Top officials yesterday joined about 1,000 mourners to pay tribute to tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, who was killed in Manila last month by a sacked Philippine cop seeking reinstatement.
Seven members of his group were also killed in what Philippine officials admit was a botched rescue operation.
Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen and several senior secretaries joined hundreds packing the Universal Funeral Parlour after Tse's family agreed to a public ceremony, held on what would have been his birthday.
Also attending were representatives from the Liaison Office of the Central Government in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Garrison of the People's Liberation Army.
Following a Buddhist ceremony, Tse's body will be cremated at Cape Collinson today, and his ashes deposited at a cemetery in Diamond Hill.
The heroic Tse, 31, was the first to alert the Hong Kong and Philippine governments when gunman Rolando Mendoza boarded their bus on August 23, declaring he was taking them hostage.
Those who survived the bloodbath said Tse continued to help members of the group during the siege and voiced their concerns to Mendoza. Towards the end of the 11-hour standoff, he was forced to the front of the coach and shot.
The Tse family, who earlier said they wanted a low- profile funeral, agreed to a public memorial ceremony in view of an unexpectedly large number of mourners.
The four-hour ceremony in Hung Hom attracted 1,000 mourners, with many having to queue to enter the parlor.
Meanwhile, in Wan Chai, members of ethnic minority groups attended a ceremony to mourn those who died in the Manila, calling for peace and harmony.
Legislators and diplomats were also among those at the event, co-hosted by organizations representing Nepalese and Filipino nationals.