzo-Hayward & Martin Turner

Lead writer:

Aileen Alonzo-Hayward

Front cover:

Designed by Martin Turner


Martin Turner (based on original template designed by Steve Ellul of Cedar Hong Kong)

Special thanks:

Steve Ellul & Lie Fhung

A word from the founders

Hello Pangyaos!

In this issue, the Pangyao team visits the Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre (SLBCC) in the serene Ceylon Farm Village, for a heartfelt conversation with Ven. Sigiriye Sumiththa Thero.

We sit down with the Consul General of Indonesia in Hong Kong, Mr. Yul Edison, to discuss the impact that the Indonesian community has in the city, and how he would like to continue to build ties during his tenure, while Migrant Writers of Hong Kong team up with Lensational for an impressive new anthology of works titled Ingat.

Happy Mother’s Day from Pathfinders

Deepening connections through love languages

Ingat book launch

MDWs get creative in this new anthology

SIMmer down (ADCC collaboration)

The risks of selling registered SIM cards

Community voice: Leo Selomenio Preparations for Philippine Independence Day

Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre

Pangyao visits Ceylon Farm Village

In our regular features, Eva Hamon prepares soto ayam (chicken noodle soup) for Taste of Home, while Pangyao columnist, Ron R. Lacson, shares a touching story about his mother.

Speaking of mothers, we also celebrate their special day on 12th May, with PathFinders using the opportunity to teach us how to deepen the bond between mother and child using love languages. Let us take a moment to appreciate our mothers and carers, and be grateful for the life and love they have given us.

Aileen & Martin

A taste of home: Eva cooks soto ayam

An Indonesian classic, chicken noodle soup

Consulate General of Indonesia in Hong Kong

Aileen talks to Consul General Yul Edison

Conversation with Ron: A mother’s glance

Ron shares a touching story of childhood memories

Kost Pojok (Indonesian)

Friendships from youth forged in student dorms

Useful contacts

NGOs, consulates, and more...

Issue 15
5 7 10 14 12 24 20 24 28
28 6626 9751 (Aileen)



Don.jaytattoo Hong Kong

Don.JayTattoo Hong Kong






SUNDAY 3rd MARCH 2024 saw Eaton HK play host to Migrant Writers of Hong Kong (MWHK), in collaboration with Lensational, and Small Tune Press, for the release of Ingat, an anthology of works by migrant domestic worker (MDW) creatives in Hong Kong.

The venue was packed to the gills with guests, performers, well-wishers, organisers, authors, and artists. Opening the ceremony was Christine Vicera, founder and co-director of artsfor-education lab be/longing, and one of the leaders of the project.

MWHK co-founder, Maria Nemy Lou Rocio, also shared a few words, expressing her disbelief and gratitude for the hard work they all put

into Ingat. “Ingat means so many things, depending on the context. It can mean ‘look out’, or something we say when we part ways, or simply ‘take care’,” says Maria during her speech. According to Eny Bawse, contributing writer, speaker, and founder of Self Love Cupid, Ingat means ‘remember’ in Bahasa Indonesia.

The design of the book is inspired by the balikbayan or door-to-door box – the quintessential overseas Filipino worker (OFW) ritual, where an OFW will, over the course of weeks, months, and sometimes even years, buy or collect toiletries, canned food, oatmeal, cereal, chocolates, towels, curtains, shoes, school supplies, toys, clothes (both used or brand new)… anything they want to send back to the Philippines. >


The arrival of a balikbayan box is the source of much joy and excitement for the family back home. It is packed with extra care and love, and for a lot of children who grew up with a OFW parent, the memories of opening the box and receiving the goodies inside will last a lifetime.

This feeling is conveyed as you hold a new copy of Ingat, as you literally have to unbox it. As you slide the book out of the box, the images of chocolate packets, toothpaste, cans of luncheon meat, bars of soap, biscuits, and some cake mix, give a nostalgic surprise to those who know, and a touch of whimsy to those unfamiliar with the balikbayan box tradition.

Ingat is an emotional tapestry of stories told in many ways: poetry, essays, photographs, drawings, and paintings. All the written prose has been translated to Chinese, as one of the main goals of the publication is to convey the feelings and stories of MDWs to the rest of Hong Kong, especially to those who might not think about the rich, inner lives that these women lead outside of their work.

A few words from the co-founders of MWHK, Maria Nemy Lou Rocio, Ailenemae Ramos and Liezel Fernandez Marcos:

“Ingat” conveys a deeper meaning coming from those who say it but it means a lot more for those who receive it. It is ideally an expression of thoughtfulness. A symbolism of Filipinos’ being maalalahanin (thoughtful) which basically reflects also on migrant workers’ love and sacrifice for their families while abroad. Thus, the project was inspired by the balikbayan boxes we send to our families.

The book aims to carve a space in the hearts of the locals after reading it. It also aims to be an eye opener for Hong Kong people that migrant domestic workers are more than just what they are. We have great talents to share. We carry a lot of baggage and we want to share these through different ways of self-expression like photography, art and writing. We hope that our creativity will be celebrated rather than contained.

Photos by Arra Pot (Lensational) and Germy/Jeremy (@germysarchives)


Saying goodbye crushes her soul

If only she can pause or delay the time

Has magic, so she can control

The diaspora migration’s paradigm

But her unwavering spirit shall conquer

The tempest that blocks her way

Be it in the silence of the valley sombre

Or the roaring tornado that can slay

She’ll face the duel, like a warrior do

Farewell for now, but she’ll chase the start

Up in the zenith, even if she is blue

For sweet will be her victory psalm afar

Kaleidoscope’s life is waiting

For she knows no retreat

Breakthroughs will be amazing

As she transcend the melodies beat

How intense is her aspiration

Sha may walk in the furnace of fire

Or be burdened with tribulation

Like an eagle, she’ll soar higher


Sa aking paglisan at paglayo

Dala-dala’y pangarap, para ang buhay ay mabago

Nakagisnang kahirapan nais mapagtagumpayan kahit papano

Kabusikalan ng ating pag-ibig,

Siyang nagbibigay kalakasan at katagumpayan sa bawat pakikibaka ko.

