Long History of China Ties

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Trivia. Last Wednesday Mandaluyong City re-named the former E. Rodriguez street in honor of the late Jaime Cardinal Sin. "Sin Street" is a long one... not where they have short time.

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Wishing H.E. President Benigno Aquino III, success in Cathay, I continue to yield this space to Ambassador Rodolfo Arizala's scholarly research:

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"The Philippines and China share a long history of friendly relations and trade. The earliest mention by the Chinese of the archipelago appeared in 977 AD during the Sung period; but there was evidence that they knew about it as early as 400-100 BC during the Han period. Chinese traders conducted their activities through the port of Tongkin."

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(Last Wednesday's column narrated that Cathay did not claim territory beyond the Middle Kingdom and welcomed tributes... not from vassals but from sovereigns, the Sulu kings). The report continues:

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"After staying in China for 27 days, the two rulers [Paduka Batara and Ma-Ha-La-Chiq-Ko-La-Ma-Ting] signified their intention to return to their homeland. Emperor Yung Le provided each of them with a girdle adorned with precious stones, a hundred teals of gold, 2,000 teals of silver, 10,000 teals in paper money, 200 pieces of plain silk, 2,000 strings of cash (small money denomination), a robe embroidered with golden snakes, another embroidered with dragons, and a third embroidered with kilins (mythical Chinese beast resembling a unicorn).

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"On the journey, Paduka, the eastern king, fell ill. He was taken to the imperial hall in Tekchow in Shantung province, where he died. Upon learning of his visitor's death, the emperor ordered the authorities to oversee the funeral rites and to build a monument in honor of the late king. He also bestowed upon the Paduka the posthumous title "Reverence."

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"Paduka's widow, concubines, and a retinue of 10 persons stayed behind to care for the tomb and observe a three-year mourning period while his eldest son, Tu-Ba-Hap (Tumahan), returned to Sulu to assume his father's throne. …