The Gala mansion

Yes, it was really THE Gala mansion.  Not only was it the Gala residence, it was where endless gala receptions were held…

In my childhood, the happiest place to be was the over-the-top, palatial French Mediterranean style mansion of Lola Nena Gala [ Avelina Eleazar y Ordoveza, viuda de Gala ] in Bayview village in Paranaque.  Lola Nena was the mother of Tita Leonie, married to Tito Melo, who was my Daddy Beda’s younger brother.  The mansion, actually a palace, was so big that it could fit the entirety of my Lola Charing’s substantial house in its immense living room where a great crystal and bronze chandelier hung as well as a Versailles-size portrait of the chatelaine.  Like rococo-style Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard paintings, the place simply emanated everything happy, pleasurable, and fashionable!!!

The redoubtable Marie Theresa “Bebe” Lammoglia-Virata, Mrs. Leonides S. Virata, who had once lived in an even bigger one-hectare property behind it, once breathed deeply at the mention of the Gala mansion and told me:  “Now, THAT was a house!!!”

Lola Nena Gala was a happy lady whose pastime was throwing parties for any reason and for anybody…!!!

The family was equally chichi…

The entire house had been furnished with French style painted furniture by the firm of Sisenando Baluyut, an industrious Pampango who was considered to be the chichi furnituremaker of the late 1950s.  Immense chandeliers, sconces, torcheres, rugs, porcelains, and bronzes were ordered from Spain to grace all the rooms.  Tall mirrored shelves in the dining room held large silver presentation pieces.  Curtains were ordered en suite from the fashionable drapers of the time.

Leonie Gala-Gonzalez recalled:  “I was in charge of the account books during the construction and the furnishing of the house.  It was exciting as the house came up month by month, week by week, day by day.  I was in charge of paying the construction team.  Then I was assigned to settle the bills of the interior decoration:  Mrs. Charing Luz the decorator, Mr. Baluyut the furnituremaker, and the other suppliers…  It was very exciting when the furnishings started coming:  chandeliers, rugs, furniture, mirrors, curtains, decorations…  To think that all of that only cost about Php 1 million in 1958 pesos…”

Avelina Eleazar y Ordoveza of Lucban, Tayabas married Moises Gala y Alcala of nearby Sariaya in 192_ and they had seven children:  Ignacio married Lourdes Hernaez de la Rama-Gonzalez, Teresita married Conrado Bartolome Alava, Luisa married Braulio Arguelles de Villa, Pepito married Teresita Ocampo Reynoso, Lilia married Benjamin Cabrera Grino, Leonida married Ermelo Arnedo Gonzalez, and Marita married Mario Tagarao.

Nena had been looked down on and snubbed by her affluent Gala in-laws during her husband’s lifetime.  That, despite the fact that she was a Villasenor-Ordoveza on her mother’s side.  The Ordovezas are Laguna’s oldest family, tracing themselves to the late 16th century Lorenzo Pangutangan, an early magnate from Majayjay, Laguna.  She was deeply hurt by the experience so she decided that she would build the ultimate snub of them all!!!

The renowned gourmet Brother Andrew Gonzalez F.S.C. of De La Salle University recalled with delight:  “Dona Nena Gala, “Nanay” Gala, always had a splendid table!  I always ate very well at her parties.”

Party buffets were often laid out on the large round table by Baluyut in the dining room.  There were always “Rainbow fish,”  “Prawns thermidore,”  “Chicken ala Kiev” [ Tess Gala-Alava’s version was simply the best in town! ], Tess’ version of Japanese “Sukiyaki,”  “Lengua en salsa rioja,”  Roast turkey, “Lechon,”  “Arroz ala Valenciana” / “Paella,”  etc..  For desserts, there were “Tarta Madrid” and “Crocombuche” [ “Croquembouche” / nicknamed “Beehive” ] from “Las Cibeles,” a host of cakes and pastries, colorful “Cathedral windows” gelatin, and imported and local fruits.

Granddaughter Itchay Alava-Cuenca likes to joke about the whimsical interpretations of some of the dishes during that time but the fact remained that there was really a lot of good food at Lola Nena Gala’s.

