HomeThe Journal of Historyvol. 58 no. 1 (2012)

Agricultural and Urban Land as Property and Resource in Nineteenth Century Pampanga

Marco Stefan B. Lagman

Discipline: History



The analysis of historical documents can be used as a means of revealing aspects of a society that may otherwise be overlooked. In this regard, this study attempts to reveal certain features of Pampanga society and Spanish colonial policies and regulations pertaining to land during the latter part of the nineteenth century that can be examined from selected Protocolo and Fincas Urbana documents from the Province of Pampanga. Using concepts from the discipline of geography and land use, this study intends to show the growing importance of real property among Kapampangans both as an item of increasing value and as an object that can be handed down to their heirs. Careful study of these documents also helps uncover the variety of ways in which Kapampangans use their land assets as a commodity that can be employed as collateral or a resource that can be utilized as a direct input in agricultural and aquacultural production and as a platform for commercial and residential activities.


Moreover, the notarial records and land taxation papers that were studied also yielded particular features of Philippine society, such as the increasing domination of certain landowners in particular places, the ability of Kapampangan women and ethnic Chinese to be owners and active buyers of property, the increasing monetization of the economy and commoditization of land, and the manner in which the colonial government assessed taxes on what up to the present is one of the more important sources of income of our local and national governments.