First published in Tulay, Chinese-Filipino Digest 1, no. 3 (August 1998): 6, with original title, “One Year at Kaisa.”
Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran had its baptism of fire on that infamous 28th day of August 1987. The organization was launched at the National Press Club supposedly in a press conference that day.
Unfortunately, Gringo Honasan stole the show and only two reporters showed up for the press conference. Press releases about the birth of the organization went mostly unnoticed — passed over by the more critical events following the Honasan coup. Nevertheless, with courage and determination, Kaisa weathered all the storms that passed by within the year.
Research and Publication
- Heritage: A Pictorial History of the Chinese in the Philippines is the first book published by Kaisa on Nov. 29, 1987. The softcover edition of the book is almost all sold-out.
- World News Sunday Supplement. Kaisa has a full-page supplement published every Sunday at World News, the leading Chinese-language daily. Articles in the supplement touch on news about the organization as well as relevant topics affecting the Philippine society, and Philippine-Chinese relations. Since August 30, 1987, when the first issue came out, Kaisa has published 50 issues without break.
- Chinese Mestizos in the Formation of Filipino Nationality. in commemoration of the canonization of Saint. Lorenzo Ruiz who was a Chinese mestizo, Kaisa reprinted the article of Dr. Antonio S. Tan of the UP Asian Center and had the booklet distributed among members of Congress, media and major libraries in the country.
- Gen. Ignacio Paua booklet: on the occasion of the 116th birth anniversary of Gen. Ignacio Paua, Kaisa published a booklet containing three biographies about him written by prominent historians. The first two articles by Profs. Zaide and Dery are in English and the third article in Chinese is by Dr. Zhou Nanjing of Beijing University.
- Tulay Monthly. Kaisa launched on June 12, 1988 the first issue of Tulay Monthly, a Chinese-Filipino news digest in English.
- Kaisa has made several representations with the Office of the President, with Congress, with the Department of Justice, on issues affecting the Philippine Chinese. More significant among these representations were those made with CID Commission Miriam Defensor Santiago regarding the problem of overstaying aliens.
- In December 1987, Kaisa launched a project of soliciting old Komiks and magazines for distribution among the domestic helpers in Hong Kong. Likewise, Kaisa coordinated with some of the local Chinese schools to send Christmas cards to these domestic helpers in the spirit of Christmas sharing. Kaisa’s motive in launching the project was to let the Filipino overseas workers know that the ethnic Chinese in the Philippines understand their situation and sympathize with them because their ancestors too left their homes to find better fortunes overseas.
- Kaisa representatives appeared on several radio, television and newspaper interviews for the past year. Notable among these shows were the TV 13 Randy David public forum last Oct. 26, 1987 and the Radyo Pag-asa and Radyo ng Bayan interviews.
- Under Kaisa’s auspices, the “RP-Chinese Heritage Exhibits,” made up of more than 200 photographs mounted on 16 plywood panels, were exhibited at De la Salle University, Xavier High School, Immaculate Concepcion Academy, and Philippine Cultural High School.
- Chinese-Filipino youths participated in the Araw ng Kalayaan parade last June 12 and in the Cultural Communities Week celebration last July 3 through representations made by Kaisa in a spirit of brotherhood and unity with all Filipinos.
- Initial contacts with Philippine Business for Social Progress and with Self-Employment Assistance Foundation of the Dept. of Social Welfare have been made by Kaisa with the objective of learning how the Chinese-Filipino sector can best be tapped to join in the livelihood programs meant to generate self-sufficiency among the unemployed.
- On the occasion of the 116th birth anniversary of Gen. Ignacio Paua, the only pure-blooded Chinese general in the Philippine revolution, Kaisa launched a fund-raising campaign to build a cast-bronze monument in his honor, to be placed in Cavite. Noted sculptor Prof. Caedo is commissioned to build the monument.
- Weekly PGH Medicine-Assistance. Since January 15th this year, Kaisa has been extending assistance in terms of free medicines to indigent patients confined at the Philippine General Hospital. This assistance is given every Tuesday of the week through donations from a charitable Chinese businessman who wanted to be known only as Mr. L.K.S. From January to July this year, a total of nearly 300 PGH patients were helped at a cost of more than P200,000.
- Alay Puso Feeding Center Project. The Missionaries of Charity (Mother Theresa’s group of missionaries) are running a feeding center for malnourished children in Del Pan and for infants in Tayuman and also an old-age home for men and women in Tayuman. Kaisa assists them by soliciting donations of rice, milk, canned goods, oatmeal, cooking oil, eggs, detergent powder which are turned over to the three missions every first Sunday of the month.
- Tatalon Free Clinic/Immunization. Kaisa members, with a team of volunteer doctors and nurses from the Metropolitan Hospital, conducted a free clinic and immunization project at the depressed area in Tatalon, Quezon City on Nov. 8, 1987.