The Gonzalez-Chiong Veloso Singson: livin’ la dolce vita

“You know, Bebing, I have run out of space for my cars!!!”  complained Rosario “Charing” Singson [ Chiong-Veloso ] de Gonzalez to her eldest sister, Genoveva “Bebing” Singson [ Chiong -Veloso ] de Villalon.

Not to be outdone, Bebing countered:  “You’re telling me Charing… I have run out of space for my land titles!!!”

What nice problems those people had!!!  As the American heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post once said:  “I do have problems…  But they’re nice problems to have.”   😛   😛   😛

In their names, it was the immensely rich maternal Chiong-Veloso side that mattered.  The Chinese Chiong-Veloso fortune of Cebu was amassed in the 1800s.  Nicasio Chiong Veloso and his wife Genoveva Rosales had thirteen children.  The eldest daughter, Eleuteria Chiong-Veloso y Rosales, married Segundo Singson y _____.  The youngest daughter, Estefania Chiong-Veloso y Rosales, married Sergio Osmena [ Sr. ].

It was the marriage of the heiress Estefania Chiong-Veloso y Rosales to Sergio Osmena [ Sr. ] in 1901 that consolidated his power base in Cebu and assured his political fortunes during the American regime.  In 1907, Sergio, “hijo natural” of Juana Osmena y Suico, finally gained control of the majority of the vast Osmena fortune [ accumulated by his maternal grandfather Severo Osmena of Chinese origin ].  Estefania passed away in 1918, and his subsequent marriage in 1920 to Esperanza Limjap y Escolar of Manila, an heiress to yet another immense Chinese fortune, further strengthened his political power base in the American colonial government.

According to Chiong-Veloso family tradition, the patriarch Nicasio made an enormous fortune out of… Opium!!!  According to the early 20th century raconteur Felix Roxas, the Chiong-Velosos actually owned a hotel particulier in Paris on the Boulevard Haussmann!!!  Wasn’t that terribly chic???

To quote the oft-quoted Honore de Balzac as he alluded to the French Rothschilds:  “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.”  But what great style the French Rothschilds had!!!   🙂   🙂   🙂

The three Singson-Chiong Veloso sisters, Genoveva, Rosario, and Paz, were the grandest heiresses of Cebu in the 1910s.   And they chose to marry the best men available in Cebu at that time.  The two elder ones married renowned doctors.  Genoveva “Bebing” married Dr. Augusto Santos Villalon of Marikina and Rosario “Charing” married Dr. Virgilio Rufino Sioco Gonzalez of Pampanga.  Both doctors held important positions in Cebu at that time.  The youngest sister Paz married Jose _____ Hernaez.

In the Gonzalez family archives, there is a photograph of the wedding of Dr. Virgilio Rufino Gonzalez y Sioco of Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga to Rosario Singson y Chiong-Veloso of Cebu.  The groom was handsome and evidently a Spanish mestizo.  The bride, obviously rich, was drenched in jewelry.

The +- 120 Gonzalez-Sioco grandchildren [ legitimate and illegitimate ], like Brother Andrew, grew up knowing that there were three “Tia Charing” in the family:  first there was Tia Charing Valdes [ Rosario Valdes y Liongson ], the Bacolorena widow of Tio Miling Gonzalez [ Emilio Cosme Gonzalez y Sioco ], then there was Tia Charing Singson [ Rosario Singson y Chiong-Veloso ], the fabulously rich Cebuana widow of Tio Vijing Gonzalez [ Virgilio Rufino Gonzalez y Sioco ], and lastly, there was Tia Charing Arnedo [ Rosario Lucia Arnedo y Espiritu ], the loquacious, loud-voiced, Sulipena widow of Tio Bosto Gonzalez [ Augusto Diosdado Gonzalez y Sioco ].  Of the three, awe and deference were accorded to the rarely-seen Tia Charing Singson, who was one of the two richest Gonzalez daughters-in-law, the other being Tia Amparing de la Rama [ Amparo de la Rama ], the first wife of Tio Pasting Gonzalez [ Fausto Felix Gonzalez y Sioco ].  Tia Amparing was a “hija natural” of Esteban de la Rama, who was the richest of the Bacolod sugar tycoons in his lifetime;  she was an elder half-sister of Lourdes Aguilar de la Rama, who became Mrs. Sergio “Serging” Chiong-Veloso Osmena  Jr. [mother of Sergio III “Serge,” Maria Victoria “Minnie,” Esteban “Stevie,” Tomas, and Georgia].

Lola Charing Singson lived in grand style.  She would descend on New York, Paris, London, Rome, and Hong Kong to visit her jewelers.  Long before Imelda Romualdez-Marcos made her arriviste entrances,  Lola Charing Singson was already a regular client at Tiffany & Co., Harry Winston, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Asprey, Bulgari, Buccellati, Fulco di Verdura.  Once she had taken a fancy to a certain piece, she would buy not one, but a dozen similar pieces to sell to her affluent friends.  It was in this fashion that my own Lola Charing Arnedo came to acquire some very fine pieces of European jewelry.

