Domingo Lam-Co

Domingo LAM-CO (1662 – ) was Socorro’s 6th great grandfather.  He was also Jose Rizal’s 2nd great grandfather

Domingo Lam-co was born in Siong-que, (Qiongque, pronounced ”Zhang Guo” in Mandarin) in Losan district, Jinjiang, Fujian province, China.   Church records show that Cue Yi Lam was baptized as Domingo Lamco at the age of 35 in Manila in 1697 and that his birthplace was Siongque village in China.  Hi.s parents were SIANG-CO Cua and Zun-nio [__?__] . He married Ines De la ROSA.

Jinjiang, Fujian Province.  The Taiwanese coast is the the southeast corner of the map.  The dashed lines circle islands controlled by Taiwan near the Chinese coast.

Google map of Jinjiang, Quanzhou, Fujian  I couldn’t quite find the village of Siong-que, but here’s the town of Luoshan.   When President Estrada visited the ancestral village in 2000, Jinjiang City announced it hoped to spend more of its own money to expand it to a 20-hectare park complete with a new museum dedicated to Lam-co’s descendant Jose Rizal.   The monument was completed in Dec 2002.  It is a slightly larger replica of the one standing at the Luneta, now Rizal Park in Manila. It stands 18.61 meters high, representing the year of Dr. Rizal’s birth, 1861. Like the original in Manila, the monument in Jinjiang City also features a bronze statue of the national hero as its centerpiece.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signs the Guest Book after offering a wreath at the foot of the Rizal Monument in Jinjiang City, Fujian Province on Oct 28, 2006.

Ines de la Rosa was born xx. Her parents were Agustin CHINCO and Jacinta Rafaela [__?__].

Children of Domingo and Ines:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Francisco MERCADO 1731 in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines. Bernarda MONICHA
26 May 1771
Calamba, Laguna, Philippines
2. Josepha Didnio 1741
Biñan, Laguna, Philippines
1741 in Biñan, Laguna, Philippines.

Eusebio Lopez and his cousin Jose Rizal were descendents of Domingo Lam-co. (traditional Chinese: 柯儀南) a Chinese immigrant entrepreneur who sailed to the Philippines from JinjiangQuanzhou in the mid-17th century.

Jose Rizal Pedigree

Domingo Lam-co’s Genealogy

Generation                All Surnamed Cua
1st          ShanWeng
2nd        Nian Chi Zhi Zheng
3rd         Yun Cong
4th          Zhi Gong
5th          Song Lo
6th          Szu Gong
7th          Wan Ching
8th          Zong Xian
9th          Men Gong
10th        Hong Gong
11th        Zhong Guo
12th        Ting Zuo
13th        Bai Xia
14th        He Fu
15th        Cai Jing
16th        Cong You
17th        Zhang Ly
18th        Na
19th    Lam (Cua-Lam or Domingo Lam-co)

Source: Cua Genealogy, Siongque, China.

The above Chinese genealogy shows that Socorro was a 28th -generation Cua of Siongque, (pronounced ”Zhang Guo” in Mandarin) in Losan district, Jinjiang, Fujian province, south China

The Cua clan of south China and Asia trace their origins 3,000 years ago to patriarch Chua Siok-To in the Yellow River basin of central China, in that area now called Henan province. Duke Chua Siok-To was the fifth son of the political genius who founded the Chou Dynasty and his eldest brother later became the king. This era was before the rise of a unified China under first Emperor Chin Shih Huang-Ti. Descendants of Chua (also pronounced ”Tsai” in Mandarin or ”Choy” in Cantonese) include some of the world’s richest billionaires according to Forbes magazine–Taiwanese Tsai Wan-Lin of Cathay Life Group and Indonesian ‘Tobacco King’ Rachman Halim (Chua To-Hing) of Gudang Garam Group. Another clan member was the late Philippine ‘Sugar King’ and philanthropist Antonio Roxas-Chua. Another heir of patriarch Chua Siok-To started the clan of Cua (pronounced ”Ke” in Mandarin, also spelled as ”Qua” or ”Koa,” of which Domingo Lamco and Dr. Jose Rizal were direct male descendants

In 1697, at the age of 35, Lam-co was baptized at the San Gabriel Church in the predominantly Chinese community of Binondo.  In his baptismal record, his parents were simply listed as  SIONG-co and JUN-nio.

