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The Way We Were

Written by Bro. Willie Samson

Unlike kamagra online the popular love song entitled “The Way We Were”, and we can choose from a lot of similar songs to suit our taste, the article below stands almost alone, as a rare and  important document describing the Philippines and its people in the year 1280 AD, centuries before the Spaniards landed on our shores. It’s an article written by a Chinese trading official and likely does not have the biases of a conqueror.

The following article is an excerpt from a document that was obtained from the Filipino paper Periodico Hebdomadario Escolar, "Students' Weekly Paper” issue of November 9, 1901.

TRANSLATION: This is translated by James Alexander Robertson.

By Chao Ju-kua, a Chinese official and Geographer, ca. 1280.

There is no direct reference as to the time in which Chao Ju-kua lived, but his name is mentioned in the Imperial Catalogue, whence it appears that he was probably descended from some member of the imperial family of the Sung dynasty, whose real name was Chao; and that he was born after the beginning of the second half of the twelfth century. He was inspector of the salt gabel in the province of Fo-kien, and his title was probably Shih-po, which means “Superintendent buy clomid of Sea Trade”. His position, gave him opportunity to gather information personally from the traders who anchored at his port. At that time more foreign traders frequented Chinese ports than either before or after, and it would be comparatively easy to gather information.

The country M clomid online a-yi (the island of Luzon)  is located north of Poni (probably the island of Borneo). About one thousand families inhabit the shores of a river which has many windings. The natives dress in linen, wearing clothes that look like sheets; or they cover their bodies with sarongs. In the thick woods are scattered copper statues of Buddha, but no one can tell the origin of those statues. Pirates seldom visit those districts.

When buy levitra [Chinese] merchant men arrive at that port, they cast anchor at a place [called] the place of Mandarins. That place serves them as a market, or site where the products of their countries are exchanged. When a vessel hasentered into the port, (its captain) offers presents consisting of white parasols and umbrellas which serve them for daily use. The traders are obliged to observe these civilities in order to be able to count on the favor of those gentlemen.

In order to trade, the savage traders are assembled and have the goods carried in baskets, and although the bearers are often unknown, none of the goods are ever lost or stolen. The savage traders transport these goods to other islands, and thus eight or nine months pass until buy priligy online they have obtained other goods of value equivalent to those that have been received [from the Chinese]. This forces the traders of the vessel to delay their departure, and hence it happens that the vessels that maintain trade with Ma-yi are the ones that take the longest to return to their country.

But much like the love song, the article gives you a picture of the author feeling a certain sense of awe and respect for the people of the Philippines. Although he calls us “savages”, our ways were not savage at all. In fact, the honesty of our people was well noted. During their trading activities, the Chinese businessman would allow their goods to be taken in baskets by the “Filipinos” and every single article was accounted for – none would be stolen or lost. The “Filipino middlemen” would peddle these and come back months later with the equivalent bartered goods. The Filipino buyers would valuate the goods traded by the Chinese and the Filipino would give what he thought was the fair equivalent in his terms. If there were any problems, the leader of the Filipinos would step in and settle the issue to the satisfaction of all parties. This kind of trading went on for hundreds of years between the Filipinos and the Chinese. And the Chinese businessman would go back to China or his other markets in the region and sell our goods for maybe twice or thrice its barter value. You could almost hear the Chinese businessman say, “It’s a pleasure doing business in the Philippines.”

What would our land have been if, like Thailand, we were able to preserve and defend it allowing our people to develop as a unique, sturdy, peace-loving, honest people? The way we were...

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