She sent her children to the “right schools.”  My friend Toti Villalon [Arch. Augusto Fabella Villalon] told me that Tita Conchita Cancio [ Imelda Concepcion Singson Gonzalez-Cancio ] had actually attended prestigious Vassar College and became good friends with, of all people, Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, the future Mrs. John Kennedy!  In fact, Tita Conchita’s daughter Jackie [ Jacqueline Gonzalez Cancio-Vega ] had been named for her collegiate friend.

In the 1970s, she built a French Mediterranean-style mansion in Dasmarinas village, Makati.  It was a legendary house that captured the imagination of Manila society.  The late, extravagant interior designer Edgar Ramirez recalled that he had designed her bathroom in the opulent Louis XV style.

Set apart from the rest of the staid, dutiful, and sometimes even austere Gonzalez cousins, the Singson cousins and the de la Rama cousin lived the grandest lives.

The Singson cousins traveled to Europe regularly.  Like the most affluent Manila families, several months of the year were always spent abroad together.  Jewelry, dresses, shoes, bags, and most everything else were purchased there.  Ivy League institutions in the United States were the preferred choices for their collegiate education.  The family was reputed to have their couturiers in Paris, tailors and shoemakers in London, dentists in Switzerland, and their hairdressers in New York.   Back in Manila, the heiresses were dressed by the best couturiers of the time: Ramon Valera and Salvacion Lim-Higgins.



The de la Rama cousin grew up in the European capitals, trailed by their Rolls Royce limousine and their other cars.  The private plane brought them everywhere.  The yacht was moored in Nice.  They owned houses in Paris, Nice, Madrid, and Barcelona.  They rented houses in Deauville, Saint Moritz, and Lausanne, according to the season.  Accompanied by a butler, valets, a French chef, a Czech governess, a secretary, and maids, they transferred residences according to the social season like European aristocracy.  The family possessed several sets of French china and crystal, English sterling silver, and fine Irish, French, and Italian table linens.  These were systematically rotated and suitably coordinated by the household staff for the various meals served to the family.  A perfumery in Paris was purchased solely for the lady of the house.  Once a year, they traveled to Buenos Aires in Argentina where their polo horses were stabled.  They visited with their friends like the Carcanos in their “estancias.”  They also had a townhouse in New York City and a house in Beverly Hills.

Weren’t they fabulous???!!!

Now, those are the right kind of Filipinos!!!  They showed those rich Europeans and Americans that they were every bit as affluent, as educated, as intelligent, as elegant, and as sophisticated as the best of them!!!

Ah, livin’ la dolce vita!!!


  1. Milagros Robles Balili said,

    April 25, 2018 at 3:59 am

    When I was young, I learned that the father of my father was a former mayor of Isabela, Negros, Jose de la Rama Robles. His daughter Micaela used to travel to Spain to study hat making aboard ship De la Rama line.

  2. Susan Pommerat said,

    June 30, 2016 at 4:14 pm

    Once upon a time, when Cebu was not as urbanized as it is now, Bebing Villalon went to Carbon and, as usual, took the jeepney going home. She asked the driver to bring her to her house up on the hill. The driver then asked Bebing “adto di-ay ka didto ga puyò ‘Nang?” which Bebing answered with a curt yes. The driver went on, saying “sus ang kana kunong tag-iya anang balaya, fuerte kunong tihika!”. Bebing remained silent.

    When they reached the house, she went down from the jeepney and then told the driver “ngano man di-ay ug tihik ko? Walay labot bisag kinsa ug unsa-on nako akong kwarta!”.

    I can only imagine the driver’s shock when he realized that his plain-looking, plainly-dressed passenger (wearing rubber shoes too) was THE Bebing Villalon. Hah!

  3. January 24, 2014 at 6:04 am

    my grandfather is Chiong Kao Ko aka Juan Manipis he is a ist degree cousin of Estefania “Pepang Chiong” Veloso and other brother is in Leyte i think Palompon or Calubian gikan sa paglayas nila sa Amoy, China wala na cla magkita gawas lang ka Pepang Chiong ako father kay bata pa sa una dihang nakaila siya ka Pepang Chiong kay nag anhaan man xia diri sa Danao para mo viisit sa iya cousin nga c Chiong Kao Ko former chinese businessman in Danao gusto lang ko maka hibalo sa side nga kaliwat sa ako lolo og sa ako papa nga c Jose Manipis Chiong Sr. thank you ….

  4. fred mendoza said,

    December 9, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    The heirs of Gregoria dela Rama were, Jose, Gregorio Jr. (my grandfather), Esteban, Corazon, Consejo, and Merlin (all deceased).

  5. fred mendoza said,

    December 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    hi is any body from the dela rama clan, knows gregorio dela rama of Victorias City. His a grandfather of evangeline my mother.

  6. fred mendoza said,

    December 9, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    hi, am a dela rama also from victorias city now living in talisay

  7. eralyn lleno said,

    August 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm


    My grandfather is also a de la Rama and said that they came from Iloilo. He wants to go back to where he came from and to know his relatives, but I’m afraid it’s no longer possible since he’s weak. He had told his stories to my uncle. I can still recall that he had mentioned a story about “Don Paco”, but I don’t know the details. He wants to hear even a single information about them. Thank you so much.

