Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"The Presidential Residence" in Shishi City

By Fr. Genesis Velez:

After Sergio Osmena's term as president, Manuel Gotianuy (吴天为) and others, prepared a house to serve as Osmena's residence when he would come "to visit his family" (探亲). Craftsmen prepared a black wooden board with a golden inscription "总统寓" (Presidential Residence). Due to political reasons, Osmena could not make his visit known to public. This board did not have a meaning at all in the Philippines. After the liberation, overseas Chinese who frequently returned to their village, the members of the Go family, brought this board to China, so that it could be hung on one of the pillars of the ancestral house's big hall. In this way, Go family's precious moment in history could be preserved. Unfortunately this board got lost during the liberation's "land reform."

Documentary video: http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/6TNTk05OH1k/



The city of Shishi planned to have it declared a heritage site because of the fact that the structure is more than hundred years old and it is an ancestral house of a former Philippine president.

In the Gudong Village's Go Family Genealogy, it is mentioned that Wu Wentiao (Pedro Gotiaoco) had three "wives" and the name of his sons except Don Sergio were mentioned. Gotiaoco wanted that Don Sergio be recorded in the Philippine registry. The Chinese say that this was influenced by the principle of DISHU hierarchy (DI - born of a straight lineage vs. SHU - born of a concubine). I think this has something to do with the inheritance. Some say that the mere fact that Don Sergio has a Chinese name (Wu Shimin or Go Si Bin in Fookien) simply confirm that he was the son of Pedro Gotiaoco. The other alleged child of Gotiaoco, Dona Modesta Gaisano, has the the Chinese name Wu Sazhi or Go Sa Ti in Fookien.

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