Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Hacienda de Calamba Agrarian Problem (1887-1891): A Historical Assessment












A Graduate Research
Presented to
The Graduate School,
University of Santo Tomas









In Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the
Degree of
Master in History








By

ATTY. ROBERT JOHN I. DONESA


Table of Contents


I. Introduction

II. The Historical Antecedent

III. The Leasehold System at the Hacienda de Calamba
            A. The Hacienda de Calamba
            B. The Administration of the Hacienda
            C. The Lands and their Rents
            D. The Collection of Rents

IV. The Cases of Eviction

            A. The Rizal Case Before the Municipal Court of Calamba
            B. The Review of the Rizal Case Before the Court of First Instance of Laguna
            C. The Appeals in Manila and in Madrid
            D. A Proposed Compromise

V. The “German Invasion” of Calamba

VI. The Evictions

VII. The Deportations of Prominent Calambeños

VIII. The Calamba Affair as a Propaganda Battle Cry
  
IX. By Way of Conclusion: A Historical Assessment

Chapter I. Introduction



            For most part of the three centuries of Spanish domination in the Philippines, the Roman Catholic Church had been intimately involved with colonial government. By late 19th century, three religious orders—Dominicans, Augustinians, and Recollects—had acquired about one-tenth of all the improved lands in the archipelago. The discontent of the native peasants with this situation had been a contributing factor in the Philippine Revolution of 1896–1898.
            The agrarian dispute that occurred between 1887 and 1891 at the Hacienda de San Juan Bautista in the province of Laguna was the loudest expression of peasant discontent in this far Spanish colony. The hacienda included the territory of what is now Calamba and the dispute involved, among others, the respected Rizal family.
Though this was not the first time that the native tenants challenged the ownership of the friars over vast tracts of land, this was the most earnest. Alarmed and threatened, the friars branded the problem as rebellion and its players, filibusters. Later, it led to the deportation of influential Calamba residents to different parts of the archipelago.
            The Hacienda de San Juan Bautista affair, notorious as it was, became a cause célèbre among the members of the Hispano-Filipino Association, a society in Spain composed of Filipinos and Spaniards, which worked for reforms in the Philippines. The incidents were used as propaganda material by the association to expose the friars’ supposed excesses and greed. Details of the said agrarian problem were published at the fortnightly La Solidaridad and found its way into the powerfully critical novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
            Locally, the Dominicans successfully fought for their rightful ownership over the subject lands in the courts of first level. They were likewise successful in obtaining eviction decrees. When the implementation of these decrees was defied, the friars then asked and were granted assistance of Governor General Valeriano Weyler. The governor-general deployed troops to Calamba to effect mass evictions. Contrary to claims of orderly execution of eviction orders, it was in total chaos. These events spurred a more passionate propaganda staged by the ilustrados in Spain.     
            Abroad, the propagandists painted a picture: the Philippine problem was beyond cure; Spanish civil authorities were subservient and servile to the monastic supremacy and greed;[1] and the friars, the Dominicans in particular, were monsters of injustice. ¡Que hermoso arte de perder colonias![2], exclaimed, Eduardo de Lete, a Filipino expatriate and propagandist.  
            The general failure of the propaganda movement to achieve reforms led to a more drastic measure from the impatient masses – the 1896 Philippine Revolution. This revolution resulted in the birth of the Republic of the Philippines on 12 June 1898 and contributed to the fall of the Spanish empire.
            This paper aims to present the history of the agrarian problem that occurred at the Hacienda de San Juan Bautista during the years 1887 to 1891. Through a learned and objective study of contemporaneous public documents, decrees, private letters, statements and testimonies, the real score behind the said agrarian problem is herein recorded, retold and made available to the society for historical awareness and future reference.
            Being century-old old case, time had divested it of the prejudices of its era. The merits of the arguments from both sides can now be objectively appraised and assessed. The assessment is offered as a contribution to the growing literature on the contributory factors on the Philippine Revolution of 1896–1898.



                [1] Del Pilar, Marcelo H., Monastic Supremacy in the Philippines, Encarnacion Alzona (trans.), (Manila: Imprenta de Don Juan Atayde, 1898), 14.
                [2] What a beautiful way of losing colonies!

