BRIAN CANAVE WRITES – What happens when an 18-year-old Taiwanese-Brazilian boy, who was the focus of a custody battle between his parents’ families, returns to Taiwan after nearly a decade? Essentially what you’d expect. The local media latched on to his return, covering it with the same intensity as his childhood custody case.

According to a Focus Taiwan News Channel article, Iruan Ergui Wu returned to Taiwan for a two week visit. Throughout his trip, the media followed him just like old times during the “lengthy court battle, the police enforced execution of the court order, and the frightened looking boy’s departure from the airport.” While in Taiwan, Wu Yi-hua, Iruan Wu’s Chinese name, was reunited with his Taiwanese family and some elementary school classmates. He also participated in church activities and was warmly accepted wherever he went.

Iruan Ergui Wu (left).

Iruan Ergui Wu (left) posing for media.

His visit was sponsored by the Taiwan Catholic Mission Foundation. Iruan Wu is said to return to Brazil with special souvenirs his uncle packed for him. When he was 8 years old, he was with his father in Taiwan for two weeks until his father died, which sparked the custody battle between his father’s family and his mother’s family from Brazil. The strenuous battle ended in Wu being sent to Brazil to be looked after by his maternal grandmother.

In an editorial for the China Post, Father Daniel J. Bauer reflected on the media’s shameless following of Iruan Wu’s activities. Even the reverencing of his father’s ashes became another photo opportunity for the media. Instead, Bauer hoped the media could highlight the more important issues surrounding Taiwanese-Brazilian children who often have absent fathers. Taiwanese fisherman, surprisingly, have a history of fathering children in Brazil, deserting them, and returning to Taiwan.

It looks like the return for Iruan Wu was just another opportunity for the media to craze over, especially with his movie star looks.