Businessman, Reformist And Nationalist
Telesforo Chuidian was a Chinese-Filipino. He was the only son of the four
children of Jose Chuy Dian and Silveria Chuaquico. The three other children were Roberta, Raymunda, and Candelaria.
His father was a native Chinese who
came to the
Jose Chuy Dian, who later changes his
name to “Chuidian,” had bought a store from a Basque in Escolta, Then the
business center in
Telesforo Chuidian was born on
At 22, he was already an established and affluent businessman. He later formed with Mariano Buenaventura a limited partnership. Their firm, Chuidian, Buenaventura Y Cia, granted crop loans. It thrived in the coffee business in Lipa and the sugar business in Balayan, both in Batangas.
Chuidian also engaged in the real estate
business. He had large stockholdings in San Miguel Brewery. He acquired sugar
estate in Batangas. He developed a liking for Arabian horses to the point of
joining the Manila Jockey Club. He became prominent not just in the Chinese
community but also in the
Dr. Laureano Viado, The famed Filipiniana collector, noted having seen Chuidian growing his fingernails. In the Chinese culture, this was a symbol of high social position.
Chuidian was active in the reform
movement of the 1890’s. Like countless Filipino patriots at the time, he, too,
was a Mason. He was also a part of Liga
filipina, which was succeeded by the Cuerpo de Compromisarios when Rizal was banished to
Dapitan. The Cuerpo was composed of
aristocrats and intellectuals who thought that needed reforms could be obtained
peacefully. Together with Roxas, de la Rama, Yangco, Legarda, and Genato,
Chuidian supported La Solidaridad,
The mouthpiece of the Propaganda Movement in
In 1895, Chuidian was the recipient of
the Caballero de la Real Orden de Isabel la Catolica award from the
Spanish government, for his civic and financial contributions. In 1896, the
authorities had him arrested and hauled to
In the six months he was incarcerated, Chuidian contracted tuberculosis. It is believed that his wife, Juana, gained his release with a bayong full of jewels as bribe to Spanish officials.
became the first president of the exclusive Club Filipino in 1898, the same
year that Emilio Aguinaldo appointed him to represent the
During the forced occupation of the
country by the
In 1901, he sailed to
Chuidian was rumored to have fathered 19 children, but only 11, by three women, could be accounted for. Their mothers were Juana Urbano, a Dutch-Spanish mestiza, Dolores Cerrudo, a Spanish mestiza, and Sofia Lopez, a niece of Jose Rizal.
According to General Jose Alejandrino, he was prototype of Capitan Tiago in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, judging from the description of the house owned by that fictionized character in the said novel.
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