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During the colonial period, there was an increase in the number of Chinese immigrants into the Philippines.
The Spaniards restricted the activities of the Chinese and confined them to the Parián which was located near Intramuros.
The Spanish government and religious missionaries were quick to learn native Filipino languages and Roman Catholic rituals were interpreted in accordance with Filipino beliefs and values.
As a result, a folk Roman Catholicism developed in the Philippines.
The Chinese resident in the islands were encouraged to intermarry with Filipinos, convert to Roman Catholicism and adopt Hispanic names, surnames and customs through the Catálogo alfabético de apellidos introduced by the Spaniards in the mid-19th century.
During the United States colonial period, the Chinese Exclusion Act of the United States was also applied to the Philippines.
Spanish era periodicals record that as much as one third of the inhabitants of the island of Luzon possess varying degrees of Spanish and Latino admixture.
To a Chinese mestizo woman who marries a Filipino shall be given 100 pesos; to a Filipino woman who marries a Chinese mestizo, Ioo pesos; to a Chinese mestizo woman who marries a Spaniard, 1,000 pesos; to a Spanish woman who marries a Chinese mestizo, 2,000 pesos; to a Filipino woman who marries a Spaniard, 2,000 pesos; to a Spanish woman who marries a Filipino chief, 3,000 or 4,000 pesos.
Some mestizo and Filipino alcaldes-mayor of the provinces shall be appointed.
After the Philippines achieved full sovereignty on 4 July 1946, Chinese immigrants became naturalised Filipino citizens, while the children of these new citizens who were born in the country acquired Filipino citizenship from birth.
The history of racial mixture in the Philippines occurred on a smaller scale than other Spanish territories in Americas during the Spanish colonial period from the 16th to the 19th century.
Persons classified as blancos (whites) were subdivided into the peninsulares (persons of pure Spanish descent born in Spain); insulares or filipinos (persons of pure Spanish descent born in the Philippines); mestizos de español (persons of mixed Autronesian and Spanish ancestry), and tornatrás (persons of mixed Austronesian, Chinese, and Spanish ancestry).