“Mag-iingat ka mahal ko”

Yan ang nasambit na pabaon mo

Katagang makahulugan at napaka romantiko

Para akong idinuduyan, at pakiwari’y

Nakalutang sa alapaap at langit sa akin ang pag-ibig mo.

Mag-iingat palagi at namnamin ang buhay

Ang pag-iingat sa ating pag-iibigan nawa’y maghari magpakailanman.

Gawin nating sandata sa mga pagsubok sa buhay.

Pagdating ng takdang panahon ating namnamin at makamtan

Ang mga pangarapna inumpisahan

Bunga ng lagging pag-iingat, tayo ay magtatagumpay!

Sa ating pag-iingat ating malalabanan

Anumang bugso ng damdamin at daluyon sa buhay

Mag-iingat palagi at ika’y iingatan

At sa aking pagbalik tayo at mamuhay sa kasaganaan.

Mag-ingat lagi.

Buy your copy of Ingat here:



...on illegal SIM card selling

In collaboration with

The subscriber identity module – or SIM card, as it is more widely known – is ubiquitous in today’s modern world. Almost everyone has a smartphone, and every smartphone needs a SIM for it to function.

We use it for sending messages and e-mail, accessing our online banking and e-payment apps, shopping, storing a wealth of personal data, and much more. That’s why it is so important to ensure it is secure.

Since March 2022, the Hong Kong government has implemented the mandatory Real-name Registration Programme for SIM cards. Even if you purchase a prepaid SIM card, registration through the service provider is required, either online or in their stores.

Registration is meant to regulate SIM card services provided by telecommunications companies, and more importantly, to help prevent identity theft and other types of scams.

What illegal activities do criminals use SIM cards for, and why do they try hard to obtain these from unsuspecting victims?


Scammers can use stolen or fraudulently obtained SIM cards to conduct various types of fraud, such as identity theft, phone and romance scams, and financial fraud. They message victims through these SIM cards which they can easily dispose of once they have defrauded the victims


Stalkers may use SIM cards to harass or stalk individuals, by making threatening phone calls or sending abusive messages. Tracing these offenders is difficult since they often use illegally obtained SIM cards


Culprits may use SIM cards to access and control mobile devices remotely, enabling them to steal personal information, hack accounts, and engage in other types of cybercrime. There has been a rise in cybercrimes due to the ease of moving money around through online banking, digital currency, and other e-payment platforms


Criminal organisations may use SIM cards to communicate and coordinate criminal activities, such as drug trafficking, human trafficking, and terrorism. They send each other messages without fear of reprimand since the SIM cards are not registered under people in their organisation

The consequences [of migrant domestic workers selling SIM cards] are not limited to termination of their employment contract, but can also lead to being charged with a criminal offence

Given the risk of having been involved in something illegal and the fear of being terminated by their employers, migrant domestic workers (MDWs) who have sold their SIM cards are often reluctant to come forward and share their stories. Yuni Andarwati, an Indonesian community leader, shares, “They [MDWs] do not want to come forward because they do not want to be in trouble with their employers.”

Yuni, who also hosts a popular YouTube channel called Yuni TKW HK, talks to her followers about the dangers of selling SIM cards, noting that the consequences are not limited to the termination of their employment contract, but can also lead to being arrested, and even charged with a criminal offence.

So how can responsible citizens help with cracking down on such activities? Firstly, you should always be on your guard; if you are approached by anyone offering to purchase SIM cards registered under your name, through social media, messaging apps, or other channels, you should immediately

report them to the authorities. While they may use enticing offers, like large sums of money or rewards, in exchange for your help, you have no way of knowing how your SIM card or personal data might be used and run the risk of inadvertently becoming involved in illicit and highly illegal activities.

Secondly, be sure to spread the word to your friends and loved ones about risks and dangers of SIM card selling. Some migrant workers may not even be aware that such activities are illegal, or that they are putting their work and themselves in jeopardy by getting involved, so by educating them, they will be better informed and better positioned to keep themselves out of harm’s way.

SIM card registration is an important tool to help authorities track down and apprehend criminals who make use of SIM cards for illegal activities. Ensuring that SIM cards are registered to their rightful owners in the first place can help prevent their misuse for criminal purposes. SIM card crime prevention starts with you.

Subscribe to scam notifications:

Community voice:

Leo Selomenio

Members of the migrant community write about important topics, personal stories, and life in Hong Kong

Preparations for the Philippine Independence Day (PID) 2024 in June are well underway. The mountain of things to do is getting tackled day by day, bit by bit. This year’s celebration is quite special because the celebrations will take place over two Sundays, 2nd and 9th June.

The Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong, Migrant Workers Office (MWO), Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA), and my community group, Global Alliance, are working together to bring you a spectacular programme.

Last January, I went to the Philippines to speak with media organisations TFC (The Filipino Channel) and GMA Network, sharing with them stories of the struggles that overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have faced over the past few years during the pandemic, and explaining why they deserve an event that will lift their spirits, raise morale, and entertain them in a way that wasn’t possible before due to restrictions. Both networks have wholeheartedly pledged their support.

