Economic Contributions of the Chinese Parian in the late 16th century Spanish Manila

Ansam Lee

Kas 195 Prof. Ma. Serena Diokno, PhD




Prior to the advent of Spanish colonization in Manila, the area and its surrounding towns had been actively trading with the Chinese. Chinese trade relations with the local natives had been good, and the archipelago, particularly Luzon area was naturally within the Chinese sphere of influence. Because of this deeply rooted Chinesenative relations as pronounced in cultural exchange like kinship ties, trade and commerce, it is apparent that the Chinese had a strong foothold in Manila prior to the Spanish colonization.

Then the Spanish came in around late in the sixteenth century and established a colonial outpost in the archipelago. Establishing a colonial settlement thousand of leagues from mother Spain was not an easy task. Colonial maintenance and survival of the colonists in an unknown and hostile territory was not an easy challenge for the Spanish “conquistadores”. Although in the Philippines, unlike in the Americas, the natives were relatively peaceful and accommodating. Starting up a colonial venture in the Philippines demanded a stable source of manpower and resources. The Spanish sailors and colonists from the colonial expedition could not fare with themselves alone, there must be another source of labor and much needed goods for the early settlement to survive. Obviously it was only later in the 17th century when the Spanish colonial



enterprise had been securely established, that the Spanish authorities could systematically tap the native Filipino workforce. Prior to that, they had to rely on Chinese goodwill and cooperation. From this circumstance of early Spanish colonial ventures in the archipelago, it is encouraging to look at on how did they succeed and how did the ethnic Chinese in Manila contributed to that. The researcher is particularly interested in the role of the Chinese trading centers or what is historically known as the parian, in sustaining the early Spanish colonial venture in Manila during the late 16th century.

1 In the dictionary..” However. it originated from China. San Buenaventura Vocabulario de la lengua Tagala.2 a brief discussion on the origins of the word parian was made. the town may have been originated from the Spanish concept of Chinese district as in the statement given by governor Corcuera on the Chinese. although no elaboration was made regarding how it originated from the source. Chinese scholars like Wu Ching-Hong and Shi Liang both denied that the                                                                                                                          Jose  Victor  Z.  1969).  2005).     2 Alberto  Santamaria. The author of the book Ciudad Murada.  “The  Chinese  Parian. On the other hand. a renowned writer-historian from the History Department in UP Diliman. In the article.  Alfonso  Felix  Jr. essayist and playwright. the name parian originated from Brunei.”  in  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines:  vol. Jose Victor Torres.  Torres.  7..   Manila:  Solidaridad  Publishing  House.  (Ermita. As for its Chinese origin.   4   INTRODUCTION What is a Parian? The name parian had many origins.1. in the compiled article by the author Alberto Santamaria.  67-­‐72. a writer by the name of Ortiz Armengol cited that the parian according to some.         1 . who is a historian. the word was used as “magpaparian” meaning “to go to the market”.  ed. who presently serves as a senior historical researcher in Intramuros Administration. Isagani Medina. Torres also cited that for Dr. claimed that the word parian was an old Tagalog word meaning “marketplace” that appeared in a 1619 dictionary. originated from Mexico while for others. saying “They live in a place which has been built for them near the walls of Manila called in their language the Parian.  Ciudad  Murada:  A  Walk  Through  Historic  Intramuros  (Quezon  City:  Vibal  Publishing  House   Inc. OP entitled The Chinese Parian.

which was Chien-nei.   5   parian was of Chinese origin.    Ibid.   5  Ibid. Edgar C. especially with the establishment of the Manila Acapulco trade.  68-­‐70.. also discussed the probability that the parian was of a Tagalog origin given that the word was mentioned by governor Vera in 1589.5 Additionally. He also added that parian. pronounced Pai-lin in Mandarin. For Shi Liang. Order of Preachers.  68.   . and by Father Zuñiga (1803). the parian had another name for the Chinese. Father Collins (1663).. Alberto Santamaria. referring to an area along Pasig River where the Chinese lived. Knowlton Jr. speculation on its Mexican origin was due to the frequent usage of the word parian in Mexico. At the same time Dr.  69. Both Chien-nei3 and Jiann-nei mean inner stream. Not to                                                                                                                         3 4 Ibid. pronounced in Mandarin. As regards to the word parian and its Mexican origin. a known historian-writer from the Catholic Church religious order. The word parian was also mentioned by Father Alonso Fernandez (1611). Pak-lam in Cantonese and Pa-lam in Fukinese had no Chinese meaning and was a word of modern origin. and Bishop Salazar in 1590. also mentioned the existence of the place Parian that was near Mexico in Guadalajara City. Similarly Wu Ching–Hong also mentioned that the Chinese once called the parian as Jiann-nei. Encyclopedia Espasa4 cited parian as a market that resembled the Oriental bazaar..