Chapter II. The Historical Antecedent


The Church at the Hacienda de Calamba 

            Before 1759, little was known about the territory that will soon comprise Hacienda de Calamba. The area was said to be one of the villages of Tabuco, now Cabuyao, Laguna. It was certain, however, that a layman, Don Manuel Jauregui, owned the haciendas of Calamba and Nagtajan which he entrusted to the Society of Jesus (S.J.) on 29 January 1759. The conveyance was conditioned on his being permitted to live at the Jesuit monastery for life with a pension of 25 pesos per month until his death. From henceforth, it was known as the Hacienda de San Juan Bautista.
           The trust, however, was not destined to last within Jauregui’s lifetime. Eight years later, on 27 February 1767, King Charles III issued a decree expelling the Jesuits from the entire Spanish Empire including the Philippines. The Jesuits order was accused to be the instigator of the violent riots in Madrid and elsewhere that took place a year earlier.
            Impoverished, Jauregui took asylum at the monastery of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God. And as an act of gratitude, he worked for the transfer of the haciendas to his new benefactor. However, because of the royal policy of promoting secular ownership of lands in the Philippines, the petition, together with many other similar petitions were disapproved.[1]

           After the expulsion of the Jesuits, Antonio Ortiz Narvaez, the administrator of the hacienda, on 22 May 1769, reported to the officials of the Hacienda Real an inventory of Hacienda de Calamba:[2]       
Real Properties
Civil Fruits
Sugar cane plantation
300 pilones[3] of sugar per annum
300 quiñones[4] of irrigated rice paddies
435 pesos per annum
Tenanted wheat and rice producing highlands
672 pesos per annum (each tenant pays 3 pesos and 4 reales)
Eighty houses in the areas of Christobal, Banlic, Bocal and Socol
Each house costs 1 peso and 4 reales per annum
A parcel of land in town
100 pesos per annum

            Adding to the aforementioned inventory, Luis Lozano Sandoval, the subsequent hacienda administrator, reported that the estate had[5]:
Farm Animals
Quantity
Horses
165 heads
Carabaos (water buffalos)
138 heads
Cattle (with complete agricultural equipment)
75 heads


Contents of the Warehouse
Quantity
Mongo Beans
331 cavans[6]
Wheat
500 piculs[7]
Palay (unhusked rice)
1,112 cavans
Tobacco
21 bales

