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Mindanao State University

General Santos City

History Department

Philippines Under Spain

(A Written Report)

A Requirement in History 103

Social History

Presented to:

Prof. Karen Mae B. Casiple

Presented by:

Ani, Ros Meminda

Lo, John Aris

Macondan, Karen Joy

Tuti, Sagerah

Villa, Joanne Mae

Villaganas, Danica

Magellans voyage to the West Indies fired the ambition of many Spaniards for
similar expeditions of discovery and conquest. The Spanish monarchs themselves were
anxious to expand their empire and to protect their claimed domains in the East from
their rivals, the Portuguese. They were equally interested in bringing back to Mexico
and Spain the Gold and Spices thought to be abundant in the Isles of the West. When
King Philip of Spain decided to finance an expedition to the East Indies, both his
concern with the rivalry with the Spain and Portugal were evident in his instruction.

Although each European power practiced mercantilism uniquely, historians have

been able to discern its most defining features:

1) Centralization of state power. From the early to mid-16th century to the late
18th century, European states began to assume increasing responsibility in the
administration of their societies. This centralizing tendency was accelerated by
the fact that modern nations were forming. In Spain, for example, the three
kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Navarre gradually united to form Hispania. This
centralizing tendency had implications for the expansion of colonial rule: to fund
their growth and military engagements within Europe, European states began the
trend of colonial acquisition.

2) Tariffs and taxation. Emerging European nations, believing that wealth was
limited and thus wanting to obtain as much of it as possible, sought to use their
overseas colonies as sources of revenue. Europeans shaped their colonies
economies with the guiding belief that agriculture was the basis of wealth. While
agricultural enterprises in colonies were run privately, the majority of the labor in
the expanding empires was concentrated in agriculture and natural resource
acquisition. As a result, European nations funded their growth by taxing the trade
in raw materials extracted from their colonies. To obtain wealth for themselves
and to prevent foreigners from obtaining wealth, nations also imposed tariffs on
their colonies overall trade. Because European nations saw wealth also in terms
of precious metals such as gold and silver, so they established extensive
networks to trade goods for these metals. As private trade flourished in these
networks (often under the auspices of state chartered companies), the European
nations intervened and collected taxes.

3) Royally chartered companies. Notable examples include the British East India
Company or Dutch East India Company. Chartered companies had trade

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monopolies, granted by the crown, in areas such as slave trading or the
transportation of certain goods. As we shall see in our analysis, the traditional
components of mercantilism fail to adequately characterize the Spanish

Spain at the time of conquest was at the mercantilist stage of capitalist

development, although Spanish society still exhibited strong survivals of feudal values
and forms. Mercantilism emphasized immediate extraction of wealth - for trading
purposes - rather than long range development of natural resources.

Philippines has no rich hoards of gold's and silver ready to hand and the
Spaniards who came to the Philippines had neither the inclination nor the technical
know-how to develop the natural potential of the islands so they made theyre fortunes
by extracting what they could from the marginal economy of the native population. This
gave birth to the formation of the encomienda system.


Spanish conquest eventually wrought fundamental changes in the lives of the

native population. The Spaniards introduced new customs and a new religion. They
brought over new practices and institutions from their earlier colonial experiences in
Latin America. And when they choose to retain certain indigenous social institutions to
serve colonial ends, the use of these institutions for purposes alien to native society
transformed them in a profound way.

Implantation of Christianity

The religious friars were therefore mandated to spread the gospel not only in the
islands but also in all other lands were Christianity was unknown, meaning, all those
lands in the Far East. This is the only land in Asia dominating the Christian population,
this should not be surprising because other lands were already practicing a higher
religion like Buddhism, and were therefore not receptive to another high religion,
whereas in the archipelago, a primitive animistic religion prevailed.

The Christianization of the Philippines resulted in the Hispanization of the

archipelagoat least the part of it came under the colonial rule of Spain.
Christianization, not only brought with it the Christian religion, all its beliefs and

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practices, values and attitudes but also the culture and civilization of the people who
brought Christianity to the country.

The friars utilized the novel sights, sounds, and even, smell of Christian rites and
ritualscolorful and pompous procession, songs, candle lights, saints dressed in
elaborate gold and silver costumes during the May festival of Flores de Mayo or the
sanatcruzan. The sinakulo (passion play), the moro-moro (Christian versus Muslim
conflict drama and other attractions included medals, scapulars, cords and rosaries.