Decades before they became the powerhouse socialites Reina de Villa Puckett-Tan and Audrey de Villa Puckett-Chiu, Ampy Gala de Villa’s and Panchito Lopez Puckett’s young daughters would be perched on the glass-topped, wrought iron tables and sing “You Light Up My Life” [ Debbie Boone ] and “Most Beautiful Girl” [ Charlie Rich ] to the utter delight of their young aunts, uncles, grandaunts, granduncles, and of course great grandmother Lola Nena.

Endless mahjong sessions…

But it was not all parties and frivolities at Lola Nena’s… thrice a year during the feast days of the Virgin Mary — 11 February in honor of Our Lady of Lourdes;  the entire month of May in honor of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage;  07 October in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary — She was feted by the Gala family with private “fiestas” of prayers, processions, and parties.

The Gala grandchildren merrily recall how one of their aunts usually led the recitation of the holy rosary and how it inevitably turned into “a rush to the finish line”…

Family:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.”

Aunt:  “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.”

Family:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and…”

Aunt:  “HolyMaryMotherofGodprayforussinnersnowandatthehourofourdeathAmen.”

And so, the faster the family went to catch up with the lightning aunt, the faster the lightning aunt went to catch up with the family…  😛

Family:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you…”

Aunt:  “HolyMaryMotherofGodprayforussinnersnowandatthehourofourdeathAmen.”

Family:  “Hail Mary, full of grace…”

Aunt:  “Holy MaryMotherofGodprayforussinnersnowandatthehourofourdeathAmen.”

Family:  “Hail Mary…”

Aunt:  “HolyMaryMotherofGod…”

The family and the aunt simultaneously…

Family:  “Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!!!”

Aunt:  “HolyMaryMotherofGodprayforussinnersnowandatthehourofourdeathAmen!!!”

*LOLSZ!!!*

All the frenetic social activities finally simmered down with the unexpected passing of Lola Nena in 1980 in Los Angeles, California.

The mansion was finally sold to a Japanese businessman in late 1987.

Ironically, the Gala mansion, and Lola Nena’s vision, lives on as the favorite venue for innumerable movie and commercial shoots… It is still the party central!!!   Bwahahah!!!   :)   :)  🙂

*unfinished*

[ 31 December 2007:  We were informed that the former Gala-Eleazar mansion had finally been demolished. ]

36 Comments

  1. Fatima Myla L. Dava said,

    December 5, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I’ve just read this now. It’s good to know about Mama Marita and family. I love her so much! Remembering her today on her 13th death anniversary!

  2. February 18, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Toto,

    Just FYI, I have the picture of Lola Teresa Alcala Gala’s funeral when she lay in her bier. I will post when I can..

    Robertito Reynoso Gala

  3. January 24, 2014 at 6:20 am

    here is a story I found by Gel Santos Relos who is also a Quintana:
    http://gelsantosrelos.typepad.com/my-blog/2010/05/what-is-your-story-about-your-mother.html
    Two sisters of Tessie Quintana (Carmelita Quintana Riego and Linda Palma) lives in California.

  4. Ma. Julie Anne L. Gala said,

    November 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I found this page by chance (lol looking for the meaning of my name) and I am surprised to see my last name here😄 (filipino ako :D)

  5. Juan Quirolgico Ordoveza said,

    March 2, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Hi! Very nice of you to reply on my comment here, anyway I am willing to share of what I know about the Quirolgico Clan, You can e-mail me what you want to know about our clan.

  6. Grace Quirolgico Anagnostou said,

    February 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    To Juan Quirolgico Ordoveza – My name is Grace Quirolgico Anagnostou. I would like very much to talk to you in private about the Quirolgico clan. My email is ganagnostou123@gmail.com.

  7. Juan Quirolgico Ordoveza said,

    February 21, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Hi! I am Juan Quirolgico Ordoveza, son of Dr. Hipolito A. Ordoveza, and very happy to see that the Ordoveza Clan is still growing. We are 8 siblings, Nicolas (deceased), Josefina, Miguel Luis (deceased), Manuel Eusebio (deceased), Juan Pancho, Cornelio, Ramon, and Mario Antonio, our mother is Dominica Lopez Quirolgico from Vigan, Ilocos Sur. My Father Poleng has two brothers, Protacio (Tiyo Tasyo) and Domingo (Tiyo Domeng), and Two sisters, Antonia (Tita Tony) and Josefa (Tita Pita), their father is Don Juan Villasenor Ordoveza Jr. and their mother is Rafaela Alifaro.

