More Tsinoy Than We Admit

More Tsinoy Than We Admit

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Edited by Richard T. Chu
With a foreword by Wang Gungwu

In a country that has been forcibly colonized and occupied by various foreign powers over the centuries, the role played by the Chinese in the Philippines is unique. From our earliest precolonial history, traders from China arrived on these shores to do business and, eventually, make a new home. The intermarriage of Chinese settlers and natives produced a new social class of mestizos, with their own distinctive contribution to Philippine society. The government under Spain and, later, the United States, tried to reap the economic benefits of the Chinese presence, while at the same time exerting control over them.

Today, the term “Tsinoy” encompasses a broad range of Chinese cultural mixture and influence in the Philippines. In More Tsinoy Than We Admit, leading scholars explore how Tsinoys have helped shape the destiny of the country and the region over hundreds of years up to the present day. From revolution against Spain and guerrilla resistance against the Japanese, to nationalism and political upheaval in China; from archaeological records to modern cinema; from society and the nation to family and the individual—these essays lay out the complex reality that Tsinoys have had to navigate, as both more “Chinese” and more “Filipino” than we may admit.


This volume of essays does not only tell the Chinese story in the Philippines Islands but also captures the intricate features of the Chinese factor in the making of a nation. It adds to the tapestry we have of Chinese historical influences in Southeast Asia and is also a valuable contribution to our understanding of the region’s history.

—From the Foreword, Wang Gungwu,
University of Singapore


What is important insofar as the history of the Chinese in the Philippines is to weave it into the history of the Philippines so that the Chinese are included in the national narrative, not as immigrants and a separate community, but as Filipinos, albeit with Chinese ancestry. This is where this volume is particularly significant as it provides the many stories that could be added to the general history of the Philippines.

—Bernardita Reyes Churchill,
Philippine National 
Historical Society

© 2015
424 pages