Familia Arnedo de Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga

The Arnedo family was originally from Hagonoy, Bulacan.  However, the surviving elders of the family remember that their elders occasionally mentioned that the Arnedos originally came from Sorsogon [ traceable to the Spaniard Pedro Arnedo, who was granted the vast “Encomienda de Busaingan” comprising the eastern and southern portions of the Bicol peninsula ].  The surviving elders also mentioned that their Spanish antecedents were members of the “Cortes Generales” in Spain during the Old Monarchy.

They came to Barrio Sulipan, Apalit town, in Pampanga around 1800.

There were several Arnedo de la Cruz brothers: Manuel, Jose, Gregorio, et. al.

Manuel Arnedo de la Cruz married Engracia Tanjutco. One brother was the father of Paula, Josefa, and Juan Arnedo. Another brother was the father of Dorotea Arnedo, who was the first wife of Pedro Armayan-Espiritu y Macam, a rich hacendero from Sitio Alauli, Barrio San Vicente, Apalit. Gregorio was the ancestor of several Arnedo women, among them Leonor, who married Yu Shih, a Chinese immigrant merchant from Macau Island in China ( then a Portuguese colony ). Yu Shih changed his name to Yumul after his marriage to Leonor Arnedo in order to conduct business and acquire property.  Another Arnedo married a prominent lady from Candaba town and settled in Tondo:  their spinster daughters Juanita and Gregoria lived their final years during the first decades of the 1900s in their big “bahay na bato” house along Calle Sagunto [ later Santo Cristo ];  prominent as they were in the affluent Tondo community, they were “camareras” caretakers of the “Santo Nino de Tondo” and the “Nuestra Senora de Candelaria.”

The earliest Arnedo grand house ( bahay-na-bato/ mansion ) was built around 1810 in the northern side of Barrio Sulipan ( between what are now the Tanjutco and Carlos houses ). It was built in what the scholars call the ” Geometric Style ,” although it carried many features of the late 18th/ early 19th century houses. It was low, squat, and elongated, with a tile roof: a ” grand bahay kubo ” ( a grand hut ). The azotea still exists, with its arched gateway, crumbling stairway, and intact vaulted supports in the year 2000. [ The house was inherited by Victoria Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco ( Impung ” Toreng a Mataba ” ). In 1912, her Buencamino y Arnedo grandnieces ( Maria and Victoria ) came to live with her after they had sold the Buencamino y Arnedo mansion to Ysidora Espiritu y Dungo. Impung ” Toreng a Mataba ” died in 192_. In 1930, the Buencamino ladies sold the property to Augusto Gonzalez y Sioco, who had the old house demolished ( except the azotea ), and built a large house for his second wife, ( their Arnedo cousin ) Rosario Arnedo y Espiritu. After the death of Rosario in May of 1977, her son Macario Gonzalez y Arnedo ( Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, F.S.C. ) sold the property to the Arnedo, then Gonzalez long-time chauffeur, Simplicio Aguas, for a pittance because he refused to vacate the place. ]

This was the home of Manuel Arnedo de la Cruz y _______, his wife Engracia Tanjutco y _______, and their seven children: Ildefonsa, Joaquin, Juan, Anopra, Victoria, Maria, and Juan Mata.

The de la Cruz forebears of the Sulipan Arnedos ( Arnedo de la Cruz ) traced themselves to Bernave de la Cruz, a leading landowner of Barrio Sulipan in the 1780s; he was a Macapagal, and therefore a descendant of the early Filipino royals Taoi and Pampalong [ descendants of the ruling rajahs encountered by the Spanish conquistadores ] who founded the settlements of Tabuyuc and Sucad in the 1500s.  The de la Cruz also spawned the “Insa Cruz ” ( archaic Capampangan term: _______ ) clan, the biggest landowners of San Simon town, Pampanga ( the family of Pablo Cruz, a wealthy hacendero during the 1930s / PreWar ).

The Arnedo de la Cruz owned much agricultural land [ planted to sugar and rice ]in the towns of Apalit, San Simon, Macabebe, and Masantol in Pampanga. They also owned agricultural land in the Bulacan towns of Hagonoy ( the ancestral town ), Calumpit, Baliuag, and San Miguel de Mayumo. As with other old, 19th century Pampanga families, their fortunes multiplied exponentially during the rise of sugar exports in the 1820s.

The family owned so much property that Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco himself owned, in Apalit alone, big portions of the barrios of Tabuyuc and Capalangan, and big portions of barrios Sulipan, San Vicente, San Juan, Sucad, Colgante, and Paligui. He had farmlands in San Simon, Macabebe, and Masantol, in Pampanga and in four other Bulacan towns. Thus, it was this affluence that expressed itself in his active and sophisticated social life.

Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco married Victoria _______ y _______ and had a daughter: Juana ( Juanita ). In 1848, he built a grand house ( bahay-na-bato/ mansion ) in the southern side of Barrio Sulipan. Unfortunately, his wife Victoria died young. In 1860, he married Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos, viuda de Tanjutco, the widow of a first cousin. She was the eldest daughter of Josef Sioco ( o January 24, 1786 – + December 26, 1864 ) by his first wife, surnamed Carlos. He was a wealthy Chinese mestizo landowner who also lived in Barrio Sulipan. Maria de la Paz also had a daughter from her first marriage: Crispina Tanjutco y Sioco ( o 1854 ).

Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco and Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos had seven children together ( aside from their respective daughters Juana and Crispina ): Cayetano ( o 1862 ), Jose, Macario ( o 1868 ), Mariano, Eugenio, Maria Ignacia ( o 1872 ), and Ynes ( o 1876 ).

Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz served as ” gobernadorcillo ” of Apalit from 18__ – __
and thereafter was addressed as ” Capitan ” with his wife Maria Sioco as ” Capitana”.

Around 1870, Juana Arnedo y _______ married Felipe Buencamino y Siojo ( Sr. ) of San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan ( a relative: Felipe Buencamino was a grandson of Ildefonsa Arnedo-Cruz de Viri, elder sister of Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz, the father of Juana ). As a wedding gift, Joaquin had a grand house ( bahay-na-bato/ mansion ) constructed for them on extensive grounds of over a hectare in Barrio Capalangan, adjacent to Barrio Sulipan.

They had five children: Maria married Col. Henry Pick of the U.S. Army, Soledad married Rep. Jose Zurbito of Masbate, Joaquin was killed in action as a major in the Philippine Revolutionary Army under General Manuel Tinio y Bundok, Victoria married Lt. Edwin Andrews of the U.S. Army, and Asuncion married Marcelino Lontok of Batangas.

In late July of 1885, Juana Arnedo de Buencamino ( Juanita ), pregnant with her sixth child, accidentally slipped into a ditch in the garden and bled to her death. [ She died on July 25, 1885. ]

A year and a half later, Felipe Buencamino married Guadalupe Abreu y Salazar, daughter of Flaviano Abreu and Saturnina Salazar, a rich couple from Calle Sagunto ( later Santo Cristo ), Tondo, Manila. They had two children: Philip and Victor. Unfortunately, Guadalupe ( Neneng ) died soon after her second son Victor was born, in 1888.

Philip married Mary Romero, and Victor married Dolores Arguelles.

After Juana’s death, her distraught father Capitan Joaquin forbade his other children to marry during his and Capitana Maria’s lifetime.