  8. aristheo ranola ramos said,

    January 19, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    hi toto;

    kung hei fat choi!
    wishing you great wealth and health in the dragon year!

    wow! time flies, 6 years after my first post…

    btw, kindly advise on how to post here the
    ‘ordoveza clan’ cartwheel/family tree jpeg image.

    please to hear at mabuhay po kayo!

    sincerely;

    aristheo ranola ramos
    apo sa tuhod ni maria ordoveza eleazar ranola

    aristheo@globenet.com.ph

  9. January 18, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    HI, Toto! How do I look for the email addresses of the relatives who posted here but did not provide their contacts.
    We’re planning an Ordoveza reunion and I’m looking for relatives.

  10. Robert Javier said,

    December 14, 2011 at 10:15 am

    just stumbled into this site and wow!….. i’m part of this family! My grandmother is Antonia Ordoveza (married to Enrique Javier). Their son, Renato, is my father.

    I guess Rowena Ordoveza is my aunt. Her father,Lolo Tacio, visits us when I was a kid. And I hear most of the names she mentioned when my parents talk about them.

  11. October 31, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Curachi:

    Please be reminded:

    From now on, comments with no real names, no email addresses that can be confirmed, and no reliable identity checks will no longer be allowed.

    Please upload your comment again with the pertinent information.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  12. rowena ordoveza said,

    April 29, 2011 at 4:49 am

    hello Ordoveza clan,
    I am very much interested with the old pictures if you have, especially the family tree may you please send me those pictures,rowenaordoveza@yahoo.com thanks

  13. rowena ordoveza said,

    April 29, 2011 at 4:44 am

    Hi Ordoveza clan,
    I am very much interested with the old pictures if u have especially if you still have the family tree with you, may you possibly sen it me rowenaordoveza@yahoo.com. thanks

  14. February 26, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Stories from My Father
    The Quintana Saga

    It was not often that we had an opportunity to hear the stories my father related, because he was working and travelling often and later also went to school to obtain his law degree. Jose Bartolo Quintana y Mauriz was his baptismal name. His mother called him “Peping” but the nickname that stuck was Joselito. He was the oldest among 5 siblings. Anyway, this story has to begin from as far back as I know of the Quintana family which must start with Eusebio Quintana Sr. I know of his name but do not know who his parents were or other information about his life before his arrival in the Philippines in the 1880’s, and whatever I know or remember came verbally from my father Joselito.
    Eusebio Sr, great grandfather to my generation of Quintanas, was a galleon captain. My father said he made 4 trips to Manila. The very first trip had to be from Spain and at the time of his journey the galleon route was from Sevilla or Cadiz to Vera Cruz in
    Mexico and then overland to Acapulco and then on to Manila. I am assuming that this was a route he used since at that time the Philippines were governed by Spain thru Mexico. It is also not at all impossible that he came via another route i.e. thru the Suez Canal. So, of his 4 journeys to Manila it is quite possible that 3 of these may have been from Acapulco.
    His roots are traced back to Bilbao, Spain, a city at the base of the Pyrenees and a bastion of the Basque nation and culture. While he may have had Basque blood in him thru prior generations of intermarriage, he was not a pure Basque. My father related how Eusebio Sr was once introduced to a gathering in Manila as a “Vasco”, and he is said to have corrected the emcee to say that he was a Spaniard first and a Basque second. A few years back I read a book, “The Basque History of the World” by Mark Kurlansky and in so doing I began to understand what prompted my great grandfather to make that very emphatic distinction.
    As explained by Kurlansky, thru several centuries many Castillians, Murcians, Andalucians, Galicians and Catalans migrated to the northern provinces around Bilbao because that was where all the employment opportunities were. Bilbao, and the port of Bermeo, for example were the primary shipping avenues for all the cod and potatoes that went into the rest of Spain. Bilbao was also a vibrant commercial center. To this day one of Spain’s largest banks is the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) . When I went to Bilbao, San Sebastian and Pamplona in 1999, I had an extensive conversation with our company’s regional manager there. His last name was Garcia. As far as he knows he was a 4th or 5th generation Castillian. But because of the intensity of Basque nationalism his family considered themselves Basque as well. I concluded that this was the case with our great grandfather too.
    After his 4th voyage he decided to stay in the Philippines for good. He bought a river boat that navigated up and down the Pasig River into Laguna de Bay. On one of his trips he met Trinidad de Ordoveza, then travelling with her mother Brigida. Making a long story short, he married Trinidad ( Lola Trining ). They resided in the ancestral home of the Ordovezas in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. As far as I know they had at least six children,
    Eusebio Jr. ( my grandfather), Jose (Tito Tony’s father), Luis (Tony Borja’s grandfather),
    Francisco (Tita Tessie’s father and Frank’s grandfather), Carlos (Tito Audie’s father) and their only daughter Angelina ( mother of Pepito and Joseling Concepcion.)
    The Ordoveza clan was one of the richest families in Laguna. They reportedly owned more than half the province and had a coconut plantation in addition to a very productive rice granary. So, when the boys were of school age they were interns at the Ateneo de Manila, a luxury only the monied gentry at that time could afford.
    The five Quintana men were all superb athletes, especially Lolo Jose. In fact I have often heard that in the Asian games of 1916 the 5 brothers represented the Philippines as the basketball team. Lolo Jose was also a famous goalkeeper for the Ateneo football (soccer) team and his name is reportedly ( I never had a chance to verify this) still etched in one of the trophies on display at the Ateneo trophy room in Loyola Heights.
    There is a yearly reunion, around the 1st week of January, of the Ordoveza clan. I have never attended any of them but the two of our siblings who did, Pilar and Bebs, have both passed away.

