If you’ve been following the Philippines’ or the Worldwide trends in Twitter, you probably noticed the constant appearance of the hashtags #NotoSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH since July 14. And just like many, you’re probably wondering why.
To start with, let’s introduce you to Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila. A place of opulence, it is a 5-star luxury hotel situated in Pasay City, Philippines. Sofitel is a brand of French luxury hotels across the globe, with 120 addresses in more than 40 different countries.
Some describe the hotel as posh or magnifique — however, its Manila chain has been a subject of criticism and uprising amongst netizens recently.
The birth of #NotoSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH
On July 14, Doctor of Humanities Daniel S. Razon aired his sentiments against the hotel during his morning show, Good Morning Kuya aired on UNTV 37. The audience picked up and right after, twin hashtags #NotoSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH were born.
And although the hashtags aren’t always side by side in the trends list, they’re always just around the corner for each other — on a daily basis now.
“During the sixth day (July 19) of the protest, the boycott hashtags reached top 3 and 4 of Worldwide Trends as of 9:17 PM (PHT). Then by 9:23PM, #NoToSofitelDay7 reached the No. 1 Worldwide Trends ladder.”
The Top 3 Reasons Why Filipinos Boycott Sofitel Manila
- Reason #1: For Violating Senior Citizens Rights. In this embedded video clip, Atty. Romulo B. Macalintal explains how Sofitel Manila denied him and other senior citizens their lawful 20% senior citizen discount. Atty. Macalintal, a Sofitel Accor Advantage Card member, cited that Sofitel must still honor the senior citizen discount on top of promotions that does not have a DTI Sales Promo Permit. Atty. Macalintal reviewed that the types of promos under the “no double discount” rule are those that have DTI sales promo permit — which (typically) runs over a course of several months only. Is Atty. Macalintal just being a cheapskate crying for a 20% discount? That’s very unlikely. According to the lawyer, in the past cases that he won against establishments that violated the rights of Filipino senior citizens, he asked the establishments to donate the damages to organizations catering to senior citizens instead of pocketing the sum of money.
Find out more HERE on why the luxury hotel crashes into a daily wave of Filipino boycotters worldwide.
Sofitel Manila has dominated Twitterlandia under Philippines and Worldwide Trending marquee for one week, albeit on a sour note. Thanks to an online protest against the hotel’s discrimination of a Filipino television station known for its massive charities for the marginalized sector and public service projects.
In a statement it posted on Facebook and Twitter, Sofitel Manila did admit it removed UNTV and would only reinstate once demanded by its guests.
The unsigned statement that Sofitel issued after heeding to public clamor for the hotel to issue an explanation for delisting UNTV attracted even more deluge of protests.
Netizens called the hotel’s excuse as lame and insulting to sensible Filipinos. Others complained that there was no acceptance of wrongdoings from Sofitel’s part, however.
Now the public demanded Sofitel Manila to issue a signed statement, showing who are responsible for the wrongdoings at the hotel, and to apologize for its infractions.
The online boycott vs. the management of Sofitel Manila was sparked by the call of UNTV CEO Daniel Razon to boycott Sofitel for being discriminatory. He called on his viewers to campaign for the boycott last July 14 during Razon‘s morning magazine show,Good Morning Kuya.
Following the call, #NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH scooped trending places on Twitter until its seventh day on July 20, where its hashtags turned into #NoToSofitelDay7 and #BoycottSofitelPHDay7.
During the sixth day (July 19) of the protest, the boycott hashtags reached top 3 and 4 of Worldwide Trends as of 9:17 PM (PHT). Then by 9:23PM, #NoToSofitelDay7 reached the No. 1 Worldwide Trending Ladder.
Observers noted, the call for sustained boycott of Sofitel could last for weeks to months until Sofitel issues a public apology.