Capitan Joaquin and Capitana Maria kept a luxurious house in the southern portion of Barrio Sulipan. The 1848 house featured an elegant staircase ( “escalera principal ” ), a vestibule ( ” caida ” ), a salon ( ” sala ” ), a large dining room ( ” comedor ” ), two bedrooms ( ” cuartos ” ), a large kitchen ( ” cocina ” ), and an ” azotea ” with a grand staircase and arched gateway. In 1860, Capitan Joaquin had another house constructed on the left of the original 1848 house, its mirror-image, to be used as a guesthouse: it also had an ” escalera principal,” ” caida, ” ” sala, ” ” comedor,” more ” cuartos,” “cocina,” and an “azotea ” connected to the 1848 house. In 1886 [ when his younger daughters Maria Ignacia ( Titay ) and Ynes ( Ines ) were 14 and 10 years old respectively ], Capitan Joaquin had a ballroom ( ” salon de baile ” ) constructed in the 1848 house, adjacent to the vestibule ( ” caida ” ) and the dining room ( ” comedor ” ). This large salon was called ” bale bayu ” ( new house ) by the family. He also installed a powder room for the ladies beside the ballroom.

” La Sulipena ” was beautifully furnished with elegant hardwood furniture: round and console tables with Italian and Chinese marble tops, lounging chairs with extended arms, tall cabinets with ornate crests, and elaborate tester beds. There were tall, French gilded mirrors, French Second Empire lamps and gasoliers of porcelain and brass, 1850s French Biblical prints in gilded frames, very elaborate Ch’ing Dynasty porcelain pedestals ( said to be temple candleholders ), and Indian rugs. There were 200 Thonet bentwood chairs in the ballroom ( ” salon de baile ” ) alone. The dining room ( ” comedor ” ) held a staggering collection of china, crystal, and silver, all French. Capitan Joaquin owned a famous set of light green and gilt-bordered Paris porcelain ( by Ch. Pillivuyt et Cie. ), monogrammed ” M S ” ( Maria Sioco ) with ” Sullipan ,” which could serve 200 people at a time. The crystal, etched ” Sulipan, ” was Baccarat, and the silverware, marked ” Sulipan ” or ” M S ” ( Maria Sioco ), was Christofle. The tablecloths and napkins were of Irish linen damask. And the cuisine was ” unimaginably exquisite.”

Capitan Joaquin and Capitana Maria attracted the highest colonial government and religious officials and the Manila aristocracy with their elegant and lavish entertainments at ” La Sulipena. ” There were the Governors-General, the vice governors-general, the Archbishops of Manila, and the Superiors of the religious orders. There were the wealthiest businessmen: Luis Yangco, Telesforo Chuidian, Mariano Limjap, Pedro A. Paterno [ ancestor of the wealthy Madrigal family ], and Pedro Pablo Roxas [ ancestor of the extremely affluent and influential Zobel, de Ayala, and Soriano families ] ;  the Manila socialites:  the Tuasons, the Roxases, the Paternos, the Genatos, the Zamoras, the Zaragozas, and the Legardas;  and the great landowners:  the Bautistas of Malolos, Bulacan, the Jovens of Bacolor and the Hizons of San Fernando, Pampanga, and the Tinios, the Gabaldons, and the de Santoses of Nueva Ecija.  Even European and Asian royalty and nobility were brought to Sulipan.  In 1869, the Duke of Edinburgh of Great Britain visited and was honored with a grand reception.  In 1872, King Norodom I of Cambodia visited:  he met and fell in love with Josefa “Pepita” Roxas y Manio of Calumpit, Bulacan during an Arnedo reception.  He stayed at ” La Sulipena ” for days attempting to court Josefa in the next town.  Unfortunately, she refused on account of his religion.  In 1891, the Grand Duke Alexis Alexandrovich of Russia ( son of Czar Alexander II;  brother of Czar Alexander III;  uncle of the last Czar Nicholas II ) was honored with a weekend of balls and hunts and “declared that the room presented one of the most brilliant sights he had ever seen.”  (  He was probably charmed by the Filipino rural experience:  an affluent native’s house in the country; incredibly gracious hosts;  a salon, lit by French gasoliers and decorated with European furniture;  pretty, petite women in brightly-colored dresses wearing much gold jewelry;  dinners in sophisticated European style with remarkable cuisine;  all in the middle of nowhere — so quaint, so different from the Romanov palaces in St. Petersburg with their vast rooms, their chandeliers lit by thousands of candles, their dining tables set for hundreds of guests, and their hundreds of acres of gardens and parkland. ).  In the late 1890s, a visit by a Japanese prince merited an unusual gesture from Capitan Joaquin: in honor of the prince, all the china used during the reception was thrown to the river.  The prince must have been amused.

The year-round entertainments at ” La Sulipena , ” especially during the April ” fiesta del barrio,” consisted of endless gourmet dining, high-stakes gambling, elegant and continuous dancing, and game hunting with all its attendant amenities. Breakfast was a substantial affair with heavy dishes, different kinds of omelets, and an assortment of breads, pastries, and fruits. It was followed at ten o’ clock by the second breakfast, ” segundo almuerzo, ” which featured hams, sausages, pies, tarts, and candied or stewed fruits. Lunch was a multicourse affair with cocktails, appetizers, soups, seafood courses, sherbets, fowl courses, meat courses, rice dishes ( ” arroz ala valenciana, ” ” paella, ” ” biringhe,” etc. ),salads, a whole range of desserts, cheeses, and fruits and many wines. The mid-afternoon meal, ” merienda, ” featured ” churros,” ” bunuelos, ” and ” ensaimadas, ” with thick ” chocolate eh, ” more hams, sausages, meat stews, pies, tarts, preserved and fresh fruits, and all kinds of candies.Dinner was a mammoth concourse with more of everything, and everything more elaborate: more elaborate cocktails, appetizers, soups, seafood courses, sherbets, fowl courses, meat courses, rice dishes, salads, desserts, cheeses, and fruits, all accompanied by the appropriate wines and liqueurs. Supper was served at midnight, featuring soups, meat stews, and desserts. And of course, the guest could wish for anything, anytime.

The great kitchen of the main 1848 house was used to prepare the main dishes while the large kitchen of the 1860 guesthouse was used solely to prepare the desserts and all kinds of confectionery, supervised by the renowned ” patissier ” Juan Padilla, who lived in a modest house adjacent to ” La Sulipena. ”

Gambling took place in the guest house with the wealthy businessmen and great landowners playing high stakes: the season’s harvests of several hundred hectares were often staked with the Arnedo cards. All through the night, the loyal staff served continuous, sumptuous refreshments until the gentlemen retired just before dawn.

In the ballroom, the ” salon de baile, ” from seven o’ clock in the evening onwards, three orchestras took turns in playing the music of the ” valses, ” ” pas – de – quatres, ” ” cachuchas,” ” bayaderas, ” etc. The high point of the ball, as in any grand house in Manila, was the ” rigodon de honor ” a marching dance participated by the Arnedos’ most important guests.

The hunts began hours before dawn with the downstairs staff preparing the horses, dogs, and guns to be used by the guests. The kitchen staff prepared the refreshments and put them in baskets with the appropriate china, cutlery, and linen. The guests left with the horses, dogs, equipment, food baskets, tables, chairs, benches, and a whole retinue of servants for their needs.

