Bacolor, Pampanga before 1991

by:  Augusto Marcelino Reyes Gonzalez III

It was an old Filipino town that had inexplicably managed to retain its old world elegance… at least, until lahar inundated and obliterated most everything.

Among all Pampanga towns, it had the most number of extant, and in most cases well-maintained ancestral houses, doubtless because it also had the most number of old “principalia” and “ilustrado” families [ from the Spanish era ] with “maintained,” and sometimes expanded fortunes, instead of the usual attenuated fortunes found in the other towns.

Along the old highway at the junction stood the 1880s Buyson-Angeles mansion [ pronounced Bwee-son ], the residence of the town’s most social family.  A little further down on the opposite side were the 1926 Deomano residence [ originally Joven ] and beside it, the renovated 1860s Chu residence [ originally Joven ].

The exquisite Buyson sisters [ pronounced Bwee-son ] — Josefina “Pitang” Buyson-Eusebio,  Ambassador Carmen “Mameng” Buyson, Luz “Lucing” Buyson-Gomez, Atty. Emiliana “Diding” Buyson-Gonzales, Asuncion Buyson-de la Cruz, and “Pilar” Buyson-Villarama — were the town’s foremost socialites, even if they never cared to socialize in that town.  Of course, they partied in Manila, where it truly mattered.  It was a known fact in the town that the rich, pretty, and chic Buyson sisters excelled in all matters social and did not bother with the mundane practicalities of existence.  Unlike traditional Capampangan women, they did not cook.  Nor did they bother with the everyday running of their house.  Freed from quotidian responsibilities, they could pursue matters of style and society at their leisure…

The most famous Buyson daughter was the fashion icon “La Suprema,” Josefina “Pitang” Buyson-Eusebio, who ranked very high on the client list of the legendary high society couturier Ramon Oswalds Valera.  She was unfailingly the star attraction — always dressed by Valera — during the annual “Mancomunidad Pampanguena” ball.  He created some of his most spectacular creations for her.  In reciprocation of his favors, she always settled her couture bills with blank — read:  blank — cheques.

The Deomano-Joven family inherited the 1926 house from their aunt Marcelina “Nining” Joven y Huyendo.

The prosperous Chu family purchased an old mansion of the Jovens and renovated it for a contemporary lifestyle.  It had originally belonged to the parents of Amparo Joven [ y de Keyser ] de Cortes but was later sold to Petra “Petring” Lazatin — a ward of Marcelina “Nining” Joven y Huyendo — who in turn sold it to the Chu family.  Most unfortunately, Mr. Gong Chu, the paterfamilias, was assassinated during his bid for the mayoralty of Bacolor town.

From the Bacolor Public Market, in front of which was the bust monument of Capampangan Poet “Crissot” Juan Crisostomo Soto, one proceeded up to Barrio Cabambangan.  On the left was the 1780s de Jesus mansion, originally belonging to the Alimurung, one of Bacolor’s and Pampanga’s oldest families.  Beside it was the beautifully-preserved 1830s Panlilio Santos Joven mansion, which aside from the old parish church, was also a focus of the town’s religious festivities.

The Panlilio-Santos Joven mansion was an inheritance of three affluent siblings who had been orphaned early in life:  Jose “Pepe,” Francisco “Quitong” / “Paquito,” and Encarnacion “Carning” Panlilio y Santos Joven.  From the mid-1960s onwards, it became the domain of the dowager Luz “Lucing” Sarmiento de Panlilio, the wife of Jose.  She was, even in old age, a regal woman whose renowned beauty was aptly described as “leonine.”  Born into a simple family, she worthily gained the respect of Bacolor aristocracy with her irreproachable conduct,  unfailing dignity, utmost respect and devotion to her husband, Jose “Pepe” Panlilio, the great love and care with which she lavished him during his final years, and her shrewd business sense, which enabled her to singlehandedly manage, and increase, the family’s holdings through war and illness.

The Panlilio-Santos Joven mansion was further distinguished by the possession of two [ needless to say authentic ] magnificent oil portraits of the family’s ancestors by the 19th century master Simon Flores y de la Rosa.  One was of Jose Leon Santos and the other was of his [ second wife ] Ramona Joven y Suarez.  Although art scholars lavished praises on the portrait of Jose, the portrait of Ramona was also notable for the detailed rendition of her exquisite “pina” “traje de mestiza.”

At the back of the Panlilio and the de Jesus mansions, on Antera Joven Street, were the contemporary “bahay na bato” style residence of Ambassador Carlos “Charlie” J. Valdes and a part of the old mansion of the Manuel family.

A little further up was the old Liongson residence, “Villa Eulalia,” where an expatriate granddaughter maintained an exquisite garden and orchard.  Edelvina “Chiqui” Liongson Gonzalez had inherited the property from her wealthy grandmother, Eulalia “Laling” Liongson, who in her later years was known to have lived permanently in a suite at the expensive Makati Medical Center,  so as to access her doctors and treatments expeditiously.  How chic…

The affluent, cosmopolitan, and eccentric Liongsons had demolished their 19th century “bahay na bato” in the 1920s and replaced it with a chic, American colonial style residence designed by an American architect and carefully constructed by Japanese carpenters without a single nail.  In the 1930s, they transferred that house to Ermita, fronting Rizal park, where it was burned down during the Manila Holocaust of late February 1945.

Across the road was the large and splendid 1850s mansion and the sprawling gardens of the legendary de Leon-Joven family, which from 1921 onwards, was the single richest family in all of Pampanga initially because of PASUDECO, The Pampanga Sugar Development Company, of which they were the majority owners.

The industrious and enterprising Jose “Pitong” de Leon y Hizon married the heiress Regina “Inang” Joven y Gutierrez with whom he had ten children but only one son survived to adulthood, Jose “Pepito” de Leon y Joven.  After Regina’s death at an early age, he married her sister Maria Natividad “Titang” Joven y Gutierrez.  Between his hard work and entrepreneurship and the combined inheritance of the two Joven heiresses, he was able to accumulate enough capital to lead a group of rich Capampangan investors in establishing the PASUDECO Pampanga Sugar Development Company in 1918.

Jose’s and Regina’s only son, Jose “Pepito” de Leon y Joven, married the Manila heiress Natividad “Naty” Lichauco y Fernandez, daughter of the cattle ranching tycoon Faustino Lichauco and his Spanish mestiza wife, Luisa Fernandez.  The Lichaucos lived in a splendid mansion in posh San Miguel district, Manila [ near the Malacanang palace ].

The de Leon-Lichauco siblings — Maria Luisa de Leon-Escaler, Juan “Johnny” de Leon, Jorge de Leon, Regina de Leon-Jalandoni, Salvador “Badodeng” de Leon, Oscar de Leon, Benjamin “Benny” de Leon, Trinidad “Trining” de Leon-Panicucci, Lydia de Leon-Sison, Jose “Joe” de Leon III, and Bernadette “Berna” de Leon-Perez — were Bacolor’s version of the royal family.  In conversations, their names were spoken with silkier tones than the rest of the town’s gentry.

Among the de Leon-Lichauco siblings, the only ones who actually spent their early years in Bacolor were the two eldest, Maria Luisa and Johnny.  According to Maria Luisa de Leon-Escaler, she loathed going to the old house in Bacolor ever since she was a young lady, on 12 July 1939 to be exact, when she saw the corpse of her grandfather Jose “Pitong” de Leon, bloodied and all, being carried up the “escalera principal” grand staircase by a grieving household staff after he was assassinated at the PASUDECO offices in nearby San Fernando along with Augusto Gonzalez and Captain Julian Olivas.  After her grandfather’s funeral, with more death threats coming from the assassins’ families, her parents Pepito and Naty decided to make the final and irrevocable transfer of residence to Manila.

On the infrequent occasions that the de Leon-Lichauco family congregated at the ancestral mansion in Bacolor, usually during Holy Week for that was when their grand “calandra” of the “Santo Entierro” was brought out, an unmistakably aristocratic prewar air was created as the elegant conversations alternated in English and the old mother tongue of Spanish.

I remember the anachronistic sight of some two dozen white-uniformed maids and some two dozen gray and black-uniformed valets and chauffeurs — the staff of the various de Leon-Lichauco siblings — leaning along the balustrades of the commodious 19th century “azotea” staircase, chatting and flirting the afternoon away.  It was definitely a scene from prewar…   Actually, it was a common sight in affluent contemporary houses, specially in Forbes Park and Dasmarinas village, but to see it in a well-maintained 19th century provincial “bahay na bato,” still owned by a rich family, was disorienting.  After the Marcos agrarian reform of 1972, many of the old families suffered from the abrupt loss of their agricultural lands — the original source of wealth that had created their 19th century “bahay na bato” — and they could no longer afford the retinue of retainers and the profuse maintenance budgets required by their large establishments.

