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Reconstituting Histories of Filipino Families with Chinese Ancestry: Methodology, Sources, and Relevance

Richard T. Chu


Conducting one’s family history can enrich not only one’s own sense of self but also a nation’s history, especially in a country like the Philippines where oligarchic families have historically had an impact on the nation’s society, economy, and society. Many of these families are Tsinoy (Chinese-Filipino). Only few, however, have undertaken to reconstitute their histories. This essay discusses the various methods, sources, resources, and various frameworks (e.g., transnational, gendered) that one can use in the reconstitution of Tsinoy family histories. It also explains the significance that such family histories have in reframing and broadening our understanding of Philippine history.


Chinese diaspora; Chinese in the Philippines; family history; genealogy; oral history; Tsinoy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/KK2013.02106