Jose Ignacio Paua, Uragon

Photo courtesy of DX at
Gen. Jose Ignacio Paua (Photo courtesy of DX at

Apart from Russia and Georgia, China is also making headlines the past few days. The land of Yao Ming and Jackie Chan hosts the Olympics, that’s why. But more than sports, China is also the talk of the world for its computer generated fireworks and lip synch during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics at Beijing. In addition, there is also this fake or pirated Olympics tickets being circulated.

Well, many expected the circulation of fake tickets. As jokes go around:

When you bring in toys in China, fake ones will flourish. When you bring in clothes in China, fake ones will flourish. when you bring in films and audios in CDs and DVDs inside China, fake ones will flourish. So do not bring in your wife to China lest fake ones will also flourish.

But in fairness to the Chinese people, not everything fake comes from them. And not everything that comes from them is fake. As a matter of fact, they still hold the most genuine virtue expected from mankind — loyalty. A recent study shows that Filipino-Chinese (Tsinoys) are more Filipinistic than pure-blooded Filipinos. Ang mga pure na Pilipino daa kaya mas gusto pang lumayas sa Pilipinas saka mas gusto pa ang imported na mga bagay-bagay kaysa sa mga Tsinoy. Dagdag pa kaan, an mga Tsinoy nationalistic pa sa Pilipinas kaysa sa mga tunay na Pilipino.

Whether we believe this or not, history can tell us one example of this in the person of Ignacio Paua (also, Pawa). Paua, with Chinese name Hou Yabao, is a native of Lao-Na in the Fujian Province of China. At the age of18, he went to the Philippines with his uncle and became a blacksmith. He used and shared this skill when he joined the Katipunan. Yes, you read it right: Paua joined the Katipunan.

Katunayan, si Paua an solamenteng foreigner na nagpirma sa konstitusyon na ginibo sa Biak na Bato. Siya man an saro sa dayupot na pinagkatiwalaan ni Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo pag-abot sa kwarta asin sa mga special operations. Katunayan, si Paua an saro sa mga nagkakapirang sinugo ni Aguinaldo para gadanon si Andres Bonifacio.

Dahil sa urag ni Paua, ginibo siyang heneral — an solamenteng foreigner na heneral na nakipaglaban sa mga Kastila. He was also in-charged of collection of taxes and contributions for the operations of the revolutionary movement. And during that time, he was able to generate the highest collection so far for the revolution. The amount is P386,000 from the contributions of Chinese and the Bicolanos alone. And that was in the 1890’s.

Siguro dahil magagayon an mga Bicolana kaya nawili siya sa Bicol. Nag-estar siya sa Legazpi hanggang makahale an mga Kastila asin mag-abot an mga Amerikano. Mala ta an naagom niya, si Carolina Imperial na tugang ni Paciano Imperial. Si Paciano man an ama ni Carlos Imperial, an pinaka-primerong Bicolano na Associate Justice Kan Supreme Court, na tiyoon man kan bistadong kongresista sa Segundo Distrito kan Albay na si Carlos “Papay” Imperial.

Matapos an giyera, si Paua padagos na indaptar an pagiging Bicolano asin naging alkalde-mayor kan Manito, Albay sa laog nin nagkapirang taon. Siya nagadan kan May 24, 1926.

Kay Paua ipinangaran an saro sa mga barangay sa Legazpi, an Barangay Pawa, bilang pagrespeto sa saiya. Itinugdok man an sarong estatwa para sa saiya sa may gilid kan Rizal St., sa Albay District. Siya sarong intsik pero daing kurab na nagsabi sa saiyang mga aki asin agom na: I want to live long enough to see the independence of our beloved country and to behold the Filipino flag fly proudly and alone in our skies.”


6 thoughts on “Jose Ignacio Paua, Uragon

  1. Good read! I’ll be sharing this story to a Chinese friend of mine with whom I’m learning TCM for quite some time now. Chinese pay attention to details very much and I think here’s the key to their strength- and the reason why they can copy almost anything with such precision. One example is the Swiss-made Sig-Sauer pistol, high quality production and high- priced, naturally. Now the Chinese-copied Sig-Sauer pistol has conquered the market, in Switzerland it is gaining popularity among Swiss gun enthusiasts not only for being much cheaper but also for its good quality-and without problem one can use original Sig-Sauer spareparts for repairs or upgrade. So why buy the original?
    Following your story, I think Ignatio Paua succeeded in “copying” the Filipino to himself as his survival strategy in a foreign land. And it seemed that he did the copying so well that he even became better than the original!( So If someone needs to improve his wife, bring her to China. joke only!)
    Loyalty is no doubt a Chinese trait. Their dead relatives are never forgotten, in fact, they “worship” them (ancestor worship), a tradition started I think by Confucious.

    jun asuncion

  2. Loyalty is no doubt a Chinese trait. Their dead relatives are never forgotten, in fact, they “worship” them (ancestor worship)…

    Yes and there are a lot of literatures and even documentaries about this one.

    Besides, I haven’t read in Chinese history their version of the Filipino “makapili” or the version of our political butterflies and political party hoppers. Kung sabagay, saro lang kaya an political party sa mainland China. But even then, the fact that they are contented with one party is already commendable. Digdi kaya sa Pilipinas, kun dai lang mai-nominate an kandidato kan sarong partido, tulos na minalipat ini sa ibang partido o minabilog ki sadiri niya. Look at Fidel Ramos and his Lakas-NUCD. Or Gloria Arroyo and her Kampi.

  3. Wait, if the general was made by the Spanish officers as one of their own, does it not make him a collaborator? As you said, he was responsible for churning out big tax collections–collections that probably left many poor Filipinos hungry and impoverished at that time. As Mr. Carizo has raised, I am curious if there is a Chinese word for “makapili.” Of course, he did this to survive–which makes me doubt the wisdom of building a monument in his honor.

  4. kapangalan niya si ignas, isang intsik din na empleyado sa printing press dito sa ilagan, isabela.. kuya ni Agustin Pua. ninuno nila ang heneral 🙂

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