So, what resources are available to someone researching their Pinoy roots? In this blog post I will look at the available online resources, in future posts I will try to find out what is available offline.
One of the most useful online resources is the Philippines Research Outline of the LDS. The guide discusses what records are available and how to use them. It is a bit outdated, though - its focus is on research in family history centers or possibly on location, and ignores the internet. I will get back to this guide when I discuss offline resources. Another important (and related) LDS resource is the Family History Library catalog Philippines, listing many offline resources that are (usually) available in FHCs. Again, I will get back to this resource when I investigate offline resources.
The NSO (National Statistiscs Office), who is responsible for the civil registration in the Philippines, has a useful FAQ on civil registration. The FAQ is not aimed at genealogists, but it does contain important information on how the civil registers are set up, what they contain, and how to order copies.
The Katálogo ng mga Apelyidong Pilipino, or Catalog of Filipino Names, contains an interesting discussion on how the Filipino's got their surnames, and a list of truly Filipino surnames, without Spanish roots. From the surnames in our family, only Balondo is listed - apparently the other surnames have Spanish roots (though I have my doubts about Gadugdug).
Genealogy in the Philippines on About.com lists only a handful of resources. The page is outdated, and at least one link is broken.
WVR's Philippines Genealogy Search claims to search "90 websites related to doing genealogy in Philippines", but I can't seem to find anything useful on it.
The Philippines Genealogy Web Project, part of the WorldGenWeb project, was hosted on the now defunct Geocities. A copy of the site can still be consulted at Reocities, but the site, last updated in 2001, is hopelessly outdated.
There are very few online records. The only ones I have found are from the LDS: the IGI (available via Family search) and the new record search pilot (births and baptisms, deaths and burials, and marriages). Unfortunately the record search contains only indexes, no scans, from selected localities only. Just 5,128,622 death and burial records and 2,247,381 marriage records seems quite low for a country the size of the Philippines, and with only 334,139 baptism and birth records the chance of finding the one you need is very low.
Ancestry.com seems to have only one Filipino database: the Philippines Country Study. In their words: " This database contains significant material useful to the researcher looking into Filipino ancestry. Although not a database with defined lists of names, it is an aid to persons trying to understand the larger culture and context in which their ancestor lived." I have not looked at this database yet and do not know what it might contain.
I will get back to these resources in future posts, while I try to apply them to my Pinoy genealogy research.