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Thread: Spanish Colonial Caste System3300 days old

  1. #371
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    About the Philippine (Mestizo de Sangley or Those Mix Indio-Chinese or Filipino Chinese)

    The Spanish Conquistadores landed in Las Islas de Filipinas which they named in honor of Philip II of Spain. But the Spanish colonization of the Philippines required an alien workforce which resulted in the influx of Chinese immigrants to the islands. Almost immediately, mutual suspicion and animosity arose between the Spanish authorities and the sangleys. Dependent upon the Chinese for their economic role as traders and artisans but fearful of sangley revolts, the Spanish authorities enacted policies designed to restrict their occupation, residence and movement, ultimately confining them to a place called the Parían near Intramuros. Distrustful of the sangleys, the Spaniards decided to interbreed a new race who would become loyal subjects of the Spanish Crown and faithful adherents to the Catholic Faith. To this end, the Spaniards succeeded in converting many of the sangleys to Catholicism, encouraged them to intermarry with the indios, and to adopt Spanish surnames and customs. In many cases, their Chinese names were Hispanized by concatenation, examples: Lacson, Biazon, Tuazon, Ongpin, Yuchengco, Quebengco, Cojuangco, Cukingnan, Yupangco, Tanbengco, Tanjuatco, Locsin, Tetangco, etc. Some adopted Spanish or indo surnames, examples: Lopez, Palanca, Paterno, Rizal, Laurel, Osmeña, etc.


    The Spaniards used the legal classification of the different races for the purpose of administration and taxation in the islands. Each person's legal status was based on ethnic origin which was printed on the cedula or tax certificate. The blancos (Spaniards and Spanish mestizos) paid no tax; the indios paid a base tax; the mestizos de sangley paid twice the indio rate, and the sangleys paid four times as much. In addition to paying higher taxes, the sangleys were confined to the Parían, within sight of the cannons installed in the walled city of Intramuros, where the Spaniards lived. The Spaniards also restricted their movement and occupation, and disallowed them from owning land or engaging in agriculture. As a result, most of the sangleys worked as skilled artisans or petty traders, serving the white Spaniards living in Intramuros. Aside from shopkeeping, the sangleys earned their livelihood as carpenters, tailors, cobblers, locksmiths, masons, metalsmiths, weavers, bakers, carvers and other skilled craftsmen. As metalsmiths, they helped in building the Spanish Galleons in shipyards located in Cavite. And as masons, they also helped in building Intramuros including the numerous structures therein. The poor indios were conscripted by forced labor to build the Churches and Galleons, working alongside sangley artisans.

    The mestizos de sangley were given special rights and privileges as colonial subjects of the Spanish Crown and as baptized converts to the Catholic Church. The Spanish authorities distrusted the unconverted sangleys and preferred the mestizos de sangley to handle the domestic trade of the islands. In addition to handling the wholesale and retail trades, the mestizos de sangley were given the privilege of leasing land from the friar estates through the inquilino system. As inquilinos or lessees, they turned around and sublet those lands to indio tenant farmers. Later on, they were able to acquire indio lands for themselves, chiefly through a legal instrument called pacto de retro or contract of retrocession. In this scheme, the mestizo de sangley moneylender extended loans to indio farmers. In exchange for cash, the indio farmer pawns his land with the option of buying it back. In the event of default, the moneylender then recovers the loan by foreclosing the land from the farmer. Unable to pay back the loan due to excessive litigation initiated by the money lender, many indio farmers lost their lands to the mestizos de sangley in this manner.