Later Spanish authorities and even historians such as Blair and Robertson would use the term interchangeably. the place for argument or bargaining was made. hence the word “palian” or “parian”. a certain bishop by the name of Domingo de Salazar reported that. In relation with the word alcaiceria. For instance. And to add the prefiix “pa” which means. the term parian was used in Mexican.6 Same explanations were also given on the relevance of its Tagalog origin.. or to go around the corner of the town to buy goods in a retail store.   . The word “diyan” or “dian” means just around the corner. the first explanation suggested that the word was based on “pali “ which means to argue and “an “ which means a place that could have been the origin. From the explanations above. “to go to” the word “dian” or “diyan” we derive the word “padiyan” or “parian”.” Which was deemed to be an indication of a Tagalog Origin.   6   mention a statement made by Bishop Salazar in 1586 “That the Indians call Parian.  71. “Don Gonçallo Ronquillo allotted them a                                                                                                                         6 7 Ibid.   Ibid. Etymologically. Hence the word parian became a common term to mean buying something in the market. or retail store. The servant would be asked to go to the market. the Tagalog origin of parian seems to have a stronger basis. that was a designated place for the Chinese silk.7 A second explanation seemed to be justified by the frequent usage of the word among servants during those times. Another explanation was based on the Tagalog word “diyan” or “dian”. Later. Chinese and other origins mentioned.

”  Blair  and  Robertson.  1493-­‐1898  (Cleveland.   13 Ibid.9 The interchange of term was understandable if we look at the meaning of alcaiceria.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila. although much larger and higher… This Parian was also destroyed by fire on account of the houses being built of reeds… This Parian was provided with doctors and apothecaries… The pond beautifies the Parian… “.  72. But coincidentally the silk-market or alcaiceria was located in the Parian.  223-­‐228.”8 The bishop repeatedly referred to the silk market and to the Chinese place as parian in his account.    Santamaria.   10 . “… The site adjoins the Parian of the Sangleys… they have built a Parian resembling the other. Alcaiceria comes from the Arabic word al-gaisariya. the term alcaiceria was termed as market and that the words alcaiceria and parian are often used interchangeably.  vol.   8   9 Ibid.  220.13 Seemingly enough.  07..   7   place to live in. the word Parian was termed as a name of a place frequented with Chinese and with a capital “P”.   12 Domingo  de  Salazar. and to be used as silk-market (which is called here Parian). to be used as silk market.  The  55-­‐volume   compilation  of  primary  sources  by  Blair  and  Robertson  shall  hereinafter  be  termed  as  “Blair  and  Robertson”. or just simply silk market. hence the interchange of the words.)  The   Philippine  Islands.  07. It also means a customs house where the silk merchandise was taxed11.  Clark  Company.12 which just as shown on how Don Gonzalo Ronquillo called the place allotted for the Chinese residence. as he continued.  220.  1904).                                                                                                                         Domingo  de  Salazar. from this interchange of usage. But in most cases.   11  Ibid.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila.”  Emma  Blair  and  James  Robertson  (comp.  Ohio:  The  Arthur  H.  vol. while silk-market or alcaiceria became a common term. which means a street with stores10 during the Spanish colonial period alcaiceria would mean district with stores that sell raw silks.

 1.   14   .14 Since interest on the part of the Chinese to establish trade relation among the natives were justified by the artifacts found in the archeological sites in the Philippines suggesting booming commercial ties within the region.  in  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines:  vol.                                                                                                                         Milagros  C. Inside those documents were intricate descriptions of the different topographical conditions of the Philippine archipelago as well as descriptions of the inhabitants and their life styles.  Hereinafter  this  source  shall  be   termed  as  “Guerrero.  (Ermita.  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines”. This can be attested through the documents Chu fan chi during the Sung Dynasty around 1225 and Tao i chi lueh during the Yuan Dynasty around 1350 written by Chao Ju Kua and Wang Ta Yuan respectively. Artifacts such as the porcelains.   Alfonso  Felix  Jr. Even the way the native inhabitants do their business with the Chinese merchants were also described.  Guerrero. there already existed a pre-colonial native Filipino and Chinese trade relations.   8   Pre-colonial Era Even before the term parian came to be its essence had long been there. The Ming Annals also made mention of Admiral Zheng Ho who was commissioned by Emperor Yung Lo (1402-1424) to establish Chinese suzerainty and trade relations among the native chiefs within Luzon area.  15-­‐16.  1969).  ed. Before the Spanish.“The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines  1570-­‐1770”.  Manila:  Solidaridad  Publishing  House.