Upon baptism, Filipinos were given Christian names usually derived from the
feast day of the saint when he was born or baptized, which facilitated identification and
recording of population for tax collecting purposes.

The precolonial barangay changed externally and internally.

External changes

Construction of colonial churches and convents made of stones, some of them

appearing like solid fortresses.

Building of private homes of cal y canto (lime and mortar) protected either by
roofs of tiles or galvanized iron sheets and provided with a wide azotea and water

Internal changes

The integration of Spanish customs and values, Christianity, and the Castilian
language which blended with the local culture, constituted as internal changes.

Social Changes (Political)

Spain established one central government in the Philippines. Many independent

barangays of our ancestors disappeared. One government alone ruled most of
the country.
Since Spain was far from the country, the Spanish king ruled the Islands through
the viceroy of Mexico, which was then another Spanish colony
When Mexico regained its freedom in1821, the Spanish king ruled the Philippines
through a Governor General.
Spain established a centralized colonial government in the Philippines that was
Local government that administered provinces, cities, towns and municipalities.

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National government maintained peace and order, collected taxes, built schools
and other public works.
The Governor General was the Kings representative and the highest-ranking
official in the Philippines. Royal decrees and laws emanating from Spain were
implemented in the Philippines.
The Governor General
supervised all government offices and the collection of taxes,
exercised certain legislative powers,
Issues proclamations to facilitate the implementation of laws,
Had the power to appoint and dismiss public officials, except those
personally chosen by the King.
Must be a peninsulares or a Spaniard born in spain
The Governor General and other government officials had so much power that it
was commonly abused. To investigate the abuses, there were bodies created:
The Residencia, the Visita, the Royal Audencia.

Social Changes (Economic)

Encomienda System

This serves as the instrument of pacification and of personal enrichment during

the early part of the conquest. It was a feudal institution used in Spain during the
Reconquista to reward the deserving generals and conquerors. The crown delegated to
the earliest encomenderos the power to collect tribute and use the personal services of
the inhabitants of their encomiendas.


Definite number of inhabitants of a territory was entrusted to the care of an

encomendero then this serves as a payment for his care. It was levied on all Filipinos
from 19-60 years old with the exception of encumbent gobernadorcillos and cabezas
and their families, government employees, soldier with distinguish service, descendants
of Lakandula and few other native chieftains, choir members, sacritanes, and porters of
the churches.

Forced Labor

In addition to the tribute men between the ages of 16 and 60 except chieftains
and their eldest sons were required to serve for 40 days each year in the labor pool or
polo. This was instituted in 1580 and reduces to 15 days per year only in 1884.
Regulations on the polo provided for a payment of 1 real a day plus rice to each pulista.
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It consisted of the assignment of annual quotas to each province for the

compulsory sale of products to the government. It required native Filipino farmers to sell
their goods to the government. The farmers were not in favor of this system and were
not even offered fair market prices for their crops.

Military Conscription

Spaniards never had a large military contingent in the Philippines then they have
to be back up by locally recruited forces. The recruitment was facilitated by the lack off
national consciousness each locality regarded itself as separate and apart from others
so that invariably the Spaniards were able to use troops from one regions to put down
revolts in other regions.

Social Structure

There were five principal social classes in this era:


Creoles/Insulares and
Spanish Mestizos

Chinese Mestizos


At the top of the social pyramid were the peninsulares, Spaniards who came from
Spain and who were given the choice positions in the government. Next in line were the
creoles or insulares, Spaniards born in the Philippines who considered themselves sons
of the country. They were the original Filipinos. Together with them, we may place the
Spanish meztizos who tried to ape their creole brothers and regarded themselves as the
social superiors of their brown brothers. Then, the Chinese mestizos who occupied a
higher position than the natives. At the bottom of the social pyramid were the natives.

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Changes in Education

The schools focused on the Christian Doctrines.

