(This is an open letter to F. Sionil Jose and all others who are calling on Chinese-Filipinos to “take sides” as a result of recent political tensions.)
My grandmother left China when she was a child to escape the horrors of a civil war initiated by her own people. She was torn away from her first home because her countrymen, who had previously shared a common history and a common culture, were torn apart by political and ideological differences. And though she was too young to remember the specifics of the Chinese Civil War, I like to believe that she came to the Philippines hoping to find a better place to stay: a place where people wouldn’t have to worry about racial tension, or political division, or intolerance based on ethnicity.
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