Sunday 2nd June will showcase the talent in our community through two competitions:

1) OFW Got Talent – finalists try to wow the judges and the audience with their special talents, from magic tricks to dancing, and everything in between;

2) OPM Battle of the Bands – eight bands have the chance to display their Original Pilipino Music skills

For sponsorship, WhatsApp Leo:

and vie for the HK$10,000 prize! There will also be prizes for 2nd and 3rd places for both competitions. Also present that day are the TFC celebrity talents of Jed Madela (multi-award-winning singer and TV host) and Reiven Umali (Tawag ng Tanghalan 2021 Champion and TV personality), who will be there to entertain the crowd.

Sunday 9th June is the main PID, community-led event, starting with a Holy Mass, followed by a big street parade featuring all the officers and staff from the Philippine Consulate General, leaders and members of various community groups, Baile sa Kalye or street dance performers, and the amazing 500-strong Kulay Pinoy dancers. After the parade, cultural performances and celebrity appearances from the GMA network will take place, to keep the crowd entertained.

On those two dates, there will be entertainment and information booths from our corporate and media sponsors (including Pangyao), who helped make these celebrations a reality. These companies always have the best interests of OFWs in their hearts and all of us are grateful for their contributions to the upcoming PID 2024. We wish you all future success and prosperity!

If you wish to sponsor this event and be part of this exciting celebration for the greater good of our Filipino migrants, please get in touch with me through my WhatsApp below.

5336 6530 12

y Ang isang dayuhan na katulong pangtahanan ay may karapatan sa: Š legal na 12 awaw ng pahinga sa isang taon; at Š bayad sa bakasyon kung siya ay nakapagtrabaho ng nang 3 buwan na sinusundan ang anumang legal na araw ng pahinga.

y Hindi pinahihintututan ang bayad bilang kapalit sa legal na araw ng pahinga.

y Kung ang legal na araw ng pahinga ay tumama sa araw ng pahinga, ang araw ng pahinga ay dapat ibigay kasunod sa araw ng pahinga.

y Ang kapalit na araw ng pahinga ay dapat ayusin sa loob ng 60 araw bago o pagkatapos ng legal na araw ng pahinga kung kailangan megtrabaho ng katulong pangtahana sa araw ng pahinga.

y Isang dayuhan na katulong pangtahanan: Š ay dapat may kahit 1 araw ng pahinga tuwing 7 araw; at Š maaaring magtrabaho sa pagkukusa sa araw ng pahinga.

y Dapat huwag pilitin ng amo ang isang katulong na magtrabaho sa araw ng pahinga.

y Karapatan nang isang dayuhan na katulong pangtahanan ang nabayaran na taunang bakasyon pagkatapos magsibi sa parehong amo tuwing 12 buwan sa sumusunod na halaga: Š 7 araw sa bawa’t pang-una at pangalawang taon nang serbisyo; at Š umpisa sa pangatlong taon, ang bilang ay nadadagdagan ng 1 araw sa bawa’t taon hanggang sa pinakamataas ay 14 na araw.

Mga Tanong at Reklamo

24-oras na Hotline: 2157 9537 (hinahawakan ng “1823”)

Online form sa Portal ng FDH:


Love is boundless: Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre
Photos by Martin Turner By Aileen Alonzo-Hayward
The Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre and Ceylon Farm Village act as a spiritual, cultural, and social hub for Hong Kong’s Sri Lankan community

“PLEASE COME IN. Let’s sit inside,” says Ven. Sigiriye Sumiththa Thero, the Spiritual Advisor and Founder of the Sri Lankan Buddhist Cultural Centre in Hong Kong (SLBCC). “Try some of our Ceylon tea,” he offers with a welcoming smile, “it’s from Sri Lanka.”

The peacefulness of the Ceylon Farm Village in Sheung Shui can be felt the moment you step through the gates, with the centre’s loyal rescue dog, Charcoal, there to greet visitors on arrival. A world away from Hong Kong’s big city lights, the space projects an oasis of calm, surrounded by luscious greenery and birdsong.

For many, this is the heart of the heart of the Sri Lankan community in Hong Kong: a place for refuge and rest, a welcome respite from their busy lives in the city. The weekends –Sundays in particular – see the centre at its busiest, as many migrant domestic workers (MDWs) also have their days off.

Hong Kong has about 356,000 MDWs according to the latest Immigration Department data, of which 1,126 are Sri Lankans, making up less than 1 per cent of the total. Filipinos and Indonesians make up the majority of the MDW population, with both communities serviced by their respective consular offices in the city.

The Honorary Sri Lankan Consulate in Hong Kong and Macao, however, was permanently closed on 31st October 2020, with the Embassy of Sri Lanka in Beijing, China taking up the handling of consular enquiries and services. This left the Sri Lankan community in Hong Kong without direct representation in the city or anywhere to approach for urgent help. This is where SLBCC has provided a lifeline.

“We have an office in Kwai Fong where we help our fellow Sri Lankans with passport renewals, contract concerns, or those seeking advice about their employment. There are

quite a few issues our migrant workers have approached us with; being overworked, underpaid, or even suffering abuse at the hands of their employers,” says Thero. “Trying to adapt to a different culture and dealing with the language barrier can result in migrants being misunderstood and leave them vulnerable to exploitation.”

Thero’s serene yet firm tone, set against the weight of importance of SLBCC’s service to the Sri Lankan community, underlines the many issues that migrants without a consular mission in Hong Kong face. The role of a consulate includes protecting the interests of their citizens temporarily or permanently resident in the host country, issuing passports, issuing visas to foreigners, and public diplomacy. Sri Lankan migrants in Hong Kong who encounter problems with their employment look to non-governmental organisations (NGOs), like SLBCC, or private individuals for help.