Domingo Lam-co Baptismal Record

In these church records, he specified his home village to be Siongque  near Quanzhou, Fujian Province.  He was the 19th generation of the first Cua who settled in Siongque.  The rural areas of Jinjiang , Lamoa, Hui-Wa, Chio-Sai, An-Khue and others under Quanzhou are the ancestral places of 80 percent of the top Chinese-Filipino entrepreneurs.

He adopted “Domingo” his baptismal day, as his first name.  He married a Chinese mestiza said to be half his age named Ines de la ROSA, Lam-co married Inez de la ROSA, a Sangley of Luzon. who belonged to an entrepreneurial family in Binondo.  Ines was the daughter of Agustin CHIN-co and Jacinta RAFAELA, a Chinese mestiza resident of the Parian.

Children of Agustin and Jacinta:

i Magdalena Vergara (—)
ii Josepha (—)
iii. Cristoval de la Trinidad (—)
iv. Juan Batista (—) .
v. Francisco Hong-Sun (—)
vi. Ines de la ROSA

With the rigid social stratification prevailing at that time, it was evident that Lam-co came from a good family.  Through his association with two Spanish friars, Fr. Francisco Marquez, authority on Chinese grammar, and Fr. Juan Caballero, he was invited to settle in the Dominican estate of San Isidro Labrador in Biñan, Laguna.  Lam-co was said to have been instrumental in the building of the irrigation works known as Tubigan, which made the area where it was situated the richest part of the estate.  He and his family lived in the estate along with fellow immigrants from Chin-chew, China.

Map of Binan, Laguna

Sangley History

The Spanish colonization of the Philippines required more skilled laborers and they recruited Chinese immigrants from the islands. The economy became highly dependent upon the Chinese for their economic role as traders and artisans. Most of the Chinese living in the Manila area settled in a place called the Parían near Intramuros.

The Spanish founded the Parían in 1581 in what became Manila as the official marketplace and designated residence for the unconverted sangleys. Circumventing a royal decree outlawing the sangleys, as governor-general of the Philippines, Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas created Binondo in 1594 for the Catholic sangleys and their indio wives and their mestizos de sangley children and descendants. He gave the sangleys and mestizo de sangleys a land grant in perpetuity. They were allowed to establish a self-governing organization, called Gremio de Mestizos de Binondo (Guild of Mestizos of Binondo).

The Spanish colonists attempted to assimilate the sangleys into the Hispanic culture and converted many to Catholicism. They allowed Catholic sangleys to intermarry with indio women, but did not recognize marriages of the unconverted sangleys, as they did not officially sanction marriages among subjects that were performed outside the Catholic Church.

Beginning in 1600, the first generation of mestizos de sangley formed a small community of several hundred in Binondo. This is whereSan Lorenzo Ruiz grew up. He later was beatified by the Catholic Church as the first Filipino saint. During the 17th century, the Spaniards carried out four Great Massacres and Expulsions against the unconverted sangleys in response to real or imagined fears of an imminent invasion from China. In the aftermath, many sangleys converted at least nominally to Catholicism, adopted Hispanized names, and intermarried with indio women.

The Spanish encouraged the Chinese to convert to Catholicism. Many of the Chinese men married native women, and over time the multi-cultural mestizo de sangley caste developed. Although the colonial government never imposed on them the adoption of Spanish surnames and were allowed to keep their Chinese surnames, in many cases they chose to change them to the likes of Lopez, Palanca, Paterno, Rizal, Laurel, Osmeña, etc., or to made them look Hispanic by concatenation, for example: Lacson, Biazon, Tuazon, Ongpin, Yuchengco, Quebengco, Cojuangco, Cukingnan, Cuyegkeng, Yaptinchay, Yupangco, Tanchanco, Tiongson, Tanbengco, Tanjuatco, Locsin, Tetangco, etc.

In 1574, a few years after the Spaniards established Manila as the colonial capital of the Philippines, the Chinese pirate Limahong (traditional Chinese: 林風) attacked Manila and burned it to the ground, retreating later to other places around the Luzon coast where his forces continued the killings and looting. Some of them deserted Limahong, settled down and interbred with the locals.

