Unexpected of a guest

ON A RECENT guesting at a regular meeting of the biggest organization of Chinese businessmen in the country, President Simeon Benigno C. Aquino went beyond being an honorable guest, delivering a rather unwelcome remark to the audience and to all Chinese businessmen at large.

“Pay your taxes!,” the President told the Chinese businessmen. And to those already paying their taxes, he said, “Pay correct taxes!”

Although he spoke in Chinese, the message was clear. He may not have realized that he is insulting his hosts. Being a guest of honor, he is expected to put some good words to these businessmen, who are running nearly 80 percent of businesses in the country, from small enterprises to the biggest conglomerates.

He even went on to name names and how much they owe the government. That, of course, elicited nervous laughter from the audience, expecting that Kim Henares may not be far behind.

Well, you see, it’s not only the ordinary Pinoy who was a complaint, even an ax to grind against many Chinese in the Philippines. From those who are shortchanged in their deals with Chinese businessmen, who all now call themselves Tsinoys for certain advantages of affinity, to those who get lower than law-mandated salaries as workers in Tsinoy factories and other enterprises, a lot of tales of woe can be heard, even documented. Well, not all, but a lot of them do, as the saying goes: Ibang kausap ang Tsekwa!

For PNoy to break the sacred and unwritten agreement between a guest speaker and his host, it shows how deep runs the animosity between Filipinos and Chinese in the Philippines. Although this hostility almost always does not show in public, it is like a plague that continues to eat at the very fiber of our socio-economic life.

Personally, I don’t hate the Chinese. I do not have any beef against them. Also, sometimes they are good, but most of the time, their being good is also good for them, if you know what I mean.

Check the article out at http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2013/03/23/922988/noy-tsinoys-pay-your-taxes and make your own conclusions. The event was held recently at the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. building in Binondo.

Been away, but not away

The last post more than six months ago only shows the true nature of the culture of what a deluge of information could do to an aging writer like me. Used to newspapers, magazines, books and other reading materials as primary sources of information, I am now drowned, literally, by a sea of information made available through technology, particularly via the Internet.

So, when I created this blog, I was just intent on writing about things that interest me, in light of the Filipino character of complaining. Making initial research, I soon got lost in a sea of information. In the process, my priorities got tossed and turned by wave after wave of new discoveries and information that I cannot ignore. The result: I got it all juggled and mixed up that I started to rethink and rethink, meaning, I got into a point of indecision, I can’t decide where to start.

While compiling materials for one of the major sources of complaints, the relation of Filipinos with migrant Chinese, I also tried Google. So, what came up is the conflict on Spratlys, which I may say is a current issue and one of the hottest issues that make Filipinos gripe and whine against China. They even see their Chinese (Tsinoys, if you like) as an embodiment, on some personal and business levels, of the Chinese claim on the group islands on the Philippine West Sea, formerly China sea.

This is where I got snagged. The materials keep on piling up, I can no longer cope, i.e. classifying the materials according to my initial plan.

I thought it was information paralysis. But later, while watering my plants, I realized that this kind of research, which had been with us for almost two decades already, defies my traditional view of compiling data. In short, resistance.

However, if I don’t push myself into addressing the sudden challenge, it would take me nowhere. So, I rolled I finished watering my small garden and rolled my sleeves to tackle the information I have so far gathered. As most of which were printed, I started putting related topics together.

I tell you, it was not easy. It took really hard time. But, here I am ready to push through with my original plan.