On June 28, 1892 the reformist Jose Rizal visited ” La Sulipena. ” He had come from visiting the Venturas in Bacolor town and was on his way back to Manila. The Arnedo sons ( Cayetano, Macario, Jose, Mariano, and Eugenio ) were his friends; they were his contemporaries at the Ateneo Municipal; he had been a guest of the family on several occasions in his youth.

Asuncion Lopez Bantug wrote: ” Another family he visited in Pampanga were the Arnedos, at whose dinner table he sat incognito, to his increasing embarrassment, because the other guests, not knowing who he was, fell to talking admiringly of the “” great patriot Jose Rizal. “” When one old man passionately voiced a hope of someday shaking the patriot’s hand, Rizal felt bound to reveal himself. The old man stared at him incredulously, then burst into tears, seized and kissed Rizal’s hand, hailing him as ” hero ” and ” redeemer ” — to the distress of the usually poised Rizal.”

June 28 was, and is still today, the ” Visperas ” ( eve ) of the Apalit town fiesta in honor of St. Peter. There was the usual grand dinner at ” La Sulipena ” that evening, and Jose Rizal was seated incognito at the ” cabecera ” ( main dining table ). The guests then began to talk of Jose Rizal: a great patriot, a brave man who had the courage to write the truths of the time! An old man then spoke aloud of his wish: to meet this great man before his death, and it was then that Rizal was compelled to reveal himself. There must have been quite a commotion in the dining room, and then the whole house, and finally the whole of Barrio Sulipan that fiesta evening. . .

Jose Rizal slept at ” La Sulipena ” that night. The Arnedo y Sioco family was always proud of his last visit: they always recounted it to their guests, and they always showed the tester bed he had slept on.

The Spanish authorities were watching Rizal’s movements closely and they proceeded to search every house that he had visited. But they were careful at ” La Sulipena, ” because Capitan Joaquin’s wealth and influence kept him above the law. However, in true Arnedo style, they would have been invited to dine, asked to dance, and persuaded to gamble, and they would have forgotten to conduct their search.

When the Philippine Revolution broke out, Sulipan’s principalia provided support to the revolutionaries. Matea Rodriguez, viuda de Sioco, viuda de Arnedo-Cruz ( Maria Sioco de Arnedo’s stepmother, and later, sister-in-law ) gave generously to the revolutionaries, even allowing them to use her home as their quarters. Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez ( the husband of Florencia Sioco y Rodriguez, youngest half-sister of Maria Sioco de Arnedo ) assisted the Katipuneros in planning their attack of Macabebe right in his own house. General Alejandrino wrote in his memoirs that it was Macario Arnedo y Sioco, pleading for the lives of fellow Pampanguenos: of innocent women and children, who persuaded General Antonio Luna not to burn the town of Macabebe ( which remained loyal to Spain ).

After a lifetime of entertaining in the grand style, El Senor Capitan Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco passed away on February 22, 1897. His wife Capitana Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos, viuda de Tanjutco, viuda de Arnedo-Cruz followed in April 9 of the same year.

After their deaths, their sons and daughters were free to marry. Cayetano ( o January 6, 1862 – + January 11, 1945 ) married Marcela Mercado y Arnedo ( o 1880 – + September 16, 1962, an Arnedo and Sioco second cousin: daughter of Balbino Mercado y Sioco and Paula Arnedo, first cousin of Capitan Joaquin ). Macario ( o February 28, 1868 – + July 31, 1941 ) married Maria Espiritu y Dungo ( o January 28, 1876 – + April 12, 1934, daughter of Pedro Armayan-Espiritu y Macam and his third wife Ysabel Dungo y Nocom ). Even during the lifetime of Capitan Joaquin, Jose had a relationship with Quirina Mercado and had two daughters: Maria ( o August 27, 1893 – + December 26, 1958 ) and Magdalena ( o July 22, 1895 – + January 18, 1967 ).

” La Sulipena ” was inherited by the three surviving daughters, all spinsters:  Crispina Tanjutco y Sioco [ Maria Sioco’s daughter by her first marriage to a Tanjutco ] ( o 1854 – + June 15, 1918 ), Maria Ignacia Arnedo y Sioco ( o July 31, 1872 – + September 26, 1964 ), and Ynes Arnedo y Sioco ( o April 20, 1876 – + August 5, 1954 ).

The tradition of entertaining in the grand style continued into the American Period. Felipe Buencamino y Siojo ( Sr. ) ( the widower of Juana Arnedo and an Arnedo grandson himself ) was one of the earliest sympathizers of the American cause. He brought the Americans to ” La Sulipena. ”

Daniel R. Williams ( Private Secretary to Commissioner Moses; Secretary, Philippine Commission ) wrote: ” In Apalit, as in other pueblos of the islands, one or two families usually own most of the property and dominate the social and economic life of the place. This position of influence is held here by the Buencamino and Arnedo families, who are related by marriage. . . ”

” Our reception was a royal one, the ritual of hospitality among these people being reduced to a fine art. There was music and dancing and a recounting of vivid personal experiences during the troublous days just passed. . . ”

” Dinner was served at eight, and it was indeed a feast to remember. A great mahogany table glittered with the finest china and linen, its entire length being set off by massive bouquets, pyramids of fruit, wonderfully ornamented cakes, and stands of most elaborately carved toothpicks. The number and variety of courses were amazing, creating a sense of wonder as to where and how they were all produced. There were wines of all kinds and color, the effect of which doubtless added to the conviviality of the occasion. Among the guests were the Arnedo boys, Macario and Eugenio — the young uncles of our hostesses — who assumed the burden of our entertainment. Nowhere have I met more perfect and gracious hosts. . .”

Victor S. Buencamino Sr. wrote: ” Father seemed to have maintained a close relationship with the Arnedos even after the death of his Arnedo wife for whenever he had a very special visitor, he almost always entertained this guest at Sulipan.

For example, Dad entertained then Governor William Howard Taft at the Arnedo shangri-la. Among others, this joint was famous for its exotic cuisine, and the story is told that when Governor Taft, then already quite a hefty balloon, tasted the Arnedos’ “”guinatan “” of mixed tubers and fruit, the man who went on to become the President of the United States devoured all of three platefuls, so delicious was the dish. ”

The Americans were usually accompanied by Trinidad Hermenegildo Pardo de Tavera and Benito Legarda: two of the most prominent ” Federalistas. ”

In 1904, Macario Arnedo y Sioco became the first elected Governor of Pampanga in the American Regime, succeeding Ceferino Joven of Bacolor who was appointed the first governor of the province. Governor Arnedo transferred the provincial capital from Bacolor to San Fernando, amid huge protests from the proud Bacolorenos, because the Railroad passed through San Fernando and brought more traffic and commerce, thus more progress to the town. He also moved his family there for the duration of his tenure: his wife Maria Espiritu y Dungo, and his daughters Maria ( ” Mary, ” o May 27, 1901 – + April 19, 1960 }, Ysabel ( ” Tabing, ” o November 14, 1902 – + January 23, 1970 }, Rosario Lucia ( ” Charing, ” o December 13, 1903 – + May 18, 1977 ), and Joaquina ( ” Quina, ” o December 16, 1904 – + May 6, 1970 ). [ His eldest son Joaquin ( o May 1, 1900 – + May 6, 1902 ) had died before his governorship. He had another son, Pedro ( ” Perico, ” o April 3, 1906 – + April 26, 1913 ), born during his tenure but who died of a congenital heart disease at only 7 years old. His youngest daughter Elisa ( ” Ising, ” o May 16, 1910 – + May 30, 1987 ) was also born during his tenure. ] They stayed in a large house lent to them by the wealthy and influential Lazatin y Singian family.

