Chinese Revolutionists Salute Filipino Comrades

BY GO BON JUAN
Posted by Bulatlat.com

Little do Filipinos know that our own heroes and martyrs were among those who inspired the Chinese revolutionists and encouraged them to continue their struggle. The Chinese revolutionists, in turn, stoked in their Filipino comrades the same ideals to achieve freedom even at the cost of their lives. This mutual support and encouragement are seldom mentioned in our history books.

October marks the success of two Chinese revolutions. October 10, 1911, marks the downfall of the last Qing emperor, which ended the 276-year Manchu rule in China (1644-1911). October 1, 1949, marks the success of the People’s Revolution, which gave birth to the People’s Republic of China.

But little do Filipinos know that our own heroes and martyrs were among those who inspired the Chinese revolutionists and encouraged them to continue their struggle. The Chinese revolutionists, in turn, stoked in their Filipino comrades the same ideals to achieve freedom even at the cost of their lives. This mutual support and encouragement
are seldom mentioned in our history books.

Liang Qi Chao, one of the most renowned reformists, wrote that he wanted to go down on his hands and knees as a tribute to the brave Filipinos. In his treatise “How to Annihilate a Country,” Chao said: “The Philippines, our brothers from the same continent and race,
struggled with the white men twice already (against the Spaniards and Americans) and without losing hope in their defeats. I look toward the south (the Philippines) and go down on my hands and knees (prostrate myself) to kowtow to them.”

Galiciano Apacible, on the other hand, wanted to commit suicide in Hong Kong when he learned that the arms shipment on the Japanese vessel Nonibuki Maru, procured by Dr. Sun Yat Sen for the Filipino revolutionists, sank after hitting some reefs.

His Chinese friend, Chen Shao Bai, admonished him thus: “It is not so much adversities that the revolutionaries worry about (as) not ever seeing the day of victory. How can you lose hope for so small an adversity? In wanting to die, you seek only your own peace, forgetting everything else. Everyone has to suffer death, but death can be ‘heavier than the Tai mountain or lighter than a goose feather.’ You do not need to die but seek death—how about the hundred thousands of your comrades facing death in the midst of battle, braving the cannons and gunfire? Your own life is directly tied with the survival of
the Philippines itself. Do not look at it lightly but guard it preciously for the sake of your country.”

After Apacible heard this touching admonition, he continued to call on Filipino patriots in Hong Kong to plot how they could help in the cause of the Philippine revolution. Posted by Bulatlat.com

(Editor’s note: The ceremony presenting the Fifth Dr. Jose P. Rizal Awards for Excellence will be held on June 19, 2006, 7 p.m. at the Kaisa-Angelo King Heritage Center on Anda and Cabildo Streets, Intramuros, Manila.)

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