The two hashtags #CancelKorea and #ApologizeToFilipinos have become trending topics on Twitter these past few days. In case you don’t have a clue about this, these are so-called battlecry against Korea. The fiasco between the Philippines and the land of K-drama and K-pop began on TikTok. Here’s the full story!
The tattoo issue of a TikTok influencer
Last Sunday, South Korean netizens started criticizing a Bella Poarch. She is a 19-year old U.S.-born Filipino social-media influencer who has more than 15 million followers on TikTok. Aside from that, she has two million followers on Instagram and over 16,300 followers on Twitter.
On her post on TikTok, many netizens noticed that Bella has a tattoo design that looks like the Rising Sun flag. It appears similar to Japan’s national flag save for the 16 rays surrounding the red disc. Feudal lords initially used the rising sun flag then later on it became the war flag of the Japanese imperial army. Therefore, it has a connection with the imperialism which the Koreans hated. From 1910 to 1945, Korea was under Japan’s governance during those times.
This part of Korea’s history is why the netizens from South Korea took offense from Bella Poarch’s tattoo. They posted out on their comments on why the design is problematic. One even pointed out, “Do you know the meaning of the tattoo? I don’t think so.”
When Bella saw the negative reactions in the comments section, she explained that the inspiration behind her tattoo design is the American singer-songwriter, Jhene Aiko. But she did say sorry to those who got offended by this and even added that she’ll remove it or cover it up. She apologized and uploaded a close-up photo of her arm tattoo—a heart with 16 red rays. The post said, “Here is a photo of my arm tattoo. I love Korea [emoji] I would never do anything to hurt anyone.”
Rage over racist remarks
Even though some Koreans accepted this apology from Bella, there were others who did not. They are sensitive about the use of the Rising Sun flag—that’s understandable. However, they made ugly, racist comments on Filipinos in general. Some called the Philippines a “slave state,” while others said the Filipinos have “no to little education.”
Obviously, Filipino netizens got furious by the racist remarks so the #cancelkorea conversation was born on Twitter. Pinoys who are into K-pop culture even aired their disappointment towards this racism. Many reposted the statement, “It’s time to put your light sticks down and raise your flag.” Last night, the hashtags #CancelKorea and #ApologizeToFilipinos climbed to top one and four spots, respectively.
Do you guys agree with the Pinoy netizens’ sentiment on Twitter? What do you think?