In the tradition of highly-principled governance in those times, Governor Macario Arnedo would utilize funds from his own assets for charity and social/civic projects. All this altruism led to the decline of his fortunes.

At the end of his governorship in 1911, Macario and his family returned to Barrio Sulipan. They lived in ” La Sulipena ” for a few months. Ysidora Espiritu y Dungo, a sister of Maria, invited them to live in the Buencamino y Arnedo residence in Barrio Capalangan, a house she had recently acquired. It was to become the residence of Macario Arnedo y Sioco and his family.

All the endless grand entertaining of the Arnedos, the subsequent partitions of the estates of Capitan Joaquin and Capitana Maria, the habitual gambling of their sons, and the political foray of Macario, did take their toll on the fortunes of the family. None of the Arnedo sons or daughters inherited the business acumen of both their parents which spawned their life of luxury and opulence. Slowly but continuously, the vast, inherited Arnedo and Sioco lands were sold. Despite the deaccessions, the elegant life at ” La Sulipena ” continued: important people like the Lopezes of Iloilo: the young Eugenio Lopez, his brother the young Fernando Lopez ( he became the Vice-President of the Philippines in the 1960s; he paid court to the young Rosario Arnedo in the 1920s ), relatives, and friends still came to visit, and there were still luxurious, exquisite lunches and dinners, but the great financial foundations of the Arnedo y Sioco family had gradually disappeared.

In 1911, the 1860 guesthouse was sold to the Macams of Calumpit, who were also Arnedo relatives. It was removed from Barrio Sulipan, and rebuilt, piece by piece, in its new location in the town of Calumpit. ( It stood there until 1997, when the last Arnedo – Macam – Santos occupant died. It was subsequently demolished. )

In 192_, Eugenio Arnedo y Sioco, in extreme depression because of insurmountable gambling debts, committed suicide by tying a heavy stone to his neck and jumping into the Pampanga River. This was a deep secret kept so well by Maria Ignacia and Ynes that even their nieces and nephews knew very little about it, and then only in whispers.

The last great Arnedo reception was given in 1928. On February 28 of that year, former Pampanga Governor Macario Arnedo ( o 1868 ) celebrated his 60th birth anniversary with a grand party at his own residence ( formerly the Buencamino y Arnedo ) in Barrio Capalangan. For this last, great occasion, Macario reassembled the old kitchen staff of ” La Sulipena,” headed by the old but still capable Juan Padilla, to recreate the gastronomic wonders of Old Sulipan, as well as to interpret the contemporary delights of the new American cuisine. It was truly a new world far removed from the Castilian elegance of the Old ” La Sulipena ” of El Senor Capitan Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz and his wife Capitana Maria de la Paz Sioco. The 1870 house was refurbished: it was repainted, new furniture, lighting fixtures, and decorations in the ” Art Deco ” style purchased, a new bathroom installed, and the vast garden replanted with flowering plants Hundreds of electric lights were hung from the fruit trees in the garden, and a wooden dance floor was installed under the great, old trees. Macario requested the services of the famous Tirso Cruz ( Sr. ) Orchestra and the emerging Anastacio Mamaril Orchestra to play dance music all throughout the night. At 7 o ‘clock, the affluent guests started arriving in their American and German limousines, filling the small road of Barrio Capalangan up to adjacent Barrio Sulipan. In true American style, after the splendid buffet dinner, everybody walked around ( unlike the receptions during the Spanish Era ), and the dances included the undignified Charleston, the sensual Fox Trot, and of course the elegant Tango, a dance for which Macario hired the services of a professional dance instructor, as soon as it was introduced. It was a wonderful and truly enjoyable party that broke up just before dawn. Its fond memory lingered on in the minds of Macario’s daughters, who remembered it to be the most marvelous reception ever held in their home, and in all of their youth.

By 1930, the surviving Arnedo siblings had little resources left. A few years later, a strong typhoon came and destroyed the thatch roofs of both the Arnedo y Sioco residence ( ” La Sulipena ” ) in Barrio Sulipan and the Arnedo y Espiritu residence ( formerly the Buencamino y Arnedo ) in Barrio Capalangan. The conversions from thatch roofs to corrugated iron sheets and the corresponding renovations to the ceilings of both houses were undertaken by the Arnedos’ half first cousin, the wealthy Augusto D. Gonzalez y Sioco ( son of Florencia Sioco y Rodriguez, de Gonzalez, the younger of two half sisters of Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos, viuda de Tanjutco, viuda de Arnedo-Cruz, mother of the Arnedos ), who had married Macario Arnedo’s daughter ( his half first cousin’s daughter ), Rosario L. Arnedo y Espiritu, who was, therefore, his niece.

The Arnedos continued to entertain during this period. Manuel Quezon stayed overnight as a guest of Macario during the campaign trail and Sergio Osmena, Manuel Roxas, and Carlos Romulo were luncheon guests. The food was still superb.

It was the Arnedo family, their house, their kitchen, and their hospitality that created the delicious reputation of Capampangan cuisine in particular and of gallant and generous Filipino hospitality in general. Felix Roxas wrote: ” Hospitality bordered on the incredible: the guests returned to their homes praising the Sulipeno generosity and the frank and gentlemanly behavior of Capitan Joaquin, speaking highly of his wife Capitana Maria and daughter Pinang, who spared no efforts to attend properly to their guests. This attitude clearly reveals the noble spirit of that remarkable family, remembered affectionately by many as the acme of Filipino hospitality. ”

Augusto Marcelino Gonzalez y Reyes and Macario Diosdado Gonzalez y Arnedo [ Brother Andrew Benjamin Gonzalez, F.S.C. ]

08 July 2000 1500 hrs



  1. Emman Arnedo Martin said,

    November 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Great to know the history of Arnedos!

    The Lolo of my Lolo was Gavino Arnedo (1860-1940) who was married to Tomasa Oreajo (1860-1920).

    Good job!

  2. Vira said,

    July 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Hello Cora… I just saw your posts from June 28th now. My father is Gustav. I am sorry but I don’t think we have ever met. I would love to hear from you directly to learn how your parents are… as it sounds like you would be one of my mom’s 1st cousin’s… non? Are you on facebook… maybe you will “friend me” so we can connect directly? My account is under Vira Jackson or Vira Laats Jackson.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.

  3. Cora Zurbito DelosAngeles said,

    June 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Vira Laats is your Father Gustav?

  4. Cora Zurbito DelosAngeles said,

    June 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Hello My Name is Corazon Delosangeles, granddaughter of Jose Zurbito Sr. and Soledad from Masbate, I find very interesting please if any more info I would love to read

  5. Vira Laats said,

    May 20, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    You truly are a gifted writer Toto!
    I will share the information with my family and will speak with my mother for help on fulfilling your request for an updated family tree. Is there a format or electronic tool you would recommend I build with?

    If you have any plans to visit the West coast of Canada (we are in Vancouver)… You must stay and visit with us.
    Best regards,

  6. April 6, 2013 at 8:07 am


    Hi Arnedo cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online.

