The mestizos Sangleys of Carcar
The mestizos Sangleys were the Chinese-descended residents of Parian y Lutaos, then an independent town and parish, which was later abolished (ca. 1850) by the Spanish authorities, and incorporated into the existing Cebu City.
The Parian-Tinago river. On the Cebu shoreline, ships could only anchor off it, and you would need other smaller boats to be able to come ashore. But camouflaged by mangroves (tinago, hidden), the Parian Tinago river, then still wide enough to be navigable, was practically the more natural entry for boats ferrying goods from Chinese junks as well as local produce boats from various places in the Philippines, to reach Cebu. Most cities and civilizations were founded on banks or mouths of rivers and bays, rather than seacoasts.
Presumably due to the place being the trading point, the people in Parian became much wealthier than the native “indios”. This upward mobility continued until even the Spanish church and military authorities began to fear them somewhat.
The origin of the term Sangley is not known up to this time. Neither is that of the term Parian. But such was the acknowledged influence of the trade between the Philippines and Mexico that there is named a Parian Plaza in Mexico City. Sangla is used in Tagalog to mean “to pawn”.
Although the “race” mostly congregated in Parian, but since the racial classification mestizo Sangley would include everyone born of a Chinese father and the generations after, the table is open to families who had originated from outside Parian. Examples that may possibly fall in this category are the well-known Escalona, Escario, Mansueto, Manzanares, Yap and Ybañez–and maybe others–families of Bantayan island.
Anyway, as soon as they arrived in Carcar, the mestizos Sangleys, with their commerce and their connections to provincial officials in the city and to the first Filipino priests who were mostly mS (owing to their group’s access to higher education) — and their fair skin — soon took over the reins of government, agriculture and commerce, society, maybe even the cream of Carcar womanhood.
As a matter of fact, from the 1840s, as they slowly commingled with the native families, Roman Sarmiento, Domingo Gemperoso, Narciso Barcenilla, Andres Ximena Avila, and the Carcar-born mestizo Español Gregorio Silva alternated as gobernadorcillos with the local elites — until 1867-1896 and 1898-1940s, when they run Carcar entirely. And as politics always go, rivalries were now built between mestizo Sangley personalities and, maybe, families.
One other noteworthy observation. The abolished Parian’s old patron saint was St. John the Baptist but although the mestizos Sangleys arrived in quite a number in Carcar, there’s no evidence there ever was a soltitial ritual or tradition they ever initiated anywhere in the town or is still existing today.
Scope. Since the parish books still intact in Carcar start only around 1800, we cannot claim with certainty that there were no mestizos Sangleys already in Carcar, from Parian, before that time. It is indeed puzzling why it would take them two hundred years to discover the potential of the town.
Even the records below are not water-tight. Since this is evidently taking us into the pre-Claveria era, there may be earlier records for some families that just have not been found yet due to the difficulty in sifting through the pre-Claveria names.
The mS families that reached Carcar were Alcorcon, Alcudia, Aldocente, Alo, Avila, Barcenilla, Cui, Cuico, Florido, Gantuangco, Garces, Gemperoso, Jaen, Medalle, Mercado, Navasquez, Noel, Nuñez, Rayla, Regis, Sagolili, Sarmiento, Solon, Urgello, Vasquez, Velez, Villarosa, Yap, and maybe some others.
There is not a record labeling them as mestizo Sangley but records of their having originated from Cebu City at that time may attest to their being also mS, and I mean the Alegrado and Poncardas families. Even though I did not include them here, Alegrado records certainly predate those of the mestizos Sangley in the table below.
The richer of the mS of the earlier period had to be the Regis, Gantuangco and Sarmiento families. Politically potent were the Barcenilla, Cui, Jaen and Noel. But of course, power begets wealth, and vice versa—it all depended on the natural inclinations of an individual.
The following is a short table of some Sangleys and their available (readable) earliest records in Carcar. I also included the five mestizo Español families with records in Carcar: Silva, del Corro, Fortich, Rodriguez and Barredo. Meanwhile, a son of Donato Regis below, Catalino, was married to Anacleta Noel and the Baptism of their daughter, Martina Regis (3-Feb-1861) is thus the oldest record I’ve seen yet of any Noel in Carcar.
B – Bautismos (Baptisms), C – Casamientos (Marriages), E – Entierros (Burials)
|starting person in Carcar||bk||person|
|Sagolili||Mariano Sagolili (Mariano de la Cruz)||1832||B||Hilario Juan (son)|
|Alcorcon||Victor Alcorcon (Victor Narciso)||1835||B||Dionicia Areopagita (dau)|
|Alcudia||Leon Alcudia (Leon de los Santos)||1836||B||Maria Hermitania (dau)|
|Gemperoso||Domingo Gemperoso (Domingo Guzman)||1838||B||Baldomera Maria (dau)|
|Sarmiento||Roman Sarmiento (Roman Protacio)||1839||B||Gregorio Santiago (son)|
|Avila||Andres Ximena Avila (Andres Avelino)||1843||C||Andres Avelino|
|Barcenilla||Narciso Barcenilla (Narciso de Jesus)||1851||B||Teodora Barcenilla (dau)|
|Regis*||Donato Regis||1853||B||Candelario Regis (son)|
|Rayla||Juan Rayla||1860||C||Benito Rayla (son)|
|Mercado||Regina Mercado||1860||C||Vicente Mercado (son|
|GantuangcoYap||Cecilio GantuangcoConsolacion Yap||18611889||BE||Vicente Gantuangco (nep)Maria Yap (dau)|
|Silva||Pedro Silva||1812||C||Mariano Silva (son)|
|del Corro||Carlos Nazareno del Corro||1837||C||Luis Beltran del Corro (son)|
|Fortich||Jose Maria Fortich||1850||B||Catalino Fortich (son)|
|Rodriguez||Gregorio Rodriguez||1868||B||Aurelia Rodriguez (dau)|
|Barredo||Pedro Barredo||1893||E||Democrito Barredo (gson)|