Other controversies that netizens pointed out about Sofitel Manila include its discrimination of Filipino over the hotel’s foreigner guests. Also, there was a pending case lodged against Sofitel Manila for denying senior citizen discounts to one of its lawyer guests.
Razon or Kuya Daniel as he is fondly called by viewers of his programs on UNTV stressed that Sofitel Manila has ignored the “must carry rule” of the National Telecommunications Commission.
Under Memorandum Circular No. 4-08-88 or the Revised Rules and Regulations Governing Cable Television Systems in the Philippines, it is mandatory to carry for cable systems to carry TV signals of stations. Sofitel Manila subscribes to a cable TV system that carries UNTV.
Critics were proven wrong by thinking the boycott was small and short-lived.
UNTV has a strong followership across the globe, particularly from Overseas Filipino Workers in Asia-Pacific, Oceania, Middle East, Europe, North America and Canada.
Natives of Latin American countries like Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Haiti have also prominently expressed their support to the boycott.
The Sofitel Manila discrimination story will remind many of the “old Titanic story” and its lessons about bad decisions and a random iceberg that just happened to be in the way.
(Words Originally Posted in CNN iReport)
Sofitel Hotel Philippine Suffers Massive But Peaceful Protest On Twitter for Discriminating UNTV Station
Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon through its morning TV program “Good Morning Kuya” called for the support of all “kasambahay” (UNTV Channel viewers) to boycott Sofitel Manila for removing UNTV Channel on their hotel TV programming.
Because of this, Sofitel Manila earned lots of criticism and disappointment through the thousands of tweets of “kasambahay” which already begun this morning and still trending up right now.
2:39 in the afternoon netizens are talking about #notosofitel throughout the Philippines. While it also entered the third trending topic worldwide. While #BoycottSofitelPH grabbed the third trending topic in the Philippines.
All “kasambahays” have only one voice on their tweets, and that is STOP DISCRIMINATING the only Public Service Channel in the Philippines.
DANIEL RAZON DECRIES SOFITEL MANILA BIAS VS UNTV, #NoToSofitel Trends
UNTV-BMPI Chairman and CEO Daniel Razon earlier (7/14/2014) called on viewers of his morning magazine program, Good Morning Kuya, to boycott the biased move by Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila (formerly Westin Philippine Plaza).
The hotel allegedly intentionally removed in its hotel TV programming UNTV, the only Philippine channel with focus on charities and public service.
As soon as the call was made by Razon, netizens took to Twitter to vent their sentiments to @sofitelmanila, instantly pulling the hashtag #NoToSofitel up the Philippines Trends ladder.
The incessant tweets from netizens, expressing their disappointments, frustrations and outcries were magnified instantly as #NoToSofitel peaked at No. 6 trending topic under Philippines before 12 noon. As of 1:30 PM, Philippine time, the hashtag is up at No. 3.
UPDATE: Since Monday morning (7/14/2014), the hashtag #NoToSofitel and #BoycottSofitelPH has sustained its place under Philippines Trends. Since Tuesday noon, more than 100,000 tweets were registered by the #NoToSofitel hashtag.
Observers note such move is against the station’s freedom of expression rights, an absurdity in a democratic nation like the Philippines. Netizens, however, viewed the action as an utter shaming of UNTV in spite of its kid-friendly shows, public service projects for the poor, marginalized and the neglected in the society.
SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA DOESN’T HONOR SENIOR CITIZENS RIGHTS
MANILA, Philippines—Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, now a crusader for the senior citizens’ rights, is suing the high-ranking officials of a five-star hotel for violating the law on mandatory discount for senior citizens.
The Pasay prosecutors office issued a subpoena on Monday summoning the top two officials of the Sofitel Luxury Hotels located at the PICC Complex, Pasay City, to appear at the preliminary investigation in relation to the criminal complaint filed by Macalintal for their alleged violation of the Senior Citizens Law or the Republic Act 9994.