And towards the late 1900s, the new gambling lords and the new political lords came along, and amassed even more unbelievable individual fortunes — estimated in the tens of billions of pesos — than all of Pampanga’s grandest families put together…

Beside the de Leon mansion, and fronting the church, was the 1920s Panlilio residence.  The Panlilios, actually natives of Mexico town, maintained that it was the site of their first residence in Bacolor, which burned in the 1920s then rebuilt.

Fronting the church, the Panlilio residence, and the de Leon mansion was the very elegant Art Nouveau-style mansion of the Valdes-Liongson family.

In its time from 1905 to around 1920, there was probably no residence in Bacolor more elegant, indeed palatial, than the Valdes-Liongson mansion.  Constructed in 1905 by Roman Valdes y Angeles and his wife Florentina Liongson, it lorded over the town plaza along with the Bacolor church.   It was remarkable for its elegant verticality:  the entresuelo rose twenty four feet, twin stairs led to a landing which culminated in a magnificent “pasa senorita” staircase [ the most beautiful in Bacolor, and the easiest to climb up as well ], and the ceiling of the “piano nobile” main floor rose twenty feet.  The double doors of the mansion also rose suitably;  the tall sliding doors that led from the “sala” to the “balcon” in front were decorated with multicolored glass panes.  The sophisticated “en suite” interior decoration — including the architectural details, furniture, and the handpainted walls — was entirely in the Filipino Art Nouveau style, probably the work of Alejandro Caudal (the Dr. Luis Santos residence, Pariancillo, Malolos, Bulacan;  the Lerma, later Gallego-Ongsiako, “Villa Caridad” residence, New Manila;  etc.) or Emilio Alvero (the Soriano-de Montemar residence, San Miguel district, Manila;  the Barcelona-de Santos residence, San Juan;  etc.).  An industrious Japanese gardener, then the height of fashion, tended the lovely grounds.  The mansion was eventually inherited by Roman’s and Florentina’s eldest daughter Rosario “Charing” Valdes y Liongson, who married Dr. Emilio “Miling” Gonzalez y Sioco of Sulipan, Apalit.

Well before the onslaught of lahar in 1991, the Valdes-Liongson mansion was sold to the industrialist Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes for reconstruction at his Gateway Business Park in General Trias, Cavite.

After the curb was the 1920s Victorian chalet-style Granda residence.

A little further down across the road was the 1920s residence of the musical Palma family.  In the 1980s, it was the last house in Bacolor that still had its old “piano de cola” grand piano.

Further down was the 1750s Malig mansion, certainly the oldest and the most atmospheric of the Old Bacolor residences.

The quaint, archaic architecture of the Malig mansion was not the splendid, classical 1850s “bahay na bato” of the great landowning families of Bacolor, Guagua, San Fernando, and Mexico towns.  It was the affluent house of an earlier era, perhaps of the mid 18th century [ 1750s ]…

One entered an arched adobe portal to a small courtyard paved with “piedra china” granite slabs and hung with bougainvilleae before proceeding to a handsome, pedimented front door which was actually located at the “mirador” tower and not in the house proper [ the “mirador” tower was most probably a remnant of the days when the “Moros” would raid Pampanga towns — notably Lubao, Guagua, and Bacolor — and capture their inhabitants for slaves and for ransom, occurrences which lasted until the early 1800s ].  The dim entrance hall was laid with brilliantly colored Spanish “azulejos” tiles.  To the left was parked the old piercework giltwood “andas” / “carroza” processional carriage of the Malig family’s “Mater Dolorosa,”  a very old image venerated by Bacolorenos during the traditional Good Friday procession.  One proceeded to the right, up a staircase with a small flight of steps to the house proper, to the “caida” living area.  There was, rather incongruously, a 19th century matrimonial bed with a beautiful, Chinese-inflected headboard of birds [ cranes / pheasants ], hung with a sheer mosquito net, in the center of the room.  Hanging from the walls were the famous 1860s colored lithographs of Reina Isabel II and her consort, Principe Francisco de Borbon in equally old giltwood frames.  If one observed the distressed walls closely, there were still the vestiges of geometric handpainted decoration, perhaps from the 1850s.  Beside the staircase, to the right, was a smaller staircase that led up to the “mirador” tower.

So old was the Malig mansion, so atmospheric, with so incredible a “stimmung,” that it was used convincingly as the house of the “alferez” and his abusive wife Dona Consolacion in the 1961 movie version of “Noli Me Tangere” by the national hero Jose Rizal directed by master filmmaker Gerry de Leon.

bacolor1.jpg bacolor2.jpg

After the municipal hall, one turned right towards barrio Santa Ines, where the 1830s Rodriguez-Tuason-Bautista mansion stood.

The Rodriguez-Tuason-Bautista mansion, “Bale Sim” [ “house with an iron roof” ], was the domain of the beloved family matriarch, “Imang Beatriz” / “Imang Batic” / “Imang Bets” / “Imang Betty” Beatriz Rodriguez y Tiamson [ born 1910-died 2012 ], the daughter of Felix Rodriguez y Bautista and his second wife Inocencia Tiamson.  She was the sole surviving granddaughter of Olegario Rodriguez [ o 1806 – + 1874 ], the progenitor of the clan, and his second wife Jacoba Bautista [ + 1874 ].  Her first cousins — all deceased — were Sabina Sioco [ y Rodriguez ] de Escaler [ “Impung Sabi” o 1858 – + 1950 ], matriarch of the Escaler clan of Sulipan; Florencia Sioco [ y Rodriguez ] de Gonzalez [ “Impung Eciang” o 1860 – + 1925 ], matriarch of the Gonzalez clan of Sulipan; Roman Santos y Rodriguez [ “Incung Duman” ], patriarch of the Santos-Andres clan of Malabon and the founder of Prudential Bank; Godofredo Rodriguez y Yabut [ “Incung Godong” ], the founder of the San Fernando branch of the family, and Gorgonia Rodriguez y Yabut [ “Impung Oniang” ], the Rodriguez matriarch and the chatelaine of “Bale Sim” during the first half of the 20th century.

The Rodriguez mansion was much distinguished by the possession of three [ untouched, unrestored, and frightfully authentic ] magnificent paintings by the 19th century master Simon Flores y de la Rosa.  One was of the family patriarch, Olegario Rodriguez [ o 1806 – + 1874 ], dated “20 de Mayo 1862” when he was “56 anos” years old, seated on a Biedermeier-style armchair with his arm resting on a grooved marble top table, which still stood, 128 years later, in the center of their “sala.”  The second one was a dark “recuerdo de patay” [ memento mori ] of his son Francisco Rodriguez y Bautista.  The third one was a spectacular “recuerdo de patay” [ memento mori ] of his granddaughter Encarnacion de los Reyes y Rodriguez, a child of his daughter Maxima Rodriguez y Bautista with one of the many sons of the Ilocano patriot Isabelo de los Reyes.  The pitiful girl caught fire while playing “cooking-cooking” unsupervised by the elders and ran through the house screaming as she sustained severe burns.  She was depicted dressed resplendently in a “pina” “traje de mestiza” with a brilliant yellow and vermilion skirt and bejeweled, lying on a tester bed, which still stood, one hundred years later, in one bedroom.  Simon Flores painted a reddish tinge on her forehead to symbolize her tragic death.

One returned to the highway, and just before the School of Arts and Trades turned right to another part of Barrio Santa Ines, where the 1850s Gutierrez David residence stood.

There were two also two mansions belonging to prominent Bacoloreno families that disappeared even before prewar.  Beatriz Rodriguez remembered the burnt ruins of the Ventura mansion on the site of the present Bacolor municipal hall.   The very old town elders remembered that near the Ventura mansion was the Ramirez mansion, which disappeared in the early 1900s.  The Ventura were of Chinese descent; the Ramirez were Spanish mestizos.  Both the Ventura and the Ramirez were very rich and they maintained elegant houses in Paris, France at the turn of the 20th century, and were mentioned in the memoirs of Felix Roxas y Fernandez, a scion of the prominent Roxas clan of Manila, who was mayor of the city from 1905 – 1917.

Another old family from Bacolor was the Michels de Champourcin / Champenceaux of French descent.  The old Pampanguenos, characteristically enough, could not pronounce “Shah-pooh-zah” / “Shah-pah-soh” and they pronounced the surname “Tsam-poor-sin.”  They were friends of the Arnedo family of Sulipan, Apalit in the late 1800s / early 1900s.  Their only memory left in prelahar Bacolor were three marble gravestones of the family in the Epistle transept of the church.