Thero has met with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka to give updates about the city’s Sri Lankan community and how best to help them. He has also attended meetings with the Legislative Council of Hong Kong to discuss the rights of ethnic minorities. Most importantly, the community has a spiritual advisor and a place they can visit where everyone is welcome, regardless of religious beliefs and political affiliations. >

Trying to adapt to a different culture and dealing with the language barrier can result in migrants being misunderstood and leave them vulnerable to exploitation
- Ven. Sigiriye Sumiththa Thero

CSRHK Winter Battle 2024

Since its inception in December 2016, SLBCC has acted not only as a spiritual centre, but also as a social hub for many Sri Lankans. The centre has hosted and supported many community events, such as the recent Winter Battle 2024, an annual cricket fun day organised by Ceylon Sports and Recreation Hong Kong (CSRHK).

CSRHK cricket team is made up of Sri Lankans from across Hong Kong, so it comes as no surprise hailing from a nation as cricket-mad as Sri Lanka, that the team has been going from strength to strength. Formed around 4 years ago, the team started out playing friendly matches against other local teams from the (equally cricket-obsessed!) Indian, Pakistani, and Nepalese communities. They were subsequently invited to join Cricket Hong Kong’s Challenge League Division 3, from which they were promoted last season, and are now flying high in Division 2 – second place as of the time of writing.

“There are 3,000-4,000 Sri Lankans in Hong Kong overall, and we all love cricket! It’s a perfect way to get the community together,” says Dinusha Nawarathne, a member of the CSRHK team. “When we play league

matches, we are going in with a game mind, but today is a different vibe; our families are here, our children are here, we have games and activities for them to take part in and Sri Lankan food for everyone. Today is about the community,” he shares.

Sure enough, on a crisp, sunny Sunday in February, at Gin Drinkers Bay cricket ground in Kwai Fong, the Sri Lankan community spirit is on full display. Upbeat music sets the tone while the men’s match takes place on the field; the kids happily play games on the side lines while others busily prepare lunch. “This event is only for entertainment; we are all playing in the same team, so today’s match is purely for fun,” says Dinusha.

If there is one thing that matches Sri Lanka’s love of cricket, it is their love of food, so once the men’s game is over, it is time for everyone to gather for lunch – an amazing spread of pork, chicken, and potato curries, eggplant salad, tempered cashews, parsley sambal, and more… definitely worthy of a second helping!

The activities continue into the afternoon, with the ladies also taking to the field for the couples’ battle, which is full of fun and laughter for all involved.

Love does not have a nation or a colour. Love is boundless. It is like the sun, it shines its light on everyone; rich, poor, sad, happy. It does not choose with whom it will share its warmth and light. The world will be much better when we learn how to love everyone with no boundaries, just like the sun - Ven. Sigiriye Sumiththa Thero

Sinhalese New Year, generally known as Aluth Avurudda (අලුත් අවුරුද්ද), takes place on 13th April this year – it is an important celebration for SLBCC (who will host their main celebration at the Farm Village on Sunday 14th April) and the whole Sri Lankan community. It is a celebration that brings all Sri Lankans together, regardless of their faith, and emphasises the renewal and reaffirmation of goodwill within families and among neighbours. It features a series of ritualistic practices and observances that are meant to revitalise the essential bond between people and nature.

The Ceylon Farm Village is a perfect place to appreciate this bond. With the beautiful gardens featuring about 50 different plants, trees, flowers, and herbs, there is a dazzling amount of diversity on display. Fruits include tamarind, pomegranate, coconut, banana, papaya, passion fruit, ambarella, and many more, while jasmine, lilies, butterfly peas, balloon vine, and sepalikas are just a few of the flowers in bloom. Herbs and vegetables include gotukola, peas, lemongrass, chillies, curry leaves, pumpkin, cinnamon, and thibbatu, to name but a few.

In the middle of the garden is a big structure where the community gather, made the traditional wattle and daub way: with mud and cow dung (from the wild cows of Lantau!), wooden pillars,

and a thatched roof. It is perfect for the hot and humid Hong Kong summer, and the rainy months, as it keeps cool and well-ventilated.

The outdoor hearth, or dara lipa, is also made in the traditional way. It is where the cooking takes place during the weekends and for other special events. This area also features a man-made pond, with a big statue of Buddha in the middle of this quiet oasis, sat with his tranquil gaze looking out towards the surrounding greenery.

Towards the end of the garden is a Bodhi tree, also known as a sacred fig tree. It is the species of tree under which Buddha sat deep in meditation for 49 days until he attained enlightenment (bodhi). It stands as a symbol of profound spiritual awakening, its significance transcends religious boundaries, embodying a universal pursuit of inner peace and enlightenment.

As we sip our Ceylon teas, we ask Thero if he has any message for the community. His answer is all-encompassing and touches on a mission greater than ourselves: “Love does not have a nation or a colour. Love is boundless. It is like the sun, it shines its light on everyone; rich, poor, sad, happy. It does not choose with whom it will share its warmth and light. The world will be much better when we learn how to love everyone with no boundaries, just like the sun.”

17 slbcchk

Introducing Eva

Eva Hamon cooks soto ayam

Eva has loved cooking ever since she was young. Though her family’s roots can be traced back to Java, Eva grew up in Lampung, Indonesia, where the fertile land is optimum for coffee and coconut plantations, and perfect for growing herbs and spices at home. Working with food on a professional level, Eva has honed her skills over the years, paying close attention to ingredients, textures, and flavours.

“I love cooking at home, and I do most of the time. Some weekends, my friends come over to ours and we enjoy home cooked meals together,” says Eva. “For us, soto ayam is comfort food. My husband, Geoff, loves this dish too,” she shares. Eva, Geoff, and their two children, Gabriel and Azeliz, live in the green valley of Yung Shue Long on Lamma Island.