    Eralyn de la Rama Lleno

  8. August 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    looking for my great grand parent!, francisco de la rama,eleuteria mangubat. children, margarita,balbino,angel,tinay,binay,leon,berina,alejandro!

  9. victoria de la rama said,

    August 27, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    hi,looking my ancestors,de la rama from negros, francisco de la rama ang wife eleuteria mangubat,children, margarita,berina,tinay,binay,balbino,leon,angel,alejandro de la rama.

  10. victoria lleno said,

    June 9, 2012 at 3:53 am

    i am interested to the de la rama sister’s story!

  11. Enrique Bustos said,

    November 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Senator Osmeña’s
    ma passes away

    Lourdes de la Rama Osmeña, the wife of the late Senator Sergio Veloso Osmeña Jr. and daughter of the late Senator Esteban de la Rama, passed away at 8:45 a.m. yesterday at a Bacolod hospital where she had been confined for four years, her son, Senator Sergio Osmeña III said.

    Mrs. Osmeña, 98, succumbed to multiple organ failure secondary to sepsis, and acute respiratory failure secondary to pneumonia high risk at the Pablo O. Torre Memorial Hospital.

    She was confined at the hospital but had no serious illness, so her death was not expected, it was from old age, she just stopped breathing, Senator Osmeña told the DAILY STAR.

    He said his mother had pneumonia four years ago and chose to continue to stay at the hospital since then. It has been three years since she has been unable to recognize people, even her children, and her eyesight was failing, he said.

    Being at the hospital ensured that she was well taken care of and comfortable, he added.

    She is survived by her children Sergio III, Maria Victoria “Minnie”, Esteban “Stevie”, Tomas and Georgia.

    The senator said he, Tomas and Georgia were set to arrive in Bacolod yesterday afternoon, Stevie today, and Minnie is expected tomorrow.

    Mrs. Osmeña’s nurses were giving her a sponge bath yesterday morning when she suddenly started gasping and died, Maggie Jalandoni said.

    Jalandoni, a cousin of Rep. Tomas Osmeña’s wife, was attending to the remains of Mrs. Osmeña at the funeral parlor yesterday while waiting for her children to arrive. She said Mrs. Osmeña will lie in state at the social hall of the Redemptorist Church in Bacolod but she did not know what the plans of her family were.

    Senator Osmeña said they are waiting for the return of his sister Minnie from New York so all the siblings can be consulted on what to do, but his mother will probably lie in state in Bacolod for about four days and be buried beside his father at the family mausoleum in Cebu.

    When her husband Sergio Jr., son of former President Sergio Osmeña, died of respiratory failure at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, on March 26, 1984, Mrs. Osmeña packed her bags and returned to Bacolod to live.

    “She was a farmer at heart, she was her father’s daughter,” Senator Osmeña said of his mother.

    Mrs. Osmeña was born in Iloilo to senator, farmer and businessman Esteban de la Rama and Natividad Aguilar. He father later expanded his business and farm holdings to Negros and she studied at Assumption College.

    Before she met her husband, she helped her father run their farms and the de la Rama steamships, her son said.

    The Senate website said Esteban de la Rama was a general in the Philippine Revolutionary army in 1898.

    He was one of the most outstanding businessman in the Visayas, being manager of the De la Rama Central and owner of M/S Don Esteban. He was also second vice president of the Asociacion de Los Veteramos de la Revolucion and commanding officer of the 6th Division of the National Volunteers of the Philippine Islands with the rank of major general, it said.

    Esteban de la Rama served as Senator for two terms : 1941-1945 and 1946-1947.

    Senator Osmeña said his mother never liked politics and would only go to Cebu two days before elections to vote. She was more concerned about the legacy her father gave her to take care of the farms, he said.

    She was also a mother who was concerned about education and health but when her husband died she chose to return to Bacolod and did not want to live anywhere else, he added.

  12. Mike Acebedo Lopez said,

    June 7, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    My apologies, I think you might have to add me to view this album. If you have a facebook account, please search Mike Acebedo Lopez and go to my photos, proceed to the “Lopez y Acebedo Family Album.”

    Please send me a short message so I know it’s you adding me. Thank you.

  13. Mike Acebedo Lopez said,

    June 7, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    Sorry, here’s the facebook album:!/album.php?aid=269753&id=669230580&ref=pb

  14. Mike Acebedo Lopez said,

    June 7, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    Hello there!

    Do you have any information about Remedios Duterte (initially married Filemon Sotto) who married Magdaleno Del Mar (of the old Parian family)?

    She is my great grand mother and is said to be Cebu’s first Carnival Queen. I need to verify this information for an album I set up on facebook (!/album.php?aid=269753&id=669230580&ref=pb )

    Her daughter, Caridad Del Mar Lopez, my paternal grand mother, married Captain Generoso Lopez of Tolosa/Tacloban Leyte (he is from the Lopez-Romualdez family, a Spanish mestizo Lopez, and first cousin of Imelda Romualdez- Marcos).

    I need to trace my Duterte and Del Mar roots to further strengthen my knowledge of my Cebuano roots, since my mother’s side, the Acebedos (the optical chain), only moved here.

    You may email me at

    Thank you very much!

