Throughout the administration of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, he has tried to steer the country away from traditional allies and trading partners such as the United States and instead gravitate to closer, powerful neighbors like China. While the practice might have led to eyebrow-raising downplays by the government of Chinese encroachment within Philippine territorial waters and the employment sector, it had also led to a larger tourism of Chinese nationals in the country. And it is to these visitors’ benefit that certain malls in Metro Manila and surrounding areas are making extra accommodations should they want to watch “Avengers: Endgame.”
CNN Philippines reports that some Metro Manila malls are planning to screen the upcoming superhero blockbuster from Disney and Marvel Studios with Chinese subtitles. This is of course for the benefit of the record numbers of tourists from the People’s Republic of China. One of the mall cinema chains to announce their Chinese-subtitle screening for the premiere of “Avengers: Endgame” is Megaworld Lifestyle Malls. They have announced that Chinese-subtitling will be on their cinemas for Newport, Lucky Chinatown, Southwood and Eastwood Malls as well as the McKinley Hill Venice Cineplex. The screening period will be from April 24 to 28.
Unfortunately this news was not greeted positively anywhere. On the official Facebook page of Southwood Mall, their post on the “Avengers: Endgame” Chinese-subtitle screenings was met with comments from moviegoers who have already bought their tickets but have decided to get a refund. Their prevailing mood is that watching subtitles ruins the experience. This is doubly so for Chinese, seeing as they are prevalent on many pirated DVD and home media for movies. Southwood replied that the subtitling was only for selected screenings of “Endgame,” with the rest untouched. Furthermore, they have already announced it well before tickets were even ready for preorder by customers.
Ever since the year 2016, the Bureau of Immigration has recorded more than three million Chinese visiting the Philippines as tourists. This rising trend was especially high in the period between 2017 and 2019. As Chinese President Xi Jinping is noted to be personally friendly to President Duterte, this has been translated by their citizens as tacit approval to visit the Philippines. Xi had much the same effect when visiting the Maldives years ago. Some government agencies are concerned however, especially the Department of Labor, which is seeing even more Chinese workers in the country.
“Avengers: Endgame” premieres on April 24.
Image courtesy of BGR