Privileged only to Spaniards
The friars controlled the educational system during the Spanish times.
The missionaries took charge in teaching, controlling and maintaining the rules
and regulations imposed to the students.
There was a separate school for boys and girls.
The wealthy Filipinos or the Ilustrados were accommodated in the schools. The
Filipinos were only able to enter the school in the late 19th century.
The first established schools were exclusive for the boys. Augustinians built the
first school in the Philippines situated in Cebu in 1565.
The first college school for the boys was the Colegio de San Ignacio which was
established by the Jesuits in Manila in 1589. They also established the Colegio
de San Idelfonso in Cebu in 1595. In 1601, Colegio de San Jose was
established. In 1589, the Escuela Pia was entrusted by the government to the
The University of Santo Tomas opened in 1611 by the Dominicans. The San Juan
de Letran for the orphaned boys, in 1630.
Colegio de Santa Potenciana was the first school and college for girls. This was
opened in 1589. Colegio de Santa Isabel opened in 1632. The religious
congregations also established schools for the girls called beaterio.
Spanish friars and missionaries educated the natives through religion with the
aim of converting indigenous populations to the Catholic faith. They friars were
effective in evangelizing the Catholic religion to the Filipinos.
One major failure of the educational system of the religious congregations was
the withholding of the Filipinos to learn other bodies of knowledge.
Several educated Filipinos referred to as ilustrados began movements directed
towards change in the system of government in the Philippines.

Monastic Supremacy

The Spanish empire deemed to be in the service of both Majesties: God and
the King. This concept was the basis for the union of the Church and State into
one structure.
The governor-general had power over the church.
The friars, on the other hand, played a very important role in the government.

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The Archbishop was only the most powerful in the church. However, it seemed
that the church exercised more power than the government and because of this;
the government in the Philippines was called Frailocracia, a government
controlled by the friars.


The most fundamental aspect of Philippine history is the history of struggles of its
people for freedom and the better life. But because the colonial rule was established at
an early stage the people social development and was maintained with but a short
period up to the twentieth century the peoples rebellion were for the most part negative
response to colonial oppression rather than positive movements for the attainment of
national goals.

Early offenses

The intrusion of the Spaniards into the self-sufficient societies who was bound to
produce attempts by areas to supply the shipyards of Cavite, Bohol and Visayas. This
new exaction which separated families and took the men to far-away places for long
periods of time cause the presentment. This decree required one month per village,
then all villages now had a common grievance.


The first resistance and gendered by forced labour occurred in Samar, its, leader
Sumuroy, was ordered his father who was a babaylan to kill a priest in the convent, this
happened on June 1, 1649. All the people marched to the convent, sent the other priest
away and sacked and burned the church.

On Curpos Christi day, all the people marched to the convent, sent the other
priests away, and sacked and burned the church. They took the church vestments and
cut these up into drawers and turbans for themselves.

The most significant aspect of this revolt was the spontaneity with which the
other coastal villages of Samar initiated their own actions and joined the rebellion.

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Tricky Dabao

The uprising in Northern Mindanao which was led by a Manobo chieftain named
Dabao is worth nothing. The revolt was caused by controversial decree to send
carpenters to the Cavite shipyard. Dabao was a cunning fighter with a bagful of tricks.

Opportunities for the Chiefs

The nativistic revolts which involved entire communities without regard to social
strata later gave way to struggle in which chiefs took advantage of mass unrest to
advance to their own interests. This development became noticeable by the middle of
the seventeenth century in the more economically advanced provinces. By this time, the
chiefs had already begun to enhance their economic status by taking advantage of the
opportunities open to them as minor officials in the colonial administrative structure.

Although the chiefs had definitely become participants in the exploitative process,
the people continued to follow their chiefs, though sometimes grudgingly. The period of
intense exploitation was also the period of accelerated consolidation of principalia

New Stage in Native Resistance

Their growing wealth and new awareness of their own prestige and influence
nurtured in some of the chiefs ambitions of seizing power for themselves outside of the
colonial framework. The middle of 17th century thus marks a new stage in the pattern of
native resistance.

The Maniago Revolt

The provinces were reeling under the exactions of forced labor of shipbuilding,
bandalas, and other duties and services. Being one of the traditional suppliers of goods
and services, Pampanga was particularly hard hit.

