Intramuros Learning Sessions episode no. 32


Before the birth of Binondo and the arrival of the Spaniards, the Chinese were already playing a central role in the manufacture and exchange of goods in Pre-Colonial Filipino society. The Chinese sold their goods in an area called Baybay, or what is now known as San Nicolas. Chinese junks brought in much-admired items such as silks and other textiles, porcelain and jade, spices, and myriad food ingredients. Such items attracted the Spaniards when they took over Manila. Thus, the Parian or marketplace was created to provide a designated area for selling goods. The establishment of the Parian helped stimulate the Spanish colonial economy, especially during the height of the galleon trade which put Manila on the map of global commerce. The Chinese remained vital to the Philippine economy over the centuries as they became more integrated to Filipino society through marriages and naturalization. Their community grew, eventually becoming a cornerstone of the modern Philippine economy. Presently, the Tsinoys (Tsino-Pinoy or Filipinos having Chinese origins) are among the major players in the business sector. Their significant contributions include job creation and sustained production of goods and services.

  • Guest speaker: Meah Ang See
  • Moderator: Rancho Arcilla

About the Speaker: Meah Ang See

Meah teaches at the De La Salle University and is currently the Director of Bahay Tsinoy, Museum of Chinese in Philippine Life

About the moderator: Rancho Arcilla

John Paul Escandor Arcilla, known professionally as Rancho Arcilla, is the author of the Intramuros Register of Styles (2021). He served as Chairperson of the Intramuros Technical Committee on Architectural Standards (TCAS) from June 2022 to May 2024. As TCAS Chairperson, Arcilla oversaw the review of all development, including new constructions, in the Walled City.

Arcilla was also the first Archivist of the Intramuros Administration. With a mandate from Atty. Guiller Asido, Administrator of Intramuros from 2017 to 2022, Arcilla established the Administration’s Archives and Central Records Section, serving as its first Section Head from July 2019 to June 2024.

He has an MA in Philippine Studies from UP Diliman and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Santo Tomas. Arcilla specializes on colonial architecture.

In 2021, Arcilla was instrumental in the development of the Revised 2021 Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Presidential Decree No. 1616, the main framework and legal instrument in the management of Intramuros District. The architectural provisions of the IRR and the Intramuros Register of Styles (2021) is based on his MA thesis Walls within Walls: The Architecture of Intramuros (2021).

About the Intramuros Learning Sessions

The Intramuros Learning Sessions (ILS) is the educational lecture series of the Intramuros Administration (IA). The IA is an attached national government agency under the Department of Tourism. 

Topics are interdisciplinary and cover themes related to Intramuros and Manila studies, Philippine studies, as well as cultural heritage studies. Pursuant to IA’s charter, the ILS aims to contribute to the strengthening of the Filipino’s national identity and sense of belonging and pride.

For inquiries contact us at [email protected]

See Previous ILS Episode
Cultural Significance for World Heritage Sites: Understanding the Concept of Outstanding Universal Value
See Next ILS Episode
Philippine Registry of Cultural Property: An Overview

Check out our previous ILS episodes here

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