Hong Kong hikers were given a lesson in responsible trekking by a Filipino hiking group who took the task of cleaning up the trails in Ma On Shan, one of the city’s hiking spots which have been littered with an assortment of garbage.
According to Coconuts Hong Kong, hiker Edward So posted a status on Facebook commending the gesture he witnessed :
“While exercising on Ma On Shan today, I saw seven or eight Filipino domestic helpers each carrying a big bag and filling them up with trash as they hiked. My fellow hikers, would you be glad to see people from other countries having to tidy your native land? I feel so embarrassed!”
“All I did was say ‘proud of you’ to them before going on my merry way. So shameful,” he added.
So’s post immediately went viral, accumulating hundreds of comments, with many expressing their appreciation of the women’s initiative. Many also agreed that native Hongkongers should learn a thing or two from the Filipino hikers, who were also spotted by other netizens along the MacLehose Trail, picking up garbage as they hiked.
“This is praiseworthy. We Hongkongers should learn from this and follow their example,” one netizen commented.
“Truly top class human beings! Hong Kong people also need to work hard and do good for the city!” one comment praised.
“The visors around their heads are as beautiful as angels’ halos. Sincere thanks,” another one was quoted as saying.
Some commenters pointed out however, that So may not have known for sure that the Filipino women he saw were helpers or not, but he just assumed they were.
“While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a domestic helper, the problem is you can’t automatically assume a group of Filipino women are maids. Can you also determine exactly what every commenter on this post does? I’m interested in your psychic powers,” someone said.
One of the Filipino hikers later clarified that the photographed group doing the responsible deed is just one of the six groups who made it their mission to clean up the MacLehose Trail. While their team is called “Filipina Extreme Hikers,” it was confirmed that they were also joined by Indonesian group members in their quest to clean up the area.
Another member of the group also shared this interesting anecdote on their way out of the trail:
“We meet a pack of mainland Chinese on the way to exit MacLehose. They saw us having a rubbish bag (for their clean up) and they …wanted to throw their rubbish to our rubbish bag..we told them ‘there is a big trash can you will meet on the end of the road’….not sure if they understand..I hope they don’t just throw it on the trail.”
In an interview with Nextshark, Rena, a member of another group called [email protected], revealed that the cleanup group is indeed made up of Filipino domestic helpers who were organized by an American professor in Hong Kong named Rob Hayes.
Asked how they can still find time to do community work despite their hectic schedule, Rena said it’s their passion for hiking that keeps them coming back on the trails:
“We love hiking. We don’t just sit and chat about our life problems. We love to go outside and explore the beauty of the world.”
“We do this from the bottom of our heart, we find our happiness here,” she added.
In response to the massive support and appreciation, netizens have showered the cleaning hikers, Rena said:
“Me and my team are so proud about what we did. All the hikers who joined us in the clean up activity are so thankful to those who appreciated what we’ve done. I hope we inspired them all to do the right thing when hiking and practice self-discipline when they go outside, not only in the mountains, but also anywhere else in the city.”