The harassed Pampangueos also had to contend with military conscription. The
Spaniards had come to rely on the fighting powers of the Pampangos and used them
extensively to quell revolts in other provinces. The Dutch-Spaniards was intensified

Laras Maneuvers

Governor de Lara began his maneuvers with a show of force. With three hundred
men he went to Macabebe, a rich and populous town in Pampanga. People there were

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getting ready to join the rebels but on seeing the well-armed Spaniards, they became
frightened and friendliness, which pretense was returned in full by Lara. This show
mutual cordiality caused other rebels to waver and distrust one another so that in Apalit,
they took away the despatches given to a certain Agustin Pamintuan for delivery to
Pangasinan and Ilocos for fear that said Pamintuan might betray them to the Spaniards.

Change of Heart

When the rebels sent an envoy to Macapagal to secure his support, he had
envoy the killed. Macapagal, now a loyal defender of His Majesty interests, went back to
Arayat to organize a force tha would prevent the rebels from using route should they be
forced to seek refuge in Pangasinan. Macapagals defection discouraged the other
chiefs. Furthermore, they became envious when they learned of the preferential
treatment bestowed on Macapagals family.

The Non-revolt

The Pampanga revolt was really a non-revolt. There were no deaths, no

churches were ravaged, no villages burned. But, significantly, an account of this revolt
mentions threats of disobedience to their chiefs. One may surmise that disapproval
was registered by the people at the obvious sell-out by their leaders.

Middlemen of Power

The class composition of Pampanga society is evident in this revolt. The native
forms of dependence based on kinship ties had already been transformed into
exploitative relations. The chiefs had become middlemen of power. Here we see them
maneuvering between the people and the Spaniards.

Pampango Collaboration

It is not difficult to see why the clearest example of a popular resistance to

foreign rule undermined the elite duplicity occurred in Pampanga. By the middle of the
17th century, the Pampangos had already had a long story of cooperation with the
colonizers. As early as 1587 or barely 20 years after Legazpis arrival, the Tondo chiefs
who were planning to expel the Spaniards had tried to enlist the aid of the Pampanga
chieftains. The latter refused to cooperate, stating that they were friendly with the

For all the foregoing reasons, it is not surprising that after the abortive revolt
which followed the famine of 1583, no other rebellion occurred in that province for
almost eighty years. Instead, we find thousands of Pampangos helping to quell the

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Sangley rebellion of 1603 and 1639-40. And after the Maniago revolt of 1660, there was
to be no other uprising in this province under the Spaniars.

Malong- New Ambitions

Andres Malong of Pangasinan was like Maniago, a maestre de campo. At the

start of his rebellion, just after his followers had sacked the rich village of Bagnotan and
killed the alcalde-mayor of Lingayen, he proclaimed himself king of Pangasinan and
made his aide, Pedro Gumapos, a count. He then sent letters to all the chiefs of the
provinces of Ilocos and Cagayan demanding their allegiance and asking them to kill all
the Spaniards in their territories or he would punish them.

He also wrote to Maniago pf Pampanga threatening that if the latter did not join
the revolt, Malongs man, Melchor de Vera, would march on Pampanga with six
thousand men but by then the Pampangos had already made their peace.

Mass Participation

This revolt is remarkable for the great number of people who spontaneously
joined it. Unknown to the Spaniards, and undercurrent revolt had been steadily
spreading through clandestine intercourse between different villages. The people were
ready to rise.

But mere numbers could not overcome the superior fire power and training of
Spaniards-led troops. Soon after Malongs defeat in battle, groups of rebels began
surrendering to the Spaniards. The rebellion was virtually over. Malong was arrested
and later executed in his hometown f Binalatongan, Pangasinan.


Gumapos and his army of Zambals did not fare any better in Ilocos, principally
because of the population seemed to vacillate between two contending forces. There
were instances when they joined the Gumapos forces in killing Spaniards but later
regretted their participation. One group asked the Spaniards to hang the father of
Gumapos for passing on information to his son. Gumapos Ilocos campaign ended after
an encounter with the Spanish forces during which four hundred rebels were slain and
Gumapos himself was taken prisoner. He was later hanged in Vigan.

Religion and Rebellion

A new development worth noting was the attitude of the rebels toward religion.
Rebellion did not result in resurgence of nativism as in earlier revolts or among more
backward peoples. In fact, the rebels on occasion ask to hear mass and to be
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Satellization of Spain

By 1700, England was no longer just a producer of raw materials for

export. In fact, she now imported wool and dyestuffs from Spain and exported
finished textile to that country for its internal consumption or for re-export to the
Spanish colony. Inevitably, the rising commercial hegemony of England forced
the Spanish empire into a subordinate role. Ever since the defeat of the Spanish
Armada in 1588, Spain had begun to suffer a decline from which she never

Anglo-Chinese Colony

The new developments of attendant to the increasing satellization of Spain

by England did not spare the Philippines. The archipelago was linked to the world
capitalist system by Britain and became in effect, an Anglo-Chinese colony flying
the Spanish flag.

