83 Facts About Chinese Filipinos


Chinese Filipinos are Filipinos of Chinese descent, mostly of southern Fujian ancestry, where the majority are born and raised in the Philippines.

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Chinese Filipinos are one of the largest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia.

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Chinese Filipinos are a well established middle class ethnic group and are well represented in all levels of Filipino society.

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Generally, Chinese Filipinos mestizos is a term referring to people with one Chinese Filipinos parent.

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Ethnic Han Chinese Filipinos sailed around the Philippine Islands from the 9th century onward and frequently interacted with the local Austronesian people.

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Since Song dynasty times in China and precolonial times in the Philippines, evidence of trade contact can already be observed in the Chinese Filipinos ceramics found in archaeological sites, like in Santa Ana, Manila.

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Chinese Filipinos was refused and a plan to massacre the Spaniards quickly spread among the Chinese inhabitants of Manila.

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Many immigrants converted to Catholicism and due to the lack of Chinese Filipinos women, intermarried with indigenous women and adopted Hispanized names and customs.

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The children of unions between indigenous Filipinos and Chinese were called Mestizos de Sangley or Chinese mestizos, while those between Spaniards and Chinese were called Tornatras.

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Three decades later, Chinese Filipinos traders built a new and bigger Parian near Intramuros.

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Many Chinese Filipinos joined the guerrilla movement of the Philippine-Chinese Anti-Japanese guerrilla resistance fighter unit or Wha-Chi Movement, the Ampaw Unit under Colonel Chua Sy Tiao and the Chinese Filipino 48th Squadron since 1942 to 1946 in attacking Japanese forces.

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Under the administration of Ferdinand Marcos, Chinese Filipinos called "lao cao", i e, Chinese in the Philippines who acquired citizenship, referred only to those who arrived in the country before World War II.

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Virtually all Chinese Filipinos schools were ordered closed or else to limit the time allotted for Chinese Filipinos language, history and culture subjects from four hours to two hours and instead devote them to the study of Filipino languages and culture.

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Businesses by Chinese Filipinos were said to have improved under Benigno Aquino's presidency, while mainland Chinese migration into the Philippines decreased due to Aquino's pro-Filipino and pro-American approach in handling disputes with China.

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Many Chinese Filipinos are either third, fourth or second generation or in general natural-born Philippine citizens who can still look back to their Chinese roots and have Chinese relatives both in China as well as in other Southeast Asian or Australasian or North American countries.

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Chinese Filipinos who have roots as Hokkien people predominantly have ancestors who came from Southern Fujian and usually speak or at least have Philippine Hokkien as heritage language.

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Many younger Hokkien-descended Chinese Filipinos are entering the fields of banking, computer science, engineering, finance and medicine.

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Chinese Filipinos who have roots as Cantonese people have ancestors who came from Guangdong Province and speak or at least have Cantonese or Taishanese as heritage language.

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The majority of Chinese Filipinos still retain the ability to understand and speak Hokkien as a second or third language.

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In part due to the increasing adoption of Philippine nationality during the Marcos era, most Chinese Filipinos born from the 1970s up to the mid-1990s tend to use English and Filipino or other Philippine regional languages, which they frequently code-switch together as Taglish or even together with Hokkien as Hokaglish.

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Unlike other Overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia which featured a multiplicity of dialect groups, Chinese Filipinos descend overwhelmingly from Hokkien-speaking regions in Southern Fujian.

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Mandarin is perceived as the prestigious Chinese language, which is taught in Chinese Filipino schools and used in all official and formal functions within the Chinese Filipino community, despite the fact that very few Chinese Filipinos are conversant in Mandarin or have it as heritage language.

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Currently, due to the relatively small population of Chinese Filipinos who are or claim to be of Cantonese ancestry, most Filipinos of Cantonese ancestry, such as Spanish-colonial-era Chinese mestizos that originally trace back to Macau or Canton, especially the younger generations thereof, never learned Cantonese or Taishanese and just use the local languages such as Filipino, English and other Philippine languages such as Cebuano.

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Just like many Filipinos, the vast majority of Chinese Filipinos who grew up in the Philippines are fluent in English, especially Philippine English as taught in schools in the Philippines and are usually natively bilingual or even multilingual since both English and Filipino are required subjects in all levels of all schools in the Philippines as English serves as an important formal prestige language in Philippine society.

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The majority of Chinese Filipinos who were born, raised, or have lived long enough in the Philippines are usually at least natively bilingual or multilingual.

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Chinese Filipinos are unique in Southeast Asia in being overwhelmingly Christian.

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Almost all Chinese Filipinos, including the Chinese mestizos but excluding recent migrants from either Mainland China or Taiwan, had or will have their marriages in a Christian church.