According to the Bacolor elders prewar, The “Tsam-poor-sin” family was said to have married into the Pedro Syquia clan of Manila.  In fact, it was recently confirmed [ Mia Cruz Syquia-Faustmann, 12 April 2009 ] that Asuncion Michels de Champourcin y Ventura married Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion of Manila [ previously of Vigan, Ilocos Sur and originally from Fujian, China;  the Sy-Quia had migrated from China along with their cousins the Sy-Cip who settled in Cagayan;  Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion was a younger brother of Gregorio Sy-Quia y Encarnacion who married the Vigan heiress Estefania Angco y Resurreccion — they became the progenitors of the wealthy Syquia clan of Vigan, Ilocos Sur ] and they built a grand house in Tondo which later became the Tutuban railroad station and its facade survives to this day as that of the Tutuban mall.  Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion and Asuncion Michels de Champourcin y Ventura had three sons:  Pedro Jr. [ married Caridad Arguelles Cruz ];  Gonzalo [ married Ramona Celis Vargas ];  and Leopoldo [ married Maria Pabalan Chanco ].



  1. Salvador Alegret, Barcelona said,

    May 10, 2018 at 11:22 am

    Mia Faustmann:
    Post 18: “Valentin Ventura y Bautista married Carmen Tovar and they had Jose, Carmen, Mary, another child who died young (to verify) and Valentin II (???).
    The child who died young was Lourdes, died in Arbúcies (village on the mountain near Barcelona) at the age of fifteen (27/9/ 1918). During this time, people with the lung illnesses recovered in this town.

  2. Fiona Fajardo-Hernandez said,

    March 10, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Hello! I am the great granddaughter of Edilberto Joven, Jr. Your great-grandfather was my great-grandfather’s uncle 🙂 I’m afraid I cannot answer your questions. But the Jovens have a group page on Facebook where we share pictures and recollections about our family history. I can add you to that group page so that you can ask the more knowledgeable people in the group (mostly my aunts, who would be your cousins 🙂 ) your questions. I think the group is a closed one, so you cannot just search for it and ask to join. But if you send me a friend request, I could add you to the group. No obligation to remain Facebook friends with me after I add you to the group. Haha. You can just search for me on Facebook 🙂

  3. February 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I am the great grand daughter of Don Ceferino Joven, the first civil governor of Pampanga, daughter of the late Senen Joven Pineda son of Eduardo Alvarez Pineda and Felisa de Jesus Joven of Cabambangan Bacolor Pampanga. I was born in Manila but grew up in Bacolor. I have fond memories of this small town and I love it. It is very peaceful, unique with its hispanic homes that have been preserved (until the devasting event happened due to Mt Pinatubo’s eruption) and how the townsfolk knew each other, cared for each other and most of them are related. We left Bacolor in 1974 and moved to Manila. A few years later one by one my siblings migrated to the U.S to get an education, worked and married until they all became US citizens and then petitioned my parents. I finally joined them in 1994. I am currently residing in Tucson AZ. Durng my free time I work on family History both the Joven and Pineda side. I would like to know if there are any of you who would know the parents of Eulalio Pineda and Julia Lacsama my great great grand parents and perhaps even go beyond that. I would appreicate any information about them or if you have any stories of their origin, how the family name Pineda came about just like the Jovens. I was told that Joven came from Ho-beng from main land China. Migrated to th Philippines and when the Spaniards came they changed it to Joven. Any information on the Jovens and Pinedas would be appreciated. I could be reached on my email address or my website: (go to contact/comments)

    dacal a salamat pu keko ngan!

    Mitzi Pineda Baker

  4. Corrie Johnson said,

    February 16, 2014 at 12:49 am

    Hi, I’m researching my family tree. My grandmother was Asuncion Malig and was married to Francisco (Franco)Timbol. I know she was from pampanga. She was beautiful and excellent cook! Does anyone know the history of these families? Thank you for your time.

  5. Danilo M. Yandoc said,

    December 23, 2013 at 7:13 am

    Tutu agaganaka tamu king kekatamung panimanman ing Lugar ning Baculud a kekatamung dating lugar a mitmung kapayapan na mipapatudtud ka king kekang pibababale na alang nanuman kaligaligan giyang makabuklat la ngan ding pasbul ning kekang bale alang pigaganakan king seguridad.

  6. Melvin B. Pineda said,

    October 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    We have left Bacolor
    after my father Pacifico Manalastas Pineda died and just before Pinatubo erupted the reason why we lost contact to all my relatives there in Bacolor,,especially to all my half brothers and sister,could please someone help me how to gain acces and how to contact them

  7. Melvin B. Pineda said,

    October 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    I coul not find my relatives and half brother in Cabetican Bacolor there were 12 of them,my father was Pacifico Manalastas Pineda who died on the year 1984,My grandmother was Euphemia Manalastas and my grandfather was Juan Pineda,could you please help me to have a contact to them

  8. Roman Buyson said,

    October 2, 2013 at 2:12 am

    Ehreen, you can locate Roman Buyson at OLFU as CBA Professor. You might know him. Son of Col Patricio Buyson…

  9. geronimo sicat said,

    January 6, 2013 at 10:15 am

    h0la quesa toto kmusta n ka? aku mayap ka-ka miss ang bacolor especially la naval ” nuestra senyora la virhen del rosario santisimo el ninyo hesus” and the corazon de jesus festivities…wen i remember those days kikyak ku……dat flores de mayo event too i remember 1970 sumting w/c was spnsrd by f.s.p. & d haus of apong lucing is wer d guest’s go 2 eat & pilar pilapil was der 2 jon d flores de mayo santacruzan….til later toto..gonna eat birenghii.

  10. Clemente Olalia said,

    April 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

    My maternal grandparents are from Cabalantian, Bacolor, Pampanga my grandmother’s maiden name is Apolonia Gomez and my gandfather’s name is Jose Miranda Olalia….i won’t forget my grandparents house … the ancestral home … which became the Japanese headquarters during the regime…

  11. Sheryl Mañago said,

    April 10, 2012 at 3:15 am

  12. April 8, 2012 at 3:12 am


    Thank you. Could you please upload the YouTube link again? Access is difficult.

    Toto Gonzalez

  13. atty. sheryl manago said,

    April 6, 2012 at 4:30 am


    i found this very touching video of bacolor in youtube.

  14. Mia Faustmann said,

    March 18, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Dear Zaldy:
    Maybe you can email me your family tree? I have quite a bit of the
    Ventura Family Tree done and would like to add your part of the family.


  15. March 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Ereen hi!

    Would you be able to tell when Roman Buyson was born more or less and where?
    those will serve as clues to find out our connection.

    I am curious to find out.


    Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales

  16. Ereen Buyson said,

    March 5, 2012 at 3:04 am

    Hi There!

    I was just googling my last name for some trace of my family roots and here I stumble upon your blog.

    I would like to trace my family roots once and for all. We never had a Buyson reunion. I didn’t know anyone from Buyson clan except for my first cousins.

    My late grandfather was Toribio Buyson brother of Patricio Buyson, son of Roman Buyson from Arayat, Pampanga.

    Are we related? Do you know my ancestors?

    Any info would be much appreciated.

    More Power!

    Ereen Buyson

  17. zaldy ventura said,

    January 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

    We are from Lallo, Cagayan. My grandfather name was TRANQUILINO VENTURA and his siblings was VICTOR VENTURA and MARTINA VENTURA. My grandad mentioned that he got relatives in Isabela particularly in Luna, Isabela and in San Mateo, Isabela and also in Ilocos Norte. We didn’t meet any of our relatives yet, so we are longing to trace our roots too.

  18. Glenn Gatan said,

    September 21, 2011 at 2:33 am

    Hi Ms. Mia,

    This is Glenn Gatan, son of Emmanuel. I was able to make a descendant chart of our side of the Ventura family – from Valentin Hocorma Ventura (married to Carmen Tovar) down to us, four generations later. I would love to share it to you. I was also able to expand it to the different sides of the family from the details you and other relatives have posted here. You may email me at gm.gatan[at] so I can send the chart to you.


  19. Mia Faustmann said,

    September 13, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Dear Toto, Dr. Taddy, Emmanuel, Gideon, and Adelina:
    My sister and I just had lunch with George V. Cunanan and Ricky Santos. the father of George, Angestal II was the natural son of Secr. Honorio(II) Ventura y Tizon and was adopted by Belen Ventura y tizon and her husband Eliseo Santos. Balbino Ventura y Bautista is the father of Honorio II, Belen, Nunillon, Africa.

    We theorize that Angestal I was the natural son of the first Honorio Ventura y Hocorma. Angestal I was, I think, the father of Tranquilino Ventura and possibly Geronimo Ventura – this is where Gideon and Adelina come from.