In the complaint he lodged, Macalintal said the Sofitel management refused to grant him the 20 percent senior citizens discount on February 8, 2014 while he was dining with a friend at the Sofitel Le Bar Restaurant.
UNTV IS FOCUSED ON PUBLIC SERVICE
UNTV is a child-friendly station, garnering multiple Anak TV Seal awards for years. It is also home for different public service projects, including the daily medical, dental, and legal services, free legal consultation, free bus rides, free transient housing, and more.
(Words Originally Posted in CNN iReport)
Follow @UNTVweb for LIVE updates on Twitter.
The game is on!
# Hard court showdown begins, Team Executives vs Team Legislators for #UNTVCup2Finals pre-final exhibition game.
Executives Starters: Villanueva, Bayani, Mamba, Yamamoto, Hernandez
Legislators Starters: Angara, Romulo, Alvarez, Alejano, Recto
# First quarter ends, Legislators up 13-11.
# Executive tops second quarter, 28-24. End of first half.
# Kuya Daniel Razon in the house! The Chairman and CEO of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), content provider for UNTV, awards the plaque of appreciation to the players of teams Executives and Legislators for their participation on #UNTVCup2Finals.
# 6:33 left in Quarter 3, Executive leads 33-29.
# TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva continues his 3-point shooting streak for team Executives.
# Fourth quarter run. Legislators up by 5 points, 55-50, with 5:19 in the clock.
# 2:52 left on the game, 59-56 in favor of Legislators.
# Audiences are on their feet. 8.7 seconds in the clock, Legislators up by 1, 65-64. Villanueva fouled.
# Villanueva on the free throw line, shoots 2. Executives leads by 1.
# Kuya Daniel is back in the court for an inspirational message.
# Bro. Eliseo Soriano of Ang Dating Daan delivers his remark.
# Prize money for the charities. Kuya Daniel Razon awards the 25o thousand pesos check to 3rd placer Judiciary Magis and 150 thousand pesos to 4th placer MMDA Blackwolves. Judiciary chooses Yolanda Affected Court Personnel as its charity foundation. The MMDA will donate its cash prize to the Foundation for the Advancement for Newborn Technology and Services, Inc.
# Participating teams in the second season of UNTV Cup also receive plaque of appreciation. UNTV Cup commends the teams “for their strong commitment in promoting sportsmanship and camaraderie and for their heartwarming support to UNTV’s advocacy in extending free and genuine service to humanity through sports.”
PNP vs AFP
Here we go!
AFP 1st Five: Tan, Zuñiga, Quiambao, San Esteban, Fernandez
PNP 1st Five: Cabahug, Omiping, Sta. Cruz, Abaya, Misola
#Tip-off goes to AFP Cavaliers. First 2 points by Fernandez.
# AFP up by 10, 14-4, with only 4:10 remaining for the Q1.
# From the ring side and bleachers, fans wear white shirts to support PNP, black shirts for AFP.
# 1:12 to go in the first quarter, 11-point advantage for the Cavaliers, 18-7.
# Cavaliers takes first quarter.
# Responders tries to outrun AFP but no success. Cavaliers leads by 15 as Q2 heats up.
# Big coaching challenge for PNP head coach Raffy Gonzales; Responders is down by 18 points.
# Sta. Cruz misses first free throw for PNP.
# Another 2-point basket for the Cavaliers, 40-21.
#END of 2nd Quarter. 44-23.
# BACK in the game for Q3!
# AFP Cavaliers on a big lead, 59-35.
# Early in the 4th quarter, PNP manages to pull the lead down to 18.
# 6:46 left for Q4, 62-44 for the Cavaliers.
# Less than 5 minutes left in the game, PNP still needs to run for the 17 points lead of the AFP.
# Now here’s the most exciting part of the game…last 2 minutes!
# AFP Cavaliers wins Game 2 of #UNTVCup2Finals with 11-point margin, 75-64.
Thanks everyone for dropping by. See you in Game 3!