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Many Catholic Chinese Filipinos still tend to practice the traditional Chinese religions alongside Catholicism, due to the recent openness of the Church in accommodating Chinese beliefs such as ancestor veneration.

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Unique to the Catholicism of Chinese Filipinos is the religious syncretism that is found in Chinese Filipino homes.

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Chinese Filipinos comprise a large percentage of membership in some of the largest evangelical churches in the Philippines, many of which are founded by Chinese Filipinos, such as the Christian Gospel Center, Christ's Commission Fellowship, United Evangelical Church of the Philippines and the Youth Gospel Center.

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Small number of Chinese Filipinos continue to practise traditional Chinese religions solely.

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The Chinese Filipinos Filipino community established indigenous religious denominations like Bell Church, which is a syncretic religion with ecumenical and interfaith in orientation.

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Many Filipinos who have Hispanicized Chinese surnames are no longer pure Chinese, but are Chinese mestizos.

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The Chinese Filipinos have been known to vote in blocs in favor of political candidates who are favorable to the Chinese Filipinos community.

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Chinese Filipinos Filipino are mostly business owners and their life centers mostly in the family business.

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Chinese Filipinos attribute their success in business to frugality and hard work, Confucian values and their traditional Chinese customs and traditions.

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The Chinese Filipinos Filipino have developed unique customs pertaining to weddings, birthdays and funerary rituals.

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Certain customs found among Chinese Filipinos include during supplication include a solemn tea ceremony within the house of the bridegroom ensues where the couple will be served tea, egg noodles and given red packets or envelopes containing money, commonly referred to as an ang-pao.

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Chinese Filipinos is tasked to deliver the wedding gown to his bride on the day prior to the wedding to the sister of the bride, as it is considered ill fortune for the groom to see the bride on that day.

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Birthday traditions of Chinese Filipinos involve large banquet receptions, always featuring noodles and round-shaped desserts.

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Beyond the traditional family and clan associations, Chinese Filipinos tend to be active members of numerous alumni associations holding annual reunions for the benefit of their Chinese-Filipino secondary schools.

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In health care, Chinese Filipinos were instrumental in establishing and building medical centers that cater for the Chinese community such as the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, the Metropolitan Medical Center, Chong Hua Hospital and the St Luke's Medical Center, Inc, one of Asia's leading health care institutions.

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Non-Chinese Filipinos were initially referred to as huan-a by ethnic Chinese Filipinos in the Philippines.

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Some Chinese Filipinos perceive the government and authorities to be unsympathetic to the plight of the ethnic Chinese, especially in terms of frequent kidnapping for ransom during the late 1990s.

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Chinese Filipinos mestizos are persons of mixed Chinese Filipinos and either Spanish or indigenous Filipino ancestry.

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Many Chinese Filipinos believe that a Chinese Filipino must only be married to a fellow Chinese Filipino since the marriage to a non-Chinese Filipino or any outsider was considered taboo.

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Chinese Filipinos wield tremendous economic clout unerringly disproportionate to their small population size over their indigenous Filipino majority counterparts and play a critical role in maintaining the country's economic vitality and prosperity.

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Entire posh Chinese Filipinos enclaves have sprung up in major Filipino cities across the country, literally walled off from the poorer indigenous Filipino masses guarded by heavily armed, private security forces.

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Chinese Filipinos have been major players in the Filipino business sector and dominated the economy of the Philippines for centuries long before the pre-Spanish and American colonial eras.

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Long before the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, Chinese Filipinos merchants carried on trading activities with native communities along the coast of modern Mainland China.

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Under Spanish rule, the Chinese Filipinos were willing to engage in trade and venture into other business activities.

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Filipino entrepreneurs of Chinese Filipinos ancestry were responsible for introducing sugar refining devices, new construction techniques, moveable type printing, and bronze making.

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The Chinese Filipinos provided fishing, gardening, artisan, and other such trading services.

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The implementation of a free trade policy between the Philippines and the United States allowed the Chinese Filipinos to capitalize on a burgeoning Filipino consumer market.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry are estimated to control 60 to 70 percent of the Philippine economy.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry are involved in the processing and distribution of pharmaceutical products.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry are prominent players in the Philippines mass media industry, as they control six out of the ten English-language newspapers in Manila, including the one with the largest daily circulation.

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Many prominent Filipino companies that are Chinese Filipinos-owned focus on diverse industry sectors such as semiconductors, chemicals, real estate, engineering, construction, fibre-optics, textiles, financial services, consumer electronics, food, and personal computers.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry are estimated to control over one-third of the Philippines 1000 largest corporations with the Chinese controlling 47 of the 68 locally owned public companies.