Soto ayam overview

Soto ayam directly translates to ‘chicken soup’ – a traditional Indonesian noodle soup popular in warungs (small local eateries or cafés). These delicious bowls of soup are put together individually, combining the soup, shredded chicken, and garnish according to individual taste or preference.

Photos by Martin Turner


• 1 kg chicken, quartered

• 3 pcs curry leaves

• 6 pcs makrut lime leaves

• 1 thumb galangal

• 1 thumb temu kunci (Chinese keys)

• 1 thumb ginger

• 3 bulbs lemongrass

• cooked rice vermicelli noodles

• 1 cup vegetable oil (to fry the chicken and sauté the paste)

• 1 tbsp brown sugar

• salt and pepper to taste

• 2l water


• 5 pcs peeled shallots

• 6 cloves peeled garlic

• 5 pcs candlenut

• ½ nutmeg

• 1 tbsp dried coriander

• 1 tsp ground white pepper


• chopped spring onion

• bawang goreng (crispy fried onion)

• beansprouts

• shredded cabbage

• half a boiled egg

• kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)

• sambal (homemade chili paste)

• lime


1. Place chicken in a big pot with lemongrass, makrut lime leaves, curry leaves, temu kunci, ginger, salt and 2 litres of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 45 minutes; you can use this time to make the paste and prepare the garnishes

2. Remove chicken from the broth and let it rest on a cooling rack or a plate with kitchen towel to absorb the broth. Discard the lemongrass and lime leaves; reserve the soup in the pot and keep on a low heat for serving

3. To make the paste, combine all paste ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until a thick paste is formed. Add a little water if paste is too thick

4. Heat up 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a small pan. Sauté the paste until ingredients are cooked through, around 10-15 minutes. Add all of the cooked paste to the soup pot

5. Place 1 cup of vegetable oil in a wok or deep-frying pan. Fry each side of the chicken until golden brown. Once cooked, separate the meat from the bones and roughly shred it using a fork

6. Assemble the soto ayam in individual bowls; place a portion of the cooked rice vermicelli, half a boiled egg, bean sprouts, and shredded cabbage, then add the soup. Now place some chicken, spring onions, bawang goreng, and half a lime. Add some krupuk (rice crackers), and season to taste with sambal and kecap manis. Best enjoyed while still hot!


Strengthening ties: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong

Photos by Martin Turner

Pangyao meets Yul Edison, Consul General of the Indonesian Consulate General in Hong Kong

Indonesians are the second-largest ethnic minority group in Hong Kong. With over 165,000 living, working, and studying in the city, it is hard to miss the influence of their hard work and culture.

Many come to Hong Kong seeking employment opportunities to support their families back home, with their skills on display across many different industries, from F&B (food and beverage), to fashion, to white collar jobs. No doubt, they are very adaptable.

Indonesians also make up a significant portion of the migrant domestic worker (MDW) population in the city and play an essential role in the domestic workforce, renowned for their dedication to their jobs, strong cultural ties, and delicious and diverse cuisine.

Domestic worker duties cover a wide range of responsibilities, including household chores, car washing, dog walking, taking children to school, and looking after the elderly and people with disabilities. Not only do MDWs have to learn these practical skills, they also need to get accustomed to the local culture, and learn to cope with being away from their loved ones.

Before leaving Indonesia, MDWs need to complete 600 hours of mandatory predeparture training, which covers practical skills, but also includes a language course, to ensure they are proficient in conversational Cantonese upon arrival in Hong Kong.

“We want our migrant workers to have the skills they need before they leave the country. We also have Cantonese language course they need to attend; we believe this will help them adapt better when they arrive,” says Yul Edison, Consul General of the Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong. “In addition to these pre-departure courses, we also run induction sessions for newly arrived domestic workers, to give them information


related to their rights, avenues for seeking help, and general information concerning the local culture,” he adds.

“Hong Kong is very welcoming. One of the ways we share our [Indonesian] culture with the rest of the city is by putting on music and dance performances at different local events, such as the Hong Kong Flower Show in March. Indonesian cuisine is also quite popular in the city,” Consul General Yul shares.

During the recent Sunday Vibes outdoor event in Mongkok, organised by Caritas-AMP (Asian Migrant Workers Social Services), Indonesian and Filipino MDWs participated in a number

We want our migrant workers to have the skills they need before they leave the country. We also have Cantonese language course they need to attend; we believe this will help them adapt better when they arrive
- Indonesian Consul General Yul Edison

of cultural performances, showcasing their diverse talents and cuisines. On stage, there was an impressive ensemble of angklung (a percussive bamboo instrument) players invited by PathFinders (a non-governmental organisation that provides support to migrant mothers), alongside singing and dancing from Indonesian community groups such as Enjoy Dancer, Music Oyeah, Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU), Asosiasi Buruh Migran Indonesia (ATKI), Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions (FADWU), and more. The Indonesian Consul of Information & Socio-Cultural Affairs, Endah Rachmi Yuliarti, was also in attendance to give her support.

Left: Indonesian Consul of Information & Socio-Cultural Affairs Endah Rachmi Yuliarti speaking at the Caritas-AMP Sunday Vibes festival Above & inset: The festival included a range of cultural performances

These cultural gatherings provide a sense of community and support for Indonesians living and working in a foreign country. Victoria Park in Causeway Bay is a popular gathering place for MDWs during their weekly days off (mainly Sundays); they get a chance to relax, catch-up, and share homecooked meals with their friends.