    Jose Ventura y Tovar married twice – the first time to Bebeco Pardo de Tavera and the second to Rosalia (?). Jose Ventura had a logging company in Cagayan and that is the origin of Emmanuel Ventura Gatan. Valentin Ventura y Bautista is the father of Jose Ventura y Tovar and also the brother of Balbino Ventura y Bautista.

    I am using Spanish Usage – putting mother’s name as y surname to make it easier to distinguish the two Honorios.

    TO summarize, Honorio I married Cornelia Bautista. they had 5 children: Antonia married Puig; Maria married Michels de Champourcin, Balbino married to Juana Tizon; Cristina who became Sor asuncion; and Valentin who married Carmen Tovar.

    Balbino married Juana Tizon and had 4 children : Honorio II, Belen married to Eliseo Santos, Nunilon married to Francisco Liongson, Africa married to Teodoro Santos II.

    Honorio II had a natural son Angestal II who was adopted by Belen and Eliseo. This is where George Cunanan is related.

    Belen and Eliseo only had adopted children – Angestal II and Consuelo

    Nunilon and Francisco had Florita (married Portillo), Lourdes, and Jose.

    Africa and Teodoro had Afriquita, Teodoro and Ernesto (this is where ricky Santos is related).

    Valentin Ventura y Bautista married Carmen Tovar and they had Jose, Carmen, Mary, another child who died young (to verify) and Valentin II (???). Jose Ventura y Tovar married Rosalia (??) and they had Jose, Valentin and Fermin (twins) and Nena. — This is from George who knew them – Emmanuel – can you expand your part of the tree?

    Please feedback,

    Mia S. Faustmann

  20. Cecile Angeles Rodriguez Buena said,

    June 17, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    To Taddy Gonzales,
    our ancient Bacolor is gone forever, however a new Bacolor is rising up.
    Thanks for recording the history of the Bacolor we remember, Hope the new
    generation will keep alive those glorious days that we once called Villa de

  21. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 15, 2011 at 12:06 am

    source: National Archives. Protocolo de Pampanga ano 1838-1839.
    sds 22597#1845

    ano 1839
    Don Juan Lampa, hijo legitimo de legitimo matrimonio de Don Vicente Lampa y Dona Clara Barrera.
    de mismo cabecera Bacolor.

    casado tres veses

    Maximo, Ciriaca, Maria Joaquina, Maria, Pasquala, Juana, Leonarda, Ambrosia, Cedes, Theodora, Leoncio, Jose Maria Ignacio,Hipolito, Casimira.

    Clemente, Canuto, Jose, Geronima, Apolonia, Bonifacia, Bernardino.

    tercera con DONA TEODORA LENUN
    Eduarda, Lorenzo. Mariano, Felipa.

    our maternal grandfather Juez Don Mariano Buyson y Lampa descended from LEONCIO.
    Don Leoncio was married to Dona Josefa Baldivia San Clemente.
    one of their daughters was Dona Paula Lampa married to Don Jose Buyson y Genuino-de Jesus.

    Don Juan Lampa y Barrera, gobernadorcillo pasado de Bacolor, had 25 acknowledged children in 1839.

    it mentioned that his estate was in “Libutad”, which is now San Vicente.
    also in that area were the estates of Suarez hermanas: Dona Geronima, Dona Gervacia; Don Honorio Ventura; Dona Juana deJesus, esposa de Licenciado Don Albino Prudencio Genuino;
    Presbitario Don Guillermo de Jesus; Don Ygnacio Valdes delos Angeles.
    ( the family name delos Angeles became simply Angeles later on).

    But the family name Lampa has not lasted in Bacolor, it seems.

  22. Fiona Fajardo-Hernandez said,

    May 26, 2011 at 9:12 am

    Yes, Mr. Gonzalez, it is. And that is just heartbreaking. But like a phoenix that rises up from the ashes… 🙂

  23. May 18, 2011 at 4:10 pm


    Old Bacolor is gone. Long gone.

    However, New Bacolor is alive and well.

    Toto Gonzalez

  24. May 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Hi Sir,

    I’ve been researching the internet for provinces and places where we could see and visit Ancestral Houses and cultural heritage sites. I came across your blog and the town of Bacolor really interest me. I plan to visit it anytime before school starts, but I was wondering if you could give me a tour script or itinerary on which houses/cultural heritage sites to visit in the vicinity and how far it would be from each other.

    I’m an incoming senior at the Ateneo and I’m actually planning on taking a minor in Cultural Heritage, I want to know more about the course first and gain as much knowledge as I can by going to different ancestral sites.

  25. Bong B. Decena said,

    March 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    masanting ampo malugu ganacan ing Baculud

  26. Bong B. Decena said,

    March 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Kasanting da babasan den blog yu, manyaman la gaganaqan ing milabas, lalu na qing ing malugud ta balen limbug qen lahar pero atyu ya pa rin makatikdo. Qing lugud na ning Guino tamu Jesus manatili ya pa rin ing Baculud tamu.Qaren cu pu Decena Familya, dagul Sta. Ines, lele na ning Trade. Den pengari cu yapin la ren mangawa cortina, balang banwa ila ren mamiblas qen pisanban San Guillermo. Ngeni den caputol cu ila naman migmana qen obra den indu mi. Ing yamut na ni familia mi apu na qen Francisco Decena a sposa na Apu Ines – Anacia Lopes.
    Ing balu cu mu kwentu na ning Bapa cu Nonong, Ing Incung mi Don Norberto Basilo Decena, ampo karen Ochoa. Lele mila bale I mangubie Dr. Dyoco, Don Guitirez.

  27. Christian Palma said,

    March 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Hi there wondering if anyone knew of Martin Puno and Monica Maglutac-Puno married both born Bacolor mid 1840’s. I was going through my Great-grandmother Genoveva Puno-Palma’s items and found an old picture of both families together dressed in suits and spanish dresses very fancy. My great grandmothers tita was also married to a Justino Fajardo.

    Email me @

    Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this request

    Cordially Yours,
    Christian Manao Palma

  28. Christian Palma said,

    March 25, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Does anyone one remember Martin Puno and Monica Maglutac-Puno from mid 1850’s era born Bacolor. I was going through my great-grandmother Genoveva Puno-Palma’s documents and found an old picture of both families together. Wondering if anyone ever new of them.

    Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this request


    Cordially Yours,
    Christian Manao Palma

  29. Christian Palma said,

    March 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Hello my name is me Christian Palma, I have another request if you would be so kind, regarding my Serrano family side. Great-grandfather is Joaquin Z. Serrano and his wife was Maria C. Serrano AKA Lampa born Bacolor Pampanga in the late 1800’s. Mother to Soledad Serrano who is my fathers mother. Anyone with information please email me. Im working on a family tree for the Serrano side which was also just as political as the Palma Family Side. Not sure if anyone one else has done this already but any information would help. Thanks

    Email me @

    Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this request

    Cordially Yours,
    Christian Manao Palma

  30. Christian Palma said,

    March 21, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Hello my name is Christian Palma, I live in Los Angeles, Ca but find my way back to the Philippines every two years to manage family business’s. My great-grandfather is Don Gregorio Palma also known as Gregorio Palma born Bacolor Pampanga. who’s father before him Don Gregorio Palma who is my great-great-grandfather who married Josefa Cordero Palma and my great-great uncle Don Hemogenes Palma both brothers who came from Spain. I am looking for more information on my great-grandfathers side (Don Gregorio Palma’s) brothers and sisters born late 1870’s. I was told by my father Benjamin he has also Palma family in San Francisco and Burbank. Anyone with information please email me. I’m working on a family tree for the Palma side all the way to Spain was always political. Not sure if anyone one else has done this already but any information would help. Thanks

    email me @

    Thank you for your time and consideration regarding this request

    Cordially Yours,
    Christian Manao Palma

  31. Cecile Angeles Rodriguez Buena said,

    February 11, 2011 at 12:25 am

    Taddy B. Gonzales,
    Thanks you for tracing my family tree on my mother side. I really miss Bacolor,after living abroad since 1983, we visited Bacolor only once just
    before the lahar. Living in San Vicente untill High school, I was not familiar
    wiith the Dons and Donas in Poblasion. After college ,went back to Bacolor
    and teach at ST. Mary’s Academy. When my Father, Mayor Ricardo Rodriguez passed away went back to Manila and teach at St. Scholastica’s College, my Alma Mater. I miss most in Bacolor, the FOOD. I live in DE, USA>
    Alma Mater.