    Unlike the Spanish-ruled colonies in the Americas where the medieval institution of encomiendas and later haciendas allowed white Spanish settlers to become feudal lords overseeing large masses of indio serfs, the Spanish authorities discouraged such practices in the Philippines. Instead, the white Spanish settlers secluded themselves in the walled city of Intramuros with a few friars or soldiers living in the countryside. With neither mines nor plantations, the Spanish colonists lived off the foreign trade of the islands consisting mainly of the Spanish Galleon Trade [1565-1815] which tied China to Europe via Mexico. Acting as a transshipment port, Manila attracted Chinese traders from Xiamen (Amoy) who would arrive in armed ships called Chinese Junks to trade with the Spaniards. Chinese luxury goods such as silk, porcelain and furniture were exchanged for silver from Mexican and Peruvian mines, and shipped twice a year to Acapulco, Mexico from Manila and thence to Spain via Veracruz, Mexico. As the Spanish Galleons carried mostly Chinese luxury goods destined for Europe, they were called náo de China (Chinese Ship) by the Mexicans. The Spanish Galleon Trade was mainly a business affair involving Spanish officials in Manila, Mexico and Spain, and Chinese traders from Xiamen. Neither products originating from the islands nor domestic traders resident therein took part in the highly lucrative Spanish Galleon Trade. So profitable in fact the Mexican silver became the unofficial currently of Southern China with an estimated one-third of silver mined from the Americas flowing into China during that period. The Spanish Galleons also carried indio slaves from the Philippines who escaped and settled in Louisiana and Mexico. They were called Manilamen by the Americans and los indios Chinos by the Mexicans.

    The residents of the islands were racially segregated as follows:
    Place Residents
    Intramuros Blancos or whites
    Parían Sangleys
    Binondo Catholic Sangleys, Mestizos de Sangley
    Islands Indios

    The Parían was founded in 1581 as the official marketplace and designated residence for the unconverted sangleys. Circumventing a royal decree outlawing the sangleys, Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas created Binondo in 1594 for both the Catholic sangleys and mestizos de sangley with a land grant given to them in perpetuity with their own self-governing guild called Gremio de Mestizos de Binondo. To protect themselves from unwanted indios, the walled city of Intramuros was planned in 1573 and completed in 1606 to serve as the seat of power for the Spanish Empire in the Far East. For their own safety and security, only the whites (which included the Spanish mestizos) were allowed to reside in the heavily-fortified walled city of Intramuros where they lived in relative isolation from the rest of the population of the islands. The sangleys were allowed entry to the walled city during the day but were expected to return to the Parían by night, in close proximity to the cannons installed in Intramuros which was used against them during the numerous anti-Chinese massacres. Moreover, they were restricted from leaving the confines of certain areas of Manila and were not allowed to venture into the countryside. The sangleys who converted to Catholicism were allowed to reside in Binondo together with their mixed-race offspring, the mestizos de sangley. The father of San Lorenzo Ruiz and the paternal ancestor of Jose Rizal were precisely such Catholic sangleys. This racial determinism extended to their chino mestizo descendants who were legally classified as mestizo de sangley. In contrast, the español mestizos were legally classified as blanco or white together with the español filipinos, both of whom lived in the whites-only Intramuros.

    Aside from racial segregation, the Spaniards decided to assimilate the sangleys into the Hispanic culture and Catholic religion of the white Conquistadores. They also interbred the Catholic sangleys with indio women to create a new race called mestizo de sangley. This policy was designed to turn the mixed-race descendants of the converted sangleys into eternally loyal subjects of the Spanish Crown who could then serve as the middleman between the Spaniards and the indios. The Spaniards also decided to limit the number of resident sangleys to around 6,000. Confined to the Parían, the sangleys acted primarily as court servants to the whites living in Intramuros.

