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