Halo-Halo Specialby Karl Garcia

In Joe America’s blog article Filipino is not a race (link)  He correctly states that Filipino is a nation and being Filipino is a nationality, but what is the race of the Filipino. Joe first mentioned an article by Irineo in this blog:

Irineo wrote an article titled “Being in Filipino” that started with Shakespeare (“to be or not to be”) and wound its way through Europe and across the Pacific to the Philippines where the Game of Thrones emerged from a tribal culture overlaid with the aspirations of conquering Spanish and American overlords (“live and let live“).

He wrote, near the end of his article: “The hardheadedness of many Filipinos might be due to shifting ground they still stand on.”

That struck me as an extraordinary bit of wisdom, particularly as I see my own views hardening as they come under pressure from people who insist I agree with them, lest they slap labels on my forehead meant to diminish me to the stature of a worm slithering through the earth. The more labels they slap on my forehead, the more determined I am not to even listen anymore. I think a Spanish overlord or priest in 1823 might have the same affect on those at the bottom of the formal racially based caste system that existed at the time.

You see, that’s what Irineo did. He sent me directly to get a better reading on “Filipinos“, a word that until now I had interpreted in racial terms. But that is not true, I learned. ‘Filipino’ is not a race just as ‘American’ is not a race. Racial distinctions in the Philippines ended after the Philippine American War when the Spanish caste system, based on race, was eliminated.

“The system was used for tax purposes. Indios paid a base tax, mestizos de sangley paid twice the base tax, sangleys paid four times the base tax, and the blancos or whites (Filipinos, peninsulares, mestizos de español, and tornatrás) paid no tax. Negritos who lived within the colony paid the same tax rate as the indios.” [Wiki]

In this extreme heat with record breaking heat index,we love to eat halo-halo for desert.

In elementary they made it simple first came the Aetas using the land bridges (proven never existed), then the Indonesians, then the Malays thern the Spaniards came. But we learn that even before the Chinese, the Arabs, the Hindus have set foot in our lands. Ten years before Magellan used the Pacific route to discover the Philippines, the Portuguese already set foot on our shores.

So many people from all over has set foot in our islands,no wonder we are a mixed race. Now this can also be called the Filipino mix.

The Filipino genome

National Geographic among others Had this Genographic Project (link), briefly described here:

“Since its launch in 2005, National Geographic’s Genographic Project has used advanced DNA analysis and worked with indigenous communities to help answer fundamental questions about where humans originated and how we came to populate the Earth. Now, cutting-edge technology is enabling us to shine a powerful newlight on our collective past. By participating in the latest phase of this real-time scientific project, you can learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.”

Based on that genographic project here are the the results for the Filipino Genome:

Native American 2%
Eastern Asia 36%
Southeast Asia & Oceania 53%
Southern Europe 5%
Southern Asia 3%

The reference population is based on people living in the Philippine archipelago. The large Southeast Asia/Oceania component is indicative of some of the earliest settlers of the islands of Southeast Asia some 40,000 years ago, when much of the Philippine and Indonesian archipelagoes were connected to mainland Asia. The East Asia component, in contrast, is associated with the migrants from China and Taiwan who expanded south, spreading Austronesian languages and rice cultivation some 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.

Not only National Geographic has a genome project,here is a youtube video of a paticipipant in a project of Ancestry.com – she is 1/8 Filipina living in the US:

Funny thing is she had zero percent trace if her Irish great grand parents,and was surprised that she had African,Middle Eastern and even Native American among others in her veins.