            The inventories showed that the Hacienda de Calamba was sparsely cultivated. The land area of the hacienda was 16,424 hectares, yet only less than 2,000 hectares were cultivated with sugar cane and rice. While some portions of the hacienda were used for pasture or planted with upland rice, much of it remained unproductive.
            Hacienda de Calamba, together with the Makati and Nagtajan were known as the haciendas of the Jesuit Province. These were under the direct charge of the Father Provincial. Other Jesuit estates were managed by the Jesuit Colleges of San Ignacio, San Jose and San Ildefonso.[8] The hacienda, together with other Jesuit properties which the government did not see fit to assign to ecclesiastical authorities were confiscated and placed under the management of the Juez Comisionado de Temporalidades or Office of Jesuit Temporalities. The said office was created purposively to administer the Jesuit estates. [9]
            On 14 January 1772, after the tiresome collation of messed up Jesuit documents, Governor-General Simon de Anda appointed Oidor Juan Francisco de Anda to sit as Judge Commissioner of the Office of Jesuit Temporalities.[10] The appointee did not find the task easy. Reporting to the king in 1773, he bewailed that “the haciendas which are still under government management have so far yielded nothing but trouble and expense.”[11] He complained that the proceeds from the property could hardly meet the expenses for the care of the sick Jesuits who were left behind, the maintenance of the churches and college buildings, and the salary of the employees.
            After tedious paper trails and efficient administration, Commissioner Anda successfully made the estate solvent again. One by one, the debtors of the Jesuits were traced and were made to pay. Movable properties were inventoried and publicly auctioned while immovable properties were publicly offered for lease or sale on liberal terms.
            In 1773, Commissioner Anda, through a public bidding, successfully leased all the Jesuit haciendas to private entrepreneurs. In particular, Hacienda de Calamba was leased to Don Francisco Xavier Ramirez for 1,400 pesos a year.[12] Although the government policy was to dispose of the Jesuit properties as quickly as possible, the general shortage of capital in the late eighteenth century retarded the success of said approach.[13]
            At the turn of the century, the government finally found an interested buyer of the hacienda – a Spanish layman, Don Clemente de Azansa. With a partial payment of 20,000.00 pesos, the possession of the estate was conveyed to Azansa. He undertook to pay the balance of the purchase price annually with five percent (5%) interest. By 19 November 1802, Azansa paid a total of 44,007.00 pesos. And by 28 January 1803, the land title was awarded to him. Upon his death, however, his wife, Doña Isabel Vasques, failed to pay the remaining balance and so the property was retaken by the government and publicly auctioned on 19 November 1832. The Corporacion de Padres Dominicos de Filipinas (hereinafter, Corporacion) acquired the hacienda for 51, 263.00 pesos.[14] The total land area of the hacienda at the time of its acquisition was 16,424 hectares.[15] It covered vast tracts of both cultivated and forested lands.
            Even before the Corporacion acquired the Hacienda de San Juan Bautista, families and individuals from the surrounding haciendas had been drawn to it because of its renowned progressiveness. It had a great dam and extensive irrigation system which made the hacienda as productive as Biñan. Settlers started arriving on a variety of reasons, mostly economic, including opportunities for tenancy. Petrona Mercado, for instance came to Calamba as clothes merchant. She was one of the daughters of the three-time Biñan mayor, Juan Mercado of the neighboring Hacienda de San Isidro Labrador. Soon her siblings Potenciana and Francisco Mercado joined her and made Calamba their home. When the opportunity for tenancy was offered, Francisco, like some other members of his family from Biñan, became an inquilino (tenant) of the hacienda.[16]
            Even some inhabitants of Manila were drawn to Calamba. Brigida de Quintos, daughter of Manila-based lawyer Manuel de Quintos, moved to Calamba where some properties of her husband, Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo, were located. Alonzo, at one time a mayor of Biñan, bequeathed to her some properties located in Calamba. Quintos brought with her all her five children: Narcisa, Teodora, Gregorio, Manuel and Jose. All of whom were born in Manila, but from then on grew up and settled in Calamba.[17]
            From the abovementioned migrant families hailed Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. Married on 28 June 1848, the Mercados became one of the principal inquilinos of the hacienda. The family they raised was one basked in education and enlightenment. One of its members was the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal, whose attacks on religious fanaticism gained for him the ire of the friars. It was then out of contempt, when a Dominican intramural account stated that:
It is known that the ancestors of this Filipino ingrate (Jose Rizal) came to Calamba as simple tenants, poor folk on the brink of destitution who rented lands, and little by little created their fortune on the hacienda of the Dominicans.[18]

            Coming from families of Biñan town mayors and businessmen, it cannot be gainsaid that the Jose Rizal’s parents of either side were “poor folk on the brink of destitution.”
            Through skill, thrift and hard work, the Rizal family became prosperous inquilinos. Other tenants who, in varying degrees of success, also made fortune in the hacienda include the families of Eusebio Elepaño, Nicasio Eisagani, Hugo Ilagan, Pedro Valenzuela, Francisco de los Reyes, Potenciano Andaya, Aniceto Camoseng and others. Majority of these tenant families did not actually till the land themselves. They were “middlemen landlord,” that is to say, other tenant farmers – sharecroppers – till the land for them.[19] These tenant farmers were provided with credit for seed, tools, living quarters, and food. They received agreed shares of the value of the crop less the charges. Only the inquilinos were registered in the books of the hacienda, the sharecroppers were not mentioned in the official census.[20]     
           The sizes of many of the leased lands in Calamba were above fifty hectares and thus, relatively large. In 1880, the Rizal family, through the effort of Paciano Rizal, acquired the “good and extensive”[21] lands of Pansol. By this time, the Rizal family rented almost 380 hectares of the hacienda, one of the largest leased lands. However, their lands were classified as third class, the least productive type.[22]
            The Hacienda, for many years, yielded more than enough for the tenants. The tenants were able to erect houses of strong materials [23] and their children were able to study in elite schools in Manila and Europe. Before 1887, Calamba college students in Manila numbered more than twenty (20) men students and three (3) colegialas.[24] [25] The prosperity, however, was short-lived as the Philippines plunged into agricultural and economic crisis.
            By June of 1885, for the first time all tenants defaulted in their annual rents. While the rent increased, the price of sugar was so low. To punish the tenants for their lack of punctuality, the administrator declared all the lands of the hacienda vacant. He also invited citizens of other towns to take over all the lands. Frightened, some tenants paid their obligations with the distressed sale of their sugar. Others ignored the administrator altogether. Few investors responded to the invitation, thus, the administrator softened his position and spared the tenants from eviction, “except four or five who were really victimized by the comedy.”[26]
            The following year, 1886, the sugar harvest was good. During harvest time, it was said that the price of sugar was high, but when the selling time came, the price was low.[27] Worst, “no one buys sugar and since June locusts are all over the town.”[28] Locusts destroyed the palay and sugar cane plantations.  Again, the tenants defaulted in their rents. By this time, Paciano Rizal was contemplating of giving up the lands of Pansol “because it is not possible for a farmer to support himself in these lands which are overloaded with rent, considering the bad price of sugar.”[29]
            Year 1887 was a time when the colony faced a commercial and agricultural crisis was at its peak. It was also the beginning of the rinderpest[30] epidemic which eventually destroyed much of the livestock in the provinces and astronomically increased the value of the surviving animals.[31] Again, the tenants defaulted in their annual rents.
            On 21 August 1889, Friar Gabriel Fernandez, administrator of the Hacienda, for and in behalf of the Corporacion de Padres Dominicos de Filipinas (hereinafter, Corporacion) filed a formal petition to declare the estate rented and held by the defaulting tenants vacant.