  32. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    February 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    MARIANO, GREGORIA, MARIA DELA PAZ were children of Don Antonino Angeles y Reyes and Dona Anacleta Miranda y Manalo of San Vicente, Bacolor, Pampanga.
    (The couple was married in Bacolor in 1871. In old documents, originally the family names were “de los Angeles, de los Reyes” which later on simply became Angeles and Reyes.)

    Mariano “Anu” married Sixta Dizon, Gregoria “Toyang” was soltera, Maria dela Paz “Biyang” married Mariano Buyson y Lampa.

    the Miranda-Angeles ancestral house, extant until the lahar, was right beside the chapel of San Vicente, left side facing the chapel, while the Lampa- Buyson ancestral property was beside it too on the right side of the chapel.
    ( both families donated part of their properties to the San Vicente chapel for expansion.)

    beside and infront of the Miranda-Angeles property were all Angeles relatives, while beside and infront of the Lampa- Buyson property were all Lampa relatives.

    the Lampa and Angeles families were original families of barrio San Vicente, Bacolor.
    their forebears were recorded as “cabeza de barangay” of San Vicente..

  33. Cecile Angeles Rodriguez Buena said,

    February 10, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I am adecendant of Mario Miranda Angeles and Sixta Cajator Dizon. My parents Ricardo (Anding) Pineda Rodriguez and Zenaida (Dading) Dizon
    Angeles. Its amazing,how all of you have resurrected the glory of Ancient
    Bacolor. I am a certified Bacolorenian. Some names arouse me to repond ,my
    former students at St,\. Mary’s Academy.’ Judy Soto, Aida Chu, Rosarioleobrera. Victoria Joven, Rodolfo Alviz, Lucy Palma.etc.

  34. Glenn Gatan said,

    February 7, 2011 at 7:13 am

    I’d like to share a photo of my great great grandfather Valentin Ventura (from Aparri, Cagayan). Here he is seen with Juan Luna and Jose Rizal in fencing attire. I believe this was taken in Spain. Click here for the photo.

    I am very much interested in tracing my roots.

  35. Mildred Soto Tabajonda y Custodio said,

    January 20, 2011 at 10:15 am

    i am a proud kapampangan, not just because of my great grandfather- Crisostomo Soto, but the family values that kapampangan passes over to their offspring, and of course the love of FOOD, I really appreciated to be 1/2 kapampangan by blood, Bacolor my mom Annette Soto Tabajonda, my father’s mom, Guillerma Dizon Tabajonda, fro Sta. Ana Arayat, Pampanga.
    God Bless Bacolor.

  36. Gideon Ventura said,

    January 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    hi mia,

    do you happen to know Cornelio Ventura who went to visit the ventura’s in pampanga. logically, during 1910’s going to pampanga from isabela and its northern part the road was so treacherous, and to visit pampanga from north without any good cause is untenable. Cornelio Ventura was the person who would always visit honorio the first, Cornelio is a cousin or brother of Victor Ventura, an Architect, who had a son Geronimo Ventura who was then sponsored also by Honorio the second same with Diosdado Macapagal is UST. as my father would recall they would tend to visit the tomb of Honorio during his young age. another son of Victor is Tranquilino Ventura, the father of auntie Adelina Panlilio Ventura, who worked in Pasudeco as Chemist. According to auntie Adelina we were related to them as to Tizon as she would recall during her younger years in pampanga when Honorio went to their home. but i think the connection lies in their grandfather really which gave us the reason to surmise that the origin of the ventura’s may be in the northern part, a priest in Ilocos. please, if there be any information you can coordinate with Excelso Ventura also who has all the neccesary information regarding the connection as he has documented everything to my knowledge.

  37. Fiona Fajardo-Hernandez said,

    January 16, 2011 at 4:45 am

    To the one who asked (sorry, I forgot to note down your name), the cemetery behind San Guillermo Church was called Patirik-tirik. At least that’s what I remember my aunts and uncles calling it : )

  38. Fiona Fajardo-Hernandez said,

    January 16, 2011 at 4:26 am

    Hello! I stumbled upon this thread while helping an uncle look for the website where the Joven family tree is supposed to be.

    I am the great-granddaughter of Edilberto Joven and Remedios Palma, niece of Friederika Joven Fajardo who has also posted several times on this blog.

    I hope there’s a way that we could post pictures here. That would certainly be interesting. I have a few pictures of the Old Legs ball which I would like to post.

    There are two separate attemps that I have heard of of putting together the Joven family tree. My uncle is trying to contact those in charge of it so that we can perhaps consolidate the two. If anyone knows of these groups, kindly let me know. My e-mail address is The Joven clan is a very large, many-branched one, so putting together the family tree is a gargantuan task. But it would be so nice if we could accomplish this soon. Thank you in advance for your help : )

  39. gideon ventura said,

    December 29, 2010 at 7:31 am

    thanks mia,
    i reallty want to solve it as the old venturas that i know are too old to recall the past already. do you know your cousins in appari cagayan descendants of Jose ventura, i will be going there after new year to hopefully find some informations also. kindly give me your phone number if it would be ok. thanks

  40. Mia Faustmann said,

    December 28, 2010 at 10:35 pm


    You can email me direct at It would be nice to resolve the Ventura family tree.

    Adelina Panlilio Ventura:
    I would love to get in touch with you and Chuchi Feliciano to exchange contact details and family info as I recall visiting Chuchi in anntipolo in the ’60s with my mom and relatives from Spain (my mom was known to all of Manila as Tita Caring)

    Hope to hear from you all,

  41. gideon ventura said,

    December 27, 2010 at 3:28 am

    auntie adelina,

    I will be in Phil by 27 of dec, hope to have time searching the same. it is true that the venturas of isabela came from vigan but the question goes further after hearing the old venturas in vigan that their roots came from binondo as merchants. though things that has been said by dad cannot be taken into consideration, i found out through the old books of the church in ilagan and vigan about the venturas and their real names in the books is not as we know it. if you happen to be in phil tita, wil show you. do give me your contact details and will inform you accordingly. Dad and I will be going to ilocos to look for your lost relatives by 2nd week of january. happy new year tita and your family. tito boy had a daughter that i met in QC before, is she still in phil? jst want to have a visit with them.

  42. Sheryl Mae Basilio said,

    December 9, 2010 at 5:27 am

    Good day! I was just wondering if you can help me find the researcher of “May Bukas Pa”.. I am now doing my Term Paper and i chose Bacolor Church as my topic. I have to interview the researcher as soon as possible.

    I am hoping for your kind response. Thank You. GODBLESS!!

  43. Christopher de Leon Cruz said,

    December 6, 2010 at 3:35 pm


    Founder of Pampanga Sugar Development
    National Life Insurance,
    Head of Regina and Natividad Building


    Christopher George de Leon Cruz

    Completed on February 2nd, 2002

    Excerpts taken from ‘The Life of Jose de Leon y Joven by Jose N. de Leon III’, The People of The Philippines vs. Gregorio P. Timbol, Et Al, and ‘In Memoriam Don Jose Leoncio de Leon y Hizon and Don Augusto Gonzalez y Sioco’, News Clippings, Philippines Today and Tomorrow, Volume 1, Year 1939.

    There is something to be said about certain things being ‘tried and tested’ as opposed to ‘new and improved’. The idea that innovation is a good thing is fairly relative to situations – it doesn’t necessarily mean that just because a product, concept or idea is new, it’s better. The same goes for matters of principles.

    Principles are ideas that shouldn’t go out of style; they are not like fads. Killing and robbing people was always considered evil in the 15th century – it’s still a bad idea to do so now. The same goes for upholding things like honesty, kindness, compassion and dignity. These are timeless principles that despite the passage of millennia still hold true in our lives and in society in general.

    Principles and ideals are one thing – the men who aspire and succeed in upholding and realizing them are another. They are a truly rare and gifted lot that manage to stand tall in the face of adversity and failure.

    This is the story of a man of principle, a man whose virtues would never go out of style, regardless of era. Here is the story of a man whom in the beginning, God had given little, but in the end he had gained much.

    Seeds of Greatness

    The man who would be known to many as Don Pepe or Lolo Pitong came from humble beginnings. Jose Leoncio de Leon was born in Bacolor, Pampanga on September 12, 1867, son of Damaso and Graciana Hizon de Leon. His father married twice – from Damaso’s union with Graciana, he had Manuel (who eventually became the governor of Tarlac), Vicente and Lolo Pitong. From his second wife, Faustina David, Damaso had three more children.

    From Spanish, Jose Leoncio de Leon translates as Joseph, lionlike, of the lion. His son, (mentioned later on), Jose Joven de Leon translates as Joseph, young lion. The names are rather appropriate as it took a lot of courage for Lolo Pitong to do what he did in life.