    Adopting policies similar to the Spanish Inquisition, the Spanish authorities succeeded in diminishing the Chinese element in their Christian colony by making the essential distinction between Catholic and non-Catholic sangleys. The Catholic sangleys were allowed to intermarry with indio women unlike the unconverted sangleys who were not. Also, the Catholic sangleys were allowed to reside in Binondo and anywhere in the islands unlike the unconverted sangleys who were confined to the Parían. Lastly, during the bloody massacres and numerous expulsions conducted by the Spaniards, the unconverted sangleys were targeted while the converted sangleys were spared. During the 17th century, the Spaniards carried out four Great Massacres and Expulsions against the unconverted sangleys in response to real or imagined fears of an imminent invasion from China, at the time still the richest and most powerful nation in the world. In the bloody aftermath, many sangleys converted to Catholicism, adopted Hispanized names, and intermarried with indio women. Beginning 1600, the first generation of mestizos de sangley had formed a small community of several hundred in Binondo, among whom was San Lorenzo Ruiz who would later become the First Filipino Saint. After the Parían was finally abolished in 1790, sangleys were now allowed to settle in Binondo. The population of mestizos de sangley grew rapidly over the years as more Chinese male immigrants arrived, converted to Catholicism, settled in Binondo and intermarried with indio women. As there were no legal restrictions on the movement of the mestizos de sangley, their population eventually spread to Tondo, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite, Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Capiz, etc. These policies had the effect of effacing the Chinese element from their mixed-race descendants who would later develop a strong antipathy towards their own sangley origins. The number of unconverted sangleys dropped from a high of 25,000 prior to the First Great Massacre of 1603.

    From their very inception, the mestizos de sangley were socialized into becoming loyal subjects of the Spanish Crown and faithful followers of the Catholic Church. Born to a sangley father and an indio mother, San Lorenzo Ruiz belonged to the first generation of mestizos de sangley who resided in Binondo. Faithful to the very end to his Catholic faith, he died from torture in Nagasaki, Japan and would later become the First Filipino Saint. Calling themselves "True Sons of Spain", the mestizos de sangley tended to side with the white Spanish Conquistadores during the numerous indio revolts against brutal Spanish rule. Jose Rizal, a fifth-generation mestizo de sangley, belonged to a group of wealthy, Spanish-educated Filipinos called Illustrados who advocated reforms in the administration of the colony, integration as a province of Spain and representation in the Spanish Cortes. After being exiled to Dapitan, Jose Rizal enlisted in the Spanish Army as a medical doctor in Cuba, and then chose to disown the Katipunan Revolution led by indios calling themselves Anak ng Bayan ("Sons of the Nation") as it broke out. Loyal to the Spanish Crown to the very end, he wrote to Ferdinand Blumentritt in his last letter: "I am innocent of the crime of rebellion..." He died by firing squad and would later become the National Hero of the Philippines.

    From the 18th century onwards until the latter half of the 19th century, Spanish authorities came to depend upon the mestizos de sangley as the racial bourgeoisie in the colonial economy. From their original birthplace of Binondo, the mestizos de sangley spread to Central Luzon, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros and Cavite to handle the domestic trades of the islands. From trading, they branched out into landleasing, moneylending and later landholding. With wealth came the ability to afford an elite education at the best schools in the islands and later in Europe. By the early 1820s, Spain had lost almost all its colonies in the Americas after criollo-led revolutions in Mexico, Central and South America. Many of the peninsulares from the newly-independent colonies fled to Puerto Rico which was granted the status of a Spanish Province with representation in the Spanish Cortes following the promulgation of the Cádiz Constitution of 1812. Along the same lines, the Illustrados campaigned for the Philippines to be turned into a Spanish Province with representation in the Spanish Cortes. As colonial subjects, they also sought Spanish Citizenship for Philippine-born Filipinos, and thus legal equality with Spanish-born Spaniards in the Philippines. Towards the end of Spanish rule in the 19th century, they appropriated the identity of the native-born, pure-blooded whites or español filipinos and began calling themselves Filipinos.

    http://filipinocultured.blogspot.com...stizos-de.html

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    How many Mestizos are there left in the Philippines????

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    I have a question for you. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the caste system?
    Filipinos don't realize that victory is the child of struggle, that joy blossoms from suffering, and redemption is a product of sacrifice-Jose Rizal
    The youth is the hope of our future.-Jose Rizal

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