Friday, May 22, 2009

Spanish Period


System of Government

"This fascinating political cartoon comes from El Debate, Spanish language news daily during the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines"

· Centralized form of government.

· Divided into two units:

Central government:

· The King entrusted the colony to the governor-general, who had the highest position in the government.

· The Royal Audiencia was the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

· The Residencia and the Visitador were the special courts that investigated on the conduct of the governor-general and other high-ranking Spanish officials.

Local Government (provinces, cities, towns and barrios)

· The provinces were divided into two:

1. Alcaldia which recognized Spain's possession over the land
2. corregimiento where the people had not succumbed to its ruling power.

· Ayuntamiento or the city government was the center of the society, religion, culture and business.

· The pueblo was governed by the gobernadorcillo, the highest position for Filipino politicians.

· The Cabeza de Barangay governed the barrios.


During the Spanish regime, there was union of church and state:

· The governor-general had power over the church.

· The friars, on the other hand, played a very important role in the government.

· 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.


Christianity's Introduction:

· Spanish colonizers succeeded in introducing Christianity to the islands.

· Christianity represents over 85% of religious beliefs. They were highly successful in the region of modern day Luzon and Visayas but were unsuccessful in Mindanao, south region, where Moslems staved off the Spanish efforts.

· It was a forced the induction of Christianity -- leading to thousands of deaths and tortures of the residents of the islands.

'Christianization' Strategies Employed by the Spanish:

"Early Spanish Chapel, Luzon"

There are a number of reasons why Spanish missionaries were successful in this attempt:

1. Mass baptism - the initial practice of baptizing large numbers of Filipinos at one time enabled the initial conversion to Christianity.. It is said that many Filipinos associated baptism with their own indigenous 'healing rituals', which also rely on the symbolism of holy water--very typical of Southeast Asian societies.

2. Reduccion policies - in areas where Filipinos lived scattered across the landscape in small hamlets, the Spanish military employed a resettlement policy that they had used successful. This policy was called reduccion, and essentially meant a forced relocation of small, scattered settlements into one larger town.

· The policy was designed for the convenience of administration of the Spanish colony's population, a way for a small number of armed Spanish constabulary to control more easily the movements and actions of a large number of Filipinos.

· It was also designed to enable Spain to collect taxes from their Christianized converts. Throughout Spanish rule, Christianized Filipinos were forced to pay larger taxes than indios, or native, unchristian zed peoples.

· The policy also made it easier for a single Spanish Catholic friar to 'train' Filipinos in the basic principles of Christianity.
The policy was successful in some areas but impossible to enforce. Spanish archives are full of exasperated colonial officials complaining about how such settlements were 'all but abandoned' in many cases after only a few weeks.

3. Attitude of the Spanish clergy in the early phase - Spanish friars was forced to learn the native language of the peoples they sought to convert. Without schools that trained people in Spanish, the Spanish friars had no choice but to say Christian mass and otherwise communicate in the vernacular languages of the Philippines.

In the late Spanish period, in contrast, Spanish priests enraged many Filipinos for failing to:

a) Allow otherwise 'trained' Filipino priests to ascend into the higher echelons of the Catholic Church hierarchy in the Philippines;

b) Return much of the land they had claimed as 'friar estates' to the Philippine landless farmers;

c) Recognizing nascent and emerging Filipino demands for more autonomy and a greater say in how the colony was to be managed.

4. Adaptation of Christianity to the local context - Filipinos were mostly animistic in their religious beliefs and practices prior to Spanish intervention.

· In most areas they revered the departed spirits of their ancestors through ritual offerings, and also believed in a variety of nature spirits. Such beliefs were central to healing practices, harvest rites, and to maintaining a cosmological balance between this world and the afterlife. Spirits were invisible, but also responsible for both good and bad events. Spirits could be blamed for poor harvests, illness, and bad luck generally. Yet Filipinos believed that proper ritual feasting of the spirits would appease them, and result in good harvests, healthy recovery of the ill, and the fertility of women.

