Setting aside the contentious West Philippine Sea issue, it is impossible to deny the immense influence that China has acquired on a global scale. As a traveler who has personally witnessed the splendor of China’s progress, I was awestruck by the miles and miles of highways lined with huge buildings and adorned with golden blossoms in the provinces on my way to a luxurious hotel in Guangzhou. This breathtaking sight, not seen by many, shows the monumental infrastructure projects that China has achieved.
The relationship between China and the Philippines continues to flourish because of cultural exchanges and because we have a huge Chinese-Filipino community.
While marveling at the grandeur of China’s progress during my travels, I also noticed how the fusion of the old and new permeated daily life.
Experiencing traditional latrine-style restrooms alongside exotic Chinese cuisine shows how China has retained its cultural traditions even as it embraces modernization. Such encounters serve as reminders that progress need not sacrifice heritage and tradition.
The Chinese-Philippine relationship is a vital and complex one, extending beyond issues of sovereignty. Numerous Filipinos have Chinese heritage, and friendships and familial ties between both nations remain strong. Cultural exchanges, such as those facilitated by organizations like Lion’s Club and Rotary International, have played a crucial role in deepening understanding and appreciation of each country’s heritage. Programs like educational collaborations, student exchanges, and scholarships have provided Filipinos with the opportunity to study and immerse themselves in Chinese culture, strengthening the bonds between the two nations.
Chinese influence in the Philippines has brought about undeniable positive changes, benefiting the country in various ways. Economic cooperation from China has boosted the Philippines’ economic growth, stimulated infrastructure development, encouraged technological advancements, and facilitated cultural exchange. These collective endeavors have propelled the Philippines toward a brighter future, even as ongoing disputes over the West Philippine Sea and sovereignty claims cast a shadow over it.
Happy Chinese New Year to all, especially to the Filipino-Chinese community!