HomeSynergeiavol. 5 no. 1 (2014)

Collaborative Production of “Civilizing Spaces” in Spanish Philippines: The Longos-Paete Land Dispute in Laguna in the Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries

Grace Liza Y. Concepcion



This paper aims to present the land dispute between Longos and Paete in the province of Laguna de Bay from 1733 to 1734. The objective of the paper is to show how contested lands lying in the border of towns were adjudicated via collaboration among the native elite or principalía, the Church authorities and Spanish civil authorities. Such collaborative interactions gave rise to those pueblos as “civilizing spaces” that the colonial government wished to establish in the Philippines. Spanish authorities believed that these towns were the best way to instill civilization in the natives. The towns eventually became sites of encounter among the natives and colonial authorities, both secular and religious. It was through these encounters that such civilizing spaces were produced not just physically but also socially. These encounters did not come merely in the form of resistance but also of collaboration. Thus the natives, represented primarily by the elite class, contributed to the process of town foundation.