My Incredible Life Journey
JKL, In his very own words, September 14, 2015
Although I am still healthy when this FAREWELL LETTER was written, sad thoughts had arisen from the chamber of my heart, it does not mean that I love my very own life, but because I am about to depart forever from my dearest family... Except the Christians believe in eternal life, who else may escape from the birth, maturity, sickness and death? Therefore, it is advisable to live in an optimistic, enthusiastic, active and positive life, neither fear nor anxiety may cause us at the point of death. Accept it as a fact peacefully, this must be the correct concept of life.
My birth place is 福建省晉江市金井炳洲引后份 (Jinjiang City). We may trace our ancestry 子喬公(Son of Joe public)-the eldest son of 周靈王 (Zhou Ling Wang) King of Chow Dynasty at Tai Guan City, Shansi Province. The 49th generation 審知公(Trial Public) became the King of Fookien Province in Foochow...The first generation of our village was branched out from 宏敦村(Hong Dun village). The 11th generation 我輔公,12th generation 兆瑞公, 13th generation 嘉斌公, 14th generation 維朱公, 15th generation 毓嬾公, 16th generation 章見公, 17th generation 華糖公, 18th generation 國巧公, 19th generation 尚檀 -Antonio Lima. I am the 20th generation, our children will be the 21st generation of our village.
I was born 8 o'clock A.M. on August 22nd, 1928, or the 17th year of Republic of China, the 8th day of 7th month of Chinese calendar. My oldest Sister Wong Sook Sun is older than me by 17 years, a widow since her young age. Next to her was brother Engtoon who passed away during his childhood. So did my adopted brother Fernando Oscaris who passed away at the good age in the Philippines. My pure brother Ong Eng Suan who was a victim of the bomb during Japanese invasion on board of an interisland vessel Corridor on Dec. 17, 1941, at 12:00 midnight, and, five younger sisters in the Philippines. I had spent my childhood life in the village, while my brothers and father were all abroad. It was a disaster on June 10, 1944, that resulted in the death of my mother, I then went to join my sister Wong Sook Sun.
On June 21, 1948, I went to the Philippines as a temporary visitor after the death of my father on January 26 of the same year. Thereafter, a lonely, hopeless, homeless poor boy wandering from place to place. Fortunately, I exercised self-control as to protect my own future. I was invited as a Chinese school teacher in Surigao on 1954, and married my co-teacher Juana de Jesus on May 8, 1955 - her father originated from the Canton Province. It was with the help of a fifth-degree cousin Ong Tin Chiong in the amount of two thousand pesos and started our business on 1958. Although we had paid our debts to him accordingly, but, we can never forget such generous help and repay him more conscientiously. Especially during his illness, we have to the extent to him extra help, this is but human nature.
In 1965 we were forced to transfer to Davao City due to the business situation, where I had suffered and started again in an extremely difficult way of life. With a little achievement in 1972. I was respected as the head of the family, everything under my control. I had to concentrate on its development. I was nominated as DATU (title for chiefs, sovereign princes, and monarchs) by the Mindanao minority on 1974. Then established Datu Complex, Inc. on 1976, and was running for the position of District Governor of Lions International on 1978. Since then, I had entrusted the whole business to Walden. I was elected as Governor as above mentioned in 1979 and had oath taking in Montreal, Canada on May 17 of the same year, then tour Canada and America. In the past years, I had visited the nations in Southeast Asia such as Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, India. In the European countries I visit England, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Liechtenstein, Vatican, Monaco, Austria. Japan and Korea in the Far East. I traveled to Mexico and about 30 states of United States of America. I also traveled to Australia and New Zealand those at the south, the tour of South Africa in 1996, the Holy Land Tour on 1997, that included Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and Greece five nations, (the book of Holy Land Tour was published in the same year.) and, of course, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao, Panama Canal and Caribbean countries...
By 1980, I was promoted again by the Basilan tribes as the Honorary Sultan of Basilan. The first branch of Datu Complex, Inc. in Koronadal, South Cotabato was established immediately after serving the term as Governor. The second branch was established at General Santos City. In May 1981 we opened Lima Department Store. The third branch of Datu Complex, Inc. was established in Agdao on 1983. I went to Hong Kong to avoid the disorder of Marcos regime on 1985, wandering between America and Hong Kong, it is a pity to have many plans but failed... The glory of Datu Complex, Inc. is due to the endeavors contributed by my wife, Juana and my children. Being the Founder, it is shameful to note that I did not shoulder the full responsibility! Most especially, Datu was eliminated by the giants in the absence of my personal management, that became the greatest regret in my whole life.
The names of all our children had very good meaning if in the Chinese characters, they are more on encouragement for self-control and struggle for good virtue. During my young age. I have been struggling in life, yet I have contributed a lot to the betterment of the community and the nation as well, most especially, the education of my children. Usually, there are three characters in a Chinese name, first stands for the family name, second for generation not middle name, third for the first name, the second character of all names of my children supposed to be 芳 (FONG), but I name them 維 (WEI), in fact, it is a repetition of our 14th generation ancestor 維朱 (WEICHU), it is similar to the practice of the other people who name their children after the name of their forefather as Junior for it is being known to the people. (List of the characters in Chinese those stand for different generation).
I was baptized on November 11th, 1950, and became a Christian. Since 1983 when I was residing in Hong Kong, I attended services at the Fujian SanYi Fellowship; and I have been a devout student of the Bible for 25 years since then, which is one-third of my lifetime, a considerably long time! I have written and edited Bible-related works in the form of study aids, including but not limited to the New and Old Testament which totals 890 pages, materials which are similar to mentoring with illustrations, translation of the characters and places from Chinese to English, bits of pieces, the essence and the gist of the Bible. Last but not least, the concise introduction and the Qs and As a section of the Bible, and all the characters in the New and Old Testament. These materials have been used during our fellowship gatherings and Sunday School Bible studies.
In the USA, I reside in Arcadia, California, and I became an active member of the United Methodist Church. I first came to join the Good Shepherd UMC at the Holly Avenue, Arcadia and now with Faith UMC in Temple City. Our pastor, Matthew Chong is a very kind and faithful servant of God, so are my fellow members of the church.
JKL, September 21, 2014, Arcadia, California