It was not the Spaniards, but the English and the Chinese who played
important roles in the economic development of the Philippines and its opening to
world commerce during the 18th century.

Solvent of Baranganic Society

Spanish colonization became a potent stimulus for Chinese immigration to

the Philippines. Attracted by the economic opportunities presented by the
Spanish settlements, the Chinese began to come in greater numbers until, by the
beginning of the 17th century more than twenty thousand (20k) Chinese resided in
Manila and its environs, vastly outnumbering the Spanish settlers.

Through their buying and selling activities, the Chinese became the
solvent of baranganic society. By penetrating the interior towns with their Chinese
imports, they were able to develop new consumption tastes among the people.

English Penetration

While the increasing commercialization within the Philippines was the

handiwork of the Chinese who did business with natives producers, Spanish
governors, and friars, it was the commercial activities of the British that eventually

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opened the country to international trade, thus radically modifying its economic

The objective of this trade was to acquire for the British a great proportion
of what had previously been an exclusive preserve of the Chinese.

Evidence of the importance attached to the trade with Manila is the fact
that the East India Company financed and directed the British invasion of the
Philippines and its brief occupation from 1762 to 1764.

Infiltrating the Mercantilist Curtain

The British penetration of Manila was initially clandestine, for it was

against Spains policy to allow rival European powers to trade with her colonies.
Various techniques were employed in order to circumvent the prohibitions.

Since only traders of Asian origin were allowed free entry into Manila, the
English loaded their goods on vessels owned by Armenians, Moslems or Hindus
or English-owned ships took on Asian, usually Hindu, names and were provided
with the Portuguese or Armenian captains and seamen. Another technique used
was to consign the goods to some well-known Hindu merchant in Manila to make
it appear as his own import.

Economic Rethinking

The growing English penetration of the Spanish colonies and dependence

of Spain herself on England, the Peninsular wars, and the loss of Spanish
colonies in Latin America were developments of far-reaching significance which
resulted in various internal political disturbances and induced a rethinking of
Spanish economic policy. Between 1750 and 1850 a most significant period of
the Philippines.

Changes in colonial policy produced more or less systematic efforts to

develop the agricultural resources of the islands and attempts to widen the
commercial contacts of the colony by opening direct trade with Spain and
removing many hitherto hampered trade with the other nations.

Simon de Anda y Salazar and followed notably by Jose Basco y Vargas,

the governors of the Philippines after the British occupation instituted a series of
economic reforms which contributed to the alteration of the economic landscape
of the country.

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Encourage the production of cash crops such as sugar, indigo, tobacco,
and hemp, the development of cash crops provided new sources of revenue
which diminished dependence on the Mexican annuity.

1781 the establishment of tobacco monopoly.

The objective of reorienting the commercial of country spurred the

establishment in 1785 of the Royal Philippine Company; envisioned itself as the
principal investor, producer, and carrier of Philippine agricultural. The new
economic policy also manifested itself in the partial relaxation of the trading

By 1789, the Spaniards removed the restriction on the entry of European ships
provided they carried only Asian trade goods, proviso designed to protect the
Royal Philippine Company.

These developments resulted in bringing the native economy and the

Western economy closer together since the former was now encouraged to
produce agricultural crops traded by the latter. Even the nature of the galleon
trade began to change as more Philippine products found their way onto the
galleons bound for Mexico.

Emergence from Isolation

A greater liberalization of commerce was achieved with termination of the

galleon trade in 1813 and the abolition in 1834 of the Royal Philippine Company
which, though it promoted export crops, was monopolistic in character.

From being a mere outpost of empire, the Philippines became officially a

participant in world commerce.

The 19th century saw the transformation of the Philippine economy. Prior to
the 1820s, the principal exports of the country were birds nests, beche-de-mer,
wax, tortoise shells, sea shells, dried shrimps, and sharks fins. These were
exported to China.