  • The legacy of Spanish conquest and colonial rule in the Philippines, as is true of all colonial attempts to 'master' or manage indigenous populations, is mixed.
  • On the one hand, Spanish clergy were very destructive of local religious practices. They systematically destroyed indigenous holy places and 'idols', or statues and representations of indigenous spirits, gods or goddesses.
  • They also tried to stamp out all examples of native scripts and literature for fear that Filipinos were using exotic symbols to foment rebellion.
  • The Spanish also imposed new 'moralities' on Filipinos by discouraging slave holding, polygamy, gambling, and alcohol consumption that were a natural part of the indigenous social and religious practices.
  • Hispanic rule left a legacy of syncretism, rather than totally destructive, elements.
  • Spanish clergy introduced some very European features of Catholic practice that blended well with indigenous ritual practices.
  • Spanish Catholic priests relied on vivid, theatrical presentations of stories of the Bible in order to help Filipinos understand the central messages of Christianity.
  • This colonial legacy lives on whenever Filipino Catholics re-enact through religious dramas the passion of Christ, or Christ's martyrdom, during Holy Week.

"The beginning of a Pasyon play,Manila"

"Christ and two disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane"

"The Devil tempts Christ"

"Christ is led away by Roman soldiers"

"The Crucifixion of Christ and Two Thieves"

· Other Filipino ceremonies also mark the Christian calendar, such as during the rituals surrounding death.

· Death is always an occasion that marks a society's traditions, and in the Philippines funerals are usually accompanied by somber village processions and music, essential parts of Roman Catholic ritual practice.

· Filipino indigenous religious beliefs traditionally celebrated rice planting and harvesting times, the death anniversaries of departed ancestors, and these have been blended in meaning and timing with Catholic rites such as All Saints Day and Fiesta de Mayo.

· In this kind of religious syncretism, blending the rites and meaning of two totally separate societies, the outcome is often a surprise rather than a foregone conclusion.


Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade

· The Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade was the main source of income for the colony during its early years. Service was inaugurated in 1565 and continued into the early 19th century.

· The Galleon trade brought silver from New Spain and silk from China by way of Manila. This way, the Philippines earned its income through buy and sell - that is, they bought silk from China for resale to New Spain and then bought American silver for resale to China.

· The trade was very prosperous. But It neglected the development of the colony's local industries which affected the Indios since agriculture was their main source of income. In addition, the building and operation of galleons put too much burden on the colonists' annual polo y servicio, resulted in cultural and commercial exchanges between Asia and the Americas that led to the introduction of new crops and animals to the Philippines notably tobacco that gave the colony its first real income which benefit extended to the common Indio.

· The trade lasted for over two hundred years, and ceased in 1821 with the secession of American colonies from Spain.

Royal Society of Friends of the Country

· Jose de Basco y Vargas, formally established the Real Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais composed of leading men in business, industry and profession.

· The society was tasked to explore and exploit the island's natural bounties.

  • The society led to the creation of Plan General Economico of Basco which implemented the monopolies on the areca nut, tobacco, spirited liquors and explosives.
  • It offered local and foreign scholarships and training grants in agriculture and established an academy of design.
  • It was also credited to the carabao ban of 1782, the formation of the silversmiths and gold beaters guild and the construction of the first papermill in the Philippines in 1825.
  • It was introduced on 1780, vanished temporarily on 1787-1819, 1820-1822 and 1875-1822 and ceased to exist in the middle of the 1890s.
Royal Company of the Philippines

· March 10, 1785, Charles III created the Royal Philippine Company with a 25 year charter.

· It was granted exclusive monopoly of bringing to Manila, Philippines; Chinese and Indian goods and shipping them directly to Spain via the Cape of Good Hope.

· It was stiffly objected by the Dutch and English who saw it as a direct attack on their trade of Asian goods.

· It was also vehemently opposed by the traders of the Galleon trade who saw it as competition. This gradually resulted into the death of both institutions: The Royal Philippine Company in 1814 and the Galleon trade in 1815.


· To support the colony, several forms of taxes and monopolies were imposed.

  • The buwis (tribute), which could be paid in cash or kind (tobacco, chickens, produce, gold, blankets, cotton, rice, etc., depending on the region of the country), was initially was fixed at 8 reales (one real being 12.5 centavos) and later increased to 15 reales, apportioned as follows: ten reales buwis, one real diezmos prediales (tithes), one real to the town community chest, one real sanctorum tax, and three reales for church support
  • Also collected were the bandalâ (from the Tagalog word mandalâ, a round stack of rice stalks to be threshed), an annual enforced sale and requisitioning of goods such as rice.
  • Custom duties and income tax were also collected. By 1884, the tribute was replaced by the Cedula personal, wherein colonists were required to pay for personal identification. Everyone over the age of 18 was obliged to pay.
Forced Labor (Polo y servicio)

The system of forced labor otherwise known as polo y servicio evolved within the framework of the encomienda system, introduced into the South American colonies by the Conquistadores and Catholic priests who accompanied them.