Accordingly, the surrounding area now boasts numerous Indonesian establishments and businesses, offering a wide range of services that are essential to life abroad, like remittance centres, cargo companies, and speciality food shops.

Food also plays a big part in the lives of Indonesians in Hong Kong; they often cook traditional dishes for themselves and their fellow workers. Even for the wider population, there are many popular Indonesian dishes on offer, including nasi goreng (fried rice), rendang (spicy beef stew), and sate ayam (chicken satay). Indonesian food is known for its rich flavours and use of aromatic spices, which makes it so well suited to the local palate.

Asked about his favourite Indonesian restaurants in the city, Con. Gen. Yul replies, “There are a lot of really good restaurants across Hong Kong, but one of my favourites here in Causeway Bay is Warung Malang, they serve delicious authentic dishes, at affordable prices too!”

Despite only being in his Hong Kong post for a few months, Con. Gen. Yul, who brings with him extensive diplomatic experience, has been very active in asserting Indonesia’s importance in the community. In a recent interview with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), he said he would like Indonesia and Hong Kong to look into developing a cross-border digital payment system to enhance e-commerce and travel activities between the two.

Early this year, he also met with Hong Kong Chief Executive, Mr. John Lee, to reaffirm their commitment to improving bilateral

The Consulate is the house of Indonesia here in Hong Kong. If any of our citizens need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help

- Indonesian Consul General Yul Edison

relations, especially in respect of protecting citizens and the economic sector. Con. Gen. Yul also met Director of Immigration, Mr. Benson Kwok Joon-Fung, to strengthen their joint commitment to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Indonesian nationals, and to find solutions to various issues of mutual interest.

“We have an Open University here in Hong Kong that accepts Indonesian migrant workers as students, and we actively encourage them to enrol in the many courses they offer, such as law, management, and communication. It is for their own futures, so while they are here in Hong Kong working, they are also expanding their knowledge,” says Con. Gen. Yul.

Despite the challenges and difficulties faced by Indonesians in Hong Kong, they are known for their resilience and positive attitude. Many Indonesians work hard to support their families and build a better future for themselves. They often form close bonds with their employers and fellow domestic workers, creating a sense of community and support network in the city.

Consul General Yul Edison ends with a note of reassurance: “The Consulate is the house of Indonesia here in Hong Kong. If any of our citizens need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for help.”

23 kjrihk

Award-winning RTHK Pinoy Life presenter and Pangyao resident wordsmith

Ron R. Lacson shares his thoughts

A mother’s glance

I REMEMBER MY Grade 2 class in primary when our monitress (a female student who helps keep the order or assists a teacher in school) allowed me to borrow a watercolour set from school after our practical art lesson. It was pricey back then, so most pupils could not afford one, though our school had a few sets.

I was also a transferee from another public school and it was only my 2nd day; our house was just five blocks away, so I walked from school to get back home. Arriving at the door, my mother greeted me.

As part of her usual tenor, she looked inside my bag to check if I had finished my baon; it was often Marie biscuits plus Royal True Orange inside a covered Tupperware glass box (believe me, that was already a classy snack during my school days).

She saw the watercolor set and held it up, “Kanino ito Roni?” she asked. “Hiniram ko sa eskwelahan Ma. Isosoli ko din bukas,” I replied.

The next day at school, I was summoned to the principal’s office for admonition and

disciplinary action. I was accused of taking home a watercolor set without permission. My class teacher was there, as was the monitress; she seemed so nervous.

Perhaps pupils were not allowed to take home school property, that’s why she was anxious, or maybe she was confused and got scared when she was asked why something was missing. Either way, she denied that I had asked for consent to bring it home; she just let my teacher and the principal believe I took it without her knowledge.

I tried to argue my case, but I was told if I continued to refute it, I would be declined the formal approval of a transferee. Bu if I admitted the ‘crime’ (I’m short of what other words to call it), I would be punished by staying behind after school for a month, tasked with cleaning the classroom, sweeping and waxing the floor, erasing blackboards, and doing whatever else the teacher or the principal might ask me to do. In short, I would be their willing servant for 26 school days.


As I sat on a chair and was being questioned by three big women, the flickering lamp atop my head was moving like a pendulum – I swear, it was probably where many TV series got their ideas for an interrogation scene. As a 7-year-old boy, I was so helpless; I was on the verge of crying.

Threatened with being ostracised by my classmates if I conceded to the accusation (imagine how they would treat a classmate who received punishment after every school day!) and alarmed of being removed from school if I insisted I had done nothing wrong, I asked if I could call my mother.

The school janitor arranged to fetch her; she arrived half an hour later. Which story would she believe?

I guessed my mother had already been told what had happened because she looked very angry, even furious. I was ready to get it. I could see she was mad to the utmost degree — but not at me.

She turned to my class teacher and the principal and said she knew her son well and understood the whole story. She added that she had brought me up knowing Good Manners and Right Conduct (GMRC). She also knew that the monitress was not telling the truth, she said. Then, she turned and glanced at me

with a motherly assurance; I swear that she also winked.

Turning to the principal and my teacher again, she looked them straight in the eyes and said, “You will not punish my son for something he did not do… or you’ll get it from me. I will take this to the Barrio Captain if I have to.” (In those days, a Barrio Captain still played a significant role).

Remembering my mother’s beautiful but senescent face, shaped by years of caring for her children, I can still picture and recall that glance of reassurance and care for her son – a mother’s glance. A glance that made me feel safe and protected. A glance that articulated, “I got this, son. I believe you, so just sit there and leave this to me. Just relax.” Although at that juncture, I remember what my mind was saying: “Ma, paano ako mag rerelax, kanina pa ako dito, naiihi na ako.”