 Schubert  S.  69. Additionally.  1964). As well as the princes who stayed to                                                                                                                         Dr.  “Philippine  Pre-­‐Historic  Contacts  with  Foreigners”  in  Chinese  Participation  in  Philippine   Culture  and  Economy.  Schubert  S.   16  Dr.  Dr.  1964).  Liao  (Manila:  University  of  the  East.15 Together with the trade relations.  “Chinese  Pottery  in  the  Philippines”  in  Chinese  Participation  in  Philippine  Culture  and   Economy. Archeological studies suggested that around 3rd to 8th centuries AD. there was evidence that suggests that there was a mutual recognition or relationship between the Chinese and the local natives. the unfortunate demise of the sultan was also narrated and the memorial tombstone erected in his honor.  C.  H.  96-­‐101.16 They seemed to have settled in those areas and intermarried with the local native Filipinos and hence passing on their practice and culture of carrying the bones of their deceased loved ones in a jar.  Liao  (Manila:  University  of  the  East. For example was the official visit of Sultan Paduka of Sulu to Emperor Yung Lo of China.  (Manila:  Kaisa  Para  sa  Kaunlaran.  ed..   9   jars and potteries that came from China even dated back around 9th to 10th century.  ed.  Foz.  Inc. “Volume 323 of Ming Annals had an extensive report on Sultan Paduka Batara of Sulu who paid tribute to Emperor Yung Lo of Beijing in 1417. According to Teresita Ang See.   17 Teresita    Ang    See.  03. a group of people known as the Hakka or the Burial Jar people coming from the Fukien province of China were one of the early wave of migrants.”17 Together with the official visit.  Otley  Bayer. during the late Tang Dynasty to as early as 12th century during the Sung Dynasty.  03.  2004).   15 .C.  Robert  B. there were also evidences which suggested cultural relationships that already existed through intermarriages or kinship between the Chinese and native Filipinos. They might have entered the Batanes-Babuyan region and spread through the eastern region of the Philippines even as far as the Celebes.  Dr.  Chinese  in  the  Philippines:  vol.

Also.  Inc. at first it was nothing more than a place for the Chinese merchants to reside and do their business trades. it became so phenomenal that parian became a                                                                                                                         Teresita    Ang    See  and  Go  Bon  Juan  (ed.   18 .)  Heritage:  A  Pictorial  History  of  the  Chinese  in  the  Philippines. Although in other work.   10   guard and care for the sultanʼs tombstone who later intermarried with the Chinese. Later on. Not to mention the convenience of tax collection from the proceeds of the parian as compared to the inconvenience of collecting tributes from segregated marketplace. and thereby enabling them to check Chinese activities.  15. And by so doing.18 Spanish Colonial Period The parian came to be with the establishment of the colonial Spanish settlement. Together with the colonial settlement was the establishment of the parian.. During the pre-colonial era. the Chinese merchants were free to trade with the native Filipinos and resided wherever they choose with permission of the local chiefs. the said event was contained in volume 325 of the Ming Annals. by congregating most of the scattered bargaining posts near the colonial settlement. the supplies needed by the settlement could be obtained at armʼs reach. Then came the Spanish colonization of the archipelago and with it the establishment of the colonial settlement. but the native chiefsʼ control.  1987). which were often not within the colonyʼs sphere of influence. the colonial authorities were able to implement their isolation policy over the Chinese merchants.  (Manila:  K   Kaisa  Para  sa  Kaunlaran.

    nd  Victor  Purcell.   20 Guerrero.   11   busy market place with stalls and stores in it.  1965). we could say that the Chinese were allotted a place known as the parian.  Graciano  L. but local products produced by Chinese parian as well. This was especially applied at the Manila parian. the parian according to Teodoro Locsin was a place where the Chinese were contained as part of the policy of segregation between Christian and non-Christian Chinese. where a section of the wall cannons of Intramuros were aimed at the parian. Then again the 1639 Chinese insurgency and the Chinese revolt on 1662. a misconstrued phantom of Koxinga invasion.       19   . Another example was the 1603 Chinese revolt. These are just a few of the examples of the ʻChinese disturbancesʼ. Also known as the Chinese ghetto.20 such Spanish fear of invasion that resulted again in the Chinese casualties. Which include products of finest quality made by craftsmen of Chinese parian.  164. which often included a surprise attack by pirates like that of Lim Ahong who left the settlement half destroyed..  32.  Wee  and  Lily  T. a cannon from the fort was situated facing directly upon the parian in case of a Chinese disturbance. In a more subtle sense. which was due to high taxes imposed upon the Chinese by the Spanish authority.  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines.  “Part  VII:  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines”  in  The  Chinese  in  Southeast  Asia. It resulted to a bloodbath that left thousand of Chinese in parian either dead or taken as prisoners.19 Not to mention of the Spanish distrust of the Chinese. and caused the death of one of the distinguished Spanish official Martin de Goiti.  England:   Oxford  University  Press. It was where the Chinese could                                                                                                                         Teodoro  Locsin.  eds. Offering not only Chinese products from abroad.  Chua  (Quezon  City:   Committee  on  Research  and  Publication).  2  ed.  494.  (Oxford.  “The  Chinese  Problem  –  a  Christian  Solution”  in  The  “Hua  Ch’iao”(Overseas  Chinese)  is  Never   Going  Home:  The  Emergence  of  the  Chinese  Filipinos.