[1]Salvador P. Escoto, “Governor Anda and the Liquidation of the Jesuit Temporalities in the Philippines, 1770-1776,” Philippine Studies 23 (1975), 293 et seq.
[2]Hermano Antonio Ortiz Narvaez a los oficiales de la Hacienda Real, 22 Mayo 1769. Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid, seccion Jesuitas, legajos 239. Escoto, 300.
[3]A pilon is a loaf of sugar weighing 150 pounds. 
[4]A quiñon is a land measure equal to 2.79 hectares or 6.94 acres.
[5]Testimonio de las diligencias sobre el despacho de la Hacienda de Calamba a su administrador, Luis Lozano Sandoval, 17 de Julio – 23 de Diciembre 1769. Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid, seccion Jesuitas, legajos 239; Salvador P. Escoto, “Governor Anda and the Liquidation of the Jesuit Temporalities in the Philippines, 1770-1776,” Philippine Studies 23 (1975), 300.
                [6]A cavan is a Philippine measure equivalent to 44 kilograms.
                [7]A picul is equivalent to 107 liters.
[8]Salvador P. Escoto, “Governor Anda and the Liquidation of the Jesuit Temporalities in the Philippines, 1770-1776,” Philippine Studies 23 (1975), 298.
[9]Horacio de la Costa, S.J., The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1961), 594.  
[10]Anda to Aranda and vice versa from 19 December 1770 through 2 August 1772. Archivo Historico Nacional, Madrid, seccion Jesuitas, legajos 238 b is. See Escoto, 297.  
[11]Salvador P. Escoto, “Governor Anda and the Liquidation of the Jesuit Temporalities in the Philippines, 1770-1776,” Philippine Studies 23 (1975), 306.
[12]Horacio de la Costa, S.J., The Jesuits in the Philippines 1581-1768 (Cambridge, Massachusetts: President and Fellows of Harvard College, 1961), 594.
[13]Salvador P. Escoto, “Governor Anda and the Liquidation of the Jesuit Temporalities in the Philippines, 1770-1776,” Philippine Studies 23 (1975), 304.
[14]Seccion Hacienda, UST Library (Archivo de la Provincia de Santissimo Rosario microfilm copy, Tomo VI, folio 196).   
[15]Folletos, Documentos Sueltos, UST Library (Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas microfilm copy, Tomo VI, folio 196).
[16]Austin Craig, Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal: Philippine Patriot, (Manila: Philippine Education Company, 1913), 55-56.
[17]Austin Craig, Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal: Philippine Patriot, (Manila: Philippine Education Company, 1913), 58 et seq.
[18]Archivo de la Provincia del Santisimo Rosario de Filipinas, mss. seccion de “Cronicas,” Tomo 3 (antes 369), folio 178 vuelto.
[19]Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 16-17.  
                [20]Archivo de la Provincia del Santisimo Rosario de Filipinas, mss. seccion de “Cronicas,” Tomo 608.
                [21]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, n.d., Letters Between Rizal and Family Members, (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 84-85.
[22]AUST, Libros, Tomo 91.  
[23]Jose S. Arcilla, “Documents Concerning the Calamba Deportations of 1891,” Philippine Studies Vol. 18, no. 3 (July 1970), 613.
[24]Literally means college girls. They were girl students in convent schools rather than colleges.
[25]Information about the Dominican Estate Furnished by the Gobernadorcillo of Calamba to Emilio Bravo, Administrator, Province of Laguna. See Appendix X, Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Monastic Supremacy in the Philippines. Encarnacion Alzona (trans), (Quezon City: Philippine Historical Association, 1958), 90-91.
                [26]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, 16 July 1885, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members. (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 180-182.
                [27]Mariano Herbosa to Jose Rizal, Calamba, 2 February 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members, (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 206-207.
                [28]Mariano Herbosa to Jose Rizal, Calamba, 29 August, 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 239-241.
                [29]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, 23 May 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 230.
                [30]An acute infectious usually fatal disease of ruminant mammals (such as cattle) that is caused by a morbillivirus (species Rinderpest virus) and that is marked by fever, diarrhea, and inflammation of mucous membranes.
                [31]Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 141.

