During my formative years, it used to baffle me every time my father would write letters and put some cash into them before sealing the envelope. I also wondered who the recipients were. Later on, I found out that those letters were being sent to his relatives in China, right around the time that the Mainland was still reeling economically from the effects of the civil war.
It was my father’s way of supporting the relatives he left behind in China, and he wasn’t actually alone doing that.
Several Huaren—or people of Chinese ethnicity that migrated to other countries like the Philippines and its Southeast Asian neighbors—also continued to send money to their relatives in the Mainland, which, by extension, supported the Chinese economy as well at that point in history when China was still being generally referred to as the Sleeping Giant.
Remember that the Chinese came to our country long before the Spaniards, Americans, and Japanese set foot on our land and conquered our nation.
Since then and up to the time the Chinese civil war ended in 1949, many of the Chinese who came to the Philippines decided to live here with their families. This is why many Huarens were born here and died in the country—and those that are still alive will also probably die here.
Unlike other nationalities that came here to conquer us, these people with Chinese blood came to the Philippines to do business and live peacefully side by side with Filipinos.
This continued up to the present.
In fact, many of them today have grouped themselves and formed the Huaren Society in the country. They are businessmen, executives, politicians, and professionals from different sectors who are still quietly doing their share to promote peace and prosperity in the country.
They managed to integrate themselves into the Philippine society and assimilate our culture; they are unquestionably Filipinos in mind, heart, and deeds.
Simply put, started as the counterparts of our overseas Filipino professionals.
Their other goal, of course, is to foster good relations between Beijing and Asean governments amid tensions being created by the South China Sea dispute, among other issues.
This is why the Huaren Society in the country has started contacting other Huaren organizations in the Southeast Asia and other parts of Asia so they can schedule a trip to Beijing with the hope of serving as ambassadors of peace for the neighboring nations. They wish to open more economic and diplomatic channels between the peoples of China and other Asian countries, and hopefully create new opportunities for cooperation in multiple fields.
Also, in my recent meeting with the leaders of the Huaren organization in the Philippines, they voiced their concern over the spate of kidnapping and other violent and illicit acts connected to the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators. They expressed their readiness to help the government in whatever way possible in the different fields they are in.
I decided to write about the Huaren Society to make people aware of what they’ve been doing, although their leaders would prefer that they just continue pursuing their advocacies away from the spotlight.
As Paul said in his letter to the Romans (13:7): “Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”
Dr. Jesus Lim Arranza is the chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries and Fight Illicit Trade; a broad-based, multisectoral movement intended to protect consumers, safeguard government revenues and shield legitimate industries from the ill effects of smuggling.