    Mike Acebedo Lopez

  15. jj macam said,

    May 23, 2010 at 6:43 am

    hi toto,
    are u related to the de la ramas of bacolod who built the first european styled cinema? its called IRIS theater. and later put up a branch in sagay city the Cowboy styled archeticture Rama Theatre.. i remember a long time ago. there was this man who comes to our house to eat lunch with my dad whom we dearly call lolo norio ” his name was Honorio de la Rama. whos wife we call lola deling. according to my mom when dad was imprisoned for a crime of murder . lolo norio by accident visited the municipal hall he saw my dad by the prison cell.. he asked the chief of police who was this man…the next day he came back and paid the victims and bailed my father out… from then on lolo norio would come to our house every now and then for lunch…during the time all the Macam kids can watch the movie for free that comes with free pepsi and chichiria. hayyyy..those were the days..

  16. Enrique Bustos said,

    April 28, 2010 at 3:23 am

    Fausto Sioco Gonzalez [ brother of Pampanga sugar magnate Augusto Sioco Gonzalez ] married Amparo de la Rama, and the wedding gifts of the couple included 350 shares of Central Talisay Sugar Mill from her father, Esteban de la Rama, and 100 shares of stock of the Pampanga Sugar Development Company from his relatives.

  17. April 9, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    She’s a Veloso. I am! 🙂

  18. Christian Veloso Syyap said,

    April 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Hi Toto,

    I was in the process of trying to research my relatives and came across your website. My name is Christian Veloso Syyap. My great-grandfather was Bartolome Ch. Veloso. I read that there was just a family reunion and missed out. Hopefully, next time, for I’d like to learn more about the Chiong Velosos.

    Christian Veloso Syyap

  19. March 27, 2010 at 2:44 am


    Please be reminded:

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

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  20. Mia Franco-Baguio said,

    August 31, 2009 at 2:35 am

    Dear Toto,

    I have attended the Chiong Veloso reunion here in Cebu last Jan ’08, and got a copy of the booklet, etc.. Tita Diana Franco Ledesma was the one who informed us about it. I am from the Maximina Ch. Veloso Martinez side. Having grown up both in Davao & Cebu, I have met the Martinez of Davao and yes, the Franco of Cebu.

    It is a kind of spiritual journey to be connected with one’s past and appreciate the profoundness of your family. It was an amazing experience, I’m glad I attended that and I hope there will be more of it. It’s only now though that I have felt the urge to really know more and research about the family, past and present. I have a personal project of researching & compiling stories, pictures, etc of the great Ch. Veloso as well as the Franco clan. Your blog is a fantastic source and it somehow provides a graphic picture of the stories our grandparents told us – yes, the opium, is always part of the story. I read through all the comments, and it’s intense hearing from distant family members.

    Some of us may might not be uberrich now, but the spirit and heritage are there, those are enough to make us feel good. As we know, life’s wealth may come from various sources, not only financial. Please keep this going!


  21. John Ada said,

    October 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm


    Just wondering how do you feel to be called bisdak. And tell us what do you think about it…


  22. zugzwang said,

    July 5, 2008 at 5:34 am

    I’m glad I wandered into this veritable self-replenishing Whitman’s sampler. Here’s another metaphor: a bottomless glass of Campari on the rocks. It’s sweet and bitter with just a blurry line in between.

    I’ve had the privilege of meeting two fine gentlemen who trace their lineage to the Chiong-Velosos: Toti Villalon, distinguished architectl, and Hector Veloso. The latter and I worked for a Maryland-based food Company. Both are proud – as I am – to be called BisDak (Bisayang Dako).

    Cheers for your fine rag.


  23. July 2, 2008 at 4:06 pm


    Small world as always…

    Among my Cancio-Gonzalez second cousins, I am closest to Charo Cancio-Yujuico, and also to Jackie Cancio-Vega.

    Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin is from the Angeles branch of the clan. We are related to them through the Henson line because of my late mother, Pilar Quiason Reyes-Gonzalez.

    Angelina “Gely” Fajardo-Lopez was the best friend of my grandmother Rosario “Charing” Arnedo-Gonzalez. Lola Charing was a principal sponsor at the 1954 wedding of Emilio “Miling” Valdes Gonzalez to Asuncion “Sony” Fajardo Lopez.

    Toto Gonzalez

  24. Bettina Mejia Lopez-Osmena said,

    July 1, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Hi !

    Just read the article on my husband’s family. Just forwarded the link to him.

    I am very close to the Cancio clan. Karen Cancio is my best friend . My daughter will going to college this fall and will be attending Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia where Karen now resides.

    My grandmother on my mother’s side Gloria Lazatin is the sister of former governor Rafael Lazatin. Tarzan Lazatin is my mother’s first cousin.

    Another trivia, my mother’s real name is Angelina. She was named after her ninang Angelina “Gely” Lopez.

    Just call me Bettina.

  25. Myra Catanneo said,

    June 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Hi Toto

    Thank you for your reply.

    I did try googling stuff but you are right it’s password protected but there are developments since my last blog. We found the Hacienda owned by my Great grandfather in Cadiz and I am following the leads with the help of Bombo radio (great help!!!). I am very excited to know my history. Hopefully I can visit Phils. next year and some Jardeleza’s in Jaro.