· Polo y servicio is the forced labor for 40 days of men ranging from 16 to 60 years of age who were obligated to give personal services to community projects. One could be exempted from polo by paying the falla (corruption of the Spanish Falta, meaning "absence"), a daily fine of one and a half real.

· In 1884, labor was reduced to 15 days. The polo system was patterned after the Mexican repartimento, selection for forced labor

Cultural Transformation

· Baybayin (syllabic writing)‏

Mid-18th century

Earliest Books Published at the Parian of Manila (1593)‏:
  • Doctrina Christiana, en lengua española, y tagala
  • Fr. Juan Cobo’s Wu-chu T’ien-chu cheng-chiao chen-ch’uan shih-lu (A Discussion of the Real Traditional Propagation of the True Religion)‏
  • Doctrina Christiana en letra y lengua china
  • Ordinationes generals­- earliest known de visu work by means of movable types (Juan de Vera, 1604)‏
Mid-16th century

  • ”Filibustero”- an uneducated Filipino who knew Spanish
17th century

Earliest known Filipino writers:
  • Unknown Tagalog poet (1605)- May bagyo ma’t may rilim
  • Fernando Bagongbanta- Salamat nang ualang hanga
  • Tomas Tinpin (1610)- Auit
  • Pedro Suarez Ossorio (1627)- Salamat nang ualang hoyang
18th century: Ranked the Most Famous Ones
  1. Gaspar Aquino de Belen
  2. Felipe de Jesus
  3. Jose dela Cruz (Huseng Sisiw)‏
Theocentric Literature
  • Awit (dodecasyllabic quatrain)‏
  • Corrido (octosyllabic quatrain)‏
  • Metrical romances ( written by Ananias Zorilla, Jose dela Cruz, Francisco Baltazar)‏
  • Anti-Muslim melodrama “Moro-Wars”- moro-moro or komedy
  • European- “comedias de capa y espada”
  • Spanish- “obra caballerescas
  • Lenten season- pasyon
  • Zarzuela- latest dramatic form (1870)

Visual Arts
  • Imagenes
  • Santoses
  • Jewelry
Folk Arts (whittled bamboo arch decorations):
  • Kaluskos
  • Palaspas
  • Moriones
  • Rosaries
  • Combs
  • Parols
  • Pastillas wrappers
Colorful art Presentation in foods:
  • Pan de San Nicolas
  • Atsara
  • Sapin-sapin
  • Faustino Quiotang (1820)- Sedes Sapientiae and San Jose with child Jesus
  • Damian Domingo, an insular, director of the Academia de Dibujo (1827-1833)‏
  • Juan Arceo
  • Juan Transfiguracion Nepomuceno and families
  • Severino Flavier Pablo
  • Hilarion Soriano
  • Jose Honorato Lozano – “Pepe Vigia” or “Bahia” and “Letras y Figuras”
  • Lorenzo Guerrero- “Academia de Dibujo y Pintura”
  • Simon Flores
  • Regino Garcia y Baza
  • Juan Luna - Spolarium
  • Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo
19th century
  • Esteban Villanueva- 14 tableaux of the Ambaristo or basi revolt of 1807
  • Laguna- Jose Dans who executed Final Judgment and Heaven, Earth , Hell
  • Tayabas- Vicente Villaseñor of Lucban
  • Cavite- Roman Faustino’s Ensueño (1892)‏
Printmaking, Engraving and Typography
  • Nicolas dela Cruz Bagay
  • Cipriano Romualdo Bagay
  • Francisco Suarez
  • Laureano Atlas
  • Felipe Sevilla
  • Candido Lopez
  • Juan delos Santos –sculpted the baroque altar of the San Agustin church
Paete woodcarvers
  • Mariano Madriñan
  • Aurelio Buhay
  • Isabelo Tampingco
  • Sotero Garcia
  • Romualdo T. de Jesus
  • Ciriaco Gaudinez
  • Felix Pardo de Tavera
  • Ciriaco Arevalo
School of Music in Lumbang (Laguna) taught:
  • Fandango
  • Seguidilla
  • Jota
  • Marcelo Adonay
  • Simplicio Solis
  • Julian Felipe
  • Julio Nakpil
  • Dolores Paterno

