Galang, Jely A. “Hacienda Gomantong: The 1888 Chinese Immigration Decree, A German Tobacco Plantation and Chinese Laborers in Jolo, Sulu, Southern Philippines”, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia 56(2), 2020, pp. 1-32.
Through primary and contemporary sources, this paper chronicles the emergence and later closure of a German-owned tobacco plantation in Jolo which operated from 1884 to 1889. It touches on the Spanish colonial government’s regulations on Chinese labor and immigration, specifically in relation to the September 1888 immigration decree, as well as to the plantation’s employment of Chinese coolies from Singapore. The article shows how the decree adversely affected the importation of Chinese laborers to the estate, incurring financial loss that later led to closure, which was also precipitated by horrible working conditions and cruel European administrators. By focusing on this relatively unknown episode in Philippine and Mindanao history, I contribute to the continuing interrogation of Manila-centric narratives, discuss an episode in the history of Europe-Philippines-Southeast Asia ties, and shed more light in the story of the Chinese in the Philippines.
Keywords: September 1888 Immigration decree, Hacienda Gomantong, Chinese in Jolo, tobacco cultivation in the Philippines