Chapter III. The Leasehold System at the Hacienda de Calamba

The Hacienda de Calamba during the Philippine Revolution

            A hacienda (Spanish: estate, ranch or farm), in its Hispanic signification, is a landed estate organized to supply a small-scale market by means of scarce capital. It is operated by a dominant landowner called haciendado who employs a dependent labor force. The laborers were theoretically free wage earners. In practice, however, their employers somehow kept them in an indebted state, and thus, were bound to the land. The factors of production are employed to accumulate capital and to support the status aspirations of the owner.
            In the Philippines, the term hacienda is used rather loosely. By emphasizing internal social relations rather than the area of lands, every Philippine landowner who held few sharecroppers is considered as a haciendado, known in the Philippines as haciendero.[1]
            The Corporacion de Padres Dominicos de Filipinas (henceforth, the Dominicans), the owner of the Hacienda de Calamba, belongs to the mendicant orders. Thus, like the Franciscans, they were barred by their rules and vows of poverty to own earthly possessions. These friars were expected to live a life of utmost personal poverty and simplicity. Their temporal possessions should only be minimum—no lands, no funded property, no fixed sources of income.[2]
            Maintaining this ideal, however, proved to be unworkable in practice. As early as 1640, the Dominican order in the Philippines mitigated the rigidity of this regulation in the following justification:

The haciendas will be cultivated and improved in order to transport religious from Spain to the Philippines … These haciendas will be under the custody of the Rector of our College of Santo Tomas who will have the book of receipts of these funds. The Provincial will expend the money only for the purpose of transporting religious from Spain, and for no other purpose, because this is the only instance in which our province is permitted to have temporal possessions and incomes. He will not use any of the surplus for anything else, regardless of the benefits to the province, because we do not wish to have properties, but only to assist the Crown in transporting members of our order.[3]

Thereafter, the Dominicans acquired, among others, the ranches[4] of Tunasancilla in Tondo (1643), Biñan in Laguna (1644), Tabuco in Laguna (1660), Indan in Cavite (1761), Santa Cruz in Cavite (1761), Naic in Cavite (1831), Calamba Nueva in Laguna (1833), Calamba Vieja in Laguna (1883) and Los Baños in Laguna (1833).[5] Through the income derived from the lands, the Dominicans supported their missions in the Philippines as well as the University of Santo Tomas.[6]    
The Hacienda de Calamba
            One of the haciendas acquired by the Dominicans in 1833 was the Calamba Nueva in Laguna which was subsequently included Calamba Vieja in 1883. The two haciendas were collectively called the Hacienda de Calamba. The territorial extent hacienda de Calamba at the time of its acquisition was 16,424 hectares. In 1888, the gobernadorcillo and the principales of the town of Calamba delineated what was publicly known as the scope of the hacienda:
On the north, the part of the lake until the Island of Calamba; on the south, until the Bigo Bridge, Olango, Santol and Mount Sungay; on the east, until Los Baños in Bacong, comprising almost one half of Mount Maquiling; on the west, until Cabuyao and Santa Rosa, having an area of at least 700 quiñones of clean cleared land.[7]

