They are called Chinoys or Tsinoys for Filipinos of Chinese ancestry. They carry monosyllabic family names
although some carry Filipino-sounding names. They seem to be everywhere but their number consists of not more than an
estimate of 2% of the total Philippine population. Yes, they are few but they control a very large part of the country's
economic pie and as a consequence, influence the life of Filipinos in more ways than one. In fact, some of these influences
have become part and partial of the Filipino psyche.
Some of the chinese contribution in the Filipino way of life are belief in feng shui, eating siopao, tikoy, or
sotanghon, that little cat with a waving hand, the frog with a coin in its mouth, and that statue of a man with a big stomach
which are found mostly in Chinese stores.
The Chinese have been in our country for a very long time. They were here even before the Spaniards and the
Americans came. In the early days of the Spanish regime, a chinese named Lim-Ah-Hong led an attack in Manila but was repulsed.
The spaniards subsequently made peace with the Chinese and allowed them to continue trading with the Philippines. Still they
were not treated fairly and in fact they were regarded with suspicion so much so that they were confined to a Parian, now Binondo,
Today, major businesses in the country are controlled by the so-called Chinese taipans. Even in the towns and cities
in the countryside, the major establishments are owned by the Filipinos of Chinese background. They are mostly immigrants from the
Chinese province of Fujian and their dialect is Fookien although Mandarin is officially taught in Chinese schools. Many of them have
intermarried with Filipinos. Among the prominent Filipinos with Chinese background are Jose Rizal, the national hero, the late
Chief Justice Cludio Teehankee, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, and current Manila Mayor