In 1603 a Chinese revolt took place led by Juan Suntay, a wealthy Catholic Chinese. It was put down by joint Spanish and native forces led by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. In the aftermath most of the 20,000 Chinese that composed the colony were killed. The revolt took place right after a visit to Manila by three official Chinese representatives who disclosed they were searching for “a mountain of gold”. This strange claim prompted the Spanish to conclude that there was an imminent invasion from China in the making. At the time the local Chinese outnumbered the Spaniards by twenty to one, and Spanish authorities feared that they would join the invading forces.  The Chinese afterward played down those events in an attempt to preserve their commercial interests, and in 1605 a Fukien official issued a letter claiming that the Chinese who had participated in the revolt were unworthy of China’s protection, describing them as “deserters of the tombs of their ancestors.

The insurrection was put down by joint Spanish, native and Japanese forces led by Luis Pérez Dasmariñas. A large number of the 20,000 Chinese that composed the colony were killed during the revolt. In the aftermath, the Chinese Ming government played down those events in an attempt to preserve their commercial interests, and in 1605 a Fukien official issued a letter claiming that the Chinese who had participated in the revolt were unworthy of China’s protection anyway, describing them as “deserters of the tombs of their ancestors”.

In 1662, the Chinese pirate, Cheng Ch’eng-kung, (Koxinga), attacked several towns on Luzon’s coast and demanded tribute from the colonial government, threatening to attack Manila if his demands were not met. The Spanish refused to pay the tribute and reinforced the garrisons around Manila.  Although most of the Manila Chinese distanced themselves from the pretensions of Koxinga, and in the end the invasion did not materialize, an increasing anti-Chinese sentiment grew within much of the population and hordes of locals massacred hundreds of Chinese in the Manila area

Most of the sangleys worked as skilled artisans or petty traders. Aside from shopkeeping, the sangleys earned their livelihood as carpenters, tailors, cobblers, locksmiths, masons, metalsmiths, weavers, bakers, carvers and other skilled craftsmen. As metalsmiths, they helped to build the Spanish galleons in shipyards located in Cavite. As masons, they built Intramuros and its numerous structures.

The Spanish gave the mestizos de sangley special rights and privileges as colonial subjects of the Spanish Crown and as baptized converts to the Catholic Church. They were given preference to handle the domestic trade of the islands and to lease land from the friar estates through the inquilino or lessee system, that allowed them to sublet those lands.

Later, the mestizos de sangley came to acquire many native lands, chiefly through a legal instrument called pacto de retro or contract of retrocession. In this scheme, a moneylender extended loans to farmers, who in exchange for cash, pawned their land with the option of buying it back. In the event of default, the moneylender recovered the loan by foreclosing the land from the farmer. Many local farmers lost their lands to mestizos de sangley in this manner.

The Spanish Galleon Trade [1565–1815], tied China to Europe via Manila and Acapulco, Mexico. Acting as a transshipment port, Manila attracted Chinese traders from Xiamen (Amoy) who arrived in armed ships, called Chinese junks, to trade with the Spanish. Chinese luxury goods, such as silk, porcelain and finely crafted furniture, were exchanged for silver from Mexican and Peruvian mines. Twice a year the galleons sailed across the Pacific Ocean from Manila to Acapulco and back. The goods were later taken to Spain via Veracruz, Mexico.


In food, Chinese-Filipinos adapted Hokkien food from Fujian. They used indigenous ingredients and Spanish names to improvise what became part of Filipino cuisine. During the 19th century, noodle shops called panciterias serving comida China (Chinese food) dotted the islands. The ubiquitous pancit (meaning “noodle” from the Hokkien word pian-e-sit) became pancit luglog and lomi (flavored with sauce); mami (served with broth); pancit molo (cooked as pasta) and pancit Malabon (mixed with seafood). The rice staple (and wet-rice agriculture) common to East Asia originated in China, as did the rice porridge called arroz caldo. Other well-known Filipino dishes such as lumpia (egg-roll), maki (soup dish), kiampong (fried rice) and ma-chang (sticky rice,) among others, trace their origins to the culinary arts of the Hokkien migrants settling in the islands over the centuries.


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