The export picture changed radically with the rapid development of cash
crops such as sugar, indigo, tobacco, hemp, rice and coffee.

Foreign firms that were allowed to do business in Manila controlled the

export trade. The British were pioneers in this line; they entrenched their position
with the formal opening of the port of Manila.

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British and American firms exported raw materials and imported
manufactured products, especially great quantities of textiles from the
Manchester and Glasgow mills. These were sold all over the country.

By importing needed machinery and offering advances on crop, these

foreign firms stimulated production of those agricultural crops the European and
American markets needed.

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Economic Transformation

The Philippines had emerged from its isolation. The capitalist linkage led
to the dissolution of the natural economy of many regions.

The increasingly prominent role that these foreign firms played in the
commercial life of the colony provoked many protests from Spaniards engaged in
business in the Philippines and industrialists in Spain like the Catalan textile

In 1851, the Spaniards tried to participate in the lucrative banking

business by establishing the Banco Espaol-Filipino de Isabel II. The
fundamental transformation of Philippine economic life took place during the
period from 1820 to 1870.

The development of an export-crop economy finally produced an

economic system within which the still distinct Western, native and Chinese
economies became part of an interrelated whole.

A national market was emerging; internal prosperity was noticeable. The

economic unification of the country further fostered the regionalization of
production. Tobacco became the main crop of the North, sugar the principal
product of West Visayas, and abaca mainstay of the Bicol region.

Manila Hemp

Abaca began to be produced for export only after 1820 when the U.S.
Navy discovered that it made excellent marine cordage. By 1842, two
American firms, Sturges and Company and T.N. Paele and Company, the
monopolized the export of abaca. To stimulate production, these firms gave crop
loans to the growers.

A Spanish firm, Ynchausti y Compania, planted to abca virgin lands in

Sorsogon to supply its rope factory on Isla de Balut in Tondo. Hemp was also
grown in Leyte, Samar, and Cebu. By 1850, the enterprising Chinese
began to enter the picture. Chinese buyers did not give crop advances. Their
method was to establish stores in the abaca growing regions and to barter rice
and other goods for abaca.

Beginnings of the Sugar Bloc

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Before 1850, sugar cane was planted only in the small plots of native
landowners in such provinces as Pampanga, Batangas, Pangasinan, Cebu and

The alcaldes of these provinces acted as commercial agents and gave

crop advances to farmers. The alcaldes sold the unrefined sugar at a profit to
Chinese who travelled to the sugar-producing districts to buy up the supply.

The new economic opportunities attracted quite a number of investors to

settle in Negros and engage in large-scale sugar planting.

End of the Tobacco Monopoly

The tobacco monopoly established in 1781 compelled the cultivating of

tobacco in hitherto undeveloped lands as well as in acreage formerly devoted to
rice. Ilocos, Cagayan, Isabela and Nueva Ecija were designated as the main
tobacco-growing provinces.

Tobacco monopoly proved highly profitable for the government.

Nevertheless, responding to the prevailing concepts of laissez faire and free
trade, Spain abolished the monopoly in 1883.

The Social Transformation

At this point, it is necessary to look into the social composition of the

colony in order to facilitate an understanding of Philippine society prior to the
Revolution. It is particularly important to take cognizance of a new element that
began to assume importance at about this time: the Chinese mestizos.

The economic and social ascendancy of the Chinese mestizos is certainly

the most significant social phenomenon of the era from 1750 to 1850.

Chinese Mestizos
Although the Spaniards found Chinese all-important, they were latent
animosities between the two races which manifested themselves in various ways:
from the issuance of restrictive laws limiting the immigration and mobility of the
Chinese, to the periodic expulsion and outright massacres of the Chinese

One of the ways of attaining the assimilation of Chinese was to encourage

intermarriage with the native women since there were very few Chinese women
in the Philippines.

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When these communities were still small, the mestizos often sided with
Chinese against the native but later on they broke away, establishing their own
gremios or guilds and competing with the Chinese.

They were allowed to settle and do business wherever they pleased, not
being subjected to the residence and other restrictions the Spaniards periodically
inflicted on the Chinese infidels.

By 1750, the mestizos were already a recognized and distinct element in

Philippine society.