trade relations between the Spanish colonial society and the Chinese merchants were lukewarm relationships. This was the case in Manila parian.  Amoroso.  Japan:  The  Centre  for  East  Asian   Cultural  Studies.   2005).  PhD  (Manila:  University  of  the  East. And at the same time the Spanish authorities could be able to watch over them and have ease in collecting taxes from the parian.   22 Gregorio  F. The Spaniards made such decision due to the immediate need for supplies and provisions.  The  Chinese  Community  in  the  Sixteenth  Century.  65.  Abinales  and  Donna  J. as well as convenience in procuring necessary items and supplies. Chinese merchants served as an                                                                                                                         Patricio  N.22 At the same time. In the early parts of the Spanish colonial settlement.21 Generally.  in  Chinese  Participation  to  Philippine   Culture  and  Economy.   12   freely do their business as well as their trades as craftsmen.  “Contribution  of  the  Aliens  to  the  Philippine  Economy”.  Inc. not to mention services that the Chinese could offer the colonial settlement.  152.C.  ed.  119.  Liao.  (Tokyo.  1968).23 And with the introduction of the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.  Shubert  S. every colonial settlement a Chinese parian was established within or close to its proximity.     23 Chen  Ching-­‐Ho.  1964).  State  and  Society  in  the  Philippines  (Pasig  City:  Anvil  Publishing. And to add up to that.    Zaide. Merchandise brought in by the Chinese traders were bought and then sold by the Spaniards to the Americas that made Spanish trades profitable..   21   . was that the colonial authorities could be able to watch over the Chinese activities and easily mobilize colonial troops in case of unwanted incidence. the colonial government could be assured of the easy book keeping and collection of taxes.

”  Blair  and  Robertson.    Guerrero.  vol.  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines. And profits from the Chinese trade transactions were used to supply the demand of the colonial society for its economic ventures.  The  Philippines:  A  Past  Revisited  vol.  1975). and others. masons. as ascertained by Fray Ramon Prat and Bishop Domingo de Salazar26.  07. as well as different kinds of skilled services that they offered the colonial settlement.  225   25 24 .  27. then                                                                                                                         Renato  Constantino. by 1603 the 3% was raised to 6% tariffs for the imported goods.   26  Ibid. eventually the products they offered extended from produce from China to local produce made by them. The Chinese in the parian were economic contributors to the colonial society by transforming the parian into an economic center of the colonial settlement. These came from the 3% tariffs on imported goods which was first mandated by governor Gonzalo Ronquillo.  221. The Chinese were one of the major contributors to the colonial treasury through the taxes they paid. Not only upon the services the Chinese provided but also on the merchandises they brought into the colonial society which were widely accepted.  59.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila. They were self-sufficient and did not need Spanish assistance. such as bakers.24 The Manila Acapulco trade was apparently dependent upon the Chinese. carpenters.   13   adjunct by providing the Spaniards with the luxury items they required. Often such craftsmanship was at par with the quality in China and Spain and at a cheaper cost.25 Although many of the Chinese were traders at first.1  (Manila:  Twentieth  Printing. tailors. the five reales collected from the Chinese as annual tribute.      Domingo  de  Salazar.

such as building of infrastructure. laws were enacted in support of the interest of the colonial government.  “Laws  Regarding  the  Sangleys. the stall rentals in parian.   14   the two reales for temporary residency or temporarily be permitted to stay. and leave them only the worst.  09.C.”  Blair  and  Robertson.  151-­‐153.   28 King  Felipe  II.  Schubert  S.  Liao  “How  the  Chinese  Lived  in  the  Philippines  from  1570  to  1898”. These acts came upon the kingʼs knowledge when King Felipe II stated.27 these are just to mention a few..  C.  vol.  1964). both in permitting the guards stationed by my royal officials on their vessels to take bribes… and in the conduct of those who register the vessels. These revenues collected were used to fund the colonial expenses.  Liao  (Manila:  University  of  the  East.  vol. and the taxes and tributes from the Chinese.  Dr.  in  Chinese  Participation  in   Philippine  Culture  and  Economy.  Schubert  S. One example was shown in the letter sent                                                                                                                         Dr. With the ensuing transactions made between the colonial society and the Chinese.  ed. but also to ensure that fair and just treatment were given to the Chinese traders.”  Blair  and  Robertson.   29 King  Felipe  II. “I have been informed that wrongs are inflicted on the heathen Chinese Indians who go to trade with the said islands. who seize and take from them the best merchandise.  “Instructions  to  Tello.28 These laws protecting the Chinese traders from ill treatment or molestations were enacted due to the misgivings of the colonial authorities responsible.  24.  252. laws and decrees as well as ordinances were promulgated to protect not only the interest of the colonial society.”29 On the other hand. These laws included the three percent anchorage fee collected from merchants upon docking at the port.  22.   27 .