Social Transformation

Adoption of Hispanic Names
  • Decreed by Gov. Narciso Claveria in 1849
  • Based on compiled names of saints, indigenous and Chinese patronymics, flora and fauna, geographical names, and the arts
  • Filipinos were obligated to adopt surnames like Rizal, Del Pilar or Luna althugh some ndigenous surnames like Mabini, Malantic, Dandan and Paganiban, were retained
  • Catagalogo alfabetico de apellidos contained some derogatory names like “Utut”, “Ung-goy”, and even “Casillas”
  • bahay na bato with a wide azotea (batalan in original), retaining the banguerahan and providing an aljibe or a well for water – supply
Foreign Cuisines
  • Spanish indigenized dishes like adobo, menudo, sarciado, puchero or mechado and the Chinise – derived noodle preparations Filipinized into pancit malabon and pancit luglog
Change in Dressing
  • kanggan and bahag to barong tagalog or camisa chino
  • putong to hats
  • Shoes and slippers as part of men’s fashion
  • Baro and saya for women developed into mestiza dress
  • Jewelry and ornaments, gold and tortoise peineta, earrings of different sizes and shapes
Spanish Loan Words
  • dasal from rezar
  • Dalandan from naraja
  • Sinigwelas from ciruela
Conversely, the Filipino also contributed to enrich the Spanish language
  • Camarin from camalig
  • Carinderia from karihan
  • Molave from mulawin
  • Compadrazgo (ritual co – parenthood) came with baptism and marriages
  • Magellan served as Humabon’s padrino, and Legazpi stood as Rajah Tupa’s godfather
  • Intermarriages which resulted in mixed blood or mestizos (1883)‏
  • La Funeraria, the first Philippine funeral parlor was established by Carlos March in Manila which advertised European – made coffins, embalming, “French – style packing,” tombstones, and guaranteed “permanent service”
Conversion of the Filipinos
  • Fiestas honoring the saints
  • Fiestas during Holy Week, on Corpus Christi, and the feast day of the patron saint
  • Pomp and pageantry of the religious processions
  • Exotic Hispanic dances and music
  • Religious dramas of the sinakulo and the komedya or moro – moro
  • Cofadias and sodalities of the Filipino laymen and laywomen honoring the Virgin Mary

· Quiles
· Arana
· Victoria
· Calesa
· Carretela
· Bicycles
· Telephones
· Telegraphs
· Kingke


· Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan

· Compañia de los Tranvias de Filipinas

· Puente Colgante

· Cable linking

· Public lighting system (using coconut oil)

· La Electricista de Manila

Social Structures

· Principalia - nobility class was the social and educated class in the towns of colonial Philippines composed of the Gobernadorcillo (Town Mayor), or the Cabeza de Barangay (Chief of the Barangay) who governed the districts and the awardees of the medal of Civil Merit.

  1. Exempted from forced labor during the colonial period
  2. Were allowed to vote, be elected to public office and be addressed by the title: Don or Doña
  3. Given certain roles in the Church, such as assisting the priest in pastoral and religious activities

"Costume of a family belonging to Principalía during the 19th century. Picture taken from the exhibit in Villa Escudero Museum in San Pablo Laguna, Philippines."

· Ilustrados- (Spanish for "erudite," "learned," or "enlightened ones"). constituted the Filipino educated class during the Spanish colonial period in the late 19th century
  • They were the middle class who were educated in Spanish and exposed to Spanish liberal and European nationalist ideals.
"A late 19th century photograph of the Ilustrados in Madrid, Spain (ca. 1890)"
  • Composed of native-born intellectuals and cut across ethnolinguistic and racial lines
1. Indios, person of pure Austronesian (Malay/Malayo-Polynesian) ancestry (natives)

2. Insulares, Spaniards born in Spain who took important positions in the Spanish government in the Philippines.

3. Mestizos, Filipinos of mixed indigenous Filipino (Austronesian people/Malay/Malayo-Polynesian), or European or Chinese ancestry.

4. Peninsulares, Spaniards who are born in Spain

System of Writing
· Latin alphabet

Educational System

"Spanish priest headed the formal education; the focus of the education is “Christian Doctrines.” Students were not allowed to speak their own language, only the Spanish language"

· Formal educational system.

· The Religious congregations paved the way in establishing schools from the primary level to the tertiary level of education.

· The schools focused on the Christian Doctrines.

· There was a separate school for boys and girls.

· The wealthy Filipinos or the Ilustrados were accommodated in the schools.

· Colonial education brought more non-beneficial effects to the Filipinos.

