Hundreds of years ago, before the Spaniards came to the Philippine shore, Chinese traders were already transacting business with the natives as recorded in our history. Some of them engaged in intermarriage with local girls while pureblooded Chinese daughters shun this merger and preferred their own kind for wedlock. They stayed permanently assimilating conveniently with the rest of citizenry. A number of them later on took the family names of their Filipino wedding sponsor to cleverly pass themselves up as “bona fide” Filipinos even in name only. This is done in some cases to dodge and skirt the mulcting lawyers, Immigration and B.I.R. officials who preyed on these helpless immigrants with threats of deportation if they fail to give grease money.
Chinese influence is undeniably present in our multi-cultural upbringing. We celebrate Chinese New Year as a Special Non-working Holiday; follow Feng Shui suggestions when building our houses; practice Tai Chi stress reducing soft martial arts for good health, blend in their food with our traditional menu and even “Filipinized” some of them which we now call pansit, siopao, balut, chapsoey, lumpia, taho, tikoy, among many others.
We are no strangers to Chinese way of life either. Chinese traditions helped shape what we are today. We are not keenly aware of them as they eventually metamorphosed as being our own local custom, practices and rituals. Take for example the words “ate” and “kuya”. Originally these words of respect are from Hokkien Chinese. They used these words exactly to address their elder sisters and brothers as we also do to ours today.
The Filipino-Chinese or Tsinoys who have become integral part of our society still keep their forebears’ heritage though. They retained and maintained their time-honored archaic beliefs until this day.
But this doesn’t mean however, that they want to be identified more as Chinese than Filipinos. Only the most over zealous third or fourth generation conservative families continue to speak their ancestors’ language at home. Most of their millennial and the younger ones down the line, however, prefer to speak English and/or the native tongue of the region where they live even when conversing with their fellow Tsinoys.
Indeed, majority of those who still carry their Chinese surnames are more than transformed Filipinos than their family names denote. They are as patriotic as everyone else, undoubtedly comparable to those with ancillary Spanish or American surnames that staunchly proclaim themselves as “real Filipinos”—an assertion laced with undue prejudice and sectarian bigotry, which everyone is guilty of, including the brown ones with Pilipino family names.
But all these positive impressions of them were somewhat tarnished when the Mainland Chinese started to gobble ebulliently our West Philippine sea enclaves albeit the Tsinoys have long time ago disassociated themselves with these invading Mainlanders.
This Chinese aggression became more hostile when they occupied and took full control of Scarborough Shoal that deprived our fishermen from a rich fishing ground. Historically, this shoal belongs to us as evidenced by age-old and preserved Philippine maps drawn by early explorers. The same maps are century older than the Chinese recently declared 9-dash line with imaginary nautical borderlines. This shoal also is well within our Exclusive Economic Zone only 230 kilometers off the province of Zambales and 650 kilometers from the nearest Chinese land!
Filipinos started to raise their eyebrows with the deafening silence of the wealthy Tsinoy-Taipans on these atrocious incursions and bullying of Mainland Chinese. It somewhat stains their unequivocal loyalty and patriotism which they once openly demonstrated to this country. In the eyes of many, all of a sudden, it’s all about the color of Chinese money!
Furthermore, their business associations and close partnerships with Mainlanders who are presently in control of sensitive communication and power transmission facilities in the country, aggravate the brewing suspicion and mistrust that they are in collusion with China’s taking over the country’s infrastructures of national interest. Although this is pure allegation with no basis at all, the administration’s posturing, ludicrous excuses and preposterous reasoning in this regard make it appear they are covering up of sorts in support of this purported unholy alliance instead.
In fairness to these old-family Tsinoy-Taipans, they are billionaires many times over even before the Chinese teeming cash came pouring in. Seven out of the ten richest in the country today are Tsinoys, thus Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which provides economic snapshot of the country highly depends on the performance of their business interests. Except perhaps the emerging but aggressive Tsinoy-Taipans of Davao whose accumulation of wealth came relatively quick during this administration, most of these old-family Tsinoy-Taipans took decades to do the same.
With the present administration’s “affectionate relationship” with China, the Chinese started coming in droves, but mostly rowdy and nasty tourists who utterly disregard our laws—openly peeing in our beaches, smoking in No Smoking areas, disrespecting our authorities, talking in a very load voices without regards to other people’s privacy everywhere they go, and worse being rude even to us Filipinos in our own country!
We need the money from these Chinese, the government reiterates time and again, thus it welcomes likewise their on-line gaming banned even in their country, but welcome here through the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). With the POGO proliferations, sex trade becomes widespread with some of pleasure women imported from China.
The hailed nationalist lawmakers in1991’s historic rejection of the renewal of US military bases in the likes of Enrile and Estrada, argued then that the continued US presence in the country undermined the Philippines’ sovereignty. They also blamed the promotion of prostitution in those areas.
Where are they now when the Chinese are brazenly raping our sovereignty with the invasion and occupation of our territories and arrogantly bedding and prostituting our women with apparent impunity? —Sadly, they are shamelessly aligned with the best buddy of the ravisher!
PDEA also openly affirmed that smuggled shabu—not just by the hundreds of millions, but billions—entering the country the whole time are from Mainland China. Unfortunately, whatever amount of tax money we collect from POGO operations (a lot of them don’t pay taxes) and the cash spent by the Chinese tourists, are miniscule compared to what the Mainland Chinese make in return for their illicit drugs dumped on us.
But with the Administration’s impaired bias in favor of China, perchance it would be prudent for all anti-conformists to this policy to keep their mouth shut, or better still, bite their own tongue. Otherwise, “the almighty ruler” will bestow upon them his infamous words of wisdom—“P’tang na nyo!”