Los Chinos Macanistas: The Cantonese Chinese in the Spanish Philippines, 1778–1898

Jely A. Galang

Department of History, University of the Philippines Diliman


Vol. 16 (2022): 40-70 | Download PDF


This paper explores the emergence and development of the macanista or Cantonese community in the Philippines from the late eighteenth century to the end of the Spanish regime. It aims (1) to examine how the Spanish colonial state viewed the Chinese community in general and the Chinese dialect groups like the Cantonese in particular; (2) to provide a historical overview of Cantonese immigration to and settlement in the Philippines; and (3) to describe the economic contributions of Cantonese laboring classes in Manila and in the provinces. This paper intends to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the economic and socio-cultural differences within the Chinese community in the Spanish Philippines.


Macanista, macao, Cantonese, Chinese, Philippine history