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A picture of a Sangley taken in 1875

Sangley (Sangleye, Sangley Mestizo, Mestisong Sangley, Mestizo de Sangley or Chinese mestizo; plural: "Sangleys/es") , is an archaic term used to describe a person of mixed Chinese and Indio ancestry. (Indio during the Spanish colonial period was the term used for Filipinos.) It was widely used in the 15th to 19th century Philippines to differentiate them from other types of mestizos (such as those of mixed Indio and Spanish-Filipino ancestry).

Today, ‘Tsinito’ (lit. "little chinese man"; Spanish: Chinito) is liberally used to describe a Sangley, but it also usually includes Filipinos of other East Asian ancestries (Japanese, Korean, etc.) that possess these prominent physical features. ‘Tsinoy’, on the other hand, is used to refer to Filipinos of pure ethnic Chinese background. Among Spanish-Chinese mestizos, many simply use and prefer the generic term ‘mestizo’ to describe themselves.



Sangley originated from two Hokkien words- shang which means business and lai meaning coming. Francisco de Sande noted in 1576 that "Throughout these islands they call the Chinese ‘Sangleyes,’ meaning ‘a people who come and go...’"<ref name="test1"> [Tan, Michael L. 2001. From Sangley to Chinoy. Philippine Daily Inquirer September 5.] </ref>. Subsequently, Spaniards used this term as a label for the Chinese merchants, laborers and artisans in the Philippines.

Chinese Filipino - List of Famous Chinese Filipinos or Chinese Mestizos

  • José Rizal (Fukienese-Tagalog)---Philippine national hero from the Cua clan of Fujian, his immigrant forebear was Domingo Lamco (Chinese name "Cua Yi Lam") of Siongque (Zhangguo) Village in Jinjiang, Fujian province, China.
  • Emilio Aguinaldo (Fukienese-Tagalog)---First President of the First Republic and revolutionary leader against Spain and the United States
  • Román Ongpin (pure Fukienese)---patron of artists and revolutionaries against Spanish rule
  • St. Lorenzo Ruiz (Fukienese-Tagalog)---first Filipino saint, said to be surnamed Lee
  • Benedicto Dimaculangan Tuazon (Fukienese-Tagalog-Kapampangan)--- the illegitimate son of Don Antonio Tuason, the Grand Patriarch of the Tuason Family.


See also



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