RIZAL’S CHINESE OVERCOAT
by Tu Yiban (塗一般)*
first published as 《黎剎的中國外衣》 in the Chinese Commercial News (Manila), 《讀
與寫》 (Reading and writing) supplement, 14-18 February 2005
translated into English by Daniel Ong**
*Tu Yiban (塗一般), pen name of Alfonso O. Ang (伍哲燦); born in Binondo district,
Manila, Philippines; Filipino citizen; businessman by profession; history and culture
enthusiast, life member of the Philippine National Historical Society; freelance writer and
contributor to local Chinese dailies; has so far authored and published two books in
Chinese: 《博土經》上下卷 (Bo Tu Jing Books 1 and 2)
**Daniel Ong (王英華), an ethnic Chinese of Philippine citizenship; officially an
ophthalmologist by profession; non-medical interests include history, linguistics,
anthropology, and religion
Author’s Recommendation: Since this essay is pretty much a critique of the book 《黎薩
爾與中國》 [Rizal and China], it would be best if the reader has a copy of the book at
hand. Interested readers may contact the Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran, Inc., corner Anda and
Cabildo Streets, Intramuros, Manila, Philippines, with phone numbers 63-2-5266796 to
98, and 63-2-5276083.
The confirmation that Jose Rizal’s Chinese ancestors hailed from 上郭 Shangguo
Village in southern Fujian province sparked the recent “Rizal fever” in the Chinese-
Filipino community. [Translator’s note: Shàngguo is the Pinyin rendering of the
Mandarin pronunciation of 上郭, while Siong-ke is a rendering of the pronunciation in
Minnan or Hokkien—the speech of southern Fujian and Taiwan, and of majority of the
Chinese in the Philippines. Shangguo was once a village of 羅山鎮 or Luoshan Town.
Due to changes in the administrative divisions of Fujian, Shangguo has become a
community under the Xintang Subdistrict of Jinjiang City (晉江市新塘街道辦事處上郭
社區). “Chinese-Filipino” refers to ethnic Chinese or people of Chinese ancestry in the
Philippines.] The joint research done by Mr. Melanio Cua Fernando, board member... [continues]
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