REBUILDING OF MUTUAL TRUST

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The Philippines and Taiwan (Republic of China) shares a wholesome ancestral tree that can be traced back from eons of time long forgotten. The tribesmen of Taiwan share the same culture and heritage as those of our mountain tribes in the north (Ifugaos, Itawes and the Ivatans). A lot of people came to Taiwan to finally see as in a mirror the richness of its cultural beauty and industrial advancement that one cannot see in the Philippines.

Taiwan has been a forerunner in many technologies and systems they have developed and shared with so many people. Especially here in Murcia, Negros Occidental, a very small insignificant yet lovely country, the Ambassador came to meet with us Missionaries working here for the people in Murcia. In 2010, the Taiwan Embassy gave two (2) brand new sets of computers to a local school here and also for the town they gave an ambulance which is very much needed. Now, two parts of society is being catered; the school and the town itself.

In 2011, the Governor of Negros Occidental together with his economic/investment team went to Taiwan sponsored by our Congregation and was received well in Taiwan by Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO). They offered assistance to us for anything that they could from the processing of Visas to meeting us at airports and train terminals. The team gave us a positive evaluation of that tour. They have come to realize that Taiwan is a place to be emulated and copied.

The Governor met a lot of people there, from Dr. Chinder Ou, the Speed Rail President, to Bishop Su, Dr. Austin Ou, Mr. Danny Lim, the Chief of Kaoshiung Harbor, Members of the many Chamber of Commerce of Taipei, Taichung and Kaoshiung and very lovable people from Taipei, Kaoshiung and Taichung who treated them like “royalty.” They are very grateful for their hospitality.

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As of late, the Providence University of Taiwan and California American School Taichung has donated to us so many things; about five (5) forty (40) foot containers of school furnishings from chairs to computers and so many others. In fact, we had to talk again with contractors to start negotiating to build another school building. We also have received fifteen (15) brand new computers from the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce, who also donated three (3) million worth of electrical fixtures for our school building project. Now the school stands and we are catering to students coming from different places in Murcia. We cater to the poor and those that are well-off in life.

Our school has been a co-signatory to three (3) universities in Taiwan that offered their extension services and research program namely: Ling Tung Univerisity, Chung Hsing University and Ming Dao University. A fourth university is forthcoming, the Providence University Taiwan. We know at this moment that we are at the receiving-end with all these agreements, but time will come that we can send also our experts to them for research and extension. At this moment we have one Professor who will be doing his Doctoral Degree in Chung Hsing University in Mircrobiology. We pray for him.

Since our school is far from Murcia Town Proper, we needed a school bus to ferry our students to and from the school. This has been a big problem for some time and yet Taiwan Catholic Mission, through Dr. Austin Ou, the founder, decided to help us in securing a bus for our students. It is indeed a very helpful investment for all of us here.

Many little things we may seem to just let slip and yet these things when put together can create something great and wonderful. From little things God creates something beautiful. In a similar way, Taiwan through TECO may not be catering to the needs of the Philippines as a whole, but is doing something special to small “pockets of light” among our people in the whole country. Taiwan is doing more to extend its love to other remote communities in need.

What you have read are just sentiments of an old man, seventy-six (76) years old, wondering why our two nations cannot just stop “hitting” each other. Yes, we need to bring to justice the person who is responsible, but always remember “Justice tempered with mercy.” It is unjust to kill a person and it is also unjust not to forgive a person. For some it is shameful not to ask for forgiveness. We are hoping that the grace of God will enlighten all the parties concerned so that we may reach a peaceful conclusion to this challenge.

We need to resolve this quickly so that we can get back on the track of progress for both of our countries. We need to give “Peace a Chance.” We need to seek for a better life for our people. No more bickering and no more wars. We need Peace, we need Trust!

[Fr. Su is seventy-six (76) years old and is the Local Superior and at the same time the Vice Superior General of the Congregation of St. John the Baptist. The Congregation was founded in China in 1928, moved to Taiwan in 1940’s and came to the Philippines through the invitation of Most Rev. Vicente Navarra, DD, Bishop of Bacolod in 2004. The presence of twenty-five (25) brothers in community is a great sign that the work of Ven. Fr. Vincent Lebbe for the poor will not be forgotten. The community built a school, Catholic Ming Yuan College, catering to the rich and poor alike. They also have a farm where they teach people to produce their own. The brothers are vegetarian so they grow their own food.]

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