Some of these include the ordinance against the use and production of counterfeit coins or money. because most native Filipinos patronizing the Chinese ready made silk cloth.  vol.   271. informing the king that he increased the import duty to sustain the building of the fort and wall infrastructure. coconuts. This was said so. cows.35 And other local natives would rather go the easy way.   15   by governor Dasmariñas to Felipe II. bananas.  10.   33 Audencia  of  Manila.  “Ordinances  Enacted  by  the  Audiencia  of  Manila:  Ordinances  and  Laws  for  the  Sangleys.  “Ordinances  Enacted  by  the  Audencia  of  Manila. seldom go back to their old ways of weaving their own clothes just as they did during the pre-Spanish time. wines.  vol.  78.”   Blair  and  Robertson. fowls.. swine.”  Blair  and  Robertson. rice. This anti huckster act was made due to the increase of prices of certain commodities.33 Meanwhile prohibition of native Filipinos from wearing Chinese silk clothes 34 or silk skirts was made because as Spanish authorities claimed that wearing ready to wear silk clothes made the native Filipinos indolent.”  Blair  and  Robertson.     35 Gomez  Perez  Dasmariñas.  296.  57.31 the ordinance against the selling of stolen goods or what is presently known as the anti fencing law.   08.30 On the other hand.       31 Audiencia  of    Manila.  11.  08.  vol. by serving their Spanish masters and use their wages to procure for the ready made silk                                                                                                                         Gomez  Perez  Dasmariñas.   08.“Ordinance  Forbidding  the  Indians  to  Wear  Chinese  Stuffs.”  Blair  and  Robertson.”  Blair  and  Robertson.. stringent laws were made to allegedly protect the colonial society and the interest of its inhabitants.  57-­‐58.   34  Gomez  Perez  Dasmariñas.“Ordinance  Forbidding  the  Indians  to  Wear  Chinese  Stuffs.  91.   30 .  vol.  “Three  Letters  from  Governor  Dasmariñas  to  Felipe  II.     32 Ibid.  vol.32A decree was also made against huckster or retailer of certain products such as eggs.

36 On the other hand.   16   they needed. This decree stated.. they alone and no others – whether of Nueva España. Considering that. and took precautions that they be well treated. Another decree regarding commerce was made in favor of the colonyʼs inhabitants. wherever Spaniards are to be found. wherein the residents were given the trade rights with China for a period of six years.”37 These were just to mention a few of the laws enacted.”  Blair  and  Robertson. or any other part of the Indias – may trade in China.  263-­‐264. for the present. and export. there will always be unruly ones.   37 King  Felipe  II. for the time and space of six years. This was prompted by the grievances of Chinese merchants ascertained by Bishop Domingo de Salazar in his letter to King Felipe II.  07.  “Royal  Decree  Regulating  Commerce  in  the  Philippines.  vol. Apparently in fear of silver going out of the colonial treasury went to the Chinese coffers. In so far as the Chinese traders and the parian were concerned.” …that the citizens of the said islands alone be allowed to buy and export to the said Nueva España domestic and foreign products… I grant that. or sell to the said Nueva España the merchandise and articles thus traded for in both the kingdoms and in the said islands. take. the colonial government made it a point to assure them that fair treatment will be given to the Chinese and that all measures acted upon them and their merchandise shall be carried out with gentleness.  81.                                                                                                                         36  Ibid. some Spaniards claimed that too much patronage of the Chinese silk products would make them dependent upon the Chinese for their basic clothing. for in that way they would become attached to our religion – as I was aware this was your Majestyʼs desire.   . “… I soon cast my eyes upon them.

”38 At the same time an assurance was given that justice will be given to all those who molested them with their merchandise and properties..  Manila:  Solidaridad  Publishing  House.  517. this system is a safeguard made by the colony to isolate and contain Chinese merchants within the vicinity of their merchant ships. Such as the pancada system. forgetting the good examples they ought to give these infidels.      Guerrero.  ed. IX and X issued by King Felipe II. not to mention Chinese merchants losing themselves around the parian area39 and thereby becoming an illegal immigrant.  p.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila.  Alfonso  Felix  Jr.  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines.  “The  Political  Background.”  The  Chinese  in  the  Philippines:  vol.     . I took care to have their grievances removed so as to give them freedom to attend to their mercantile interests. However according to the author Benito Legarda Jr. These provisions were stipulated in Laws III.”  Blair  and  Robertson. thus avoiding any possible contact with the colonyʼs native inhabitants and possible business transactions with them. and to sell their goods.  07. Law IX was issued as a reminder to Chinese traders who frequently come to the colony to trade that certain procedures should be followed.. these merchandises were sold at a fixed price to merchants in the settlement.   Milagros  C.   (Ermita.  vol. ill-treat them at times. reproaching those who maltreated them.  1969). the system gives the merchants in the colony equal chances to procure the merchandises for them to sell.  3. it was due to the problems encountered during the bargaining of imported Chinese goods that the                                                                                                                         38 39 Domingo  de  Salazar.24.  02.  Guerrero.  220-­‐221. whereby deputized Spanish officials set the price of the merchandises brought in by the Chinese traders and at the same time. In actuality. And depending on the amount of their investment.   17   who. I began on this account to protect and to assist the Chinese.    Purcell.

