The hierarchy of the Philippines during Spanish colonization was based on nationality (place of birth), ethnicity, and racial mixing. Pure Spanish or Chinese blood did not guarantee one the highest of class, so even these ethnicities may have found that having mestizo children would be better.
It is interesting to note the following:
A mestizo of 1/2 Native American (Indio Americano) descent was valued higher than a mestizo of 1/2 Philippine Indio descent. This may have influenced the modern practice of Filipinos denying their Asian heritage in favor of their Hispanic heritage (whether real or imagined). This also is the source of resentment of Filipinos in the US—especially California—for people of Mexican heritage (Note: also part of the reason for this is Spain’s rule over the Philippines was through administration by the viceroyalty of Mexico).
There was a distinction made between Negritos and the rest of the Indio Filipino population. This probably is what has led to today’s discrimination of Negrito and African-American/Filipino individuals.
Even if one was full Spanish, having the nationality of Filipino put one lower than Spaniards born in Spain or the Americas and mestizos of American Indios. Perhaps this is part of the reason for the distinction between Fil-Ams and “FOBs” (in the US) as well as Kanos (here used to refer to Filipinos born in the States, Guam, or Saipan but living in the Philippines) and native Filipinos (born in raised in the Philippines)
A full blooded Chinese person was put above a full blooded indio, a half Chinese/Filipino person below a Spaniard/Filipino person, and a mix of all three ethnicities higher than a Spaniard/Filipino person. This has led to the resentment of Tsinoys (today’s Chinese Filipinos) by ethnic Filipinos without the same “mestiso worship” enjoyed by people who are of Eurasian descent.
The amount of Insulares was probably less than that of Peninsulares because less women migrated to the Philippines than men from Spain. For the men who migrated to the Philippines, they were more likely to be from the Americas than from Spain.
The information is not reflective of other ethnicities that were in the Philippines at the time such as African, Indian, or Japanese. Some further questions for this information may include: Was there a distinction made between Africans and Negritos? What was the difference, if any, in the caste of a Japanese/Filipino Mestizo or an Indian/Filipino and a Chinese/Filipino Mestizo? Were there indio ethnicities that were treated higher than other indio ethnicities (Ilocano vs Kapampangan; Visayan vs Bikolano)? Were mestizos of American, non-Mexican heritage placed lower than mestizos associated with Mexico?

The hierarchy of the Philippines during Spanish colonization was based on nationality (place of birth), ethnicity, and racial mixing. Pure Spanish or Chinese blood did not guarantee one the highest of class, so even these ethnicities may have found that having mestizo children would be better.

It is interesting to note the following:

  • A mestizo of 1/2 Native American (Indio Americano) descent was valued higher than a mestizo of 1/2 Philippine Indio descent. This may have influenced the modern practice of Filipinos denying their Asian heritage in favor of their Hispanic heritage (whether real or imagined). This also is the source of resentment of Filipinos in the US—especially California—for people of Mexican heritage (Note: also part of the reason for this is Spain’s rule over the Philippines was through administration by the viceroyalty of Mexico).
  • There was a distinction made between Negritos and the rest of the Indio Filipino population. This probably is what has led to today’s discrimination of Negrito and African-American/Filipino individuals.
  • Even if one was full Spanish, having the nationality of Filipino put one lower than Spaniards born in Spain or the Americas and mestizos of American Indios. Perhaps this is part of the reason for the distinction between Fil-Ams and “FOBs” (in the US) as well as Kanos (here used to refer to Filipinos born in the States, Guam, or Saipan but living in the Philippines) and native Filipinos (born in raised in the Philippines)
  • A full blooded Chinese person was put above a full blooded indio, a half Chinese/Filipino person below a Spaniard/Filipino person, and a mix of all three ethnicities higher than a Spaniard/Filipino person. This has led to the resentment of Tsinoys (today’s Chinese Filipinos) by ethnic Filipinos without the same “mestiso worship” enjoyed by people who are of Eurasian descent.
  • The amount of Insulares was probably less than that of Peninsulares because less women migrated to the Philippines than men from Spain. For the men who migrated to the Philippines, they were more likely to be from the Americas than from Spain.

The information is not reflective of other ethnicities that were in the Philippines at the time such as African, Indian, or Japanese. Some further questions for this information may include: Was there a distinction made between Africans and Negritos? What was the difference, if any, in the caste of a Japanese/Filipino Mestizo or an Indian/Filipino and a Chinese/Filipino Mestizo? Were there indio ethnicities that were treated higher than other indio ethnicities (Ilocano vs Kapampangan; Visayan vs Bikolano)? Were mestizos of American, non-Mexican heritage placed lower than mestizos associated with Mexico?

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