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Chinese New Year Highlight: People In Binondo Await for their Senator Imee Marcos

By: Elena Grace Flores

Numerous eople in Binondo patiently await for their upcoming Senator, Imee Marcos. They fondly call her as such already. Many seek endless selfies with her. The governor is not new to the Chinese community especially during Chinese New Year. Ever since her father’s regime, their plight in the country is one of the priorities. Chinese-Filipino traders are essential for the country’s economy. In fact, only last year, Marcos was also their guest of honor. z

YouTube video by Elena Grace Flores

[VIDEO]: Senatorial aspirant, Imee Marcos visits Binondo for a Chinese New Year event where residents warmly call her Senator.

Hating their Own Blood

Sometimes, the mere mention of China in the daily news is enough to get some Filipinos’ blood boiling. It is because of the ongoing territorial dispute between the two countries. Although, it is undeniable that we have 1.5 million Chinese Filipinos or Tsinoys in the country. Ultimately, the result of centuries of Chinese contact and migration from Mainland China to the Philippines.

Skills of Chinese Filipinos

Throughout three centuries of Spanish rule and 50 years of American occupation, Chinese Filipinos are an integral part of the Philippine history. They assimilate themselves within Filipino society. Most of them excel not just in commerce but also in craftsmanship. This is by working as artisans and skilled laborers.

The Senator to be Respects Total Diversity

Many Chinese Filipinos retain their Chinese surnames such as Tan, Dy, Chan, Co, Lee and Go, among others. Some adopt Spanish surnames when Governor General Narciso Claveria decreed it as policy in 1849. The families of Filipino heroes Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are examples on this. Others adopt native surnames because of their marriage to native Filipinos.

Binondo is a Historical Landmark

Binondo is where many Chinese Filipinos reside. It remains one of the oldest Chinatowns in the world. A number of Chinese Filipino families play a significant role in the country’s economy. Business conglomerates such as the Sy family of SM, the Gokongwei family of Robinsons, the Tan family of Fortune Tobacco, and the Gotianun family of Filinvest. Philippine presidents like Emilio Aguinaldo, Sergio Osmeña, Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Benigno Aquino III, and Rodrigo Du30 all have Chinese ancestry.

Partneships with the Tsinoys

On 11 April 1975, with the Philippines two and a half years into the martial rule, the late Ferdinand Marcos issued Letter of Instruction (LOI) 270. It is called officially as the “Naturalization of Deserving Aliens by Decree.” It marks the turning point in the quest of ethnic Chinese and other “aliens” living in the Philippines to acquire Philippine citizenship. Marcos orders a simple procedure that enables mass naturalization. This is in lieu of the cumbersome and costly judicial process. Such action gives credit to the Tsinoys who contribute to the Philippine economy greatly. His family members in politics like Senatorial candidate, Imee and Former Senator Bongbong Marcos continue to establish partnerships with the said community for the country’s welfare.

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