I guess that’s what all mothers do (aside from checking school bags). They are all capable of giving us ‘the glance’.

As children, whenever we were faced with seemingly mountainous challenges or had doubts about the rightness of what we were doing, we craved the mother’s glance. Instinctively, we would know if it meant ‘a nod of approval’, ‘a head shake of disfavour,’ ‘a hug of care’, or ‘an embracing shield’.


And sometimes, the glance could even be a forewarning of an impending disaster. A mother’s glance is so powerful that I had always imagined it could destroy the Senate and the Lower House Congress.

My mother left us seven years ago. She passed away. The very day I learned that she was gone is still vivid in my memory today. I was not by her side when it happened. I was thousands of miles away from her when she breathed her last.

My cellphone rang and on the other line were my sisters (GingGing and Pangga) and my brother (Ogart) in a hospital in CA, “Kuya, wala na si Mama, iniwan na tayo.” I cried then, and I cried again, then I cried some more for a long time.

I didn’t care that I was with my colleagues and was in the middle of a work meeting; my nose was watery and my eyes were pouring tears like the Pagsanjan Falls. It was the saddest moment of my adult life.

My Mama lost her battle against an illness that came to her just a few months before. She was gone. But I knew then that my memories of her will always remain in the compartment of all my senses. She will always be in my heart. The next day, I flew out of HK to join my siblings in the US; we mourned together and celebrated our mother’s amazing life.

My mother had a good sense of humour, although she didn’t realise it. In one of my phone conversations with my mother, I heard her soft and old voice, and I thanked her for everything she had done for my siblings and me. I needed to speak a little louder as she was already hard of hearing; she would not hear me well if I didn’t make my words clear.

One time I asked her, “Ma, nanonood ka ba ng American IDOL?” She replied and said, “Anong gagawin ko sa MIDOL? Eh matagal na akong menopause.” Ngek!

(Note: Midol is a medicine that treats the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)).

When she was still with us, whenever there was a chance, I would thank her by creating an environment where we could laugh at each other: at my blunders and mistakes (I had many) as a freedomseeking juvenile in the past, and at her own naturally developed peculiar talents as a senior-citizen-over-the-hill funny lady. And as always, she would make a mother’s glance when an opportunity would strike.

A mother’s glance is an extension of the glinting rays from the sky; it gives us light in the dark. A mother’s glance is her heart and soul, softened by her innate love for us, and toughened by the spine of pains in trying to forget our wrongs, and only remembering our delightful qualities. Mothers are here to stay. They are here to prepare us for a better life. They deserve to be loved because they first loved us.

So while our mothers can still see a morning sun so bright and beaming on the shades of their hair and the palm of their hands; while they can still feel how a late afternoon setting sun could turn a place golden; while they can still remember the colour of our eyes and the sound of our voices; and while they are still able to discern and perceive our smiles, let us continuously proclaim our love and care for them in whatever ways we can.

Let’s show them how thankful and gleeful we are that they are our mothers. They deserve to be beheld with respect and admiration, because when their hands first held us while our eyes were still unopened, they had already bestowed upon us the most ardent and loving glance – a mother’s glance.

I still miss my Mama. I miss her a lot. And I’m certain that my siblings do too.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers.

A mother’s glance is forgiving. Never records mistakes or wrongs It encourages... a mother’s eyes are full of memories and songs

Scan the QR code to read more of Ron’s blogs on Pangyao.HK:




PANGGIL SAJA SAYA Timoki. Setelah saya lulus SMP, saya lanjutkan ke SMK berhubung lokasi sekolahku di kabupaten jauh dari rumah. Saya disarankan untuk kost bersama anak uwa yang juga sekolah di SMK yang sama. Untuk menghemat ongkos transportasi dan waktu, saya pun ikut ngekost bersama kakakku itu di kost pojok tingkat. Tempat kost ini paling murah dibandingkan dengan tempat-tempat kost lain di sekitar situ.

Sewa per bulannya hanya Rp 10.000,-. Yang punya rumah ini adalah seorang bidan yang orang kaya. Kata beliau, ini rumah daripada tidak ada yang menempati maka dikostkan terutama untuk anak sekolah, dan dikasih harga sangat murah. Kami menempati di ruang di tingkat atas. Di bawah disewakan untuk pembayaran PAM air, dan beberapa ruangnya disewakan juga untuk orangorang. Awalnya canggung, tapi saya orang tipe yang mudah beradaptasi dan mudah bergaul jadi tidak begitu mengalami kendala yang signifikan. Lama kelamaan saya pun akrab dengan teman-teman kost karena

ternyata kost itu seru - ramai-ramai setiap hari ada teman. Kami ada jadwal bersih-bersih, belanja dan masak. Kita iuran untuk belanja sayur, sedangkan beras bawa dari rumah. Saya pulang tiap hari Sabtu dan datang lagi

Senin pagi. Satu tahun berlalu, kakakku anak Uwa pun lulus, dan ada pendatang baru yang ngekost. Pendatang baru itu adalah mba Dewi. Dia kakak kelas satu tingkat. Dia orangnya easy going dan kocak. Semenjak

ada dia, kost pun tambah ramai dan serukami pun semakin akrab. Mba Dewi ini paling jago kalau urusan jadi makcomblang dan palak memalak. Biasanya di sore hari kalau ada cowo yang datang ke kost nyari saya, ini kesempatan bagi dia untuk malak itu cowok. Biasanya di hari Senin dan Kamis saya puasa, jadi selepas saya kerjakan PR biasanya habis ashar saya tidur menunggu buka. Di sore itu sewaktu saya tidur, Jeffry (cowok yang suka sama saya) datang ke kost mencari saya. Nah, mba Dewi ini kan tidak tidur, jadi turunlah dia ke bawah karena di tempat kost kami tidak boleh memasukan cowok ke ruang kami. Jadi kalau pun ada cowok, kami hanya ketemu di luar. Mba Dewi pun mengobrol dengan Jeffry.