    I will keep in touch and will see if I can get any interesting secret’s to blog.

    Til then


  26. March 29, 2008 at 2:30 am


    Thank you for the information. Yes, the paternity of Don Sergio Osmena Sr. had been the subject of much speculation for most of the 20th century. The most popular “candidate” was Don Pedro Gotiaoco, a paternity that could link the Osmenas to the current Cebu gazillionaires the Gokongweis and the Gaisanos. I do know that Don Sergio Osmena Sr. was an exemplary man, a very intelligent, industrious, and highly-principled man who ceded his rightful place in Filipino Presidential History to the firebrand Manuel Luis Quezon.

    Karen, You should make more comments about the rich Chinese-Filipinos “Chinoys” of both Old and Contemporary Cebu.


    Toto Gonzalez

  27. Karen Hao said,

    March 28, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    It is true that Sergio Osmena Sr. was a child born out of wedlock. My great grandfather was his cousin. They belonged to a rich family in Cebu. If you read the biography of Senator Vicente Sotto, you will know how rich his grandfather [ Sergio Osmena’s ] was. The late Sergio Osmena Sr. inherited everything from his grandfather because he was very successful. If I am not mistaken, there were five rich families in Cebu before namely Osmena, Veloso, Cuenco, Climaco, and I forgot the other family since I read this information from the biography of Senator Sotto who was also a politician in Cebu.

  28. March 14, 2008 at 9:30 am


    Thank you for finding your way here.

    Unfortunately, I am no Filipino genealogy expert. Have you tried the Google search engine for the [ presumably uploaded ] Hernaez and Jardeleza family trees? They’re most probably online, but perhaps password-protected, as family trees / genealogies contain a lot of private information. You have good leads in knowing that the Hernaez are from Iloilo / Negros and the Jardeleza from Jaro, Iloilo. That “J” Thing… how very Ilonggo. Finally, I suggest that you visit with your relatives and friends in Iloilo and Bacolod because Everyone there knows, and is related to, Everybody Else. It is impossible that you will leave those places “emptyhanded” of your family history.


    Toto Gonzalez

  29. Myra Jardeleza Cataquiz said,

    March 13, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Toto,

    I’ve been reading the blog and find it interesting to learn about the rich filipino people. My mom is a product of the Hernaez ( Iloilo / Negros ) and the Jardeleza ( Jaro ) but alas her parents abandoned her at the age of two and my poor mother is still hoping that at least her two sisters will try and locate her. She knew very little about her family background except that her mother was a Spanish mestiza who was a daughter of a “hacendero” in Cadiz, Negros. I managed to locate the Jardelezas but I am still missing lots of information. I am wondering if you have any articles or family tree knowledge about these surnames / clans?

    This should have been provided by our government but I stopped moaning about this incompetence of our government. Any help would be significant, I am not trying to make you a genealogy expert but I am taking advantage of every option I have and hope you don’t mind that I asked you for these.

    Thanks a lot.


  30. February 20, 2008 at 4:44 pm


    If you’re married to a son of Tito Fausto “Dodo” de la Rama Gonzalez and Tita Anita “Baby” de Leon Villanueva who live along San Patricio Boulevard, Bacolod City, then we’re related!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  31. april gonzalez said,

    February 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    Hi! What an interesting blog you’ve got here! I am married to a de la Rama-Gonzalez living in Bacolod. What a life they must have had!

  32. February 15, 2008 at 5:05 am

    If you are a Chiong-Veloso wanting to get in touch with the other Chiong-Veloso, we have a group on Yahoo created by the same people that were responsible for the success of the last reunion in January 2008 in Cebu. Please send email to with your full name and contact information and make sure to indicate how you are related to the Chiong-Veloso’s.

    Once the information is validated by members of your clan, you should get a response back that allows you to activate your membership. For additional information, you can email me at

    Best regards.

    James Martinez
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

  33. Rosendo Hernaez said,

    February 2, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Hi Toto,

    My brother Chickoy was one of the organizers of that reunion last week. He said he was going to send pictures. I remember the invitation they sent last month for that. Yes, it was a success. Anyway, any Chiong – Veloso – Singsons here in Southern California?

  34. January 30, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    There was a Grand Reunion of the Descendants of Don Nicasio Chiong Veloso and Dona Genoveva Rosales just last week in Cebu. Family members flew in from Manila and elsewhere in the world. The Star of the Show was, of course, Maria Victoria “Minnie” de la Rama Osmena.

    Another famous member of the family is the celebrated dermatologist Dr. Vicki Gonzalez Belo.

    By all accounts, it was a lot of fun. There was a booklet with an extensive Chiong Veloso – Rosales Family Tree that was distributed.

    The next one will be in Manila.