    To be continued…….

  15. Mercedes Isabel B. Rivera said,

    May 23, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    My family used to attend all the reunions at the Gala mansion. There were times when the themes were Hawaiian, coded color shirts for each family that you belong to. My father is Perfecto Ordoveza Rivera more known as Petong… son of Maria Ordoveza Rivera married to Mesiton Rivera of Pila, Laguna.

  16. March 25, 2010 at 6:26 am

    Jayson Maceo:
    Very interesting post. I am most interested in you statement, which confirms the information I have, that the Ordovezas originated in Sta Cruz, Laguna. My great grandfather, Eusebio Quintana Sr., married Trinidad Ordoveza, daughter of Brigida Ordoveza. My grandfather moved to Tayabas. I also have some fuzzy memories of conversations with my father in which he mentioned relationships with Villasenor and Unson. My email address is:
    ldq44@aol.com. I have a blog : ldq1944.blogspot.com

  17. Rowena Ordoveza said,

    October 11, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Hey to all kamag anak dyan, if ever we have a reunion, can you please tell me. It is great to meet all of you. Whoever has the original family tree who started from Don JUAN Pangutagnan Y Ordoveza please send me naman. I am very much familiar to the names mentioned in this web nung unang panahon names. Right now I am working in the cruise ship, I like to be in Phils.kapag may reunion. rowenaordoveza@yahoo.com.

  18. Mesiton Rivera said,

    October 8, 2009 at 2:44 am

    By chance got linked to this site. I was a kid when I used to attend one of those Ordoveza reunions at the mansion. I must have been in Kinder or Grade 1 at that time. Anyway, my Dad’s (Perfecto Rivera) mother is Maria Ordoveza-Rivera married to Mesiton Rivera from Pila, Laguna.

  19. September 23, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Hi Toto,
    Here is a photo of the outside of the house…it was so grand..it’s a pity it was demolished. I have so many memories of this house…I lived in the tower room for awhile.

    Lola Nena turned me on to eating aligi with rice and limes squeezed over it..oh my….yuuuuum.
    Best regards,
    Diana

  20. Fr. Richard said,

    August 28, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I’m Fr. Richard M. T. Eleazar, son of Victor L. Eleazar of Tagkawayan, Quezon. My father’s parents were Judge Guillermo M. Eleazar and Maria O. Lagdameo, who lived in Lucban, Quezon and transferred to Guinayangan, Quezon.

