INSIGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF FILIPINO-CHINESE RELATIONS IN LIGHT OF RECENT EVENTS
Updated: Sep 23
Recent events have led to a spike in racism and xenophobia in the Philippines, borne from deep-seated and subconscious sentiments, preconditioned by territorial disputes and government contentions between the PRC and the Philippine Republic in the previous decade or so.
With the medias' cunning ability for rabble-rousing, and penchant for "stirring the pot" to get views and improve ratings, many people who consume low quality outlets (i.e. corporate-owned/ foreign funded/ special-interest/ agenda fueled sources) were manipulated and conditioned to become racist in their views. There is a divide in opinion among Filipinos for those who resist the Chinese vs. those who have a much more sympathetic "big-picture" view of current events. The current Philippine administration's desire to develop/ tighten relations with the PRC illustrates the latter view, pursued for the sake of economic growth and geopolitical stability (to the chagrin of many in the opposition).
Books such as these are more important than ever in helping readers to understand Philippine-Chinese relations from historical, sociological, and anthropological perspectives --- perspectives cheap media outlets [deliberately] omit in their narratives for the sake of their POLITICAL agenda. Second only to actually traveling abroad, these very same perspectives are crucial to dismantling racism and cleansing the mind of stereotypes and numerous misconceptions.
Through sound scholarship, this book does an effective job in illuminating aspects of Philippine history and culture that people have completely forgotten or were previously unaware, and would otherwise help to expose the ignorance and stupidity of the anti-Chinese sentiment in the Philippines.
The historical and archaeological records show us that Chinese-Filipino relations go back over 1,000 years, and the relationship between the two groups have been overwhelmingly positive and mutually beneficial.
The vast majority of Filipinos are an overwhelming blend of many cultures across the whole of Asia because of maritime trade, diplomatic relations, and cultural diffusion.
In conjunction, the Chinese influences on Philippine culture are quite apparent. From the cuisine, the shared vocabulary, the long list of Hokkien surnames, some superstitious beliefs, the historic landmarks, to the peoples' complexion and faces, it's all a part of the modern Filipino identity.
If travel is impossible, reading good books and scholarly sources is one of the best things a person can do to help him/her realize how ridiculous, stupid, and evil racism and xenophobia are.