CULTURAL SELF-PORTRAIT AND REFLECTION
By Manuel Chong
Filipino-Chinese. That is what I am. The term “Filipino-Chinese” simply refers to a Chinese descent born and bred in the Philippines. Being a third generation Chinese in the Philippines, I did not grow up in a culture that is purely Chinese nor is it purely Filipino.
The older generation of Filipino-Chinese is trying their best to pass on to the younger ones the traditional Chinese teachings which they acquired and learned from their ancestors. They wanted to preserve every detail of Chinese tradition for the younger ones. However, this appears to be a difficult task as time passes as my generation and the coming generations are ...view middle of the document...
In spite of all this, I can still say that my culture is still predominantly Chinese, although not with its traditional practices that does not conform to Christianity, but with its values that embraces the sense of family, hard work, and to a certain extent frugality.
The foremost passion of most Chinese that is in constant tension to the teachings of the Bible, is the pursuit of wealth or money. Born out of the necessity to survive, as Chinese we were taught to work hard to amass wealth in order to alleviate ourselves from poverty and unemployment. The pursuit of wealth has become a marker in that to be truly successful one has to look into a person’s bank account. In Matthew 4:4, the Bible says that man does not live by bread alone. Also, I always remind myself Matthew 16:26, what would it benefit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul. Money is not everything. The Lord will and does provide. On a positive note, as the Filipino-Chinese are known to be pragmatic and practical in their manner of achieving success, they have become a potent force towards solving the problems of poverty and unemployment prevalent in the Philippines. Today, they excel in the business world and have been influential in the economy of the Philippines.
As Christians, it is mandated by Christ that we should share the good news to all nations. One particular trait or characteristic that is strong amongst Chinese is the sense of shame. We strive not to “lose face”. This is particularly so predominant and prevalent in places like Singapore, where I had the privilege to live for sometime, that even the...