Long-abandoned son discovers his Taiwanese family

A MAN from Taiwan, left stranded in Spain by his sailor father 38 years ago, will, after all this time, be reunited with his family before the new year.

His father abandoned the 17-year-old after a quarrel and sailed away, leaving him ashore in Spain. The dad’s later efforts to find him and take him home proved futile, because the youngster moved away, in an apparent bid to make sure he couldn’t be found.

Having lost all contact with his family, it wasn’t until 2016 that his chance encounter with a Taiwanese sailor sparked the events that would lead to a family reunion.

The unnamed man’s sister, in the Taiwan town of Taitung, received a message telling her that her brother was alive and well, living 12,000km away in Lanzarote.

The sister, surname Chen, explained that their father made his fateful decision in 1981, and one he later regretted.

He even returned to Spain on several occasions in search of his son, but was unable to track him down. And, sadly, he has since died.

His family home was then destroyed by fire, and with it all documentation related to the son, which had been retained.

Not only that, but the family moved away and their phone number changed, making it impossible for the son to contact them.

Then, three years ago, the son bumped into a Taiwanese sailor. The son spoke fluent Spanish but rudimentary Mandarin, so they communicated through a translation App.

He asked the sailor to find his family, tell them that he was alive and pass on his address.

All the sailor had to go on was the former family address and old phone number. Yet he managed to track down Chen and pass on the message, although a reunion could not be arranged immediately because the son had no personal documentation, passport or ID. To make matters worse, what had existed was destroyed in the fire.

The sister went to the Taiwan immigration office to see if the relevant documents could be obtained to help her brother be reunited with his family. Immigration officer Peter Chen, not a relative, evidently, who is now representing the Taiwan People’s Party in elections in Taitung, has helped get the documents in order.

The son, who has his own family in Arrecife, where he works as a restaurant’s head chef, is now preparing to arrive in Taiwan by the end of the year.


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Posted by on Dec 20 2019. Filed under World News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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