Sunday, May 25, 2008
The word Binondo came from the word Binundok which means mountain or boondocks.
Founded in 1594, Binondo was created by Spanish Governor Luis Perez Dasmarinas as a permanent settlement for Chinese converted immigrants across the river from the walled city of Intramuros where the Spaniards resided. It was originally intended to replace the Parian near Intramuros where the Chinese were confined. The land grant was given to a group of Chinese merchants and artisans in perpetuity, tax-free and with limited self-governing privileges.
The Spanish Dominican fathers made Binondo their Parish and succeeded converting a great many of the Chinese residents to Catholicism. Binondo soon became the place where Chinese immigrants converted to Catholicism, intermarried with indigenous Filipino women and procreated to produce a nascent Chinese mestizo community. Over the years, the Chinese mestizo of Binondo grew rapidly. This was caused by 2 factors: the lack of Chinese immigrant females and the policies of the Spanish authorities in expelling and massacring pure-blooded Chinese immigrants who refused to convert. Luis Perez Dasmarinas played a prominent role in the massacre of 20,000 Chinese after a Chinese revolt in 1603.
Facade of Binondo Church
Binondo is the historic birthplace of a new race called mestizo de sangley. It was also the birthplace of San Lorenzo Ruiz, a mestizo de sangley who would later become the First Filipino Saint. Plaza Lorenzo Ruiz and the Binondo Church(formal name: Minor Basilica of St. Lorenzo Ruiz) are named after him. And the Chapel of Our Lady of China now in Binondo Church. (Wikipedia)