Under Spanish rule travel and residency of Chinese were tightly restricted until late in the 19th century. Most “Chinese” residents of Iloilo were Chinese men who married local women. Their children were mestizos. Especially in Iloilo, the Chinoy mestizos converted to Catholicism, prospered, were considered loyal Spanish subjects and were freed from restrictions involved with being Chinese. Manila, Cebu and Iloilo had the most significant concentrations of Chinese in the Philippines in the 19th century, hence a Chinese cemetery.
This is a tidbit from the Iloilo Chinese Commercial High School Wikipedia entry: “Among those who stood against the Japanese were the school teachers and students, who formed anti-Japanese Patriotic Groups. The group stirred the valor of the local Chinese through drama performances. Being the nucleus of the Anti-Japanese Forum, constituted principally by the local Chinese, school teachers frequently organized discussions on current events.”
When Japanese aggressors reached Iloilo, some of the Anti-Japanese organizers, including members of the Board of Trustees, ended up in jail. Their remains were buried in the Chinese Cemetery.”
An interesting compilation of overseas Chinese cemeteries can be found at http://www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/special-collections/papers/ch_cem.htm
The list shows a surprising number of Chinese cemeteries in Mindanao. This is probably because under Spanish rule the Chinese were subject to heavy taxation and periodic expulsions and massacres. Since Mindanao and Sulu were really never fully under Spanish control, many Chinese fled there.