Educational Decree 1863

1. The first educational system for students in the country was established by virtue of the Education Decree of 1863.

2. The decree required the government to provide school institutions for boys and girls in every town.

3. Spanish schools started accepting Filipino students. It was during this time when the intellectual Filipinos emerged.

4. The Normal School was also established which gave men the opportunity to study a three-year teacher education for the primary level.

5. The friars controlled the educational system during the Spanish times. They owned different schools, ranging from the primary level to the tertiary levels of education.

6. The missionaries took charge in teaching, controlling and maintaining the rules and regulations imposed to the students. These missionaries emphasized the teachings of the Catholic religion starting from the primary level to the tertiary level of education. The students in the primary level were taught the Christian Doctrines, the reading of Spanish books and a little of the natives' language. Science and Mathematics were not very much taught to the students even in the universities. Aside from the Christian Doctrines taught, Latin was also taught to the students instead of Spanish.

7. The schools before were exclusive for the Spaniards. The Filipinos were only able to enter the schoo1 in the late 19th century. The schools also limited their accommodations to the sons of wealthy Filipino families in 1863.Although the schools were already open for Filipinos, the friars still believed that the Filipinos would not be able to match their skills and that the only way for the Filipinos to learn fast was to impose upon them strict discipline which means applying corporal punishment.

Schools Built By the Spaniards

· The schools for boys and girls were separated.

Schools for Boys

· The first established schools were exclusive for the boys.

· The Augustinians built the first school in the Philippines situated in Cebu in 1565.

· College was equivalent to a university during the Spanish regime. The student graduated with the degree in Bachelor of Arts (Bachiller en Artes).

· 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 Jesuits. Later, this was called Ateneo de Municipal which is now the famous Ateneo de Manila University.

· The Dominicans also made a name as they established one of the best universities in the Philippines, the University of Santo Tomas, which was opened in 1611.

· In 1630, the Dominicans established another university, the "San Juan de Letran" for the orphaned boys.

Schools for Girls:

· "Colegio de Santa Potenciana" was the first school and college for girls. This was opened in 1589.

· Following the birth of the first school for women, Colegio de Santa Isabel opened in 1632.

· The religious congregations also established schools for the girls called "beaterio". The so-called "beaterio" was meant for orphaned girls who could not afford to educate themselves. The subjects taught were housekeeping, cooking, sewing and embroidery-making, and others intended for good housekeeping.

Effects of Colonial Education in the Philippines

· The effect of education to the Filipinos was only compelled to the friars' influences from their lessons based on the Christian Doctrines or teachings. Indeed, the 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. Besides limiting education to the teaching of Spanish, Latin, and the Filipino languages, the teaching of Religion was also given emphasis. Thus, the teaching of Mathematics and Science were neglected.

· In entirety, education during the Spanish regime was privileged only to Spanish students. The supposed Philippine education was only a means to remain in the Philippines as colonizers. For this reason, the Filipinos became followers to the Spaniards in their own country. Even auspicious Filipinos became cronies, to the extent that even their life styles were patterned from the Spaniards.

· Several educated Filipinos referred to as ilustrados began movements directed towards change in the system of government in the Philippines. Despite their wealth and education, the ilustrados were still considered by the Spaniards to be inferior. One of the goals of the ilustrado was to be in the same level with the proud Spaniards. The growing number of ilustrados in the Philippines maybe considered one of the major effects of education by the Spaniards in the Philippines.


  1. i hope there's about the introduction of floras and faunas in the philippines during the spanish period

  2. hi! my group and I will be reporting about the Political Aspect during the Spanish Era in the Philippines. Can you help me with the political hierarchy starting from the spaniards down to the filipinos? Our teacher wants us to present a diagram about their positions. thanks!

  3. how can i downloAD THIS? badly need it. :|

  4. What are some PH festivals that started during this era?

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. thank you so much... it really help a lot for my studies.. kodos to all of you guys.

  7. Pahelp po about sa CHANGES IN SOCIETY UNDER COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF SPANISH 1.1 Government Structure: Central, Local and offices
    1.2 Social Status of the Filipinos
    1.3 Types of Education .
    Salamat po:)

  8. Pahelp po about sa CHANGES IN SOCIETY UNDER COLONIAL GOVERNMENT OF SPANISH 1.1 Government Structure: Central, Local and offices
    1.2 Social Status of the Filipinos
    1.3 Types of Education .
    Salamat po:)

  9. Help this question 👇👇👇 help me please

    Differentiate philippines justice system to Spain

  10. Can help in this questions

    An article of pre-spanish period until today...

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