my understanding is that my great grandfather who came to valencia and went back to china never came back to the philippines. sadly, he left behind his filipino wife and children. whether it was deliberate or not, i have yet to countercheck.
thanks for your great details, lorenz. they're very helpful.
Do you know when your great grandfather went back to China? Perhaps it wasn't deliberate, but an unfortunate circumstance. Isles, back in the late 1920's, Lolo brought with him not only his Filipina wife, but all 4 of his children back to Conghua, China. They lived there kono for 4 years! With the intent to live there--permanently. He brought with him his wife (my great-grandmother), Mrs. Gabina Ignalan Tan, and their 4 children: Fortunata Tan (My maternal grandmother), Ceciliano Tan, Balbina Tan and Juliano Tan. According to my grand aunt, Lola Gabina was totally homesick there in China. She was always crying to Lolo and asking him that she did not want to live and die in China..for fear of never seeing her family in Valencia again. During this time, the children were practically raised in China and were assimilated in the village where Lolo grew up in. Na luoy si Lolo Mariano ni Lola Gabina and because he loved his wife so much, he agreed. He took with him his wife and his 4 children back to Valencia so that his wife would not be homesick. According to my lola babing, the day they left China, my great great grandfather, my great great grandmother, great great grand aunts and great great grand uncles, cousins went with them to the port in Guangzhou to see them off. Lola Babing told me that it was the last time Lolo Mariano would see his mama and papa ever again. At that time, tigulang na kono sila. They were particularly close to the grandchildren, since they practically helped raise them.
In 1933 or 1934, Lolo Mariano, Lola Gabina, and their four little children left Guangzhou for the last time.
Back in 2010, the former Mayor of Valencia, Dr. Plinio Lim, who was very good friends with my late grandmother, Mrs. Fortunata Tan - Salvo, told me that he remembered one time when Lolo Mariano did come back to Bohol in the early 1930's, my grandmother already had forgotten how to speak Bisaya na kono, mang ininchik ra kono siya..hahaha! They were childhood friends, so they used to make fun of the children kono because all 4 of them were quite particularly weak in Bisaya, but fluent only in Cantonese ! They eventually learned their mother's native tongue.
I asked Dr. Plinio Lim about my great grandfather, asked him if he remembered how he was like. He said that from his memory kono, Lolo Mariano frequented the market place to sell his goods. He described him as, "he used to mix bisaya with chinese words". Another was that "imong lolo, taas kaayo, almost 6 footer at that time. Seryoso kaayo imong lolo." hahaha!
Now, as to your great grandfather, perhaps he left Valencia with my lolo mariano back in the 1920s. Perhaps he left later. You have to also take into consideration that in the late 1930s, the Japanese invaded China and they were especially destructive in the souther part of China. Forcing a great many Chinese who lived in the cities of Guangzhou, Macao to flee into the mountains to evade attrocities. During the inter-war years, regularly shopping to and from china and the philippines were affected. Perhaps, your great grand father circumstances was not deliberate to leave his family in Valencia, but forced upon him.
Isles, if it brings any solace to you. Your lolo would most probably have returned to Conghua to live with our great-great grandparents. As they were very close to their children and grand children.
In the case of not coming back, another distant relative, Ricky Caluen, has a grandfather, Oyong Tan Piko, went back in the 1940s and never came back. This was during the time of the Great Cultural Revolution in China. So his inability to come back was not due to his own choice, but because of the great social upheaval in their homeland at the time...
Please, isles, share what you know about your great-grandfather here. I will ask my Uncle Romeo, Auntie Celeste, Uncle Jun, Uncle Alex and my Mommy more questions about Lola Nating's side.
(Apo sa sungay ni Tan Ngai He)