    The young Jose Leoncio received his primary education there and studied in San Juan de Letran in Manila. He was not able to complete his high-school education; he returned to the province and worked with his father in their farm. This he gave up after a short time and went into merchandising. Lolo Pitong began his career during Spanish times. His sari-sari store in Bacolor, Pampanga, “El Indispensable”, was a gathering place of Spanish soldiers back in the days before the Revolution. He cultivated such goodwill with them that they became steady customers and eventually, “El Indispensable” became a general merchandise store. At the same time, he was also a small town agriculturist.

    It was in this modest setting that people began to notice his strength of character. There is an account of Lolo Pitong walking many miles to another town to replace a defective lamp that was purchased from El Indispensable. He could’ve claimed that the lamp was in working order when it was purchased to save him time, money and trouble, but Lolo Pitong just did not do business that way.

    Later, he became an agent of Clayton and Shuttleworth, an English firm dealing with farming tools and milling and refining machinery. It should be noted that in spite of the fact that Lolo Pitong could not speak English, he was very successful in his dealings with this company.

    During the Philippine Revolution, Lolo Pitong’s family, and the family of his future brides-to-be, the Jovens, fled to the mountains of Pampanga. There, together with other refugees from Bacolor, they lived in evacuation camps. Food was scarce and to make a living, Lolo Pitong carried sacks of rice on his shoulders for other evacuees. He would earn fifty centavos a day for his work.

    • An excerpt from the Bulletin, July 13, 1939, “That Mr. De Leon’s wealth consists not alone in his riches and material possessions is shown by some interesting incidents in his life. When a devastating fire visited Bacolor some time in 1900, Mr. De Leon lost practically all of his wealth exclusive of a considerable sum of money and valuables which prominent residents of the province of Pampanga had deposited with him in trust. Contrary to the suggestions of his friends and even his creditors to declare himself insolvent, Mr. De Leon did not file insolvency proceedings and although it took him many years to return the money lost through the fire, he fully complied with his obligations as a party to a gentlemen’s agreement.

    • An excerpt from the Herald recounting the aforementioned incident, July 13, 1939, “During his early years as a businessman, his province mates had so much faith in his honesty that they deposited their money with him instead of in the banks. He had in this manner more than P100,000 of deposits from friends when his store in Bacolor was burned down and he could have easily alleged that the money had been burned, but he did not. His friends did not require any receipt from him for their deposits and after the fire he paid back to each depositor what he claimed as the amount he had deposited with him.”

    The incident that these accounts refer to happened upon Lolo Pitong’s return to Bacolor after the Revolution. El Bazaar Indispensable was burned to the ground, along with the rest of Bacolor either by vengeful Spanish troops or the conflict between them and the revolutionaries. He decided not to reopen the store but instead, he went into highly-successful farming ventures. He paid the debts off little by little until all his creditors were reimbursed.

    His Loves and His Life

    At the age of 19, Lolo Pitong married Regina “Lola Inang” Joven in 1886 (she was 16 at the time). She bore him ten children. All except Jose de Leon y Joven died at infancy of beri-beri (one child, Pilar, managed to survive until the age of nine).

    Regina Joven died in 1905 at the age of 37 due to a disease now known as pernicious anemia. Lolo Pitong had heard of certain English doctors in Hongkong who were reputed to be able to cure the disease. The trip to Hongkong, however, was to no avail and she eventually expired there. To further complicate matters, there were problems in transporting the body. Back then Chinese coolies had superstitious taboos about handling a corpse. Lolo Pitong hit on a creative solution – he disguised the coffin by putting it in a crate and covering it with a tablecloth, passing it off as a grand piano. The body was eventually laid to rest in Bacolor.

    He later married Natividad “Lola Titang” Joven, Regina’s sister. They had no children together but Lola Titang would raise Lolo Pitong’s son, Jose, as if she were her own.

    • TRIVIA: Fernando Amorsolo was commissioned to do a portrait of Regina Joven.

    • TRIVIA: Both Lolo Pitong and his son, Jose Joven married women named Natividad.

    • An excerpt from The Life of Jose de Leon y Joven by Jose N. de Leon III, “To write about Papa’s (Jose de Leon y Joven) life without mentioning his father, our Lolo Pitong, would be unthinkable. The intense paternal love and concern Lolo Pitong had for his only son and, on the other hand, the equally powerful filial love, care, respect and unbounded admiration Papa had for his father was a reciprocal and mutual regard rare even among children who successfully emulate their fathers and pattern their lives after their sires. The two of them formed a superb and splendid team, not only in their business endeavors but also in their father-son relationship and mutual esteem for each other. Both had many identical traits of character. Both, above all, were religious and devoutly believed in God’s love and had much faith and hope in Him. The two of them possessed the same trait of generosity for their fellow men and practiced it by helping the needy and poor, but in anonymity. Father and son were proud to be Pampanguenos and Filipinos.

    On the other hand, their respective approaches to business situations differed in many respects. Where Lolo Pitong was daring, progressive and a risk-taker, Papa was the cautious, careful type, moderate and conservative. It may seem strange that it was the elder of the two who was the bold one.”

    In addition, he was a man of great frugality. In one of his more popular photographs, Lolo Pitong is seen wearing glasses with one of the legs missing. This is not a photographic error. It seems that after he accidentally broke them, Lolo Pitong felt that the cost of having his glasses repaired was an expense he could do without. Rather ironic, considering his wealth. He was often quoted as saying that he would give up half his wealth in order to preserve the other half.

    Lolo Pitong also made sure that his only son knew the value of money. His brother-in-law, Pepe Joven, wanted to lend Jose Joven de Leon a pair of silk socks for use in school but Lolo Pitong wouldn’t hear of it. He didn’t want Jose to get used to luxury items that he himself couldn’t afford.

    From Vision to Realization

    He was always known as a man of foresight and vision. When the Philippines began assimilating American culture in the early part of the 1900s, Lolo Pitong sensed that it would be prudent for his son to be prepared for the inevitable transformation of Philippine society from the Spanish-dominated era he came from. Lolo Pitong decided that after Jose de Leon y Joven completed his law studies, his son should learn English. He sent his son to England, reasoning that it would be better if the young man were to learn the language in the place where it came from.

    It was this uncanny mix of common sense and sharp intuition that paved the way to his eventual success. He was one of the first Filipinos to dedicate their efforts to the development of the sugar industry. It was his vision that Pampanga become a sugar-producing province. His timing was impeccable; shortly after obtaining the agency of Clayton and Shuttleworth, landowners in Pampanga began to develop and plant sugar crops. It was a golden opportunity but it would be fraught with frustration and various challenges.

    It was in 1918 that Lolo Pitong, together with his business partners, decided to found the Pampanga Sugar Development Company (Pasudeco) with the purpose of creating a sugar central in their province. President Quezon himself warned the Kapampangan businessmen that the enterprise was too ambitious. There was a powerful Hawaiian-backed sugar firm in the neighboring town of Del Carmen and Quezon was worried that they would quash the efforts of Lolo Pitong’s group because of their vast resources. In spite of that, after years of hard work, intrepid decision-making and seemingly endless frustrations, their work began to bear fruit. Pasudeco prospered and diversified, and so did Lolo Pitong.

    He was president of Pasudeco from its founding to 1939, vice-president of the Central Luzon Milling Company, member of the board of Direcors of the Philippine National Bank. During the American regime, he was also appointed as a member of the Land Assessment Board of Pampanga and Municipal Councilor of Pampanga. Lolo Pitong owned real estate in Manila, including Sinagoga Apartments, the Roxas Building (since renamed the Regina Building, in memory of his late wife) and the Gaches Building (since renamed the Natividad Building, renamed after his second wife) in Escolta. He also owned Hacienda Tinang and Hacienda Plastado in Tarlac, both sugar lands.

    • TRIVIA: – Hacienda Tinang and Hacienda Plastado were formerly owned by Secretary Benigno S. Aquino. Lolo Pitong acquired it this way: Sometime between 1935 and 1937, Benigno’s brother-in-law and Pasudeco co-founder, Manuel Urquico, borrowed more than half a billion pesos from Lolo Pitong for sugar trading, using the two haciendas as collateral. When it was learned later on that Manuel couldn’t pay, the two properties were claimed by Lolo Pitong.

    Together with his son, Jose de Leon y Joven, Lolo Pitong founded National Life Insurance Company in 1933.

    • Direct quotes from the Bulletin, July 13, 1939, “He is a self-made man. His wealth has been the product of business foresight and acumen”, “Through perseverance and honesty of purpose, he was able to expand his modest business into a thriving and prosperous enterprise…”

    Even at the ripe old age of 72, Lolo Pitong, already a multi-millionaire, still wanted to take active part in the management of his business interests.
    He was considered one of the richest men in the Philippines and certainly the wealthiest man in Pampanga at the time. Upon his death, his net assets were worth more than P25,000,000. Converted into today’s peso figures and taking into account dollar values and inflation rates, this amount is worth roughly P750,000,000 today.