    Hope we, the Eleazars, can someday have a reunion. God bless!

  21. Jayson Maceo said,

    August 8, 2009 at 1:36 am

    wow, this is great, btw, i’m jayson from lucban and is currently working here in manila, i’ve always heard the stories of the Gala’s from my lola Luz (Eleazar Rañola and niece of Doña Nena) and lola Taring when i was a kid… (i am not related to the Eleazars it just happened that my lola Taring,my great grandmother’s sister, is lola Luz’s best friend)
    in fact, the house where we reside in Lucban belongs to lola Luz, daughter of Doña Maria Eleazar and Don Tomas Pacifico Rañola… Doña Maria is the eldest daughter (Doña Nena is the youngest) of Don Victor Eleazar and Doña Teresa Ordoveza… the house, renovated a few years ago, now belongs to the sons of the late Manuel Eleazar Rañola(lola Luz’ youngest brother)… i remember an old picture of Don Victor and Doña Teresa hanging on the sala in Lucban that give goosebumps to anyone who visit my lolas… =)

    So many stories were told to me by my lolas… according to them, the marriage of Avelina Eleazar and Don Moises Gala of Sariaya is a very grand celebration in Lucban, it is said that a carpet was laid from the house of the Eleazar up to altar of the church where Avelina walked in her wedding dress… i remember an old saying in Lucban, “ang bulaklak ng Lucban, sinungkit ng mga Gala at dinala sa Sariaya”…

    the Ordovezas roots are from Sta. Cruz, Laguna and some migrated in Majayjay and Lucban… Teresa Ordoveza is said to be born in Lucban and was married to Victor Eleazar, the richest man in Lucban at that time… i still have a copy of a small book given to me by lola Taring entitled “Ang Kasaysayan ng Angkang Ordoveza”, it was written by Carlosa Eleazar Unson… the first portion of the book is written in pure tagalog and the last pages in spanish…

  22. leandro d. quintana said,

    May 17, 2009 at 12:23 am

    There used to be an Ordoveza clan reunion every year in Cubao. I never had a chance to attend one but relatives from the Quintana side were usual attendees and even performers. My late uncle Cipriano used to sing spanish songs and his brother Ramon used to perform magic tricks. Have any of you attended this reunion? Is there a next one for 2010? This usually takes place in January.

  23. rowena Villanueva Ordoveza said,

    January 14, 2009 at 9:32 am

    We used to have a copy of Senior Don Juan Pangutangan y Ordoveza. He had daughters and my grandfather, who’s Don Juancho Ordoveza , he got married with his second wife with Alifar surname who’s my grandmother. They got 5 children – Hipolito;(wife Dominica with children Josie,Miguel,Manuel,Juan,Cornelio,Antonio)Antonia,Dominador,Protacio my father,and Pita. We used to lived in Tito Poleng and Tita Mining place in F. Manalo st. Cubao Q.C. That was when I came to know about my immediaterelatives and distance relatives. By the way we have half sisters and brothers in my fathers first wife Kuya Pito,Kuya Boy,AteBecky,Kuya Raul,Ate…..I forgot basta Kuya Orly’s wife. When I was little I remember Tita Pilar(married to Antonio Dimalanta) used to to give a reunion party for Ordovezas ; who is going to do this time?

  24. kamille said,

    January 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    wow. my auntie told me about that story.. about our real surname pangutangan.. i can’t believe that it was really my great great grand father.. i remember that my tita told me about the second wife of don pangutangan’s son.. pangutangan was change to ordoveza. haha. i wanted to know about our family :))

  25. October 31, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Vina dearest!!! *jumps for joy*

    POST EVERYTHING!!!

    Cheers!!!

    Toto Gonzalez 😀 😀 😀

  26. Vina Alava-Pelaez said,

    October 31, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    Hi, Toto! I’m finally posting something in your blog site.
    I have some updates on the Villaseñor/Eleazar/Ordoveza family trees plus historical anecdotes. The research, especially the ancestries, was mostly done by a relative, Dr. Luciano “Chito” Santiago. He also descended from the Villaseñors and the Ordovezas as well as the Riveras (from Pila on my dad’s side). If anyone is interested, please email me at vinapel@gmail.com
    Please email me back so I can also send you the photo I promised (the Gala clan in your Pampanga home).