This law was served as a notification to avoid misunderstandings between the Chinese traders and the colonial officials. In connection with Law IX41. This resulted into a dilemma. and that prices shall be set on the luxury and fine product items only..  “The  Galleon  Trade”  in  After  the  Galleons. whereby the representatives of the colonial merchants negotiate with the Chinese importers for a fixed price of each cargo of goods being sold. This law was decreed in connection with the bishopʼs imposition of the prohibition to Christian Chinese from going back to China.   .  34-­‐35. this law or Law X was enacted to inform the governor general that measures must be taken against injuries and harm as well as molestations done on the Chinese traders and their merchandises and properties. the seizing of prime quality products of the officials upon registration of the merchandise and the setting of these items at a low price wherein profits were deemed impossible.  Legarda  Jr.   18   pancada system was proposed. With the Law III enacted.   1999).  (Quezon  City:  Ateneo  de  Manila  University  Press. the governor general was                                                                                                                         Benito  J.42 Such molestations and injuries often took the form of bribes forcibly taken from the traders.    Ibid.  517. since this law involved the church and the state. Added to that was the forcible taking of the light masts from the Chinese ships just to be traded with the heavy cumbersome ones that resulted to most shipwrecks.40 The procedure in implementing this system will be done justly and without injury on the Chinese traders. Law III was truly a unique one.     40   41 42  Purcell. which became one of the governorʼs concerns since the prohibition hindered the conversion of other Chinese into the Catholic fold.

and by eighteenth century. the bishop and the clergy. they were said to be occupying the status of social elites of the colonial society. with each of their own distinct culture. who were alleged by the governor general as those who profited from the Manila Acapulco Trade vis-à-vis cheap high quality                                                                                                                         43 44  Renato  Constantino.  The  Chinese  Community  in  the  Sixteenth  Century. especially in the early parts of the colonial settlement.  1968).   19   tasked to see to it that the Christian Chinese will be given due consideration upon the application of their travel permit and that upon approval. The mestizos were a distinct race of their own.  (Tokyo.  01  of  02.  117-­‐119. the native Filipinos (Indios) and finally the Chinese in parian. the society was organized into class – race. During the late sixteenth century. together with their continuous economic trade with the colony and its residents.  59.   . the mestizos were formed.  1975).   Chen  Ching-­‐Ho. the fee for the permit shall be waived. The Spanish.  The  Philippines:  A  Past  Revisited:  vol.  (Manila:  Twentieth  Printing. the governor general Perez Dasmariñas drafted a list he submitted to King Felipe II. by trading with the Spanish authorities and church clergies. a product of inter marriages between the Chinese and Spanish or between Chinese and native Filipinos. stating lists of cargoes or shipment including names of the consignees. members of the Audiencia. The mestizos occupy a distinct social class order in the colonial society.44 Names included were that of some government officials.  Japan:  The  Centre  for  East  Asian   Cultural  Studies. The Chinese parian allegedly tried to permeate itself into the system of the colonial society. and by supplying their needs.43 And as the Chinese tried to assimilate into the society. At one point.

the regulating agencies had done a “closed eye” inspection or “hands off” procedure upon the importation and exportation of the merchandises. the drawbridge of the Parian gate was lowered and the city residents marched in exodus into the Chinese marketplace. 1590.   46 45 . In it. “The Parian so adorned the city that I do not hesitate to affirm to your majesty that no other known city in España or in these regions possesses anything so well worth seeing at this.  Quirino.45 With the list names of the silent partners..  119. He cited the letter of the Bishop Domingo de Salazar to the king and also his description of the daily activities in the parian as bases for his claim.  “The  Parian.  (July  1955):  43.”  The  Pacific  Review. All economic activities revolve almost around the parian which was also seconded by the author Jose A. by favoring the Chinese merchants.   20   supplies from Chinese merchants.”46 Allegedly what the bishop was commenting was the ingenuity of the Chinese by transforming a marshy place allotted to them into a bustling elegant city adorned with stone structures that are equal to cities of the known European world during that time.   Jose  A. Here were sold all kinds of goods which came from China and which were manufactured locally by the Sangleys (Chinese). he related to the king his amazement in his observation of the parian. Here too. he stated.  Hereinafter  this  source  shall  be  termed  as   “Quirino. Jose Quirino wrote “ In the daytime. Meanwhile in describing the daily activities in parian. Quirino who did mention that the parian was the “economic nerve center” of the country or the colony.  The  Parian”. In a letter of Bishop Salazar dated June 24. were silken ware and porcelain. Chinese bakers sold the best bread made from the wheat and fine flour they brought from their native country. fans… By 9 pm. curfew                                                                                                                         Ibid.

  21   started.   48 47 . but it has proven itself as an important economic sector of the colonial society as well as supplier of different kinds of merchandises that the colonial society badly needed. embroidered goods and silken wares. artisans and others. Not to mention the chance to amaze the local residents of the beauty of the ambience in the Parian.49 and the multitude of items and services the Chinese had to offer. The Spaniards bartered Castilian goods for Chinese confectioneries.  (March  15. forts. the Chinese. Aside from the merchandises.  The  Parian. drugs and porcelain.  1964):  54. fans. that the Chinese contributed much in the daily activities of the residents in the colonial society.”48 It seems from the description.”  Sunday  Times   Magazine. masons.   Jose  A. as well as luxury items.  Note:  hereinafter  the  source  shall  be  termed  as  “Quirino. Not only was the parian self sufficient. especially skilled craftsmen like the carpenters. these also includes the fine quality silks being offered in abundance.  Parian  1581”. The drawbridge by this time had been raised and all the Parian customers were within the cityʼs wall.  Quirino.  46.”47 Again the author reiterated such description by stating “… when the drawbridge of the Parian was lowered. one particular site was the pond. Even the cannons which are among the necessities of the colonyʼs defense were sold at a cheaper price. Almost all kinds of merchandise were being sold in the parian at a lower cost.  The  Parian.   49  Quirino. hundreds of the city residents marched in exodus into the Chinese marketplace.  43.  “The  Parian  Circa  1581:  The  First  Chinese  Settlement  in  the  Philippines. by providing them with the needed supplies or goods. hospitals and most especially the                                                                                                                         Quirino. also contributed to the building of churches. The Filipinos traded native goods.