    I am happy I was able to put together this most-complete-to-date Arnedo de Sulipan story (with the help of my uncle Brother Andrew Benjamin Gonzalez FSC {Macario Diosdado Arnedo Gonzalez}, longtime president of De La Salle University, 1940-2006) and share it with you cousins. It is the result of years and years of listening to the Arnedo elders’ stories, taking notes, serendipitous finds of written material, nonstop synthesis of collected material, and serious historical research from childhood to adulthood. I’m so happy I was finally able to offload it from my mind. It’s now in Google/Internet for posterity.

    One thing you could do and share with us Arnedo cousins is to construct an updated family tree of the branch of Soledad Arnedo Buencamino and Rep Jose Zurbito Sr.. It would be a big help for our Arnedo family database. Thank you in advance.


    I remember Tita Celia Zurbito-Marcelo. She would come to some Arnedo family gatherings and she was always spoken of with great affection by the various members of the family.

    One of the last times I saw dear Tita Celia was during the 9th day prayers for my father, + Augusto Beda Arnedo Gonzalez, in August 1990, in my Lola Charing’s house. I remember her vividly chatting with my uncle, Brother Andrew Gonzalez, F.S.C., and other Arnedo relatives; it was obvious that they were very fond of her. The last time I saw her was during the “Visperas” of the Apalit fiesta the next year, 28 June 1991, when she visited Saint Peter’s shrine complex in barangay Capalangan, Apalit, Pampanga [ originally the wedding gift residence of Juana Arnedo and Felipe Buencamino Sr. ] along with some members of her family.

    Years ago, I was supposed to attend a Sunday family gathering organized by Tita Dolly Buencamino-Francia which
    would have included her brother Tito Vic Buencamino, Tita Celia Zurbito-Marcelo, and other Buencamino and Arnedo relatives. However, something went wrong and it did not materialize.


    Vira, do keep in touch and I hope to meet you in person, as well as the members of your family, someday!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  7. Vira Laats said,

    April 5, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Hello Toto,
    Such an amazing work you’ve created with this thorough blog. You’re quite a story-teller and the information you’ve gathered and documented is fantastic. Thank you!

    My mother (Maria Soledad Marcelo Laats) is the youngest daughter of Celia Buencamino Zurbito & Dr. Miguel Marcelo. My lola Celia is a daughter of Jose Zurbito Sr. & Soledad Buencamino… daughter of Juana Arnedo & Felipe S Buencamino. I see from a previous messages with my cousin Kathleen that you had met our lola prior to her passing. Thank you for the kind word, she truly was an amazing woman!
    Looking forward to sharing some of the information on your site with my husband to share information of our family & the history of our baby girl’s name… Soledad.
    Hope this message finds you doing well and if you are ever in Vancouver, BC, Canada we must meet.

  8. j macam said,

    December 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    hi toto i already know where the old pictures of the twin house went. it is kept by cheebu Macam ferrer daughter of Paquita., Jun macam de jesus has just told me. thanks

  9. jy macam said,

    September 29, 2011 at 2:51 am

    hi toto,
    how i wish someone would make a film about the la sulipena , to recapture its glory days. its rise and rest. i dont wanna say it has fallen. coz you mentioned it still stands intact. i am envisioning a poetry of cuisine on the film in tradition of “scent of gran papaya” where food becomes character. i have read your blogs, the sulipenya stand as a mute witness of woven stories of triumph, celebration and loss.

    jj macam

  10. May 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm


    Hi Arnedo cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online.

    If my memory serves me right, the parents of Felipe Siojo Buencamino Sr were Victor Buencamino Sr and Petrona Siojo, both of San Miguel de Mayumo, Bulacan. Please don’t take my word for it. Please confirm with written Buencamino histories.

    Song, do keep in touch and I hope to meet you in person, as well as the members of your family, someday!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  11. Asuncion (Song) Aranas Lontok said,

    May 2, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Toto, Hi, Cousin, would you happen to know the names of Felipe Buencamino, Sr.’s parents? I am one of his great granddaughter, my grandmother is Asuncion Buencamino Lontok.

    Thank you for the wonderful job of putting together the Arnedo family tree. Impressive!


  12. Howie Smith said,

    April 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Cecilia, My mother was an Arnedo that immigrated to Columbia then Panama then the usa. Her name was Cecilia and she had no father he had died and her mother died when she was 12 (she was born in 1922. She was born in Cartagena and always said she was from a wealthy family and I believe the riolita name was mentioned. I have 11 brothers and sisters we are from Dayton Ohio where Cecilia Arnedo (my mom) married a panamanian man who took the american name smith. I never knew anything about the arnedo family until my girlfriend stumbled on this blog. I would like to know more about the filipino branch of the family that immigrated to Columbia. If any news surfaces email me at howiesmith@hotmail.com

  13. Kathleen Marcelo said,

    February 10, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Hi Toto,

    I’ll be very glad to meet you and the rest of your family in the near future! Please let me know if there’s a plan for a reunion or even a simple gathering. Here’s my email: krmarcelo@hotmail.com. Let’s keep in touch.

  14. February 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm


    Hi Arnedo cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online. 🙂

    I remember Tita Celia Zurbito-Marcelo. She would come to some Arnedo family gatherings and she was always spoken of with great affection by the various members of the family.

    One of the last times I saw dear Tita Celia was during the 9th day prayers for my father, + Augusto Beda Arnedo Gonzalez, in August 1990, in my Lola Charing’s house. I remember her vividly chatting with my uncle, Brother Andrew Gonzalez, F.S.C., and other Arnedo relatives; it was obvious that they were very fond of her. The last time I saw her was during the “Visperas” of the Apalit fiesta the next year, 28 June 1991, when she visited Saint Peter’s shrine complex in barangay Capalangan, Apalit, Pampanga [ originally the wedding gift residence of Juana Arnedo and Felipe Buencamino Sr. ] along with some members of her family.

    Years ago, I was supposed to attend a Sunday family gathering organized by Tita Dolly Buencamino-Francia which
    would have included her brother Tito Vic Buencamino, Tita Celia Zurbito-Marcelo, and other Buencamino and Arnedo relatives. However, something went wrong and it did not materialize.

    Kathleen, do keep in touch and I hope to meet you in person, as well as the members of your family, someday!!!


    Toto Gonzalez 🙂

  15. Kathleen Marcelo said,

    February 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Hi Toto,

    I’m the daughter of Jose Zurbito Marcelo, the third child of Celia Buencamino Zurbito and Dr. Miguel Marcelo. My grandmother – Celia, is the child of Rep. Jose Zurbito, Sr. and Soledad Buencamino – daughter of the late Juana Arnedo and Felipe Siojo Buencamino. My grandmother used to tell me stories about the rich heritage of our clan. I am so happy and amazed reading your blog. Thank you very much!

  16. Armen Arnedo said,

    June 10, 2010 at 5:21 am

    My grandfather was from Negros. His name was Marcelo Arnedo; he was a son of George Arnedo. Do you think there is a connection between the Arnedos of Sorsogon and my family? I really want to trace where our family started.

