MUNICIPAL FRANCHISES ON REST, LEISURE AND RECREATION: THE INTENDENCIA AND ITS CONTROL OVER SOCIAL ACTIVITIES IN MANILA, 1819-1895

ALMA N. BAMERO
PHD HISTORY (2011)
Department of History

Abstract
The research is a venture into the writing of social history. It deals with the implementation of leisure policies by the Spanish colonial government, specifically under the supervision of the Intendencia General de Hacienda Publica. The research looks into commodities such as betel nut-chewing, wine drinking (tuba), opium smoking, and facilities for betting by way of horseraces, cockfights, gambling and the lottery. Control of the Intendencia was facilitated through franchising. This strengthened the partnership between the colonial power and the local elites who were able to afford the license fees. There were commodities that were difficult to manage since these played a larger social significance among Filipinos before the onset of colonialism. Examples were betel nu and wine which were freely used. Horseracing was a new form of leisure introduced in the 19th century. Opium was limited to the use of Chinese migrants. Lottery was a state franchise coursed through local governments. There were nuances in the way policies were implemented. There were also adverse consequences such as contraband trade and social unrest. Though seemingly creating some sense of balance within the limitations of colonialism, the government really prioritized revenue acquisition.