Non-indigenous Ethnic Group

The Chinese are thought to have come to the Philippines as early as the 6th century B.C. There was trade between China and the Philippines in the time of the Tang (618-907) and Sung (960-1127) dynasties, but it did not really flourish until the 13th and 14th centuries. Yet when the Spaniards arrived there were no more than 150 Chinese in Manila. At first the Spanish authorities encouraged their commercial activities, but later took umbrage at their control of trade and confined them to one part of the town, the Parian district. Jealousy of the Chinese led to a number of massacres (1603, 1639, 1662), and in the following century the Governor of the Philippines had all the Chinese on Luzon hanged for collaboration with the British occupying forces (1762-64). At the end of the 18th century, however, after various orders of expulsion, the Spaniards favoured the development of Chinese trade in return for the payment of taxes.

In spite of this hostility the number of Chinese has risen to around 500,000, or according to some estimates considerably more. Most of them have adopted Christianity; others are Taoists. They have their own cemetery in Manila, used for the burial of both Christians and Buddhists. Efforts are now being made to assimilate these Filipino Chinese and to facilitate the process of naturalization. Many of them are now leaving the Chinatown quarter and moving to other parts of the city, where they live side by side with the Filipinos. Their main common bond is their economic, commercial and financial interdependence. Many Chinese have married Filipinos, but continue to speak Chinese, or frequently prefer to speak English rather than Tagalog.

The Spanish presence has been evident since early sixteenth century. The Spanish colonial era in the country (1565-1898) was limited entirely to government administrators, military men and religious missionaries. A large part of European introgression is very likely of Spanish origin. Filipinos with a mix Spanish ancestry, Spanish mestizos, are particularly visible in movie industry and some leaders of the Philippine business and commerce are of Spanish descent. Spanish and Spanish speaking families are mostly found in areas that had agricultural importance.

The American presence in the Philippines is contemporaneous and relatively high, owing to the half of century of colonization by the United States. The Philippines has the second largest population of American citizens outside of United States, many of whom have been naturalized.

There are also Arabs, who contributed mostly in Muslim society of the country. The presence of Indians has been ongoing since prehistoric times predating even the coming of the Europeans by at least two centuries. The Japanese who are mostly businessman and many are married to Filipinas. Koreans in the Philippines are mostly temporary students and workers who are in training. It was noted that the largest South Korean community are residing at the Philippines. There are also presence of other European and Asian nationalities such as British, Belgians, Italians, Indonesians, Malaysians, Thais and Vietnamese to name a few.