basic commodities as food and shoes commonly supplied by the parian were hard to come by.   Diaz-­‐Trechuelo. To illustrate this point.  228.  183.     Lourdes  Diaz-­‐Trechuelo.   53 Ibid. who believed that the Chinese were vital suppliers of the colonial society. was convinced of the importance of the goods and services supplied by the Chinese in the parian and cautioned the colonial government that the Chinese in the parian be treated well.  153.  “The  Role  of  the  Chinese  in  the  Philippine  Domestic  Economy:  1570-­‐1770”.  Alfonso  Felix  Jr. For the native Filipinos and the Spaniards.  in  The  Chinese   in  the  Philippines:  vol.   22   building of stone houses.  1.  (Ermita.  ed. a Spanish missionary by the name of Fr.  Manila:  Solidaridad  Publishing  House.  “Early  Eyewitness  Accounts:  A.  153.  Alfonso  Felix  Jr. after the massacre of Chinese on 1603.   .  ed. all economic activities of the colonial society revolved around the parian itself.   54  Ibid.  1966)..  07. as well as craftsmanship had become not only an important part but also had made a deep impact in the minds of the colonial society.”    Blair  and  Robertson.  179.     50 51 50 Zaide. as they were an important factor for the survival of the colony.  01.52 It would seem clearly that not only Spaniards but also native Filipinos were dependent upon the Chinese in the parian for their needed supplies.  vol.   52 Zaide.  153.       Domingo  de  Salazar.  Contributions.51 Dr. Morga. they served as important middlemen                                                                                                                          Bishop  Domingo  de  Salazar.  Role  of  Chinese  in  Philippine  Economy”.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila..    127. Hernando de los Rios Coronel.  (Ermita.  1966).  153-­‐154.  Manila:  Solidaridad  Publishing  House. through their cheap labor and materials.  Contributions.50 Generally. personally witnessed this.  Hereinafter   this  source  shall  be  termed  as  “Diaz-­‐Trechuelo.53 Even prior to the 1603 incident.54 The Chinese parian with all its trade.  Role  of  Chinese  in  Philippine  Economy.  Bishop  Salazar’s  Report  to  the  King”  in    The  Chinese   in  the  Philippines:  vol.

  23   or intermediaries between Spaniards and the local native Filipinos by trading or by buying provisions and items from one party to sell to the other. masons. It happens that many soldiers get food this way all through the year.55 Even their innovative ways of credit system.    Domingo  de  Salazar. and the bakers never fail to provide them with all the bread they need. such was the case of the bookbinder and his apprentice. Not only skillful.”. They had food stalls that bake bread and foodstuffs that were allegedly frequented by native Filipinos and Spanish officials alike.”56                                                                                                                         55 56  Domingo  de  Salazar.  80. that the Spaniards saw a potential workforce on them.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila. comparable to that of the natives. their mentors would no sooner be running out of their business.  “The  Chinese  and  the  Parian  at  Manila.”  Blair  and  Robertson. Even Chinese apprentice were able to surpass their mentors that when they opened shops.  227.   . They were also great and skillful artisans whom both Jesuit Ramon Prat and Bishop Domingo Salazar agreed that the Chinese were best in their fields of craftsmanship. they give him credit and mark it on a tally. they are also excellent workers. “… they make good bread and sell it at low cost… They are so accommodating that when one has no money to pay for the bread.  vol. Examples of these were carpenters. Their affordable Chinese silk clothes were at one time highly demanded by the native Filipinos that it almost threatened the influx of silver to the colonial treasury. and others whose workmanships were at par and sometimes even better than those found in China and Spain. as was the case of the Chinese bakers in Parian. which was very popular among colonial officials to compensate their short allowances.  07.

it was through the collection of these taxes from the Chinese parian that the colonial society were able to subsist itself.   24   Chinese parian was able to produce a particular consciousness during the late sixteenth century. Such consciousness began when the colonial authorities inevitably depended upon the Chinese merchants and the parian for their needs. at the top of the economy as well as social hierarchy. This consciousness made them realize that they were an important aspect on the development of the colonial economy as well as an important contributor to the economic ventures of the colonial government. producing a vacuum in the local economic structure of the colony. With the backing of their capital and the privilege to enter Spanish schools. The Chinese mestizos had proven themselves a class of their own. By eighteenth century this consciousness had pervasively made its way into the socio-cultural aspect of the colonial society.   . Together with the                                                                                                                         57  Constantino. it became evident of the colonial authoritiesʼ concerns over the outflow of silver and into the coffers of the Chinese parian. And with the application of stringent laws and increase in taxes. realizing that they would gain less profit from native Filipinosʼ local agricultural economy which were being practiced during pre-Spanish times.57 Meanwhile the Chinese in the parian took this opportunity to fill the vacuum in the local economic structure by providing the needed supplies and services at a cheaper cost.  59. Yet. This led to low encouragement or little effort in permitting local agriculture. they started to become well-accomplished citizens of the colonial society. And in time they shall prove to be indispensable members of the society.

