HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 62 no. 1 (2016)

From Lands Far Away: Manila’s Migrants from the Visayas, Mindanao and Other Islands during the 1880s-1890s

Marco Stefan B. Lagman



This study is a continuation of a series of on-going research on the spatio-demographic profile of individuals who migrated to Manila’s districts during the final decades of Spanish colonial rule. By using material gathered from civil register lists (vecindario) of selected Manila districts during the 1880s to 1890s, and combining these with Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, this historical GIS paper seeks to illustrate the spatial and demographic characteristics of individuals who decided to move to Manila from their home provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao as well as those from the island settlements in the Luzon area that were not geographically proximate to Manila. The categorization of these migrants gives particular attention to their (a) provincial origins, (b) gender, (c) occupation, and (d) age during the years that they were recorded by the state as residents of Manila. This research also compares the number, age and occupations of migrants in different districts (i.e., Quiapo, Paco, Sampaloc) as well as notes the existence of long-time migrants among the less than 200 individuals who were recorded to have been originally from places that were quite distant from their new places of residence. It is hoped that this study contributes both to the rather scant literature on the demographic history of Manila and the emerging discipline of historical GIS in the Philippines.