  17. June 5, 2010 at 3:37 pm


    Maybe. Who knows? 🙂

    Toto Gonzalez

  18. mike said,

    June 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    HI TOTO,

  19. jj macam said,

    May 19, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    i think i have seen that house posted in flickr.com, but the page is now gone… i remember you commenting on the gasoleras… were you able to save some pix? according to hershey macam, the last occupant of the bahay-na-bato was teresita macam macapugay, the sister of her lola conchita macam. as mentioned also by glorioso santiago, a relative of the macams.
    are the sazons of magalang related to the espiritus and the macams as well?

  20. April 12, 2010 at 11:31 am


    I’m sorry to disappoint you, but as far as I know, there is no Ysidra Sioco in our Sioco family tree.

    The clan progenitor, Josef Sioco [ 1786 – 1864 ], was originally from Bocaue, Bulacan and transferred to Barrio Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga in his early adulthood. There, he first married the daughter of a neighbor, _____ Carlos, and had a daughter, Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos. His first wife passed away, leaving him a widower. At the age of 73, he married for the second time to Matea Rodriguez y Tuason of Bacolor, Pampanga, with whom he had three daughters: Francisca, Sabina, and Florencia, all surnamed Sioco y Rodriguez.

    Maria de la Paz Sioco y Carlos first married _____ Tanjutco. He passed away and she married for the second time to his paternal first cousin, also a widower, Joaquin Arnedo-Cruz y Tanjutco [ whose first wife was Victoria _____ ], son of Manuel Arnedo y de la Cruz and Engracia Tanjutco.

    Francisca Sioco y Rodriguez died young.

    Sabina Sioco y Rodriguez married her maternal first cousin Manuel Escaler y Rodriguez of Balanga, Bataan, son of Justo Escaler and Prisca Ines Rodriguez y Tuason.

    Florencia Sioco y Rodriguez married the Europe-educated Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez de los Angeles y Lopez of Baliuag, Bulacan, son of Fray Fausto Lopez, O.S.A. of Valladolid, Spain and Maria Amparo “Mariquita” Gonzalez y de los Angeles of Baliuag.

    In our family, the Sioco surname died out because the patriarch Josef Sioco had no sons.

    Toto Gonzalez

  21. Pearl Fontilla said,

    April 11, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Dear Toto,

    Is Ysidra Sioco related to Sabina Sioco? Are they sisters, cousins?

  22. Jean Orticio-Pareja said,

    February 7, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Hi Toto
    My name’s Jean Orticio-Pareja. It was a joy to read what you’ve written here and was fascinating to know that someone out there can be so knowledgeable about our heritage – You! I came from the family genealogy of JOSE ARNEDO-PAREJA born about 1859, Legaspi City, Albay who married BENITA AZUL-Marana born about 1863. Any idea about them? Thank you and God bless, Jean

  23. jun macam said,

    December 26, 2009 at 12:54 pm


    the blogging macams are thinking of putting up a blog exclusively all about the macams… you are such a big help… i don’t know how to thank you.

  24. Josie Nerona said,

    November 7, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    This is a very interesting website. My maternal grandmother’s maiden name prior to marrying my grandfather was Arnedo. Her name was Josefa Arnedo Nerona and she was born in the northern region of Kalinga, Apayao. Her father’s name was Manuel Arnedo and her mother’s last name was de San Jose ( I can’t recall her mom’s first name ). My grandmother was the youngest of several siblings. Her mother gave birth to two sets of male twins, my grandma, grandma’s sister Julianna and another sister whose name I can’t recall. My grandmother’s mom died when grandma was only 3 or 4. My grandmother also had an older half sister named Dominga who married a man of the Lanag family of Ifugao.

    I am just wondering if there are any Arnedos out there who are possibly related to me from what information I could provide. Thanks.

  25. Cecilia Mitchell said,

    September 2, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Toto, Thank you for your response on the South American Arnedo family. During my research I found a Dr Miguel Arnedo who is a professor at the University of Barcelona. I’ve included a short paragraph of what Dr Arnedo wrote about the Spanish Arnedo family “…..As far as I know, Arnedo comes from La Rioja province in North central Spain, a world renowned wine region. There are two villages in the region named Arnedo and Arnedillo. My grandfather and grandmother came from that part of the country, exactly from Igea de los Caballeros and Villanueva de Cameros. They moved to Barcelona after the Spanish Civil war…..” Toto, I truly believe, although it may be distant, we are all related.

  26. August 14, 2009 at 2:00 am


    Hi there cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online.

    Yes, it’s amazing how the Arnedo de Sulipan clan has spread out all over. WE are all descended from the legendary “El Capitan” Joaquin Arnedo y Tanjutco [ + 1897 ], dubbed “El Anfitrion” [ “The Amphitryon” — “host to the gods” ], the most famous and documented grand host of late 1800s Pampanga. You, along with Francis A. Zurbito, another Arnedo cousin who has commented in this post, are descended from Capitan Joaquin’s first wife Victoria _____ de Arnedo, the mother of Juana Arnedo [ + 1885 ], who married Felipe Buencamino y Siojo [ Sr. ]. I am descended from Capitan Joaquin’s second wife Maria Sioco de Arnedo [ + 1897 ], the mother of Macario Arnedo y Sioco [ o 1868 – + 1941 ], who was the governor of Pampanga province from 1903 – 1911. Juana Arnedo de Buencamino and Macario Arnedo were half-siblings. Your maternal great great grandmother and my paternal great grandfather were half-siblings.

    Your grandmother was an Aranas. From Camiguin island? I have Visayan cousins on my maternal side who are descended from the Aranas of Camiguin.


    Toto Gonzalez

  27. Felipe V. Micklon said,

    August 13, 2009 at 1:56 am

    hello out there,
    I am Felipe V. Micklon great grandson of Marcelino Lontok and Asuncion Buencamino Lontok. Marcelino and Asuncion had two sons Luis and Felipe Buencamino Lontok. Felipe Buencamino Lontok married Edilberta Mendoza Aranas. They, then had Three children Asuncion, Luis and Teresita. Asuncion is my mother who married Richard Paul Micklon, my father. There is more info that can be put together. I can be reached at ase_man@hotmail.com. Its Nice to see some history of this family written down and yes a book would be a great idea.

  28. August 11, 2009 at 3:00 am


    My, Joaquin, you are practically family!!! My generation — Gene, me, Ompong, and Rocelle and our Gonzalez-Gala first cousins Shoda, Eliboy, Minnie, Claudette, and Pipo — grew up in the 1970s knowing the Old Padilla siblings well — Imang Sion, Apung Marcial, Imang Talia, and Imang Susa.

    Imang Talia — Natalia Ochengco Padilla — was my Lola Charing’s “mayordoma.” She controlled everything in that household during her lifetime. She and Imang Garing [ Leodegaria Cabrera Nuqui ] and Cong Bito [ Benito Cabrera Nuqui ] made up the chief staff among Lola Charing’s numerous household staff.

    I vividly remember how dignified and elegant the Old Padilla siblings were. Apung Marcial walked with the cadence of the dons of yore. Imang Sion, Imang Talia, and Imang Susa were all such ladies of the old world as they discussed recipes and demonstrated the right baking and cooking techniques.

    I would like to meet you Joaquin, that is, if you are still in Barangay Sulipan, Apalit. If I am in the country, I visit Saint Peter’s Shrine in nearby Barangay Capalangan, Apalit twice a week in the afternoons to oversee its maintenance. Do visit.

