Student Vox


/ 2 August 2021


Reports confirmed that vessels from China have been dumping human feces throughout the parts of the West Philippine Sea. Adding to that, this has been their practice for several years already that continues to destroy seas brimming with resources.

In my perspective, the Philippines has been so understanding and forgiving for the sake of maintaining a good relationship with other countries and to avoid igniting a war that would result in risking millions of lives but we know that this is too much.

I am not for war. I am for peace. However, relationships are not always as good as it seems.

Ramon See Ang is a Chinese Filipino businessman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Top Frontier Investment Holdings Inc. and he is the largest shareholder of San Miguel Corporation. Earlier this year, Ang has allocated Php 1 billion for the clean up of Pasig River which aims to eliminate 600,000 metric tons of waste every year. This might be seen as an atonement of the improper practices of the country he came from. Truly, I can say that he may be Chinese by blood but has the heart of a true Filipino.

We grew up with the saying, “Clean your own mess”, but do you understand the logic behind cleaning up the mess not made by you?

Another inspiration came from one of the world’s wealthiest people, Henry Tan Chi Sieng Sy Sr., who is widely known as Henry Sy, a Filipino Chinese business tycoon and entrepreneur who had a ‘rags to riches’ kind of story. He accompanied his father to the Philippines to escape poverty, only to have a terrible childhood in a strange nation. Sy struggled as an immigrant living in a new nation and acquiring the local language. He worked hard day and night to provide for his necessities, eager to succeed. Sy began with a modest sari-sari store that aided them in their day-to-day activities. He and his father shared a tiny apartment until the result of their efforts made them prosperous in the coming years. However, their business burnt down when the Philippine economy collapsed during World War II, prompting his father to return to China while Sy remained in the Philippines and established his own shoe company in Marikina.

Sy also had to alter his legal name, sell rejected and overrun shoes, and deal with a slew of other challenges early in his life. He didn’t give up and pushed on, perhaps because he sensed that something great was on the way. After a string of setbacks in his career, Henry Sy got back on his feet and worked hard to achieve his objective. In 1958, he opened a simple shoe store in Quiapo, Manila called “Shoe Mart,” which became the foundation of SM Prime Holdings.

With three of the Philippines’ most valuable companies, SM Investments Corp. and SM Prime Holdings Inc., each worth over Php 1 trillion, and BDO Unibank, worth around Php 635 million, he has been the country’s richest man for 11 years, since 2005, and is ranked 52nd on Forbes’ World Billionaires List of 2018.

He may not be a full-blooded Filipino but he chose to spend the entirety of his life’s remaining journey in the Pearl of the Orient Seas which is the Philippines. He brought pride to the Filipinos, especially to young entrepreneurs and his legacy has been living ever since.

Obviously, we cannot generalize the Chinese people and should abandon our mentality of hatred towards every Chinese individual we come across with just because of various conflicts made by their homeland to ours. Some made giant leaps over the business industry who had also carried our country’s flag with pride and honor and is something that no one could deny.

The kindness of the Filipinos is indeed infinite regardless of culture and beliefs.

Have you ever heard of the phrase, ‘country in a country’?

Despite the departure of practically all refugees over a decade ago, a community built in the western Philippine province of Palawan for Vietnamese boat people who left after the Vietnam War ended in the 1970s continues to survive.

The “Viet Village,” located in a suburb of the Palawan capital of Puerto Princesa City, has been serving another role in the local community for the past several years, with just two of more than 2,000 initial migrants still there.

This just proves that no border would stop us from extending a helping hand to those in need but are we getting the same response every time we seek help from others? 

Going back, I think this is what other countries are incapable of noticing. Taking advantage of our kindness for the sake of their own aspirations, be it beneficial to mankind or not, the Philippines will be no doubt forever appalled by their behavior.

To the country who has been eyeing our territories, never underestimate the power of the Filipino people just because you have the largest population across the globe. Why? I’ll tell you the answer using the Filipino language, “Hindi sa laki o dami nasusukat kung sino ang panalo sa labanan dahil kahit maliit man ay nakakapuwing.” Always remember that one good head is always better than a thousand hands.

Yes, the Philippines is known for the generosity of its people. However, everything that is OURS IS OURS. Do not read it twice because three words are not difficult to understand.

We cannot blame our president if he does not want to call for war because he is aware that aside from the fact that our country lacks competence, the Philippines cannot afford to lose more soldiers in a battle unworthy of blood and sacrifice.

We might be a lot fewer in number but we know how to win a battle even without a battlefield. No country could ever rule the world, even the ones with greater population because we all live in a land we just borrowed.

There are thousands of Chinese people who have made their way to success in the Philippines. They have brought honor to both China and the Philippines because they chose 2 flags to raise not because of the countries being one but because of how those flags honed them into being of great influence to mankind.

It is true that the Chinese culture and traditions might be observed in the Philippines, but it must end there. No more, no less because we are still a country standing as one, not two, nor with any other country.

Upon reading, you should have realized that the Philippines has been so accommodating not just to China, but to other countries as well. Did you see how hard it is to have known that the country whom you have made home inside your country have the guts to trigger certain conflicts igniting several threats toward your fellow countrymen?

If I were the president of China, I would step down from my position not because of abdication but of shame and respect. Not unless I, myself, am not innocent.