The end of the Philippine isolation involved more than the physical opening of the
country to foreign commerce; it also facilitated the entry of the ideas of the
enlightenment that has been sweeping Europe for some time. These ideas, particularly
the tenets on individual liberty which formed the core of ideology of developing
capitalism, found fertile ground within the country precisely because the new Spanish
economic policies for the colony had created social forces which required for their own
development and atmosphere of greater freedom.

Spread of Liberalism

The French revolution had fostered the ideas of freedom in Spain; the growth of
liberalism in Spain had its repercussion in her colonies. Realizing that their economic
interest conflicted with those in Spain, the creoles in the Latin America colonies led
popular revolts which finally resulted in the dissolution of the Spains empire in the New

In Spain itself, the peoples resistance to the Napoleonic invasion brought about
the ascendency of the Spanish liberals who produced the Cadiz Constitution of 1812.
This constitution extended the rights of man not only to Spaniards in the Peninsula but
also to all subjects of Spain. Later the Cadiz constitution was proclaimed in the
Philippines. Many people took the proclamation of universal equality to ean that they
were henceforth freed of tributes and polos since they were now equals of the
Spaniards who had always been exempted from such exactions. This interpretation
gained enough currency to force the Governor General to issue a mando or
announcement, saying that the people had misunderstood the constitutional decree,
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that the government needed funds for its protection and for the administration of justice
of equality with the Spaniards did not exempt them from tributes because Spaniards
themselves paid heavier taxes, and that if tributes were abolished, perhaps new and
higher taxes would be imposed on them.

Government monopolies

Spains new colonial policies which aim to develop the local economy as a better
source of revenue brought new hardships on the people. The Ilocanos were among the
hardest hit because of the operations in their area on the tobacco monopoly established
in 1781 and the wine monopoly established in 1786.

The Ilocanos were now forbidden to drink their home made brew and were force
to buy their wine from government stores. This was the cause of the so-called basi
revolt of 1807 in Piddig, Ilocos Sur.

The institution of the tobacco monopoly was the source of graver resentments
among the people. The growing and sailing of tobacco was supervised by the
government. Farmers were assigned production quotas and find if they did not meet
these quotas. Government agents cheated the farmers by certifying that their tobacco
was of lower grade and then reporting the same tobacco to the government as being of
a higher grade. The difference in price went to their own profits. These agents were
mainly the gobernadorcillos, the cabezas de barangay and local merchants. It was
therefore becoming quite clear to the oppress farmers that their principales constituted
an additional burden on them.

Against the Principales

When mounting resentment erupted in revolt the people directed their anger
against the principales, who having been accommodated the colonial system as
intermediaries were now not only incidental beneficiaries but active exploiter. The
people realize the clear indication of a glowing consciousness of differentiation between
themselves and the indigenous wealthy families.

Plebeian Revolt

The common revolt of Sarrat proclaimed their rebellion on March 3, 1815. In

Sarrat there were even more cause than elsewhere for an explosion of mass against
the principales. In the afternoon of March 3, shouts were heard all over town and in the
plaza, a crowd rapidly gathered armed with swords, bows and arrows, and pikes. They
vowed to kill all the principales including their women and children and to take all the
property and jewelry of the convents. The priest, try to dissuade the rebels from their
purpose but they turned their backs on him and proceeded to the town hall. They went
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to the biggest house around the plaza and, disregarding the pleas of the curate, killed or
wounded the principal and two women. They also killed other pro Spanish residents.

Victory of the Principales

The principales of the other town had gathered 600 armed men, this joined the
Spanish infantry and cavalry sent by the alcalde mayor and together they marched on
Sarrat. The rebels announced that if they were attack, the principales, donas and their
families would be killed. The priest talk to the leaders warning them of the punishments
that awaited them and reminding them of the pain of eternal damnation who which they
were exposing their souls by their recalcitrance. The rebels wavered in their result, then
agreed to end their resistance and to set the principales free. Still the Spanish forces
entered Sarrat and set it on fire. Some leaders fled to the mountain, others were caught
and imprisoned.

Hermano Pule

He was the son of devoted Catholic peasants. He went to Manila on 1839 hoping
to join a monastic oreder but his application was rejected because he was a native. He
then founded the cofradia de San Jose which quickly gained adherence in Tayabas,
Laguna, and Batangas. Despite the frustration of his clerical ambitions he have
continued to regard himself as a regular Catholic up to this time for he applied for
ecclesiastical recognition for his confraternity the Church however, refused, labelling
organization heretical. From then on the group was continually harassed, its meetings
raided, and some of his members arrested.