    Toto Gonzalez

  29. joaquin padilla said,

    August 10, 2009 at 2:14 am

    hi there,
    i came from the family of the padillas in pampanga. Sr. juan padilla is my great grandfather. my father is vicente padilla and marcial padilla is my grandfather. im really fascinated with the rich history of your familys lineage.perhaps im one of the people there in pampanga who has such interest in our family history even at my young age.
    i rarely see you in our place, especially during fiestas when my lola susa was still alive ( susana padilla ). the last time i saw you was when lola susa died when you visited the wake together with gene and ompong and that was when you brought home the ashes of bro.andrew back to apalit.
    i was really amazed about the stories about my great grandfather , your rich family and relationship to both clans. but my father only knew little about the padillas history.
    if ever i would like to hear stories bout apung juan and his relationship to the gonzales. so we will know how great pattisier and cook he was.
    im really thankful i found this site.thank sa lot

  30. Jesse E. Sese said,

    June 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    It is very interesting to discover such family lineages existed in Pampanga where my father and his siblings were born and raised from. Contrary to the privileged and rich families, my grandfather was only a humble roofer and families of carpenters in those old days. Maybe they even worked on the some of the houses and bahay na bato that these families have built in those towns around San Fernando.
    I too remember the uncles (Tatangs) and aunts (Indangs) in the early 1950’s when we used to visit the old Apalit, Pampanga.

  31. mike tiongco said,

    April 24, 2009 at 6:44 am


    just wondering if my great grandfather, don benito luneta de la cruz, of the de la cruz clan of lubao, pampanga, would be related to the de la cruz of apalit?

    thank you,

    mike tiongco

  32. March 2, 2009 at 11:40 pm


    Hi there Cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online.

    “The Arnedo family was originally from Hagonoy, Bulacan. However, the surviving elders of the family remember that their elders occasionally mentioned that the Arnedos originally came from Sorsogon [ traceable to the Spaniard Pedro Arnedo, who was granted the vast “”Encomienda de Busaingan”” comprising the eastern and southern portions of the Bicol peninsula ]. The surviving elders also mentioned that their Spanish antecedents were members of the ““Cortes Generales”” in Spain during the Old Monarchy.”

    As a child, I heard the “Arnedo de Sulipan” elders — now all deceased — talking about their elders who recalled that their antecedents were from nearby Hagonoy, Bulacan [ specially if one takes the river route: the Rio Grande de Pampanga ] and way before that, from Sorsogon in Bicol. They were also proud of their ancestral oral tradition, handed through several generations, that their ancient Arnedo ancestors in Spain were actually members of the “Cortes Generales” of the Old Monarchy.

    Yes, Imang Rita Arnedo-Lacanilao did mention meeting and entertaining the “Arnedo de Sorsogon” years ago. Imang Rita is an Arnedo second cousin of my paternal grandmother, Rosario “Charing” Arnedo-Gonzalez.

    Well Carmen, if and when we ever come up with the Arnedo book with the clan history and genealogy, your “Arnedo de Sorsogon” will have to start both the history and genealogy because your side has recorded history [ from 1613! ] almost two hundred years ahead of us “Arnedo de Hagonoy” / “Arnedo de Sulipan” [ from 1800 ]…!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  33. Carmen Arnedo Baroro said,

    March 1, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I am very glad to read the history of the ARNEDO FAMILY. In your blog, it was mentioned that the very “original Arnedo Clan” hailed from Sorsogon, Philippines. Truly, that is a valid fact because my father, MANUEL VINAS ARNEDO, SR., was born in Legazpi City but his roots is from Sorsogon. Currently, the Arnedos from Manuel’s clan is residing in Pasig City and Houston, USA.

    Fortunately, we were able to meet one of the Arnedo’s of Apalit, Pampanga, TIA RITA ARNEDO ________, who has a residential house in Pasig City, but she’s in Australia now. Years ago, she invited us to Apalit to meet the other Arnedos and how grateful we are for their kindness and hospitality in receiving us in their homes.

    I wish the history of the Arnedo Family can be made into a book form so we can hand it over and over to the next generation.

  34. January 21, 2009 at 8:30 am


    We various “Arnedo de Filipinas” can only go so far as the Spaniard Pedro Arnedo who was awarded the vast “Encomienda de Busaingan” comprising the eastern and southern portions of the Bicol peninsula in 1613. As of now, we still don’t know what part of Spain he came from.

    However, knowing how small the world really is, it wouldn’t be a far-fetched idea that your Spanish Arnedo forebears who migrated to Colombia in the 1800s and Pedro Arnedo who came to “Las Islas Filipinas” in the 1600s came from one and the same Arnedo Clan in their motherland.


    Toto Gonzalez

  35. January 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

    My mother’s maiden name was Arnedo and her family moved from Spain to Colombia South America in the 1800’s. Any family connections here?

  36. September 27, 2008 at 2:43 pm


    Hi there Cousin!!! How wonderful to meet you, even just online.

    I don’t see any Arnedo Family Reunion in the near future — other than the usual funerals — but I will certainly let you know should there be one in the wings…


    Toto Gonzalez

  37. Francis Rizalino Abrasaldo Zurbito said,

    September 27, 2008 at 11:56 am

    My name is Francis Rizalino Abrasaldo Zurbito. I am the youngest grandson of the late Rep. Jose C. Zurbito Sr., who was married to the late Soledad Buencamino, daughter of the late Juana Arnedo and Felipe Siojo Buencamino. My mother is from Davao City, Philippines named Lorna Abrasaldo Zurbito and married to my father Jose Buencamino Zurbito Jr. Whewsss… My mom used to tell me stories when I was small about my lineage rich history in all aspects. Truest to its sense, I am so grateful and honored to be part of this amazing Family Tree in this lifetime. I would also want to attend, if its possible, a reunion of any sort. I am currently based in Dubai and here’s my number +971 50 126 7017 just in case. Thank you for this opportunity and hopefully to meet my parientes soon. God bless our Family Tree. Mabuhay!

  38. July 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm



    You bet I’m “going places”!!! Office, bedroom, bathroom, office, bedroom, bathroom… 😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  39. Paz Cacnio Atienza said,

    June 26, 2008 at 7:10 am

    Gee Toto, you are going places huh?


  40. Carolina Tanjutco, Esq. said,

    June 20, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    P.S. I hope someday we could organize a grand family reunion between the Arnedos and Tanjutcos, and I’m offering our existing ancestral home at Sulipan, Apalit as our venue. But due to the steep river in front that ate up most of the road, I recommend car-pooling because our in-house parking can accomodate only 12 cars. The rest may have to line the Capalangan road ahead. Interested families in USA, pls email: attycarol@excite.com

    Next week marks APONG IRO’s fiesta, the traditional fluvial parade passes in front of the house. The local bands used to play with a majorette, the boatriders used to splash water on each other, a delightful spread of lechon, biringhe, pastillas, etc … I so terribly miss these fond childhood memories!

