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The Philippines Under the Spanish Colonial Regime

Topics: Philippines, Manila / Pages: 7 (1721 words) / Published: Mar 1st, 2014
The Philippines under the Spanish colonial regime (Part I)

Power of the state to impose and collect revenue for public purpose to promote the welfare of the people of a particular society
8 reales at first, then 10 reales in 1589, then 12 reales in 1851.
Abolished in 1884 but replaced by a personal cedula tax based on the yearly income of the taxpayer. All citizens above 18 are required to pay the new tax.
While the rational of taxation was premised on the support of public welfare like health and sanitation, public works, and safety of the natives, only a few were used for such purposes.
Most went to corrupt Spanish civil officials, while some were spent on Spanish expeditions and maintenance of government offices.

Forced Labor
Called Polo, all male healthy and physically able between 16 and 60 were required to render service for 40 days.
The labor force collected were used on construction projects and on the construction and manning of ships in the shipyards for the galleon trade
The Filipino labourers, called polistas, received the same treatment as slaves and thus they begin to develop a strong distaste for manual labor re-enforcing the apparent tendency of Filipinos to be indolent.
One can be exempted from rendering forced labor by paying a fee called falla which only a few like the governadorcillos, canesa de brangay, and principalia can afford.

The Tobacco Monopoly of Basco
Established in 1781 by Jose Basco y Vargas
Cultivation of Tobacco and its export came under government control and was confined in Nueva Ecija, Cagayan valley, Marinduque, and Ilocos provinces.
Brought considerable profit to the government.
Led to rampant abuses by government officials to the natives e.g. paying with unredeemable treasury notes, faking the quality of harvested tobacco to issue lower prices.
Led to the decline of food production in some areas because farmers were compelled to plant tobacco only.

The Galleon Trade
Spanish authority closed trade relations with other countries and allowed only two countries, China and Mexico, to trade with the Philippines.
From Manila to Acapulco, Mexico
Manila became the distribution center of Chinese and other Oriental goods.
Disrupted the growth and development of the Philippine economy because other European ships were barred from embarking their products in Manila.
The clergy was a primary investor in the Galleon trade.
The Obras Pias or pious works was a foundation where money from the trade was invested and appropriated. The profit was intended to be used on orphanages and other charitable institutions.
The friars were powerful enough to burrow money from the Obras Pias and the gov’t without collateral and sometimes without paying back, resulting to bankruptcy.
Gov. Fernando Manuel de Bustamante investigated the cause of the bankruptcy and urged the friars to pay back the money. He met his untimely death in 1719, allegedly at the hands of the friars.
The Galleon trade served as a means of communication b/w Phils., Mexico, and Spain and also saved the colony from undue exploitation because the Spanish authority was preoccupied with the trade.

The Philippines under Spanish Colonial Regime (Part II)

The Encomiendas
Right given by the king of Spain to a Spaniard who had helped to facilitate the settlement of a territory.
By implication, it was a public office and the person became known as a n encomiendero who:
1. Collects taxes from people under his jurisdiction
2. Was obliged to protect and defend the people under him
3. Help in the conversion of the natives to Catholicism
The encomienderos abused their rights by forcing the natives to pay tributes beyond what the law prescribed. Natives who could not come to terms in the manner dictated by the encomiendero were brutally tortured or thrown into prison.
Some humane ecclesiastic officials decided to inform the king of the unlawful activities out of pity. They were Domingo Salazar, 1st bishop of Manila, and Martin de rada, superior of the Augustinians in the Phils. Who condemned the encomienderos for the various violence and atrocities commited.

Economic retrogression
The Spaniards the Filipinos for their indolence, which was inherent of the Filipino character, their inability for learning, and their perceived congenital inferiority as Indios for the economic retrogression.
Fathers Chirino and Antonio de Morga argued that the retrogression was caused by the gov’t’s imposition of numerous taxes and its utter insensitiveness to render service upon which taxes were instructed.
They attested the the dev’t inagriculture, trade and industry, skills and ingenuity of the natives.

Abolition of slavery
Through the efforts of Bishop Domingo Salazar and various heads of religious orders to ask the king to abolish slavery. They signed a document accusing the Spaniards in the Phils. about the maltreatment of the Filipinos as slaves in the hands of the colonizers which was contrary to the laws of God and of the Indies.
One of the administrative accomplishments done by Spain for the colony.
King Philip II then issued the Royal Decree of Aug 9, 1589, emancipating all slaves in the colony.