The fact that only pure blooded natives were allowed to join the confraternity led
the Spaniards to suspect the religion was being used as a blind for political designs.
The moment the Church refuse to recognize his confraternity, Pule and his followers
became insurgents in their attitude towards both the Church and the State.

Alarmed by the rapid growth of the movement, the provincial authorities passed
by the friars, requested military assistance from the governor general. The latter sent
two infantry companies, one artillery battery and some cavalry to Tayabas members of
the confraternity constructed fortifications in Alitaw and seemed prepared to fight, but
when the soldiers charged, Pules followers fled. Pule and his aide called Purgatorio,
were captured. After a hasty trial, they were both executed. Their bodies were
dismembered and exhibited in the principal towns of Southern Tayabas.

Economic Dislocation

The rise of hacienda system was to a great extent base on the expropriation of
numerous small farmers. The decline uncertain local industries as a result of the inroads
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of foreign trade brought acute deprivation of whole communities. Economic progress
itself nurtured a popular consciousness more acutely aware of injustice and inequality,
the fruit of more efficient means of exploitation.

While economic development was causing painful dislocations in the life of the
masses it was proving profitable for numerous foreign firms, particularly the British and
the Americans.

Cultural Changes

Economic changes, which had its impetus in the 1750s, inevitably led to
changes in consciousness in its local beneficiaries. Wealth made possible the
acquisition of education and Spanish culture by Chinese mestizos and urbanized
natives. The educational reforms of 1863, opened the doors of higher institutions of
learning to many natives. Many young men prosperous Chinese mestizo and native
families studied in Manila. Wealthier families sent their sons to Spain thus the cultural
merger of these two sectors was being realised there economic status assured them
social and political influence.

The opening of Suez canal in 1869 and the establishment of regular steemship
service between Manila and Europe further facilitated the influx of the Liberal ideas that
were current in that continent. The Manila and its environs, economic progress created
a growing native group of small land owners, city workers and small shop keepers, who
readily absorb these new liberal ideas.

Intellectual Ferment

If economic progress became the foundation for cultural unification, it was like
was the bearer of intellectual ferment. This was due not only to the influx of new ideas
from abroad but also to the realization of the economically advancing groups that there
upward climb was being restricted by the imperatives of colonial policy.

At first the conflict was between the Creloes and the Peninsulares with the former
complaining that they were not afforded the same opportunities for advancement as the
latter. There feeling of injustice was sharpened not only the social discrimination they
experience at the hand of the Peninsulares, but also by their own belief that they should
receive preference inmatters of government positions appointment because in their
eyes the Philippines was their country.

This feeling of injustice seeped down to the ranks of Chinese mestizos who
having prospered much began likewise to feel the restrictions to their own further
economic advancement.

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Secularization and Filipinization

One of the manifestations of the native demand for equality or at least for higher
social economic status was the eventual transformation from the secularization
movement into a fight for the Filipinization of the clergy. When the policy of the
secularization was adopted and implemented, therefore, not only was there a sizable
group of native priest who could protest but a number of them were directly affected.
Like other receptors of the local elite the native priest were finding out that their own
advancements was being impeded by the Spaniards. They reacted with resentment at
the injustice and discrimination they were subjected to. These sharpened their
awareness of their separate national identity, a consciousness which was transmitted to
their native parishioners. The demand for Filipinization became one of the rallying cries
of the steadily growing sentiment of nationality.

Cavite mutiny

An another sway of liberalism reflected in the arrival of Rafael de Escuerdo in

1871 to take over the governorship from the liberal Carlos Maria de la Torre he
suspended or revised De la Torres liberal decrees classified as pernos sospechosas
educated persons who had supported De la Torres policies. It was the attitude of
escuerdos that was to give the Cavite mutiny greater significance than it actually had.

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Renato Constantino, The Philippines: A Past Revisited

Cortes,Boncan, Jose, The Filipino Saga: History As Social Change

A. M. Molina, The Philippines Through the Centuries

Teodoro Agoncillo, History of the Filipino People 8 th Edition

Onofre Corpuz, The Philippines

Pranav Mercant, Economic Effects of the Spanish Conquest of the Philippines and
Mercantile Theory

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