JOSE RIZAL, the martyr-hero of the Philippines, was born in Kalamba, on the southwest shore of the picturesque Laguna of Bay in Luzon, June 19,1861. His father's family began in the Philippines with a Chinaman named Lam Co who came from the Amoy District to Manila possibly because of the political trouble, which followed the conquest of his country, by the Manchu invaders. It was in 1697 that this ancestor who's Christian name was Domingo was baptized in the Parian church of San Gabriel
At first a merchant, he finally made up his mind to stay in these Islands, and turned farmer to escape the bitter anti Chinese prejudice, which then existed in Manila. Rather late in life he married the daughter of a countryman - who was a dealer in rice and moved into Laguna province to become a tenant on the Dominican Friars' estate at BiÃ±an.
His son, Francisco Mercado y Chinco, apparently owed his surname to the Chinese custom of looking to the appropriateness of the meaning. Sangley, the name throughout all the Philippines for Chinamen signifies "traveling trader" and the Spanish of the Islands "mercado" was used for trader. So Lamco evidently intended that his descendants should stop traveling but not cease being traders.