            Many Calambeños believed that the above territorial delineations cover more area than what the land titles held by the Dominicans described. Thus, in many instances, the Calambeños asked for the presentation of the said titles,[8] which the Dominicans refused to do on the reason that the Pope prohibited the church from submitting to the jurisdiction of the temporal authorities. Religious orders did not and cannot commit any usurpation of lands.[9]
            In 1905, as a step towards solving the Friar Lands Question, the Bureau of Lands (under the American colonial rule) surveyed the hacienda and found that its total land area was 18,501.8694 hectares. In other words, the hacienda accumulated 2,077.8694 hectares in the course of time. These accumulated areas became the subject of dispute for which the Dominicans which challenged to present their titles and which they strongly opposed.
The Administration of the Hacienda
            The Hacienda de Calamba was administered by a Dominican lay brother administrator (hermano administrador) who was appointed by the Provincial Superior of the Dominican Order in the Philippines. The lay brother administrator managed the day-to-day operations of the hacienda subject to rules and regulations laid down by the Dominicans. The hacienda was audited annually by the visitador who was also appointed by the Provincial Superior.
To the Dominican landowners, the lay brother administrator was a loyal, trustworthy and efficient servant. His advice was given weight in the formulation of policies for the administration of the estate. Indeed, the success of haciendas in the Philippines can be credited to the lay brother administrators who managed them as if they were the owners.[10] But to the tenants, he is venal and ignorant, mindful only of flattering his masters.[11]
            Though the administrator was under the direct authority of the provincial of the order, he was given a great deal of freedom and most decisions were left at his discretion being the most well-informed person in the affairs of the hacienda. He had no authority to eject or replace tenants as this power was bestowed upon the visitador, however, in practice it was him who actually made the decisions ejecting tenants.[12]
            Eighteenth-century Spanish officials found him to be a local tyrant.  He treated his tenants as slaves, published his own decrees, ran his own jails, harbored bandits, and illegally hid some natives in the estate from government tax officials so that the hacenderos could pocket the tribute payments.[13]
            Besides the visitador and hermano administrador, the parish priest (cura parroco) also played an important role in the management of the hacienda. The parish priest complemented the administrator. This was especially true when the religious order which owned the hacienda also held the parish located nearby or within the hacienda. In extreme cases, the parish priest disciplined recalcitrant tenants by excommunication.
            The Civil Guard (guardia civil), a civil-military police force, took up the task of maintaining peace and order. Soon, the guardia civil together with the hermano administrador, became instrumental in subjecting the tenants of the hacienda to abuses and tyranny.[14] The guardia civil became an oppressive force in the rural areas.
            The Lands and their Rents
In all Dominican hacienda documents, it appeared that the owners employed two accounting methods. On the official registries, the tenants were listed and the lands they held described in terms of quiñones (5.76 hectares per quiñon) and balitas (one-tenth of a quiñon). However, rents were determined by the area of land which could be planted with a given portion of seedlings. Thus, it is difficult to evaluate whether or not the rents of the lands of the Hacienda de Calamba were reasonable.[15]
            The lands in Hacienda de Calamba were customarily classified into into three: Tierras Palayeras, Tierras Cañadulzales and Tierras Catijanes for purposes of determining the rents. Tierras Palayeras, lands suited for rice farming, were further classified into regadio and secano. Based on the productivity of the lands, the regadio and secano lands were classified as either first class, second class and third class lands. The third class being considered the least productive type. In 1886, Mariano Herbosa reported that irrigated rice land, even if it has no water (secano), were required to pay a tax of fifty (50) cavanes of palay (unhusked rice) and land with six cavanes of seed pay five (5) pesos in cash. [16]
However, the tenants and subtenants complained that though the agreed rent was thirty (30) pesos for lands with six cavanes of seed, if the harvests were good, the administrators unilaterally increased the rents. But if the harvests were poor, the administrators don’t decrease the rents.[17] If poor harvests or bad prices of crops caused the tenants’ default of payments of the annual rents, they had to pay double the following year. This took place in Calamba in the years 1886 and 1887.[18]
Tierras Cañadulzales (sugar lands) were dry lands suited for sugar cane, maize and upland rice cultivation. Rents of sugar lands were generally less than those for rice paddies. However, the rents increased from fifteen pesos for a quiñon of first class land in the 1840s, to twenty-five (25) pesos and finally thirty (30) pesos. In 1886, Mariano Herbosa reported that according to custom, lands classified as second and third-class were taxed at twenty-five (25) pesos or twenty (20) pesos.
While Tierras Catijanes were higher shore land which dried up during low tide. Tierras Catijanes included pesquerias or fishing grounds and tomana or garden plots. Various amounts were likewise levied on the plants in the fields far from the town. The tax on the palay is separate from that on maize, mongo, or garlic.
“The country”, sighed Paciano in 1883, is “a country most burdened with taxes.”[19] “This year,” he added in 1886, “if things turn out well for me, I shall try to have my own land, giving Pansol either to Silvestre or to anybody else or return it to the Estate, because it is not possible for a farmer to support himself in these lands which are overloaded with rent, considering the bad price of sugar.”[20]
The Collection of Rents
When the visitador arrived, all the tenants were summoned to appear before him. He began to call the roll and as they were called, the tenants approached the visitador to pay their cannons. Those who settled their accounts will be marked “paid,” [21] while those who weren’t able to pay were given ten-day grace period after which, the land will be declared “vacant.” Still, though rarely, there were those who pleaded for extension of time to pay the cannon. These were granted.[22]
One peculiar complaint was the failure of the visitador to issue receipts for the taxes collected every time the Calambeños pay. In 1883, Paciano Rizal wrote:
This is the time to pay land rent at the Hacienda and contrary to the general customs they accept the money without issuing any receipt to any one. Has this any relation to the important reforms of the general or it is nothing more than one of the arbitrary nets of the administrator? I’m more inclined to the latter one, though I would like it to be the first one…[23]

