Spaniards in the Philippines
| c. 3.5 million|
4.1% of the Philippine population
|Regions with significant populations|
Metro Cebú, Metro Manila, Laoag, Zamboanga Peninsula, Iloilo, Bacólod, Davao
|English, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Filipino, Spanish, Chabacano|
|Predominantly Roman Catholic|
|Related ethnic groups|
Spanish, Hispanics, other Europeans</br>*Significant historic (and some genetic) relationship with: Austronesians, Chinese Filipinos.
Spanish Filipinos (or Spanish-Filipinos) are a multilingual Filipino ethnic group composed of Philippine citizens of Spanish and Mexican descent. They consitute the seventh largest ethnic group in the country.
Spanish Filipinos descended partly from native Austronesian peoples mixed with Spanish and Mexican ancestry. They are generally referred to as Spanish mestizos (Spanish: Mestizo de Español, Filipino: Mestisong Kastila, Kastilaloy); these comprise the majority of the Spanish Filipino population. According to genetic research, around 3.6% of all Filipinos have European ancestry from either Spanish/Mexican or American colonization. The descendants of Latin Americans of Spanish blood are also included.<ref name="Stanford">A Predominantly Indigenous Paternal Heritage for the Austronesian-Speaking Peoples of Insular Southeast Asia and Oceania</ref> Of that figure, less than half are of the Spanish variety.
Spanish Filipinos are usually distinguished physically from other Philippine ethnic groups by their mixed appearance. Containing slightly rounder eyes and acquiline nose structures, compared to those of native Filipinos. Bone structures and skin color varies as Filipinos of Spanish or Mexican descents are mediterranean or latino in physique, and native Filipinos have more oriental characteristics.
Most Spaniards and Spanish mestizos living in the Philippines emigrated to Spain, Latin America, or the United States, following World War II and during the Marcos regime. Today, Spanish Filipinos can mostly be found in Metro Manila, Central Luzón, the Visayas, Davao and especially the Zamboanga Peninsula where Chabacano (a form of Creole/Pidgin Spanish) is spoken.
Language and culture
Spanish Filipinos mostly speak Filipino and their respective regional languages (mostly Cebuano in regions like Cebu, Davao, and Zamboanga peninsula), Ilonggo (Iloilo and Bacolod), Ilocano, and Spanish Creole, Chabacano) in everyday discourse, while using English in the public sphere. Many, particularly those of older generations, have preserved Spanish as the spoken language of the home.
Spanish Filipinos currently constitute the great majority of both the upper and middle classes and rarely intermingle with those outside their ethnic group. Many are either in politics or are high-ranking executives of commerce and industry, entertainment and sporting ranks. Most elite Filipino family dynasties, political families, and the elite clans are Spanish Filipinos. A number of Spanish Filipinos are also found in the lower classes.
According to a recent survey, the number of Spanish citizens in the Philippines regardless of ethnolinguistic affiliation was about 16,300, excluding Philippine citizens of Spanish descent. Spaniards are referred to as Kastila from the name Castile. The vast majority are Andalusians, while a minority are Catalans or Basques.
Castilians and Catalans combined account for 9,000 of Spanish citizens in the Philippines, while the Basques number about 7,300. Other peninsular ethnicities such as Galician were not distinguished from the Castilian and the Catalan, since all three speak the same language family, the Romance language family.
Prominent Spanish Filipinos
For a list of prominent or noteworthy Spanish Filipinos, see Category:Spanish-Filipinos.
- Spanish language in the Philippines
- Europeans in the Philippines
- Tornatrás, the now-unused Spanish-era term term referring to mestizos of Spanish and Chinese ancestry
- Principalía, the ruling class during the Spanish era in the Philippines, comprised mainly of natives and European mestizos
- Spanish mestizos in the Philippines, photos from AsiaFinest