Sangley to Tsinoy

peddlerSANGLEY (pronounced sang-lai). From the Hokkien term siong lay 常 來. They were the merchants, laborers and artisans of the Spanish period. Think of them as the first OCWs (overseas Chinese workers) who hoped to earn enough money to provide for their families back home.





mestizoMESTIZO. They are they children of intermarriage between the Chinese and the Filipino. Theirs is the life of the middle class – with land to till and opportunities to trade. From their ranks rose the ILUSTRADO.





rizalILUSTRADO. The enlightened one. They are the mestizos who had the privilege of education – in Manila and in Europe. They absorbed European liberal ideas and among them was born the strong desire for freedom from Spanish colonizers.






intsikINTSIK & INTSIK BEJO. Regardless of its origin, these terms are hurtful to the Chinese in the Philippines.They were often used to degrade and discriminate against them. Nowadays, even if people do not mean to insult, the terms still ring dissonantly in the ears of the TSINOY.



huaqiaoSOJOURNER , HUA QIAO 華僑 – They are the overseas Chinese workers came to the Philippines to earn a living. With their families waiting for them back home, they worked extremely hard in this foreign land. The country was kind to them, providing them with opportunities to prosper and attain their dreams. The Sangley considered himself a Huaqiao.


Delegates to the Third Tsinoy National ConventionTSINOY. Tsinong Pinoy, or Chinese Filipino (華人or 華裔) – where the noun is Filipino and the modifier, Chinese. In heart and mind, the Tsinoys are Filipinos who look back to their ancestral origins. He is a unique hybrid of two cultures, two traditions, two peoples.