59                                                                                                                         58 59 Legarda  Jr. which was a product of Chinese labors as well as the proliferation of Chinese-inspired craftsmanship and works of arts. the Chinese merchants were able to bring in supplies that were needed by the colony. which had already been in existent even before the Spanish colonial era.. After the British invasion.  55.   Quirino. Through the sampan trade. Hence an increase in influx of the sampan trade which was so successful that Chinese traders not only profited from it but it also attracted the attention of other European states. This economic condition developed a consciousness unique among the Chinese parian and inevitably extended within the colonial society. the parian came to an end with the lifting of isolation policy and an introduction of the policy of attraction by the colonial authorities. the Chinese merchants acted as consignee by bringing in products from their homeland. Much gain was made between the colony and the Chinese through the sampan and the galleon trade with the Parian as commercial complex.58 With the introduction of the galleons. it was not until the eighteenth century that it made itself evident. The Chinese parian had made its mark in the economic sector of the colonial society during the late sixteenth century.   . were the rise of infrastructures such as the Binondo Church founded in 1596. While the socio-cultural aspect may have started to make itself felt during the seventeenth century.  37.   25   emergence of the Chinese mestizos.  Parian  1581. Along with it were the different goods and services offered by the Chinese at a cheaper cost.

the parian became not only just a source of supply. to transform from a backwater marshland into a bustling economic district of the colony that was a center of business trade of the colonial society. And through associations with the colonial inhabitants. a definite Chinese-mestizo culture was introduced into the colonial societyʼs way of life. but rather. to come in contact and mingle with the local residents (Spaniards and native Filipinos) of the colony. the Chinese parian. the parian was able to sustain itself as well as contribute to the colonial authorities through taxes paid. most of the imports and exports of the colony passed through the Parian. it can never be denied that its economic contributions as previously discussed. Through inter-marriages. Similar to the present-day Singapore and Hong Kong. the Chinese mestizos were introduced and were themselves important individuals who made their mark into the higher social order of the society. made it possible for the parian (especially the Manila Parian).   26   Thereby allowing the Chinese. Through hard work and ingenuity. The parian also became one of the supply sources of the colony. Although the parian had already ceased to exist. Being self-sufficient. It gave opportunity for the Chinese to advance their social positions through acquaintances with Spanish authorities as well as intermarriage with the local residents. most especially the reputable ones. An example of which were cuisine of Chinese origin that had been accepted as well as adjusted to suit the taste of the Filipino people. had helped sustain the needs of the colonial society. the parian                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 . And by the time the Spaniards had firmly established themselves. especially during the colonyʼs infant stage.

we can even sample a taste of Chinese foods at a low cost. Just like during the late sixteenth century. Roaming around Chinatown at the Street of Ongpin. the Manila parian may no longer be existed. Hence. which includes the Divisoria Mall. especially their “suki”. In Retrospect Today. they supply us with cheap and affordable items and materials that are just right to fit our tight budget. And the products they market ranges from the original ones to China-made and local-made that are sometimes at par with the . are reflection of the area of Binondo four hundred years ago. especially Manila. but the nostalgic feeling of how it once existed was still there. 168 and Meisic Mall that had stalls that sells different kinds of items. But in exchange. as well as experience retail stores that give credit to their clients. into a bustling commercial city district. These retail stores in Chinatown sell a wide variety of services and products at low cost. The hustle bustle economic activities going around at Divisoria.   27   became an important business district that most business transactions revolve. from school supplies to kitchen wares. what was left was the shadow past of what was once a flourishing district. the influx of Chinese residents in Parian had transformed the once forbidden Intramuros. A larger version of what was once Parian. The parian came to an end with the lifting of the isolation policy by the Spanish authorities.

as well as giving of donations for the renovation and building structures of public institutions. Through their growing social consciousness. This is especially true on auto parts as well as electronic and computer gadgets.   28   original brands but at a cheaper price. that it can be showcased to the world as not only as a tourist spot. and organizing of medical missions through business clubs and other organizations. The Chinese. through their social awareness. became more proactive by assisting local governments and doing charity works. Examples of which was the formation of Chinese volunteer fire brigade. the scholarship grants given by some Chinese philanthropists like Lucio Tan. . Chinatown district is said to be one of the major contributors to the city of Manila through tax returns. would perhaps someday not only just be a passive contributor. And in relation to economic contributions. the Chinese living in Chinatown. but an active partner of the local government of Manila. but one of Manilaʼs pride. and someday transform the already bustling district into something even more.

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