Kuya Daniel Razon figures as the primary mover of the UNTV’s efforts for a bigger, better and broader broadcast. The station recently celebrated a decade of public service with a special broadcast that emanated from the World Trade Center and the Philippine Trade Training Center.
The event kicked off with a number of free services offered from the network and its partners in the government and the private sector, providing assistance to the elderlies and their families.
A great number of the senior populace, along with their loved ones, came to avail of the offerings at the two venues. Among the public service offerings were free eye checkup and eyeglasses, free medical consultation and prescription with free medicines, free trainings, free food and drinks, free massage and haircut, free dermatology checkup and treatment, free assistance from some of the lead government agencies, free legal consultation and assistance, free dental services, and almost all kinds of services that people pay for.
This is once again orchestrated and spearheaded by Mr. Public Service. The array of services offered by the station just keeps growing as Kuya Daniel was able to tap more and more government and non-government agencies who are willing to share to our indigent fellowmen.
Kuya Daniel, through the help of the UNTV staff and volunteers, are propagating a culture of sharing and benevolence coupled with humility and obedience to God, with the support of the premier proponent of public service towards all humanity, Bro. Eli Soriano of the program Ang Dating Daan and Presiding Minister of the Members of the Church of God International (MCGI).
On top of all his achievements, Kuya Daniel is quick to reiterate that everything he is doing, he does for the honor and glory of God.
Written By: Tess Carcamo
The two-day summit was opened by Kuya Daniel Razon, Chairman and CEO of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), content provider for UNTV.
Joining the event were various government and private agencies’ rescue groups including Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Red Cross, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of The Philippines, Bureau of Fire Protection, and Local Government Units (LGU) of Quezon City, Manila, Marikina and Pasig City.
The summit tackles lifesaving skills and public safety awareness, which targets to deliver quick-response aid in disasters and emergency situations.
Contributor: Carmi Tongol – Anecito
Photo Credit: Photoville International
Video: UNTV News Posted in Youtube
UNTV station takes the elderly populace in the axis of its celebration as it turns 10 this month, commemorating a decade of real public service, with Kuya Daniel Razon, in the forefront, steering the bandwagon of hope towards better and higher level of public service.
The celebration was dubbed as “UNTV The Big 10,” and has a working theme that goes “A Decade of True Public Service With Advocacies That Promote Caring for the Elderly.”
The television station has brought us some of the most innovative ideas of Kuya Daniel, from news, to programming, to rescue, to medical missions, to education, and all sorts of acts of goodness to help the poor and the needy. This year alone, the station has launched a number of special projects to cater to people from all walks of life, bringing together all segments of the government and the private sectors for servicing people countrywide.
One of the station’s top accomplishments was Kuya Daniel’s idea of using drones for news and rescue. Also included are nationwide mass blood donation projects, medical missions, roving educational bus, feeding programs, free education, safety training and a whole lot more.
In this year’s celebration, Kuya Daniel, in line with the efforts of Bro. Eli Soriano of the Members of the Church of God International to care for the elderlies, has especially formed the concept of holding the station’s anniversary celebration at the World Trade Center and Philippine Trade Training Center on the 25th and 26th of June focusing on giving care to senior citizens and their families.
Once again, the station will aim to outperform itself on delivering public service by bringing along several government agencies and helping everyone avail the services of PVAO, SSS, GSIS, PHILHEALTH, DSWD, OSCA, PHILPOST, DFA and other government units. The celebration will also have medical, dental and legal missions and will showcase a concert where, surely, people will await Kuya Daniel’s performance.
With all the elements put in place on the said anniversary presentation, UNTV, led by Kuya Daniel, has and is continuously setting a higher level of management and programming, by choosing a new and enduring culture of celebration of life with good deeds over the usual sparkly partying.
Written By: Tess Carcamo
Photo Credit: UNTV Facebook Fan Page