  27. elias said,

    October 4, 2008 at 9:21 am

    I have to say that I’m descended from Victor Eleazar and Teresa Ordoveza. I’m curious if we have any ancestors who were prominent in history. I’m trying to find records of Judge Guillermo Eleazar, but I can’t find any relevant ones.

    Hmm, anyways, just dropping by. Feel free to contact me through my email or website.

  28. Gundelina Gala LLacuna said,

    July 10, 2008 at 2:13 am

    I have no idea where the Gala family originated but I used to hear from my relatives my ancestors came from Queson City.My grandfather’s name was Miguel Gala.We lived in Camiguin Island in Mindanao.I lived in New Jersey.I just found this website by surfing the internet.

  29. Becco Empleo said,

    March 28, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Hi. My great grandfather, Francisco Cadeliña Esquieres de Villaseñor (Y.N.D.), who was an industrial arts professor during his time, often had educational trips, and one place in the itinerary was the big, big house of Tia Nena, as my lolos and lolas called her. She was probably a cousin or an aunt, since they all belonged to the same clan of the Villaseñor patriarch Don Antonio Serapion de Villaseñor. Several pictures are kept, viewing this big, big, big house.

    To celebrate the First Grand Reunion of the Angcan ng Villaseñor de Lucban, in 2003, which is hosted by the Deciendos de Don Antonio Serapion de Villaseñor, they produced a book which detailed the family history, heirlooms, and subfamilies that branched from The Clan of the “de Villaseñor”: Ordoveza, Eleazar, Peñalosa, Esquieres, Cadeliña, Rañola, Nañagas, Maderal, Empremiado, Pangutangan, Rilles, Lucban, Merchan, Sanchez, Nepomuceno de Pampanga, Tigmaque, Manrique, Mac Douglas, Rivera, Zurbano, and many other families that produced a culture known as “Hispano-Filipino.”

    The Galas, if I’m not mistaken, were PreWar nouveau riche of Sariaya, Quezon.

  30. aris ranola ramos said,

    February 13, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    hi tuesday,
    glad that many kamag-anaks are in reading. as what you have mentioned
    can you please scan the ordoveza family wheel and revert.
    thanks much and rgds> aris ranola ramos
    aristheo@globenet.com.ph

    hi toto,
    the ball is now rolling
    thanks very much for your efforts.
    may god bless you always.
    sincerely,
    aris

  31. tuesday eleazar said,

    January 15, 2008 at 7:14 am

    Hi! I am the granddaughter of Benjamin Reyes Eleazar, son of Joaquin Eleazar. I don’t know much about our ancestry nor the other members of the Eleazar clan but I have seen the family wheel a few times in my lolo’s house and the names listed above are familiar. My lolo never really told us much and that, to date, has remained a mystery to me.

    It is embarrassing sometimes when someone asks me if i know a certain Eleazar and I just go “uhh… not personally but if he is from Quezon then we’re most likely related.” It’s quite a shame that I don’t know my relatives. I hope there would be a reunion where we could get to know each other.

  32. Leandro D. Quintana said,

    February 26, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Toto,
    Having grown up in Cebu, I must confess unfamiliarity with the many beautiful people you listed. While the Ordovezas & Quintanas of the early 1900s were quite rich, by the time I was born ( 1944 ) the Quintana side of the family was already deep in the cycle of poverty. Tessie Quintana was our one great link to fame and/or the illusion of wealth. My grandfather, Eusebio Quintana Jr., had traded some of his inheritance in Laguna for lands in Tayabas. My father used to recall that my grandfather had invested in the building of fish ponds. As luck would have it, the fish ponds were wiped out by a series of typhoons. As I understood it, he rebuilt the ponds seven times, and seven times the typhoons came. After the 7th, he gave up and sold the property for a measly sum to a Lucban native. The latter reportedly prospered quite well. Thereafer, my grandfather moved back to Laguna and then on to Manila. He was married to my grandmother Pilar Mauriz, who unfortunately died at age 25 ( in 1925 ). She was the only daugther of a Castillian former galleon captain. There are no known relatives from her side of the family.

