THE EXTRAMUROS DE MANILA SUITE
Intramuros means inside the walls, which was the main town, the center, the
Capital of Las Islas Filipinas. Intra, after all means ‘inside’ and muros means
walls. This explains why, according to writer Nick Joaquin, Intramuros was known
in Tagalog as "sa loob ng Maynila".
Extramuros, on the other hand, meant ‘outside the walls,
sa labás, and it was
composed of arrabales, or suburban municipalities and pueblos, whose names we
still know today. To wit: Binondo, Tondo, Santa Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, Paco
de Dilao and Ermita to point out the most immediate ones.
The historical context of the EXTRAMUROS DE MANILA SUITE is the visit to the
Philippines of Sir John Bowring, Governor General of British Hong Kong, in the
1870s. He was warmly received by Spanish officialdom, the Principalía and school
children that sang to him "God Save the Queen of England" to a Chino Cristiano
brassband. After the usual protocol and amenities like a Vino de honor, Sir John
Bowring was entertained with Spanish dances by the Criollos Insulares and the
native Principalía Inramureña who danced El Cañí, La Jota de la Etudiantina and
a Zapateado del Sacromonte.
By noon he was led to a tour of Extramuros de Manila, ---Binondo, Tondo, Santa
Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, Dilao (Paco) and Ermita. He returned to Intramuros in
the evening for a grand reception at the famous Salón de Mármol (Marble Hall)
del Palacio del Gobernador.
After getting to know the Filipino people, Sir John Bowring, praised the work of
Spain in the Philippines for having Christianized and Hispanized its
Wrote Sir John Bowring:
"The lines separating entire classes and races, appeared to me less marked than
in the Oriental colonies. I have seen on the same table, Spaniards, Metizos
(Chinos cristianos) and Indios, priests and military. There is no doubt that
having one Religion forms great bonding. And more so to the eyes of one that has
been observing the repulsion and differences due to race in many parts of Asia.
And from one (like myself) who knows that race is the great divider of society,
the admirable contrast and exception to racial discrimination so markedly
presented by the people of the Philippines is indeed admirable."
"Credit is certainly due to Spain for having bettered the condition of a people
who, though comparatively highly civilized, yet being continually distracted by
petty wars, had sunk into a disordered and uncultivated state. The inhabitants
of these beautiful Islands upon the whole, may well be considered to have lived
as comfortably during the last hundred years, protected form all external
enemies and governed by mild laws vis-a-vis those from any other tropical
country under native or European sway, owing in some measure, to the frequently
discussed peculiar (Spanish) circumstances which protect the interests of the
natives." (Travels in the Philippines, London, 1875). Let us follow
Bowring’s tour of Extramuros de Manila.
1. BINONDO, SANTA CRUZ and QUIAPO
Binondo, Santa Cruz and Quiapo were mainly Chino Cristiano, the other name for
Sector de Mestizos or Parian, and their
Mestizo Terciado offsprings, --- local
Spanish citizens that had Chinese, Spanish and Indio Tagalog blood in their
veins. Spanish Mestizos with no Chinese blood were classified for tax purposes
as Criollos Insulares (Creoles).
A Chino Cristiano was a Chinese trader who, upon conversion to Catholicism,
became a Spanish Citizen. Thus, Binondo, the commercial capital of these Islands
that brought in the products of mainland China to load in the Manila Acapulco
galleons was composed of trade associations like the Gremio de Chinos
Gremio de Mestizos (Chinos Cristianos) and Gremio de Naturales (Indio-Tagalos).
This ethnic and social background explains why the old Binondo-SantaCruz-Quiapo
songs are in Spanish their melodies showing a blend of Spanish and Chinese
NACÍ EN BINONDO
Nací en Binondo sin contrabando
Nací más blanco que un Don Sangláy*
Siendo mi padre buen comerciante
Siendo mi madre Ñora Quicáy*…
I was born in Binondo without any smugling.
I was born whiter than a Sir Sanglay*1.
My father being a good trader.
My Mother being Madam Quicay*2.
* Sanglay: - a Chinaman;
* Madam Quicay (Doña Francisca) ,
a Tagala of the Native Principalíya)
2. SANTA CRUZ and QUIAPO gladly received Sir John Bowring with a welcome song
and dance. The Quiapense chinas cristianas danced El collar de sampaguita with
garlands in their hands. The male dancers waved ribbon figurines in the air. At
the end of their song and dance they resented these perfumed garlands to the
distinguished British guest who was all smiles.
EL COLLAR DE SAMPAGUITA
de perfume seductor.
de la dicha y
3. PACO DE DILAO and SAN MIGUEL was partly settled by Japanese Catholics who had
intermarried with local Tagalog women. The mix did not only introduce maiz and
mongo con hielo but also a coy, but flirtatious dance that alternates a paper
mask with a fan on the face. The sanmiguelina dress is an interesting blend of a
Spanish Tagalog saya with an alampay or a pañoleta with tassles and Kimono-like
sleeves or mangas de jamón.
(Habanera de Dilao, Paco .1870)
En sueños reveló con dulce son,
con mimo son. En sueños suplicó
no mire así. no mire así.
En sueños descubrí mi fe inmortal
ánfora y elixirde triunfal pasión.
This is an aristocratic pueblo near Intramuros. It is separated by the grand
Paseo de la Luneta. It’s native popualtion, 12,000 of them speak Chabacano or
Creole Spanish most of them working for the Spanish government, like one Jorge
León Guerrero who was "un escribano", and serving an aristocratic
Indios, Insulares and Peninsulares than only spoke in Spanish. Thus it’s
humorous Pasacalle del Aray, sang in Criollo, has all the nuances of a Flamenco
dance. The Ermitense dress, like that of Cavite, is strongly Andalusian.
PASACALLE ! ARAY!
En la dulzura de mi afán,
junto contigo na un peñon
mientras ta despierta el buan y en
las playas del Pasay se iba
bajando el sol.
5. BACK TO INTRAMUROS, Sir John Bowring was honored by a grand reception, dinner
and show at the Palacio del Gobernador where upon the marble flooring of the
Gran Salón de Mármol, the La Jota Intramureña in the gala Filipino dress of that
time was presented to his delight.