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Racial caste system during the Spanish times

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1. CHINO CRISTIANO — Christianized full-blooded Chinese. Example: Co Yu Hwan (許玉寰), the ancestor of President Benigno Simeón “Noynoy” Aquino III and the rest of the Cojuangco clan. He changed his name to José when he was baptized.

2. ESPAÑOL INSULAR — Full-blooded Spaniard born in Filipinas. Also known as “Filipino”. Best example is Luis Rodríguez Varela of Tondo Manila, the first man to use the term FILIPINO. He even called himself “El Conde Filipino“.

3. ESPAÑOL PENINSULAR — Full-blooded Spaniard born in Spain. Example: Governor General Ramón Blanco and Miguel Morayta.

4. INDIO — Full-blooded native (Austronesian). Examples: Cali Pulaco (popularly known as “Lapu-Lapu”) and Apolinario Mabini.

5. MESTIZO ESPAÑOL — Half Spaniard, half native. Also known as “criollo”. Example: Fr. Pedro Peláez, one of the first priests who supported secularization (he died when the Manila Cathedral collapsed upon him during the devastating earthquake of 1863).

6. MESTIZO SANGLEY — Half Chinese, half native. Example: Jaime Cardinal Sin.

7. MESTIZO TERCIADO — Part Chinese, part native, part Spanish. Also known as “tornatrás”. Best examples are Dr. José Rizal and Fr. José Burgos.

8. NEGRITO — Aeta.

*The term “racial caste system” here has nothing to do nor is related with that of the one in India. Racism in Filipinas was almost non-existent during the Spanish times. Racial caste system was just used here for lack of a better/familiar term.

6 responses »

  1. Pingback: The arrogance of some Spaniards | FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

  2. And am I right that Sangleys are full-bloodied Chinese?


  3. ¡Gracias por compartir, Pepe! Ese artículo fue muy informativo (bueno, casi todas las cosas que escribes en tu blog son.)

    I have been browsing through your blog since late 2009 (around the time “Ondoy” struck), but it is only now that I felt compelled to make a comment. I am a fan of your writing style, quite delightful and informative. Though there are some views that I find that I don’t share with you (but let’s not dwell on those; after all, we can agree to disagree); we, for the most part, share the same sentiments.

    It was a delight seeing you and Yeyette being interviewed on CNN PH on Holy Wednesday, I believe you were having youngest child baptized in the Latin rites. In a time when most things are “disposable”, seeing both of you together made me realize that our generation hasn’t yet gone to the dogs.

    ¡Gracias por compartir tus pensamientos, y es posible que usted y su familia tener un gran fin de semana por delante!


    • Thank you! By the way, just a word of caution regarding the title of this blog: my use of the term “caste system” is totally unrelated to that of India which was totally racist. Technically, our country never had a caste system. I simply used “caste system” for lack of a better or more understandable term (a Spaniard, upon reading this blogpost, suggested that I should have used “denomination”, but he suggested it quite rudely, so I just ignored him). Best regards.


  4. Pingback: Racial classification during the Spanish times | EL FILIPINISMO

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