    When he died, Lolo Pitong had no debts. He was said to be in the habit of paying cash, going as far as paying P2,000,000 for a particular transaction. In death, Lolo Pitong also paid the highest inheritance and estate tax rates ever recorded in 1939. The government was set to receive around P3,704,000. The highest inheritance and estate taxes ever collected from an individual at that time was P600,000.

    A Modest Heart of Gold

    He came into the limelight when he made a donation of P150,000 to the insular government, consisting of lands and buildings fore the tuberculosis sanatorium in Pampanga.

    • Another excerpt from the Herald, July 13, 1939, “He was a philanthropist and because he did not care for publicity, most of his philanthropies were not known to the public.”

    • An excerpt from the Bulletin, July 14, 1939, “Mr. De Leon is highly regarded, not only in Pampanga but also in this province (Tarlac) for his charity work. Not long ago he gave P16,000 to La Paz, Tarlac, for the construction of a town church.”

    Lolo Pitong also contributed P20,000 for another church erected in San Fernando, Pampanga.

    • An excerpt from the Herald, July 19, 1939, “Don Pepe, according to stories, went out of his way to help needful friends and farmers.”

    • Quoted from George H. Fairchild, president of Welch-Fairchild Ltd., on the death of Jose Leoncio de Leon from the Bulletin, July 15, 1939, “Having known Mr. De Leon for many years through his relations with the Philippine Sugar Association, it is only fair to say that some months ago, upon the request of his planters, he gave them an additional 5% bonus to bring his contract into line with the majority of the contracts on Negros, namely, 45% to the central and 55% to the planters, this division at that time being 50-50. This concession was given on the understanding that it would meet the requirements and, presumably, planters in his district.

    “I also know from personal knowledge that Mr. De Leon was such a generous man in his charities many people will suffer as a result of his death.”

    Upon his death, a funeral wreath was sent for Lolo Pitong bearing the inscription “To our Friend and Benefactor – Insular Prisoners”. It was later found out that every Christmas day for many years Lolo Pitong had sent substantial sums of money as a gift to inmates of Bilibid prison. Another noteworthy gift from the Bilibid inmates is a heavy wooden carving depicting the likeness of Lolo Pitong flanked by the Pasudeco mill and its chapel. This carving rests inside the administration office of Natividad building.

    The Death of The Patriarch

    In the last three years of his life, due to the agrarian conflicts sweeping Pampanga during that time, friends were advising Lolo Pitong to carry a gun, but he declined, saying it was not necessary as he had “not done anyone harm and everybody likes me.” Perhaps he should’ve heeded their advice but that was not his style. It doesn’t change what happened on that fateful day, July 12, 1939:

    Carmelino Timbol, a Mexico, Pampanga sugar planter with a pending homicide charge and his brother, Gregorio had just arrived from Manila. They were together with their nephew, Dalmacio Timbol and their bodyguard, Geronimo Buan, an Angeles policeman who was supposedly off-duty at the time. They were headed for the Pasudeco office in San Fernando, Pampanga. Meanwhile, Lolo Pitong and his partner, 52-year old Pasudeco board member Augusto Gonzalez were meeting at Lolo Pitong’s office, unaware of the impending tragedy that was to take place.

    The Timbol brothers, Dalmacio and Buan called on Lolo Pitong and Gonzalez at the Pasudeco office and showed them a document that they wanted the millers to sign. It would give the planters 60% participation instead of the 55% they had at that time. Shortly afterwards, Dr. Clemente Puno, Lolo Pitong’s personal physician had arrived to ask his patient about the effects of a medicine he prescribed.

    Lolo Pitong and Gonzalez refused to sign and the Timbols told them that they must either do so or die. They then drew their guns. Gregorio drew two revolvers while the others brandished one each. The angry threats were overheard by Pasudeco’s accountant, Ambrosio Razon, who was in the next room. Lolo Pitong told them that for the document to be valid, it had to be approved by all the members of the board of directors and not by Gonzalez and Lolo Pitong alone. The Timbols ordered them to call other board members, by long distance if necessary.

    Lolo Pitong bided his time until he had the opportunity to press a buzzer, summoning Ambrosio Razon, who was still in the adjoining room. By this time, the Timbols had concealed their weapons. As Razon entered, Lolo Pitong hastily scribbled a note in Pampango and handed it to the accountant as Razon was handing him a voucher for Lolo Pitong to sign. The note read, “Icayu nang bala quen” meaning “You people out there take care”. Alarmed, Razon telephoned the constabulary barracks for two plainclothesmen.

    The call was received by desk sergeant Macario de los Reyes. He then told Constabulary provincial inspector Julian Olivas about the trouble. Captain Olivas was scheduled to have lunch with Colonel Alberto Ramos, department inspector for Northern Luzon, and Major Leon Reyes, but left for Pasudeco to follow up on the plea for help. He wore a leather jacket instead of his regulation coat, over his uniform, and proceeded to the office. He did not carry a gun but he ordered Sergeant Macario to call four soldiers from the barracks and to send them to Pasudeco after him.

    Olivas arrived at Pasudeco to find the Timbol brothers and Dalmacio Timbol still disputing with the millers. He tried to pacify them. Shortly after noon, when he thought everything was okay, Olivas tried to leave the room when Gonzalez told him, “How about us here, Captain? We are virtually prisoners in this room. They do not want us to move from our chairs even.” Olivas turned around and addressed the Timbols in English. “Under our Constitution,” he said, “no one has any right to detain anybody forcibly. These two gentlemen are at present under my protection as provincial commander here.” He then turned and made for the door.

    Under the assumption that Olivas was calling for reinforcements, the Timbols opened fire. The first bullet hit Olivas in the back of the neck. He turned and tried to grapple with his assailant but was shot in the face. He fell to the floor and was shot three more times.

    Carmelino fired a tear gas gun and caused confusion in the area.

    Geronimo Buan shot Gonzalez in the chest; too stunned to react at first, it seems he was trying to rise from his chair when he got hit. He staggered and collapsed behind it. Gregorio Timbol shot Lolo Pitong through the arm and the bullet struck his stomach as he was trying to make for the door of his bathroom for cover. Dr. Clemente Puno managed to run out into the hall to safety, unharmed. He returned and performed an autopsy on the victims later.

    The Timbols climbed out the windows and passed through the back door into an open sugar field, then ran to their car where Eulogio Mendoza was waiting to take them out of the area. While they were making their way out of Pasudeco, they were fired upon by the guards and employees. One of them, storekeeper Antonio Suba, is believed to have fired the shot that wounded Carmelino Timbol near the right abdomen and hip. The injury wasn’t serious.

    Pasudeco employees placed the bodies of Gonzalez and Lolo Pitong on the conference table as they attempted first aid. Olivas had died already so they left him where he lay. Lolo Pitong expired in the room while Gonzalez followed suit after asking Razon for a glass of water.

    Jose Leoncio de Leon was seventy-two years old when he died. He was shot dead at 12:15pm, July 12, 1939.

    Augusto Gonzalez was the brother of Bienvenido Gonzalez, UP President. Augusto was 52. He was one of the only three millionaires in Pampanga at that time. Captain Julian Olivas was constabulary provincial inspector. He was paid a double tribute for his bravery by president Manuel L. Quezon by posthumously being awarded the Distinguished Conduct Star and having San Fernando military training station renamed Camp Julian Olivas. Incidentally, the 30 hectares of land on which Camp Olivas stands was a donation of Lolo Pitong and Augusto Gonzalez to the Constabulary of San Fernando, made some time before their deaths.

    Dalmacio Timbol was arrested by Captain Jose Polotan, constabulary provincial inspector, in Barrio San Nicolas, Tarlac at 8:30pm, July 12, 1939. Geronimo Buan was caught in Angeles by chief of police Francisco Paras while he was riding a calesa from San Fernando at 2pm, July 12, 1939. Gregorio and Carmelino Timbol, surrendered to the police at 2:20am, July 13, 1939, in Barrio Tangle, Mexico, 22 km from the shooting. Eulogio Mendoza, the driver of the Timbol car was arrested at 3pm, July 14, 1939 at Barrio Tangle.

    • An excerpt from the Bulletin, July 15, 1939, “The cause of the triple murder in Pampanga continues to puzzle businessmen who say they know from experience that Jose de Leon …treated his planters and laborers fairly.”

    • Quoted from S. F. Gaches, president of H. E. Heacock Company, from the Bulletin, July 15, 1939, “The Philippines has lost one of its outstanding citizens in the death of Mr. De Leon.

