The JV Dream


I’ve raked through the China Dream several times, and looked back at the European and American Dreams that preceded it. Raised for 20 years in the Philippines of meta-brain Europe, I am privy to the wisdom of Madrid, Munich, London, Prague and Istanbul, inherited from the nomadic shepherds of the Levant and the Vikings that left their marks in the wilderness of the new world even before Columbus was even a gleam in his parents’ eyes. Their dream flowered with the empires, leaving colonies all over the globe.

Then the financial tentacles of Uncle Sam emerged as a happy consequence of its industry during the two world wars. It was a source of abundant materials and affordable armaments in the conflict. It built a network of political and military alliances that made it preeminent in world economics and politics, notably in the access and processing of fossil fuel that met the energy requirements of the industry. Unfortunately, the American Dream ceded its moral high ground to the greed of its rapacious corporations that controlled economic globalization.

The American Dream found favor in the Philippines among the corporate giants that allowed them to be handmaidens to Western presence while retaining the innate traits of its Sino-Indo-Malay heritage. The Sino influence is considerable. Nine of the current top 10 billionaires are Chinoys (my term) with one pedigreed Española. I mention them here with at least one source of their wealth: Henry Sy of the SMs, Lucio Tan of brewery and tobacco, Andrew Tan of Megaworld, Enrique Razon, Jr. of transportation and ports, John Gokongwei of the Robinson’s malls, David Consunji in construction and mining, George Ty of banking and Toyota, Tony Tan Caktiong of fast foods, Robert Coyiuto Jr. of insurance and power generation, and Andrew Gotianun of Filinvest and Pacific Sugar Holdings.

A ranking Canadian official was once caught ad-libbing in an open mike on his views of new Chinese immigrants. To him, they were nothing but moneymakers without ethics and morals given an “atheistic” background. Obviously not a fair characterization, but it points to the fact that Chinese wealth and industry pose a strong challenge to the preeminence of the U.K.-U.S. axis of financial services and industrial innovations across the globe. The ascent of China’s economy plays into those of Sino-descent in many countries around the world, not the least of which is in resurgent Philippines, only a stone’s throw from investors in Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo, and its colonial ties to Madrid and NYC.

This reflection is, however, focused on an individual’s dream, moi. A few days after hitting my 69 (solar) and 70 (lunar) years, I delved into my personal destiny once more, and related that to a vision of the world and the planet I inhabit. For current issues of privacy, I will refrain from mentioning names, but it should be made clear that a personal vision involves individual personal lives.

I am writing in the next seven years. Let me rephrase that. I will be managing and utilizing English words as a means to describe my sense experiences (see, smell, taste, hear, and touch), express my feelings (loves and hates), articulate my ideas (height, depth, and breath of intelligence in dialogue with others), and formulate my time-and-space located behavior (practical intentions and strategic plans).

As has been repeated often enough, this exercise is not to make readers know this writer more as it is to invite others to engage in similar exercises, to meditate and contemplate on their own journey and see if they can also use words to narrate it. Obviously, photos communicate better, but I am suggesting one year, one page for bio-profiles, and one page, one theme for focused recollections.

While writing, I will be teaching mostly kids who want to get familiar with speaking English. I have titled my pedagogy as oral englisCHe to accent the peculiar thought patterns of the Putunghua as the beginning point and launching pad of discourse. Students are pushed to describe their sense experiences, beginning with identifying parts of their bodies, describing their functions, and reminiscing experiences.

Doing this in China goes along with our conviction that the China Dream vis-à-vis the American and European one, as articulated by the current Beijing Politburo, particularly President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang, is democratic, egalitarian, and equitably global. These three words reflect my vision of the planetary society I intend to inhabit as it impinges on my immediate environment in Daoyi, Shenyang in Liaoning, China.

The three words—democratic, egalitarian and global—sufficiently describe my personal behavior, my relationship to individuals I come in contact with, and my accountability of the established community structures where I live, including nation-states and the network of groups operating with a global context in the planet—a dream embodied in this person-specific flesh.

Jaime R. Vergara | Special to the Saipan Tribune
Jaime Vergara previously taught at SVES in the CNMI. A peripatetic pedagogue, he last taught in China but makes Honolulu, Shenyang, and Saipan home. He can be reached at

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