Milestone Flow | The Manila Times

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CHINA is such a big part of Maurito’s breeding and is such that at every turn he finds himself following China’s path.

In 1971, long before his entry into the cinema, he was already enjoying the advantages of a member of the executive committee of Makabayan Publishing Corp., an essential component of the powerful empire J. Amado Araneta, when he accepted the call of the rank and depose employees to lead the formation of a union. As expected, what he got during his presentation of union demands were his marching papers. This led to a strike in which he found himself organizing seminars and DGs (discussion groups) engaged in propagating Mao Zedong Thought as contained in the “Little Red Book” . Eventually, with his integration into the mainstream of the national democratic movement, as deputy party secretary for education of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) group in the Katipunan ng Samahan ng mga Manggagawa (Kasma), the five of Mao Zedong volumes (On Contradiction, On Class Analysis, etc.) have been entrusted to his possession, the content of which he must propagate in the labor sector. In this way, Maurito (this time ultimately known as Ka Mao) gained substantial knowledge of China’s socialist history and configuration. This is what he had in mind when during his visit to Shanghai in 2017, he told his hosts: “I am happy that when I see the world for the first time, I see it through the window of China. How awful it would be if I saw the world through the window of the United States instead.”

The author’s anthology of his articles on China from his Manila Times column “My Say,” launching Saturday, April 9, 2022, at Pandesal Forum, Kamuning Bakery Cafe, 3 p.m.

One of the most poignant memories of his days in the revolutionary struggle is this song that he would always sing with fire and fury in the strike zones, in rallies and demonstrations, to the corners of the Cordilleran jungle:

Manggagawa lying at the makilaban

Without forgetting the kalayan

Sa pang-aapi ng gahamang

Imperialism Among the Dayuhan

Ang sagot ng bayan is himself

All the while, Ka Mao thought it was an original Filipino revolutionary song, until he watched the 70th anniversary celebration of the People’s Republic of China. At the end of the festivities, what should the thousands, if not millions of people present, burst into, if not this very song, sung in the Chinese original titled “Ode to the Fatherland”.

And all the while, Ka Mao had been singing it like a Filipino heart, body and soul.

At the dawn of the new millennium, Henry Sy had dealt a mortal blow to Filipino cinema by banning R-18 films (action films and sex films, in fact the cornerstone of Filipino cinema) in SM cinemas, which are 80% made up of cinemas. in the countryside. All of a sudden, the craftsmen of the cinema found themselves without jobs. After a period of making ends meet with this and that odd job, Ka Mao decided to return to his old profession as a journalist, first contributing to the article which published his very first written work, a letter to the editor of the Manila Times. back to the 1960s. Noticing Ka Mao’s contributions, the newspaper’s chairman emeritus, Dr. Dante A. Ang – a Chinese – asked him to write a regular column, “My Say”, every Saturday and Sunday.

This time around, his contributions largely consisted of insights into Sino-Philippine relations and what he saw as an escalating conflict over the South China Sea between China and the United States. His readings of history had led him to the conclusion that of these two protagonists, China was not known for invading the territory of another country and the United States, the one for attacking a nation after the ‘other. World War II had been a classic example which he said needed wide venting among Filipinos. Manila had been declared an open city by Wartime President Jose P. Laurel and thus spared destruction by the invading Japanese forces; Manila residents welcomed the entry of the Japanese into the city in 1941, and for the next three years saw them mingling cheerfully with Japanese soldiers shopping in bazaars or strolling the city’s sidewalks. It was General Douglas MacArthur’s intense bombardment on his return in 1945 that reduced the city to rubble, making it the most damaged city of the war next to Warsaw in Poland; 200,000 civilians were killed. Add that to the earlier carnage by the United States of some 200,000 Filipinos during the American aggression of the archipelago in the 1890s and you can see why there is this intense desire in Ka Mao to get rid of America and from the Philippines. various military treaties binding it to the United States: the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of 1951; the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) of 1998; and the 2016 Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

The desire grew over the years and found expression in numerous articles in his column, “My Say,” in The Manila Times. A few years ago, Ka Mao made a compilation of these chronicles which he titled “China the way, the truth and the life”. The confinement caused by the Covid-19 pandemic had delayed the launch of the book by two years. But lately, Wilson Lee Flores from the Kamuning Bakery Café Pandesal Forum has finally decided to push back the launch of the book to April 9, 2022 in cooperation with the President of the Federation of Philippine Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industries Inc. (FFCCCII), the Dr. Henry Lim Bon. lion. The event is scheduled for 3 p.m. next Saturday.

Ka Mao turned 80 on August 22. He realizes that very soon his fingers may not be vibrating enough to continue typing on the computer keys. But no regrets on his part. With China, The Way, The Truth and The Life, he’s quite confident that he’s done his best to leave behind a legacy that few have had the chance to do.


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