Tracing Dr. Jose Rizal’s Chinese Roots

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MANILA, Philippines: Chinese Ambassador to Manila Huang Xilian shed light on the Chinese heritage of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, stating that his ancestry can be traced back to the Chou Dynasty’s patriarch, Chua Siok-To. This revelation adds depth to Rizal’s transnational legacy, highlighting the interconnectedness between the Philippines and China.

Rizal, who holds a special place in the hearts of Filipinos, has a heritage that extends beyond the Philippines. Huang shared this insight on Facebook as the nation commemorated Rizal Day, a day dedicated to honoring the hero’s contributions to the country.

Huang explained that Rizal’s great-grandfather, Domingo Lamco, was a member of the Cua family and settled in Siongque Village in Jianjiang. This connection links Rizal to the global Sin Cua Chua clan, with its roots tracing back to the Chou Dynasty’s patriarch, Chua Siok-To.

In 1697, at the age of 35, Lamco was baptized in the Catholic Church in Manila’s Parian Chinese ghetto. Huang emphasized that Lamco thrived as a community leader in Biñan, Laguna, strategically changing the family name to “Mercado” to protect his descendants from Spanish anti-Chinese policies. This name change symbolized their mercantile origins.

Rizal’s Chinese heritage is also celebrated in Jinjiang, China, where the Rizal Park Square proudly displays a statue of the Filipino hero. Huang highlighted that this monument not only honors Rizal but also emphasizes the enduring link between his legacy and his Chinese roots. The rich tapestry of history, cultural exchange, and familial connections between the Philippines and China amplifies Dr. Jose Rizal’s global significance.

International ambassadors also joined in commemorating Rizal Day and paying their respects to the national hero. Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko expressed his honor in celebrating Rizal Day alongside the Filipino nation. He shared that he had visited Rizal’s monument multiple times, including during Prime Minister Kishida’s visit. Kazuhiko also mentioned that whenever he flies to Tokyo, he makes it a point to stop at Hibiya Park to pay tribute to Rizal’s monument, a heartfelt tradition that he carries in his spirits.

United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson also took to social media to express her appreciation for Rizal’s legacy. She posted a picture of Manila’s historic Luneta Park, where she joined President Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos, Filipino friends, partners, and allies to pay respects to Dr. Jose Rizal on Rizal Day.

The celebration of Rizal Day goes beyond national boundaries, as it recognizes the interconnectedness of different cultures and histories. Dr. Jose Rizal’s Chinese roots serve as a testament to the global impact of his legacy, showcasing the importance of understanding and appreciating the diverse influences that shape our world.

Source: The Manila Times

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