  41. Carolina Tanjutco, Esq. said,

    June 20, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Toto, you are close to my age. I am fascinated at how you were able to record these information that contained links to the Tanjutco clan. I am part of the Tanjutco Board (4th generation of a family that weds at 40!) and we held family reunions at the 100-year old ancestral home at Sto. Nino, Hagonoy, Bulacan. My grandfather PATRICIO TANJUTCO, former judge and subsequently Mayor of Sulipan, Apalit (1945), was the only one of the brothers who left Hagonoy in order to pursue a political career and was consecutively married to 2 sisters- elder who died, then Dionisia Santos. My late Dad AVELINO S. TANJUTCO, former guerilla who transformed our property with bomb shelters, maintained the old Spanish house perched across the Pampanga river near the McArthur highway at Capalangan. As the Editor-in-Chief of New York based Fil-Am publication, I’d like to publish part of your story for the forthcoming visit of Cabalen H.E. Prez GMA to New York. Please email me directly. CAROL TANJUTCO (see my articles at RadioPinoyUSA.com)

  42. May 5, 2008 at 12:19 am


    Thank you so much.

    Contrary to appearances, I do not have a vast knowledge of Philippine families / genealogies. I only have bits and pieces which I picked up from conversations with the family elders and with those authority figures whom I regard as mentors.

    Yes, I am most fortunate that a phalanx of wonderful people continually visit this blog. Indeed, some of them are members of the country’s most hallowed families. Perhaps they find the blog posts and the sometimes outrageous comments interesting, although I really wouldn’t know.

    Many readers have proposed that the contents of this blog be published in book form. I am flattered by their supreme compliment but I seriously wonder if people these days are still interested in such things???

    As much as I wish, I am not “ageless,” I am already 41.

    Toto Gonzalez

  43. Presy Guevara said,

    May 2, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I am totally amazed on your vast knowledge of Philippine genealogy, which triggers more information from your admiring bloggers. WOW! I am glad that you have this written even in blog format. I hope one day you’ll be able to publish your work for the benefit of many. It would not matter if it comes in a series of volumes since more information seem to surface almost everyday. Right on TOTO. I picture you in my mind as the ageless historian.

  44. Juancho L. Baylon said,

    April 22, 2008 at 3:11 am

    Toto Gonzalez said in a comment in the post “Tito Jorge, Jorge Jose Leoncio de Leon y Lichauco, the aristocratic gentleman of the Old World”:

    “”There was indeed a high-ranking Japanese prince, a close relation of the Meiji Emperor, who visited with the Arnedos in the 1890s. He gave them an incense burner of solid silver, which devolved to Brother Andrew and which he gave to me. I was told by the elders that in the early days of the Japanese Occupation in late 1941, a Japanese officer and his soldiers entered the Arnedo mansion and looked around. To the family’s surprise, they knelt and bowed reverently before the Japanese incense burner. The Arnedo family was treated with respect by the Japanese soldiers after that, but it did not keep them from evacuating to a nearby “hacienda” across the Pampanga River.””



    Would you by any chance happen to know the name of this high-ranking Prince of the Japanese Imperial Court? Maybe even just his last name?

    I am interested and have been researching, for several years now, about the genealogy of the Imperial family of Japan and Korea.

    Is there a “family crest” engraved on the solid silver incense burner given by the Japanese Imperial Prince? It’s one way to find out which cadet branch of the imperial family the prince came from.

    Before the Meiji Restoration of 1868 and during the time of Emperor Komei and further back, the royal princes were kept out of politics and military affairs, some princes being customarily appointed as aristocratic monks in charge of important temples. After power was restored to the Imperial family in 1868, several imperial princes withdrew from religous services to set up secular branches of the Imperial family. Some of the cadet branches of the imperial family include the Fushimi, Arisugawa, Komatsu and Nashimoto families. Although some members of the Matsudaira family ( descendants of Tokugawa Ieyasu ) were married off to the royal family. However, after the Pacific War, Gen. Douglas MacArthur downgraded all the members of the Imperial family to commoners except the Emperor and his brothers. I read that the Imperial family is ruled by a strict moral code of austerity.

    Toto, can you please take a picture of the silver incense burner and post it here? Thank you.

  45. Glorioso Santiago said,

    April 4, 2008 at 5:26 am

    My family are from Calumpit. The Macams were our relatives ( I recall that the only Macam daughter was named Teresita and her mom we called Nana Manang ) and I have been to the stone house which was mentioned in the article. I remember the outside stone stairway on the left side of the house which led to a large terrace with many plants. Under the house, I recall old carriages that were stored. Thanks for sharing and my congratulations on the great story about the Arnedo family.

  46. Nanette said,

    May 28, 2007 at 5:03 am

    Hello Sir,
    Find your articles very interesting and amusing… esp. about the rich and famous families of pampanga… being born and raised in Apalit,Pampanga… been very fascinated with the rich history of Pampanga… you mentioned a lot about the Arnedo families… my mom is an Arnedo from Capalangan. when i stumble with your very informative blog… i was elated when you mentioned my great grandfather’s name: Francisco “Apung Kiko” Arnedo and you recorded our family tree(?)… looking forward that you’ll find time to post it in your blog (hope so)… if you did so… thank you very much… i am very thankful i found your site… been searching for a while about my roots and also looking forward to meet new relatives out there that i’m not aware of… like beny arceo… he could have been related to my family in Capalangan… You are so right that the Arnedos’ ancestral house ( Arnedo-Dionisio, Capalangan ) still stands and still rocks (literally, hehe), holds a very special place in my heart as i practically grew up there (did not live there) as it served as my playground as a young girl… esp. playing hide-n-seek with Tito Rommel… listened to very old japanese era stories of my Lola Ging, Lola Miling, and Lola Trining (RIP)… i could go on and on about that house, brought back all those old memories and treasured ones… once again… thanks again for this opportunity. God Bless!
    p.s. not so sure if you are the same “Toto” that I have met (seen) years ago at “bale maragul” as we call it in Capalangan with Lola Ging?

  47. December 23, 2006 at 12:02 am


    There were various branches of the Arnedos of Sulipan in the 1800s.

    But by 1900, there were only two left that still carried the name: the family of Capitan Joaquin Arnedo and Maria Sioco and that of his younger brother Juan Mata Arnedo and Elena Dionisio.

    Capitan Joaquin had a daughter by his first marriage to Victoria _____: Juana Arnedo de Buencamino. Maria had a daughter by her first marriage to _____ Tanjutco [ a first cousin of Capitan Joaquin’s ]: Crispina Tanjutco y Sioco. Capitan Joaquin and Maria had seven children together: Cayetano, Mariano, Jose, Macario, Eugenio, Maria Ignacia, and Ynes. Cayetano married Marcela Mercado y Arnedo; Macario married Maria Espiritu y Dungo. Jose had a relationship with [ his cousin? ] Quirina Mercado and had two daughters. Mariano and Eugenio died as bachelors. Maria Ignacia and Ynes died as spinsters.

    My guess is that Honorata D. Arnedo might have been “Impung Atang” Honorata Arnedo y Dionisio; she might have been a sister of “Apung Quico” Francisco Arnedo y Dionisio and his sister “Impung Mirang” Casimira Arnedo de Santos; she might have been a daughter of Juan Mata Arnedo and Elena Dionisio. Their 1870s ancestral house still stands with its furnishings intact in Barangay Capalangan, Apalit, Pampanga.

    I recorded that family tree. But I have to look for it.

    Toto Gonzalez

  48. benigno arceo said,

    December 22, 2006 at 6:49 pm


    I wonder if my grandmother Honorata D. Arnedo is related to the Arnedos of Sulipan, I heard she was from there. Good job by the way.

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