Parian, Cebu – the Chinese ghetto

This is a photo of The Parian in the early 1900s. Notice the Yap Sandiego ancestral home in the photo; which was built in 1675 and now considered as among the oldest residential homes in the Philippines to date.

The Parian is a ghetto outside the Spanish walled cities where Chinese were placed and segregated. The Spanish believed it was crucial to separate ethnic groups (like Jewish ghettos) and regarded the Chinese as of the lowest class, lower than the indios. Soon the Parian became known as the silk market, and flourished with all kinds of trade goods at very cheap cost.

One Spaniard wrote back to Spain that the Sangleys (Chinese) are so remarkable with their workmanship that they can imitate any product at better quality— and at ridiculously cheap costs that they are driving many Spaniards out of business. Typical.


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