The Filipino mestizo: the class divide in the age of discrimination

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filipino_mestizo:  Filipino mestizo is a term used in the Philippines to describe people of mixed Filipino and any foreign ancestry. The word mestizo is of Spanish origin, and was originally used in the Americas to only describe people of mixed European and Native American ancestry. In Spanish times it was like this:

  • Negrito: person of pure Aeta ancestry
  • Indio: person of pure Austronesian ancestry
  • Sangley: person of pure Chinese ancestry
  • Mestizo de Sangley: person of mixed Chinese and Austronesian ancestry
  • Mestizo de Bombay: person of mixed Indian and Austronesian ancestry
  • Mestizo de Español: person of mixed Spanish and Austronesian ancestry
  • Tornatrás: person of mixed Spanish, Austronesian and Chinese ancestry
  • Filipino/Insulares: person of pure Spanish descent born in the Philippines
  • Americano: person of Criollo (either pure Spanish blood, or mostly), Castizo (1/4 Native American, 3/4 Spanish) or Mestizo (1/2 Spanish, 1/2 Native American) descent born in Spanish America (“from the Americas”)
  • Peninsulares: person of pure Spanish descent born in Spain (“from the Iberian Peninsula”)

We can all say that we are all mestizos. If in Canada they have the first Nations (link),In US they have the native Americans(link) we have the IPs (link). In Mindanao they are called the Lumads,but elsewhere they are clustered as IPs. We have laws to protect their ancestral domain,their heritage and to prevent their extinction.

In the epicserye Amaya we were given the idea of how they lived during the Pre-Spanish Period. Royalties from Luzon Visayas and Mindanao were shown and of course where there is royalty there are slaves. Take out the supernatural, I believe that is how we lived.

Before the BBL controversy fitst there was the MOA-AD bill, which the SC junked (link). This involves protection the Ancestral domain of the Moros,but what about the lumads. Consultation of Lumads is very important before any Bangsa Moro Bill will be  signed into law.


From National Identification, Communication and Learning article (link):

Most of the more than 100 languages in the Philippines are linguistically classified as Philippine languages, to which certain languages from Sulawesi also belong. Exceptions are the Spanish creole language Chavacano with around 600.00 speakers – and English.  Northern Philippine languages include Ilokano and Kapampangan; Tagalog, Cebuano and Bikol are Central Philippine languages; Maguindanao and Maranao are Mindanao languages. Some Lumad languages lie outside the main language groups. As of 2000, languages with at least one million speakers were:


  • Tagalog with around 26 million speakers
  • Ilokano with around 8 million speakers
  • Kapampangan with around 3 million speakers
  • Pangasinan with around 2.5 million speakers
  • Northern Bikol with around 2.5 million speakers
  • Southern Bikol with around 2 million speakers


  • Cebuano with around 21 million speakers
  • Hiligaynon with around 7 million speakers
  • Waray-Waray with around 3 million speakers


  • Maranao with around 2 million speakers
  • Tausug with around 1.8 million speakers
  • Maguindanao with around 1.8 million speakers

Visayan languages and Tagalog are also spoken much in Mindanao. The national language Filipino is based on Tagalog and is spoken by around 45 million of the ca. 100 million Filipinos. Modern Filipino spoken on the streets is strongly influenced by the Filipino spoken in Metro Manila and spread via television and movies. The official language English is spoken by around 60 million Filipinos with varying proficiency, while Spanish has all but disappeared. Filipinos often code-switch between Filipino or their own local language and English.


Since we have many regions, a regionalistic attitude has been displayed through out history. This may be because of our different languages derived from the native tongue of the different places of origin.  Andres Bonifacio from Tondo failed in his revolution because the Caviteño Aguinaldo did not cooperate.

Fast forward to the modern ages. In the US if theyare not your province mate, chances are if you find out they are illegal immigrants you would report them to INS.

In prisons, you have provincemates forming gangs. It may not be thast bad in the recent past, but there is still regionalism. It is unfortunate we need Yolanda type disasasters or EDSA type revolutions to do bayanihan. Bayanihan the only glue we have to prove to the world that we are resilient.


We are Filipinos, no matter what our ancestry maybe, where ever we are, dual citizens or not, we are Filipinos. We stick together when the need arises.

Thank you to Karl Garcia for this article!

Irineo B. R. Salazar, 29 April 2016, München

More readings on the Filipino Genome




More on similar genome projects