    The Ordoveza side of the family have remained prosperous. In fact, at one point, they owned Carmelo & Bauermann – famous printers along EDSA.

    Anyway, I hope we can remain connected thru this page or via direct email.

    I live in Los Angeles ( since the ’70s ) and continue to have a keen interest in rediscovering my Quintana-Ordoveza roots.

    Leandro

  33. February 4, 2007 at 10:48 am

    Leandro:

    I always thought that the Ordoveza originated from Majayjay, Laguna and the Villasenor from Lucban, Tayabas [ the late 19th century portraitist Vicente Villasenor, et. al. ]. I am not surprised that the two prominent clans founded a branch in Santa Cruz town, which was the capital of Laguna province, even in the 1800s [ not even affluent, mercantile Binan or scenic, cool San Pablo de los Montes ].

    I vividly remember the very beautiful actress Tessie Quintana. I used to watch her movies with Jaime de la Rosa and Armando Goyena from the 1950s on Channel 7 and Channel 9 on weekday afternoons after school. I had a big crush on her. What a pity she died of cancer at such a young age!!! Our older household staff used to tell me that she was the most beautiful “artista” of her day, more than Carmen Rosales, Nida Blanca, or even Gloria Romero [ who had not yet reached her peak ].

    I’m sure that the Gala cousins of my Gonzalez-Gala cousins will be thrilled to learn that they are related by blood to a great beauty like the 1950s actress Tessie Quintana!!! After all, they are also attractive ladies. Lola Nena Gala was a beautiful lady, even in her 70s. Her youngest daughter, Tita Marita Gala-Tagarao, was the prettiest in her youth. Among the granddaughters, Ampy Gala de Villa [ the mother of Hong Kong socialite Audrey Puckett Chiu ] was very pretty in her prime. Also attractive were Itchay Gala Alava-Cuenca, the sisters Ave Reynoso Gala-Blanco and Isa Reynoso Gala, Princess Gala Grino-Maramba, and the sisters Shoda Gala Gonzalez-Pascual and Claud Gala Gonzalez-Klein. Still beautiful are the sisters Vina Gala Alava-Pelaez and Maritess Gala Alava-Yong.

    Let’s see if we can find more Ordovezas around here…

    Toto Gonzalez

  34. Leandro D. Quintana said,

    February 1, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    My late father’s family too branched out from the Villasenor-Ordoveza clan of Sta. Cruz, Laguna. My great grandfather Eusebio Quintana Sr. married Trinidad Ordoveza. Our great-great grandmother was Brigida Ordoveza, “Lola Brigida” to the family. Perhaps the most famous of the Quintanas was the late actress Tessie Quintana. I would surely like to get more information on the Ordovezas of Sta. Cruz and would appreciate being connected hopefully via a web page or thru email. Thank you.

  35. October 27, 2006 at 3:37 pm

    Aristheo:

    Lola Nena Gala was such a wonderful lady and her palatial home was the scene of so many happy memories!!!

    And a kid must have been so happy to receive 5 pesos as Christmas “aguinaldo” in the early 1970s… that was something then!

    You’re right about the large portrait and the grand piano… As a child, I was wide-eyed and awestruck by the audacious splendor of that mansion!

    You have exceptional ancestry: The prominent Ordoveza clan of Laguna is more than 300 years old… not a single one of the patrician Binan and San Pablo families can claim a history older than that.

    Your comment has just confirmed that I am definitely not alone in my reminiscences of those very happy days at Lola Nena Gala’s. Thank you very much!

    Toto Gonzalez

  36. aristheo ranola ramos said,

    October 27, 2006 at 3:03 pm

    my family is from lucban quezon belonging to the teresa ordoveza/victor eleazar kin (same with lola nena). my great grandmother maria eleazar is the eldest sister of lola nena.

    since i was a child christmas is not complete without seeing lola nena, who graciously gives aguinaldo to her kamag anaks. we sing christmas carols to her and one song means 5 pesos during the early seventies.

    the image of her giant painting sa living room with matching grand piano under the stairs reminds me of her pomp and pageantry. those were the days.

    i still have a reunion family tree/cartwheel of the ordoveza clan held a long time ago, i.e. population explosion and arbol 1961


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