    Toto Gonzalez

  35. Rosendo Segundo Hernaez said,

    January 13, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I’m a descendant of Segundo Singson and Rosendo Hernaez ( Father of Senator Pedro Hernaez ). Jose Hernaez, my grandfather, married Paz Singson. Lolo Pepe was also a congressman ( Assemblyman 1st district of Cebu under the administration of Woodrow Wilson, Sergio Osmena Sr. was for the 2nd district of Cebu, they were close political allies. We were always aware of the wealth our families used to have, my father Manuel Sr. used to be one of the wealthiest persons in Cebu during the late 50’s and early 60’s, until the Chinese Community waged an economic embargo on his Industries and drove him out of business. My father was also a fighter pilot for the Army Air Corps in WW2, and he had very strong American values, which inspires me up to today here in the United States. Those ancestors of ours had to have very strong personal drives to succeed.

  36. Paz Hernaez-Gulapa said,

    December 4, 2007 at 7:22 am

    i’m paz hernaez-gulapa. i’m happy i got to read the family history.=) thank you. cool, really. i only heard about the stories from my parents and grandparents. oh yes, such a wonderful life but alas… times have changed. will scan old pics of the family and email it if i get to go home to cebu.

  37. john ada said,

    August 13, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    love your blog, you are so naughty leaving a blank on the name of The Osmena. His father is never mentioned, is it true Sergio Sr. was an out-of-wedlock child? I remember reading before about Parian, Cebu that his mother was fondly remembered for laying out tobacco to sell. Having a trader for an ancestress is a badge of honor for some Cebuano families since the greatest wealth in Cebu was/is from trading.
    Thank you for writing something about Cebu. With your nickname, you are bisdak na.
    Is Chiong-Veloso descended from the Veloso of Leyte? For families whose wealth allegedly came from drug-business, what do they tell to members dabbling in drugs?

  38. James Martinez said,

    July 6, 2007 at 5:38 pm

    Hi, Toto. I came across your site from a link sent by my sister who lives in the Philippines.

    Your article has piqued my curiosity as I have heard bits and pieces of information from my childhood but not much detail. For some reason or another my father never discussed his family and whatever little information I got were from cousins whose parents were more forthcoming with information about their family.

    One information I know is that my grandmother Rosario Martinez (Lola Charing) was the first cousin of Serging Osmeña, Jr. and used to take care of him when she was little. I also know that they are related to the Chiong-Velosos. I just don’t know how.

    Based on your blog that Dona Estefania Chiong Veloso y Rosales married Don Sergio Osmena, Sr., my Lola Charing’s mother must have been a sibling of Doña Estefania Chiong Veloso y Rosales. Do you have information on the other siblings? I don’t even know the real name of my great grandmother but my cousins call her Oyang.

    Another thing I heard is that my Lola Charing’s mother, Oyang was involved in some illegal activity related to opium which is probably why their side of the family ended up in Davao. That must also have been the time when they decided to adopt the Martinez surname.

    Now I am really curious.

    Best regards,
    James Martinez
    Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

  39. venice de la Rama said,

    June 28, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    i’m also a de la Rama from bacolod but i don’t feel rich hahaha 😉

  40. venice de la Rama said,

    June 28, 2007 at 7:38 pm

    wow what a great story! love it! i’m from bacolod 🙂

  41. Paquito said,

    May 24, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Dear Toto G.:

    The site is not up yet, but I will try to pass along the address when it is ready and after I have found a home for it. That is assuming I remember (my memory has started to fail me these days. 🙂 ).

    Kind regards,

  42. May 22, 2007 at 10:11 am


    Well, Everyone who is Anyone in a place like Bacolod is related to Everybody who is Anybody Else…


    Toto Gonzalez

  43. May 22, 2007 at 10:09 am


    Thank you for finding your way here.

    I do appreciate any input you may have on the Spanish mestizo community.

    And you have a website on the Spanish-Filipino experience??? How interesting!!! Would you like to share it with us???

    Toto Gonzalez

  44. cj said,

    May 20, 2007 at 11:54 am

    De La Rama the former governor of Bacolod, the grandparents of the Hilados?
    They are also related to Jose Mari Chan.

  45. Paquito said,

    May 18, 2007 at 6:19 am

    In response to comment #19 by Garganta Inflamada, I would like to point out that this poster is confusing the mestizo Sala clan of Cebu (relatives of the Escaño family) with the much older mestizo Salas clan of Panay (relatives of the Montinolas, Benedictos, etc.). Confusingly, there is also the mestizo Romero-Salas clan of Manila to which José María Romero-Salas belonged (recall that he and Hugo Salazar were considered the deans of Philippine journalism during the very early 1900s). I’m sure Toto G. already knows this, but I would like to add that the Romero-Salas house was considered one of the grand old houses of Manila.
    Just an aside, but I have been putting together a fairly comprehensive website of the Filipino Spanish mestizo experience (many articles and photos), if you will, for the past couple of years. If you search around, I am sure that you will find it…

  46. taitai said,

    March 25, 2007 at 12:56 am


    GRABE!!! 🙂


  47. March 24, 2007 at 10:17 am


    Yes!!! She’s now with Hayd*n K*o.

    Toto Gonzalez

  48. taitai said,

    March 24, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Is it true that famous dermatologist Dr. V*cki Gonz*lez B*lo has separated from Jo*y San*os and now dating a much younger man (chin*y and 24 years her junior)?

  49. March 2, 2007 at 10:42 pm


    Was perusing some old Inquirer7 archives, and came across this passage from Jaime Picornell’s column. It’s certainly another link to your massive sosyal database! LOL!!

