Have you ever heard of an establishment charging different rates for customers of different nationalities. One Filipino was shocked when one salon in Makati charged him a higher rate than what was advertised. The reason? They thought he was Chinese. Here’s what happened.
The incident at the Nook Salon
On July 22, netizen Willy Hasbi visited the Nook Salon’s branch in Makati at Assembly Grounds. It wasn’t the first time he visited the salon. However, it was the first time he experienced racism.
He was expecting to pay P300 for his haircut since that was the price advertised on the salon’s official Facebook page. However, he was charged P500. When he questioned the manager about the price difference they reasoned that there was a “price increase” and that his haircut actually cost P400.
The situation didn’t sit right with Hasbi. He reached out to Nook Salon’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to raise his concern, but their answer confused him even more.
Hasbi’s conversations with Nook Salon raise eyebrows
It turns out Nook Salon has been charging extra for Chinese customers and even those who look Chinese. So by the staff’s judgment, based on visuals, Hasbi is Chinese even though he isn’t. And even if he was Chinese, this is straight-up discrimination.
One screenshot on Hasbi’s post showed Nook Salon’s (@nookphofficial on Instagram) brief conversation with him on Instagram.
“Sorry about that sir, we just have a different set of charges for our Chinese clients [especially] for [the] Makati branch,” said the social media manager as an excuse.
They also sent Hasbi a screenshot of what seems to be a group chat where they discussed his complaint. In the chat, someone asked about Hasbi’s ethnicity which they concluded as “chekwa,” the derogatory slang for Chinese or Filipino-Chinese.
On Facebook Messenger, Nook Salon attempted an apology reasoning that their Makati branch manager was new. Apparently, he didn’t know Hasbi was a returning client so he was charged incorrectly.
“But please understand as a business, it is our prerogative to charge our Chinese clients higher. That’s not being racist. It’s a business trade practice in food, service, or retail,” reasoned Nook Salon.
When Hasbi continued to press them about how they tell whether a client is Chinese or not, they simply replied: “Again, we apologize.”
This is clear racism
On July 23, Hasbi shared his experience on Facebook, exposing salon’s questionable “business practices.”
“This is a straight racism and discriminatory act against one race,” Hasbi wrote on Facebook. “But they told me it’s just a business trade practice for retail, service, and food industry. NO, IT IS NOT. You don’t go to Jollibee and get charged more because you are Chinese. You don’t go to spas and retail and get charged more because you are Chinese/look like Chinese!”
What does the law say about this?
According to the Consumer Act of the Philippines (Article 81 of the Republic Act No. 7394), businesses are required to display the “appropriate tags, labels, or markings that indicate the prices of consumer products sold in retail. With these, products must not be sold at higher prices than stated“.
And though the Philippines does not have any passed laws that specifically address racist behavior, a pending Senate Bill tackles this. Senate Bill No. 2814 or the “Anti-Ethnic or Racial Profiling and Discrimination Act of 2011” was filed to help remove discrimination in the country and protect any person in the Philippines.
Section 4 of the bill defines discrimination as treating someone “less favorably on the basis of ethnic or racial origin and/or religious affiliation or belief.” When it comes to “Discrimination in the Delivery of Goods and Services,” the bill deems it unlawful for anyone to:
- Refuse to provide goods and services to another;
- Impose onerous terms on which goods and services are provided; or
- Subject another to any detriment in connection with the provision of goods and services
What does Nook Salon have to say about its racism issue?
According to Hasbi, instead of addressing the issue or making amends with him, Nook Salon and its owner has blocked him on Instagram.
“I have shared the link [of the post] to their Facebook account as well, however, I was left on read,” he told 8List.ph. “They really didn’t bother on what’s going on and just blocked anyone who commented on their Instagram page.”
What do you think about this racism incident involving Nook Salon? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!