And in 1886, Mariano Herbosa wrote:

I’m looking for a receipt to send you but I cannot find any, because we don’t get a receipt every time we pay. Any way it is valueless, as it does not state the amount paid; it only says that the tax for that year has been paid, without stating whether it is five centavos, twenty-five centavos, one hundred, or one thousand pesos. The residents here who ask or get the said receipt accepts it with closed eyes. The receipt has no signature in the place where the amount paid ought to be, though it bears their name. Until now I cannot comprehend why some are signed and others are not. This is more or less what is happening here in the payment of land tax and it has been so for many years, since I can remember.[24]



                [1]In the Philippines the dominant landowner is called haciendero rather than haciendado. See Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 6.
                [2] “mendicant,” Encyclopædia Britannica, (Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009).
                [3]Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 44.
                [4]Spanish land grants were frequently referred to as estancias.   
                [5]Archivo de la Provincia de Santisimo Rosario, Haciendas, Tomo 12, folio 136. See also Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 41.
                [6] Archivo de la Provincia de Santisimo Rosario, Cronicas, Tomo 3, folio 178. See also Jose S. Arcilla, “Documents Concerning the Calamba Deportation of 1891,” Philippine Studies, Vol. 18, (July 1970), 615.
                [7] “Del Pueblo de Calamba,” in MH. Plaridel, La Soberania Monacal En Filipinas, Encarnacion Alzona (trans.), (Quezon City: Philippine Historical Association, Inc., 1958), 88.
[8]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, no place, May 27, 1890, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 295 - 298.
[9]Archivo de la Universidad de Santo Tomas, Libros, Tomo 5, folio 5.
                [10] NLAC, document 246, Observaciones sobre el estdao politico y economico de las Islas Filipinas, folio 12. See Roth, 56. 
                [11] “Del Pueblo de Calamba,” in MH. Plaridel, La Soberania Monacal En Filipinas, Encarnacion Alzona (trans.), (Quezon City: Philippine Historical Association, Inc., 1958), 88-89.
                [12]AUST, Folletos, tomo 120, folio 147. See Roth 56.
                [13]AUST, Folletos, tomo 74, folio 120. See Roth 55. 
[14]Lucia Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, May 30, 1890, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 301-302.
[15] Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 138-139.
[16]Mariano Herbosa to Jose Rizal, Calamba, August 29, 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 239-241.
[17]Mariano Herbosa to Jose Rizal, Calamba, August 29, 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 239-241.
[18] Dennis Morrow Roth, The Friar Estates of the Philippines, (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1977), 142-143.
[19]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, May 26, 1883, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 96-99.
[20]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, May 26, 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 96-99.
                [21]Jose S. Arcilla, “Documents Concerning the Calamba Deportation of 1891,” Philippine Studies, Vol. 18, (July 1970), 591.
                [22]Jose S. Arcilla, “Documents Concerning the Calamba Deportation of 1891,” Philippine Studies, Vol. 18, (July 1970), 597.
[23]Paciano Rizal to Jose Rizal, Calamba, May 26, 1883, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 96-99.
[24] Mariano Herbosa to Jose Rizal, Calamba, August 29, 1886, Letters Between Rizal and Family Members (Manila: National Heroes Commission, 1964), 239-241.