Posted by: vip | August 2, 2012

Spanish blood

Spanish blood

I don’t know about this slight fixation with our people but: There are mestizos in our family. “Our aunt is mestiza, her hair, eyes”.

Stories like these add color (and intrigue) to Carcar family stories, in fact.  And, indeed, we have aunts and uncles who really did have physical traits that may suggest European, presumably Spanish – or at least, certainly not pure Austronesian — ancestry. Although varying in dilution with each family, still, these physical appearances became the seeds of these stories. And what do you know, maybe these physical characteristics indeed do not lie.

On the other end, there are people who think their entire family is mestizo on the evidence of some in the family who seem to look it.  Even if there is, for the others, nothing in the records (or in their looks) to suggest mix blood.

So, if we want to anyway, how, then, may we go about it, investigate, dig deeper into, such stories?

If your family has been racially identified as mestizo Español, then there’s no problem. But if not, yes, you may have the Spanish blood but from an illegitimate source, and this is where a search is in order, if you really want to get to the bottom of your suspicion.

1)  Some families think their surnames were derived from a priest’s own.

2)  In a family tree, the possible insertions, pardon the painful non-entendre, must have happened in a padre no conocido (pnc) in the tree.  We can treat these pnc’s in our family trees as the genealogical marker.

So, did the mestizo strain find its start at these pnc junctures?


1) Many known children of priests did not use the latter’s surname. Illegitimate children, except natural offsprings of non-impeded parents, did not even use (were not allowed to use?) the family name of their fathers, so we’d think it would be more circumspect to appropriate that of a holy person. And many known children of priests did not use the latter’s surname – Carcar had Don Jose Avila (presumed son of Fr. Manuel Fernandez); San Fernando had Anselma Duterte (commonly known daughter of Fr. Emiliano Diez). Both carried the surnames of their mothers, as had other illegitimate children all over.

2) Was at this juncture that the mestizo looks started for your family?

Carcar’s Noel and Villarosa (and Montecillo) look mestizo, no question. And for some generations now, even. But a retracing of their family trees both pointed to single mothers and a padre no conocido. Moreover, these two families had the racial classification in the records of mestizo Sangley. In the Montecillo case, their looks supposedly came from the Barcarcel mother  — but whose father, again, was a pnc!

But only padres no conocido?  This other possibility is embarrassing: that a married woman gave birth but the actual father was not her husband but rather a Spaniard (or mestizo). The record, however, would probably give out the name of the husband as the father. But again, this offspring ought to have had the mestizo features setting him immediately apart from his own supposed full siblings with the listed “father”. And also, the child’s racial classification will be that of the padre de familia, either indio or mestizo Sangley.

And, of course, note well, there were not that many Spaniards going around in the provinces. The Spanish presence in far-flung towns was only the priests or friars.

So there, let’s start looking into your pnc’s.



  1. my father looked very hispanic…but i do not have a picture of his father my grandfather who hails from mantalongon, barili cebu….his family name is de la Rosa…i guess somewhere down the line of ancestry…someone must have been presumably Hispanic.

    • i was not able to examine the de la rosa family but if earlier (ca. 1860 to 1880) church records say the family is mestizo español then no problem. if not (especially if the records instead say indio) that’s when a search is needed where of the family’s pnc’s could be the possible illegitimate father who had spanish blood. or, it could have come from the mother side.

  2. It is very common for Filipinos to list themselves as mixed, part European or Spanish in profiles, even though they “look” Filipino and cannot claim that the father or mother is from Europe. I have not seen this in other nationalities.

    • I don’t think they are claiming to have spanish ancestry. They are just digging information regarding their Hispanic surnames, sometimes genotype don’t show on phenotype & some mestizos married Indios only and did not married the same mestizos again. I know some Filipinos are aware if they truly has spanish ancestry specially those who has hispanic surnames. Genealogy is the only way to find it by tracing your family background generations to generations, records and relatives.

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