On Cultural Development
The Spanish introduced lingua franca (Spanish language) to the colony but did not have a deliberate effort to propagate it “for the fear that the country may become Hispanized and ceased to be a monastic colony”. Natives might begin to understand and question arbitrary and questionable aspects of Spanish rule
Only the wealthy and educated middle class learned to read and write in Spanish.
Philippine lit. Were predominantly religious in tone, character, and moral quality. First book published in the country was Doctrina Christiana in 1593 via the printing press brought by the Dominican friars in the same year in Manila.
Spanish missionaries trained Filipino trainers who were also engravers
They include Tomas Pinpin of Mabatang, Abucay, Bataan, Siete Infantes de Lara, and Bernardo Carpio.
Distinguished in Phil lit are: Jose dela Cruz (Husing Sisiw 1746-1829) and Francisco Baltazar (1789-1862)
Painting and architecture are also focused on religion. Example is “Our Lady of the Rosary” a.k.a. “La Naval” carved by a pagan Chinese craftsman.
2 filipinos, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo (silver medal, Christian virgins exposed) and Juan Luna (gold medal, Spoliarium) won in the Madrigal Exposition of Fine Arts.

Philippines under the Spanish Regime (Part III)

RELIGION -one of the important objectives of the Spanish colonizers was to spread Christianity. -the establishment of paxhispanica in the Philippines was hastened through the concerted efforts of the Spanish Missionaries. -with the help of the soldiers, missionaries easily conquered territories of the colony and converted the natives to Christianity. -the varios missionaries who used their religious influence were: Augustinians(1565), Franciscans (1577), Jesuits (1581), Dominicans(1587), and the Recollects(1606)

SOCIAL RESULTS -Adoption of the Fiesta -Fiesta us a socio-religious event celebrating the feast day of a patron saint of a Catholic Town as an occasion of Thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest and other blessings. -These are exemplified by the colourful Ati-atihanMoriones festival and Obando, Bulacan fertility dance. -The fiesta was a costly social affair for it provided a horde of friends and strangers to temptation to avail some attractions of the celebration like gambling and cockfighting. -The Filipinos look forward every year for the fiesta as a popular and enduring social celebration for it provided the natives a brief respite from the hard of the year and afforded them the opportunity to renew their social affinity with relatives and friends.

ARCHITECTURE -Many Philippine churches show influence of the baroque style, having massive walls, and thick buttress and spiral motifs, ornate sculpture façade, and graceful, curving balustrades. -San Augustin Church is the oldest church in the Philippines. -Stone houses of the well-to-do people were constructed in Spanish architectural style with the azotea and Andalucian courtyard. -The house of Dr. Jose Rizal in Calamba, Laguna typified the character of Spanish architecture.

EDUCATION -Education in the Philippines during the Spanish era was not open to all Filipinos. -The Spanish government had absolutely no intention of training the natives for eventual independence and self-government. -Some schools were exclusively established for Spanish nationals and people who belonged to the upper social and economic class of society. -the educational system was controlled by the friars through different religious orders. -The preparation, planning, control and supervision of curricular programs the chief feature of which was religion to secularize the colony’s educational system were within the power and authority of the friars. -The University of Sto. Tomas, the oldest pontificialuniversity of the Philippines was founded by the Dominicans in 1611. -Colegio de San Juan de Letran(1601), Colegio de Sta. Potenciana(1589), Colegio de Sta. Isabel(1632), College of La Concordia(1869), and Assumption Convent(1892) -In 1863, the Spanish Government enacted and implemented an educational reform primarily designed to improve the state of education throughout the archipelago. -the decree provided for the establishment of at least one primary school for boys and one for girls in every town. -the decree also provided for the establishment of a normal school for male teachers under the supervision of the Jesuits and created a commission of eight members headed by the governor general. Instruction in the primary level for both boys and girls was free and the teaching of Spanish was compulsory. -While the government opened a higher level of education to the Filipinos, resulting in the emergence of the intelligentsia, a few years later, the Spaniards developed the fear that the natives will understand the value of education in relation to truth and fairness and they may in turn forment rebellion.

ECONOMY -The abolition of the galleon trade in 1815 and the separation of Mexico from Spain made it necessary for the Spanish government to engage in trading relations with other countries. -The government also allowed foreign investors to establish residence in the Philippines. -Spain opened its ports in Manila and other parts of the country. -Foreign banking institutions and other lending and credit facilities were open. -The introduction of scientific farming through the use of new technology and other farm inputs accelerated agricultural production. -The removal of stringent restrictions on foreign trade became a big boost for the economy and enjoyed favourable balance of trade with Europe and neighbouring Asian countries. -Roads and bridges were built, shipping lines, inter-island and overseas were improved and communication systems were upgraded. -The opening of the Philippines to world trade and with the emergence of multifarious forces (scientific and technological, industrial, economic, social and political) resulted in economic changes and prosperity that improved the quality of life of the Filipinos.

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