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Filipino entrepreneurs of Chinese Filipinos ancestry are responsible for generating 55 percent of overall Filipino private business across the country.

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Besides sharing a common ancestry, cultural, linguistic, and familial ties, many Filipino entrepreneurs and investors of Chinese Filipinos ancestry are particular strong adherents of the Confucian paradigm of interpersonal relationships when doing business with each other, as the Chinese Filipinos believed that the underlying source for entrepreneurial and investment success relied on the cultivation of personal relationships.

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In 1940, Filipinos of Chinese ancestry were estimated to control 70 percent of the country's entire retail trade and 75 percent of the nation's rice mills.

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The Chinese Filipinos had controlled 40 percent of the retailing imports with substantial controlling interests in banking, oil refining, sugar milling, cement, tobacco, flour milling, glass, dairying, automobile manufacturing, and consumer electronics.

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The Chinese Filipinos increased their role in the domestic commercial sector acting as an intermediary of connecting producers with the consumer in the exchange of goods.

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Filipino retail outlets that were Chinese Filipinos-owned exercise a disproportionate share of several local goods such as rice, lumber products, and alcoholic drinks.

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The domestic Filipino economy began to broaden by the expansion of business activities long held by the Chinese Filipinos ushered in new forms of entrepreneurship by directing their corporate energies and capital into fostering new industries and growth areas.

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Since the 1950s, Filipino entrepreneurs of Chinese Filipinos ancestry have controlled the entirety of the Philippines' retail sector.

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Filipino entrepreneurs of Chinese Filipinos ancestry began to expand their business activities in large-scale retailing and Filipino retailers that were Chinese Filipinos-owned emerged as one of the largest department store owners in the Philippines with one prominent example being Rustan's, which is one of the most prestigious department store brands in the Philippines.

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In terms of industry distribution, small and medium size Chinese Filipinos-owned retail outlets account for half of the Philippines retail trade sector, with 49.

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In terms of industry distribution, Chinese Filipinos-owned manufacturing establishments account for a third of the Filipino industrial manufacturing sector.

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In 1965, Chinese Filipinos controlled 32 percent of the top industrial manufacturing firms.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry have dominated the Philippine financial services sector and have had a presence in the country's banking industry since the early part of the 20th century.

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Today, the overwhelming majority of the Philippines' principal banks are now owned by Filipinos of Chinese ancestry, including Philippine Savings Bank, the Philippine National Bank which is owned by taipan, Lucio Tan, controlled through his conglomerate LT Group, Inc, and most notably Metrobank Group which was owned by banker and businessman George Ty, which is the country's second-largest and most aggressive financial services conglomerate.

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The lone exception of a non-Chinese Filipinos owned Filipino bank was the Spanish Filipino Lopez-owned Philippine Commercial International Bank, which has since been taken over by Henry Sy's holding and investment company SM Investments Corporation during the mid-2000s, and reemerged itself as a subsidiary of Banco de Oro in 2007.

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In terms of industry distribution, Chinese Filipinos-owned companies account for a quarter of the financial services sector.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry have cornered the Philippine real estate investment markets, land, and property sectors which for a long time had been controlled by Spanish Filipinos.

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Filipinos of Chinese ancestry pioneered the Filipino shipping industry which eventually germinated into a major industry sector as a means of transporting goods cheaply and quickly between the islands.

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Filipino entrepreneurs of Chinese Filipinos ancestry have remained dominant in the Philippines's maritime shipping industry and in sea transport as it was one of the few efficient methods of transporting goods cheaply and quickly across the country, with the Philippines geographically being an archipelago, comprising more than 1000 islands and inlets.

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Prominent shipping companies owned by Filipinos of Chinese ancestry include Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Gothong Lines, Lite Shipping Corporation, Sulpicio Lines which was associated with a tragedy that led to the deaths of hundreds and Trans-Asia Shipping Lines.

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Currently, the Filipino inter-island shipping industry is dominated by four Chinese Filipinos-owned shipping firms led by William Chiongbian's William Lines.

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The rise of economic nationalism among the impoverished indigenous Filipino majority prompted by the Filipino government resulted in the passing of the Retail Trade Nationalization Law of 1954, where ethnic Chinese Filipinos were barred and pressured to move out of the retail sector restricting engagement to Filipino citizens only.

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Such hatred, envy, grievance, insecurity, and resentment is ready at any moment to be catalyzed by the indigenous Filipino majority as many Chinese Filipinos are subject to kidnapping, vandalism, murder, and violence.

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Similarly, as the cultural divide between Chinese Filipino and other Filipinos erode, there is a steady increase of intermarriages with native and mestizo Filipinos, with their children completely identifying with the Filipino culture and way of life.

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