Jeffry: Timoki ada?

Mba Dewi: Ada Jeff, tapi dia lagi tidur. Lemas dia puasa hari ini.

Jeffry: Dia sudah ada lauk belum untuk buka?

Mba Dewi: Belum lah… Kasihan dia kan, Jeff. Puasa lemas, belum ada lauk pulaK kamu beliin dia donk, Jefff - sekalian sama buat kita semua. (tuh kan jiwa malak dia mulai meronta). Tenang Jeff, nanti saya sampaikan ke Timoki bahwa kamu datang dan beliin makanan.

Jeffry: Yuk, ke depan - ke angkring. Kamu mau beli apa buat Timoki dan teman-teman, kamu milih sendiri.

Mba Dewi: Horreee….!

Mba Dewi pun ke angkring dengan Jeffry. Setelah membelikan lauk, Jefrry pulang. Mba Dewi naik sambil teriak-teriak, “Timoki… bangunnnnnnnnnnnnn! Coba, apa yang saya bawa ini loh… Kamu dibelikan lauk sama Yayang Jefrry wkkkkkkkkk…” Sambil dia ngakak, “Dia mau ngapel, saya palak wkkkkkkkkkkkkk… Saya bilang kamu lagi puasa lemes tidur gak bisa turun. Jadi ya sudah, saya palak!” Suara Mba Dewi memang nyaring dan keras kalau ngomong, menjadikan suasana di ruangan semakin riuh.

“Haduh… Mba Dewi ini kok malah saya jadi umpan si…”

“Sudah kamu tenang aja… ini rezeki kita makan enak hari ini! Besok lagi kalau yang datang nyari kamu, jangan turun. Saya yang turun wkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk… dan malak dia.”

Dan akhirnya satu kost ketawa semua dan memang kalau ada cowok datang nyari saya, pasti saya dilarang turun dulu. Dipalak dulu sama Mba Dewi. Katanya, “Enak aja mau ngapel, kok gak mau modal wkkkkkkkkkkkkk…” Tapi seru punya teman seperti Mba Dewi. Kami pun makan malam bersama sambil ketawa ngakak dengan tingkah Mba Dewi yang selalu ada aja idenya kalau ada cowok datang.


Crime & emergency services

Non-Governmental Organisations

Emergency Hotline (Police, Fire, Ambulance) 999 Police Hotline 2527 7177 Anti-Deception Coordination Centre 18222 HK Government departments & agencies Hong Kong Immigration Department 2824 6111 Hong Kong Labour Department 2157 9537 Consumer Council 2929 2222
services Consulate General of the Philippines in Hong Kong 2823 8500 Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) 6345 9324 Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) 2866 0640 Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Hong Kong 3651 0200 Royal Thai Consulate General in Hong Kong 2521 6481 Consulate General of India, Hong Kong 3970 9900 Consulate General of Pakistan, Hong Kong 2827 0681 Consulate General of Nepal, Hong Kong 2369 7813
International Social Service Hong Kong (ISS) 2834 6863 HELP for Domestic Workers 2523 4020 Pathfinders (Hotline for Migrant Workers) 5190 4886 Christian Action Centre for Migrant Domestic Workers 2382 3339 Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (RainLily) 2375 5322 Bethune House Migrant Women’s Refuge 9338 0035 Association of Indonesian Migrant Workers in Hong Kong (ATKI-HK) 9587 8317 Mission for Migrant Workers 2522 8264 Refugee Union 9828 7176 The Samaritans Hong Kong 2896 0000 Enrich HK 2386 5811 Uplifters 9731 9713 TCK Learning Centre for Migrant Workers 9344 4459 The Zubin Foundation 2540 9588 Equal Opportunities Commission (General Enquiry Hotline) 2511 8211 Equal Opportunities Commission (Anti-Sexual Harassment Hotline) 2106 2222 Mind HK 3643 0869 ImpactHK 2448 0011 Mesh (Mission for Ethnic Minorities’ Sexual Health) 5226 8547 Branches of Hope 3527 6048 Helpology 5699 6164 Other useful contacts Hong Kong International Airport 2181 8888 USEFUL CONTACTS
31 Selling sim cards or registering on behalf of others may implicate you in criminal activities NEVER TAKE THE RISK! Visit our one-stop cyber security portal and use our free Scameter to assess potential fraud risk Subscribe to scam alert notifications: Stay alert with online fraud! To report a scam, visit Hong Kong Police e-Report Centre:
Worldwide House 2522-4067 Wing On House 2524-5603 Aberdeen 2553-8148 Admiralty 2520-3020 Wan Chai 2574-6732 Causeway Bay 2893-6897 North Point 2147-4696 Shau Kei Wan 2567-0465 Hung Hom 2522-4067 Star House 2377-0139 Mongkok 2394-4202 Prince Edward 2380-3100 Tai Kok Tsui 2791-2289 Kowloon City 2382-7007 Kwun Tong 2345-7875 Nan Fung Centre 2414-8667 Yuen Long 2473-9908 Ma On Shan 2621-6468 Sha Tin 2699-6098 Tai Po 2574-6732 Sheung Shui 2893-6897 HK Island Branches Kowloon Branches New Territories Branches When you wish to provide a better life for yourself and your family, WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE! BECAUSE AT PUBLIC FINANCE, WE CARE! 2522 4067 TO BORROW OR NOT TO BORROW? BORROW ONLY IF YOU CAN REPAY!

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