    “Juan Guardiola, curator and organizer of the exhibit, went to the Philippines, including the Visayas, last year to gather material. He attended a meeting of Amigos de España en Cebu presided over by Amparito Lhuillier and arranged by Angel Veloso Jr. and Fe Sala Villarica. Juan also visited Southern Leyte for a glimpse of Limasawa Island, and the municipality of Malitbog, seat of the prominent Escano dynasty.

    Mention of the Escano family makes one recall its collateral branches like the Lhuilliers, the Salas, the Corominas, Veloso, Garcia-Aberasturi, and other large clans. Juan contacted some of them to inform them of the Madrid opening of the exhibit. Felicitously, it coincided with my trip to Spain, so I went.”

    Oh, forgot. Here’s the actual link: Funny that he didn’t mention the Aboitizes or the Mendezonas. (The Salas are actually a branch of the Montinolas.)


  50. February 19, 2007 at 2:37 pm


    Yes, MC-M!!! No other.

    Kung Hei Fat Choy to you too!!!

    This is incredible and I have to tell you: Our family’s ubereffective Chinese “feng shui” expert, William _____, who wrought wonders with our individual fortunes, became “The Fire Pig” himself this morning at 1:30 a.m. when his house in SFDM San Francisco del Monte burned down. He was found “lechon crisp” in his bathroom. Huhuhu… Isn’t that Ironic???!!! *shakes head*

    Toto Gonzalez

  51. betty mahmoudy said,

    February 19, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    MC? Do you know something I don’t? I was thinking of MM, who was married to RM, brother of IM-F and TM. I guess with all the Type A-K47 males running around Manila with their misplaced machismo, it’s hard to keep track of all the gunshots!

    Kung hei fat choy by the way!

  52. February 19, 2007 at 7:58 am


    Oh yes. MC. How is she these days???

    Toto Gonzalez

  53. betty mahmoudy said,

    February 19, 2007 at 5:29 am

    reminds me of someone… the one who shot his wife in the stomach in front of his son. he’d said years ago that he reached rock bottom in san francisco when he was driving a mitsubishi galant for heaven’s sake while his sisters cruised around in their mercs and bmw’s! it’s all relative, isn’t it? it sounds trite but it’s true: there’s more to life than keeping up with the _______ (insert favorite family name here). but then again life wouldn’t be so amusing otherwise…

  54. February 18, 2007 at 5:59 pm


    Aw c’mon. Being Rich is a state of mind: You will be who you want to be.

    Athina Onassis Roussel’s beautiful grandmother, Athina Livanos Onassis Niarchos “felt poor” as a child when she had to play the shepherdess [ and dress accordingly ] in The Nativity play at her school.

    I have rich, conservative friends who “feel poor” because they moved out of their palatial North Forbes Park spread to merely chic ++ USD $ 1 million apartments at The Essensa Towers.

    I have a socialite friend who “feels poor” because her banker husband requested her to temporarily shop in Hong Kong instead of Paris and London while he “saves money” to construct a large weekend house at Punta Fuego.

    I have a successful entrepreneur friend who, running out of roomfuls of closets, “feels poor” because she has had to cut down on her purchases of “Christian Louboutin” shoes and “Bottega Veneta” bags.

    I have a government bureaucrat friend who, because of changed political winds, “feels poor” because he now has to dine “only” at “The Prince Albert Rotisserie” at the Hotel Intercontinental in Makati instead of his accustomed “Gaddi’s” at The Peninsula Hotel and “Fook Lam Moon” Restaurant in Hong Kong.

    “Poor” My Ass…!!!

    We all have more control over our lives, in the choices that we make everyday, than we realize…


    Toto Gonzalez

  55. rach said,

    February 17, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    “Yes, The Wealth has been preserved.”

    really? i’m a de la rama from bacolod and i don’t feel rich… 😉

  56. December 22, 2006 at 12:19 pm


    Thank you for finding your way here. I really appreciate readers who understand what I am writing about. Do read the comments as well as the posts. Many of them are really more interesting than the posts, specially when they are made by well-informed readers like you.

    I am frankly amazed that so many of my readers are actually in the United States. The wonders of the Internet!!!

    You must publish your compilation of Filipino families!!! Can you imagine the sales just from the Filipino expatriates in the U.S.???

    History is history. It should always be recorded, preserved, and studied because it does point the way to the future.

    I am not a “Cebu Gonzalez.” They are my second cousins. Their grandfather, Dr. Virgilio Rufino “Vijing” Gonzalez y Sioco, who married the uberrich Cebuana heiress Rosario “Charing” Singson y Chiong Veloso, was a younger brother of my industrialist grandfather, Augusto Diosdado “Bosto” Gonzalez y Sioco. Our particular branch of Gonzalez comes from 1880s Barrio Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga but goes further back to 1700s Baliuag, Bulacan.

    For a better understanding of the various GonzaleZes and GonzaleSes in the Philippines, read my long comment in the post “Slurping Soup.”

