How Texas Earned the Name 'New Philippines?

How Texas Earned the Name 'New Philippines?
New Philippines | Esquire Mag

Prior to the Filipinos achieving freedom and independence from their Spanish colonizers, Manila was a remarkable jewel of the Spanish empire. It served as a model colony for Spanish rule, so much so that its reputation extended across the vast ocean and even found roots in Texas, which was once referred to as New Philippines.

During the 1700s, Texas was part of the southern states under Spanish rule in a region known as New Spain, before the United States gained independence from the British Empire. Spain, with its extensive experience in colonization, having ruled a significant portion of the world, drew knowledge and expertise from established colonies like the Philippines.

Consequently, Texas, aspiring to emulate the success of the Philippines as a model colony, became unofficially known as "Nuevas Filipinas" or "Nuevo Reino de Filipinas" (New Philippines or New Kingdom of the Philippines). The aim was for Texas to mirror the accomplishments of the Philippines. The Franciscan missionaries in both colonies shared similar objectives, focusing on evangelizing the indigenous populations.

At that time, Texas was only half the size of its current vast expanse. Antonio Margil de Jesus, a prominent Spanish missionary, is recorded as the first person to refer to Texas as "New Philippines" in a 1716 letter to the viceroy of New Spain. Margil de Jesus hoped that if he succeeded in his evangelical work, it would gain favor from King Philip V of Spain and transform the Texas territory into "another new Philippines." Similar sentiments were expressed in a letter from a Franciscan embassy to the viceroy, with hopes that Texas would become a "new Philippines."

The term "Nuevas Filipinas" officially appeared in a 1718 document addressed to Martin de Alarcon, the governor of Spanish Texas at the time. In the letter, Alarcon held the title of "Governor and Lieutenant Captain General of the Provinces of Coahuila, New Kingdom of the Philippines, Province of the Texas." Alarcon established his capital in what is now modern-day San Antonio, which was called "Nuevas Filipinas" for approximately forty years in the 18th century.

However, similar to the fate of the Spanish empire, which eventually declined, New Spain fell, and Texas entered a period of instability. While the friars had envisioned Texas as a model colony and referred to it as New Philippines, the name became somewhat ominous, foreshadowing the revolutions and instability that would follow.

In the 19th century, Texas, like the Philippines, experienced significant conflicts and changed hands several times. South America was about fifty years ahead in terms of revolution, with a war against Spain resulting in the creation of the United Mexican States, which included Coahuila and Texas. However, this new country lasted only a few years before Texas became an independent state and eventually joined the United States of America in 1845.

Following the turbulent period after its separation from New Spain, the lone star state relinquished its name and reputation as "New Philippines" and simply became known as Texas, a word derived from the Caddo Native American term for "friend." Texas' connections to the Asian islands were lost in the footnotes of history.

Source: Esquire magazine


Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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