CNY 2017

Thoughts in light of the newly executed US travel ban on selected muslim countries and in contrasting events the recent celebrations of the Lunar New Year. Echoing these words from a video produced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops: Migration is an Act of Hope. We live in a time where circumstances of war and civil unrest are mere words written on paper, movements seen on the television, reports heard on the radio. Luckily for us, we don’t live them. Our feelings of sympathy or empathy are limited to that- feelings. At the end of the day, our realities are way, way better than those whose lives are constant targets of persecution, hunger, and extreme suffering.  Our choices are far simpler than those whose minute-by-minute existence are constantly put under tests of humanity and morality at the expense of their sanity. Ankong was born at the time when the socialists and the communists were growing in great numbers against imperialist China. Until its last emperor, or the people controlling him, were driven out of government control. The first victory against imperialism may be accorded to the socialist party of Dr. Sun Yat Sen. However, this was shortlived. Maybe because the overpopulated China at that time could not grasp the more worldly ideas shared by SYS. In their growing hunger and desperation, what greatly appealed to the majority were the ideas set forth by the commonality that communism spoke of. Thus, the rise of Mao. In understanding the circumstances of that time, migration is indeed an act of hope. Chinese migrants fleeing their homeland hoped for a better life. We cannot imagine the sacrifices they had to make- we can only learn about them, talk about them. It is always easy to speak of things we can do, hope to do, but it is never easy to do those things we have spoken of. I guess, every generation is given a different brand of courage for the different circumstances handed to them. In leaving his family and coming to the Philippines, Ankong acted with great Hope. From where it came, we do not know- because the events of his time could have influenced him in a totally different way. Gong Xi Fa Chai from my paternal Gparents!

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