    My email address is . But I think that we should continue exchanging ideas here in full view as it encourages interaction with more readers who oftentimes have very interesting true stories to tell…

    Keep the comments coming!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  57. myles g. said,

    December 21, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    Dear Toto,

    Came upon your blog today. Interesting. Many moons ago when I still lived in Manila during the zenith of the extravagant Marcos years (the last term they were legitimately elected, having defeated Serging in 1969), I sort of made a compilation of all the grand, rich Filipino families…and someday hoped maybe a book could be put out…if there was a sizeable interest worldwide.

    However, I was always of 2 minds: would it be a great preservation and celebration of what was fine and gracious about past Filipino society — or would it merely rub the wounds of the poor, unfortunate masses who were not lucky enough to have been born with silver spoons (or feet, depending on one’s bent) in their mouths.

    By your last name and your intimate knowledge of Cebu’s elite, I take it you are part of those ‘Cebu Gonzalezes”?

    Can you email me? Am curious to continue this communication. (I live in the SF Bay Area.)

    Myles G.

  58. November 20, 2006 at 4:13 pm


    Yes, the wealth has been preserved.

    As in all rich Filipino families, there were the usual, truly stylish difficulties *unprintable* so characteristic of the lives of rich people around the world…

    But what is more exciting is what the descendants are doing with their inheritance. They have teamed up with the top real estate developers for their prime lands, invested heavily in digital technologies, engaged in pioneer businesses, aggressively pursued overseas investments specially in China, sent extra funds to Boston and Zurich, etc.. The art of wealth perpetuation.

    It is how The Filipino rich stay rich. And get even richer.

    Toto Gonzalez

  59. taitai said,

    November 19, 2006 at 11:58 am

    hi toto!

    just curious.
    has the wealth been preserved until today?
    or better yet, did it increase?


  60. November 19, 2006 at 3:41 am


    The descendants of Genoveva “Bebing” Singson [ y Chiong Veloso ] de Villalon are the Cebu Villalons, who own vast stretches of prime land there. Among her grandchildren are architect Toti Villalon and businessman Pete Villalon.

    The descendants of Rosario “Charing” Singson [ y Chiong Veloso ] de Gonzalez are the Cebu Gonzalezes. Among her grandchildren are heiress Charo Cancio Yujuico and famous dermatologist Dr. Vicki Gonzalez Belo.

    The descendants of Amparo de la Rama de Gonzalez are the Bacolod Gonzalezes.

    At one point in time, All the de la Ramas lived in great style to match their great wealth. Today, Minnie de la Rama Osmena lives in the same high style as her antecedents.

    Toto Gonzalez

  61. taitai said,

    November 18, 2006 at 7:43 am

    hi toto!

    who are the modern-day singsons and de la rama’s?
    are they still active in manila’s social scene?


  62. November 1, 2006 at 6:10 am

    Inno Cuous:

    Thank you for enjoying my silly blog.

    Generally, the families who lived in New Manila were “good families.” The fact that your parents instilled the values of hard work and perseverance meant that they understood exactly what being “de buena familia” was all about.

    Everything has been said about former President Ferdinand Marcos and the First Lady Madame Imelda Romualdez Marcos, from aspersions to flattery. Twenty years have passed and Everything can now be seen in an objective perspective. What discombobulates me is that We Filipinos do not seem to be any better than we were then…!!!???!!!

    Yes, the Emilio Abellos had a house along Maria Paterno Street in San Juan; across the street was the house of Carlos “Charlie” J. Valdes.

    I value and honor the past because its achievements are the guide posts to the future. But I refuse to live in the past because I am responsible — and accountable! — for the present and the future. I am fully occupied by the challenges of today and am currently laying the foundations of a sustainable future for the family.

    Education is the only thing that lasts; not inherited wealth. Witness the many grand families whose immense fortunes disappeared in an instant. That is why patrician families make such efforts to send their children to the [ very ] best schools and universities in the U.S. and Europe.

    Toto Gonzalez

  63. October 30, 2006 at 12:38 pm


    You bet they had a life!

    Honey, it’s my soul that needs saving, not theirs!   😛   😛   😛

    Toto Gonzalez

  64. Inno Cuous said,

    October 30, 2006 at 2:43 am

    The aristocrats, blue blood. I enjoyed reading your blog. My family are from New Manila, but I grew up here in New York. It’s hard work and perseverance that my parents had imposed. I heard all the stories about the Marcoses, how cocky and arrogant they were. Imelda Marcos the ambitious one, though she still have the stolen money, her reputation is well known here as that lady with thousands of shoes, she’s the butt of every jokes.
    My cousin used to march against Marcos, the Kabataang Makabayan, mostly from the University of the Philippines. Then came the assassination of Aquino, the People Power, which was made known, the redemption of one’s race through the struggle against the corrupt government, which still continues to preside. I met the Abellos from San Juan, right across the Valdeses.
    It’s good to think about the good old life but, I’m happier being on my own.
    We’re living a comfortable life not because of the old money, but good education, good schools and most of all good parenting from my parents. Yes reading about this blog. Maricar Abello Golez is a product of UP Los Banos, attended school here in the U.S. too. I also met the Lopezes here as well as the Laurels and Ongpins.

  65. Lizbeth said,

    October 29, 2006 at 1:45 pm

    ahhhhhhh what a life.  Save their souls. 

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