June 20, 2024

Artist Art Tibaldo in his daily walks of Baguio, or in his “mural walks” had documented almost all the murals in the different walls of Baguio; the latest of which is the newly-inaugurated Chinoy mural along Kisad Road.

The inauguration was spearheaded by the president of the Filipino Chinese community executive committee Peter Ng and his indefatigable wife, Ivy, with the different business owners and the Filipino Chinese organizations, including Fernando Tiong, Joselito Teofe, Jose Ong Tajan and the city officials led by Councilors Leandro Yangot and Joe Molintas

The Filipino Chinese Friendship Day is celebrated every June 9 annually. Historical accounts detailed that in 1975, “Chairman Mao Zedong met with President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., and Premier Zhou Enlai and they  signed the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and the Philippines.

These historic moments will be remembered forever in China Philippines friendly exchange.”

Hence the Philippines started to consider better relations with China. For over 49 years, bilateral agreements were signed between the Philippines and China.

In 1978, the Postal Agreement and the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement were signed to ensure the delivery of goods and technological advancements.

In 1979, the Air Services Agreement and Cultural Agreement were signed to further strengthen the relationship between China and the Philippines. Then in 1992, the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement was signed. There were many more agreements that came after.

The paper of Prof. Anavic Bagamaspad of the University of Baguio entitled “History of the Baguio Chinese: Integration into the Baguio Community” is an interesting read.

It dealt with historical context and the factors of integration covering the following periods: Spanish, American, the War years and the post-War period.

Japanese history and other foreign nationalities followed the same periods, especially during and after the war.

Under the Spanish period the Chinese were mostly employed as housekeepers, bakers, shoemakers and metal workers.

The American period saw the migration of the Chinese to serve as carpenters masons and  cooks or in the culinary. This was in tandem with the Japanese and lowland Filipinos who all helped the construction of Kennon Road.

Chinese culinary expertise were in demand with the influx of tourists in Pines Hotel and Camp John Hay.  The mining boom and preference of the Americans for tossed salad saw Chinese pioneers in agri-business. Then came mixed marriages and the nationalization policies.

The assiduous work ethic of the Chinese slowly sipped into economic and cultural system. Soon, they were into the hotel and restaurant businesses. They started to make their presence felt with their participation in art exhibits, parades, radio programs and outreach programs. 

Their dragon and lions dances were always a hit. And now, the Filipino-Chinese mural serves as another testament to the Baguio Chinese community cultural integration. (Photos: Ompong Tan, Edmund Andrada, Chino Chow, Neil Clark Ongchangco, and Kathrine Ann B. De Guzman) — Stella Maria L. de Guia