    “Don Pepe (Lolo Pitong) was one of the kindest, most honorable men I have ever known. It grieves me to think that he is dead.”

    At the time of Lolo Pitong’s demise, 94% of Pasudeco’s stock was owned by the sugar planters. Rumors that the sugar planters were rallying behind the Timbols were squelched by that fact.

    Even his killer had nice things to say about Lolo Pitong.

    • Quoted from Gregorio Timbol, from the Tribune, July 16, 1939, “They (Don Augusto and Jose Leoncio de Leon) were nice and honest people, and I respected them very much. I used to go to them, especially to Don Pepe, for crop loans, and they never turned me down. Don Pepe was always considerate. At present, I still owe P800 to the central on a crop loan which Don Pepe facilitated for me.”

    TRIVIA: At the wake of Lolo Pitong, prominent mourners included President Manuel L. Quezon, Major General Douglas MacArthur, Secretary Rafael R. Alunan, Speaker Jose Yulo, Secretary Jose Abad Santos and Secretary Benigno S. Aquino, the father of Ninoy Aquino. Lolo Pitong’s prominent contemporaries now have streets, monuments and buildings named after them.

    Eventually after many months of waiting, the wheels of justice eventually turned. On April 20th, 1940, in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga in San Fernando, Gregorio Timbol, Carmelino Timbol, Geronimo Buan and Dalmacio Timbol were found guilty of three counts of murder. All except Dalmacio were sentenced to death. Dalmacio was sentenced to twelve years of solitary confinement.

    The triple murder of Jose Leoncio de Leon, Augusto Gonzalez and Captain Julian Olivas was an event of national interest. Many of the most widely circulated newspapers in the country such as the Tribune, the Herald, the Bulletin, the Commoner and the Graphic, covered the murders, the Timbol arrests and trial. Indeed, one may consider the Triple Murder to have been the most sensational event in the decade, having also gained a level of international notoriety. No one could believe that something like that could ever happen to some of the most prominent people in the country. Also, the socialists of that time, led by Pedro Abad Santos were using the incident to start a class war between millers and planters, or more accurately, between the rich and poor.

    The repercussions of the Pampanga Triple Murder resulted in forcing the Philippine Commonwealth Government to re-examine the domestic problems of the sugar industry. At the time of Lolo Pitong’s death, agrarian disputes happened fairly often and arms control was not a popular issue at the time. Also, it was common for sugar centrals to adopt a representation policy of 60-40 in favor of the millers. Ironically, it was for this purported reason that the Timbols killed Lolo Pitong. Also, it was this incident which triggered a series of steps to eventually abolish the carrying of guns in public.

    One would say it was a rather dramatic conclusion to an otherwise peaceful existence. Perhaps Lolo Pitong would have preferred to spend the end of his days in quiet contemplation, basking in the love of his family and enjoying the comforts he so richly deserved. His days were indeed numbered; his autopsy noted that he was suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, multiple cysts in the kidneys and arteriosclerosis – he wouldn’t have lasted more than a few years. But then again, his death was just as fiery as his courageous spirit.


    ‘The Life of Jose de Leon y Joven by Jose N. de Leon III’, Performance Printing Center

    Criminal Case Nos. 6294, 6295 and 6296, The People of The Philippines, Plaintiff vs. Gregorio P. Timbol, Et Al, Accused

    Newspaper excerpts taken from ‘In Memoriam Don Jose Leoncio de Leon y Hizon and Don Augusto Gonzalez y Sioco’, News (Press) Clipping, Philippines Today and Tomorrow, Volume 1, Year 1939, Clipping Bureau

  44. Vangie Farley said,

    December 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    hello! just wonderin if anyone is aware of the whereabouts of the Chu Family Veronica Chu the wife of the late of the Mr Chu as well as their kids. I wonder how the family are doing? I now reside in the US so I lost touch with the Chu Family…I hope anyone would have some type of information regarding them…I appreciate your time!

  45. Adelina Panlilio Ventura said,

    November 20, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Tatang Gestal is now deceased. I’ll contact one of her daughters to contact you. George Cunanan is still in the Philippines. Chuchi Feliciano Richardson is still living in the Philippines. Both of her brothers are deceased.

  46. aggie lim said,

    November 20, 2010 at 9:47 am

    does anyone know how to get in touch with chuchi feliciano richardson and angestal cunanan ? please email me . I am one of the in laws of the Feliciano’s.

  47. Pol B. Isidro said,

    November 19, 2010 at 5:44 am

    Wow its nice to think about my childhood days in Bacolor. I went to central school and afterwards attented highschool at st. marys academy. If not for pinatubo I would probably be still there. We had a house in Sta. Ines, very near one of those old mansions. I still remember one particular mansion just 200 meters from our house. It has a big lawn with an old white fountain in the middle. While I walked passed that house I would just imagine the grandeur it had during its heydey. The gatherings they had and the clothes they wore. My father had tons of stories.

    I was a sakristan at San Vicente church. I use to serve during simbang gabi. There I was riding my bike at 4 am. I would intentionally stay in the middle of the road because absolutely no car would pass by. It was too early even for the victory liner or the rampaging rabbit busses. I could smell the pandesal bags delivered by “tinape boys” and I could actually hear the weird noises made by the pampanga lanterns that were hanging by the windows. Some were professionally made some were school projects made by the boys at dhvcat.
    I love that place. My true regret nowadays is that I wasn’t able to show to my children what my town used to be. They always aks me “what’s the fuss about daddys hometown? Why is he so sentimental about it?” These questions are hard to answer for all the images are now just in my head. So sad

  48. Agnes C. Lacambra said,

    November 15, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Wow, I couldn’t stop reading your Blog Mr. Toto Gonzalez. I grew up in Manila but we would visit Bacolor on the weekends, summer vacations. My mom is from the Soto Family, while my Dad is from the Calma-Ton. We didn’t have the ancestral homes but we did have a very nice Bahay Kubo in Santa Ines by the Bisitas… We moved to the US in 1988 and reading your blog just brought me back in the 80’s.. I remember the baker named “Mundu” he had the best pandesal. The suman we used to buy in the afternoon for merienda. The Holy Week traditions… I am so proud of our town. I would watch the teleserye “May Bukas pa” since it was filmed in our San Guillermo Church…
    Thank you so much for even just reading, it brought me back to how it used to be…

    I read somebody had VHS tapes… I hope there’s a way to avail of the copies…

    Agnes Soto Chua Lacambra

  49. Agnes C. Lacambra said,

    November 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Wow, I couldn’t stop reading your Blog Mr. Toto Gonzalez. I grew up in Manila but we would visit Bacolor on the weekends, summer vacations. My mom is from the Soto Family, while my Dad is from the Calma-Ton. We didn’t have the ancestral homes but we did have a very nice Bahay Kubo in Santa Ines by the Bisitas… We moved to the US in 1988 and reading your blog just brought me back in the 80’s.. I remember the baker named “Mundu” he had the best pandesal. The suman we used to buy in the afternoon for merienda. The Holy Week traditions… I am so proud of our town. I would watch the teleserye “May Bukas pa” since it was filmed in our San Guillermo Church…
    Thank you so much for even just reading, it brought me back to how it used to be…

  50. Ednold Manarang David said,

    November 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    i miss the time during all saints day when we visit the cemetery at the back of san guillermo church, i dont know the name of cemetery but i always heard ( gulut pisamban ) because my brother,grandfather, grandmother (pantsyun) are near at the main gate of cemetery ( cochon family )

  51. Ednold Manarang David said,

    November 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    wow, amazing..! balik sa pagkabata, thank you for this blog… two thumbs up.

  52. Jon Joven (johnson joven uy) said,

    October 31, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Hi! Im totally amazed how much history just this site can provide..
    I have been searching for my roots for a long time..My mother is Aida Santiago Joven of bacolor pampanga and her dads name was Delfin Santiago..we are, from what i have been told from the roots of Lolo Ceferino Joven of sanfernando pampanga -governor, Im currently traveling the world as an Artist- Broadway-off broadway etc..also a part time artist on TV..Im hoping that I will find more info as to where my roots are now..My Lolo Delfin past away few years back and now resting somewhere in San Pedro laguna..Please feel free to email me at thank you and im so looking forward to hearing from any of you that might have an info..god bless!

  53. September 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Yup! Confusing alright. My assumsion is Grasian David de Leon must have children again after her first son Jose de Leon (senior) with Dumaso de Leon. Alfonso and Faustina must have another father. For reason we don’t know she decided to use de Leon as their surname. That makes Jose de Leon and Alfonso half brothers. Puede Diba? Interesting.
    Thank you Mr. Toto Gonzalez

    PS. so sorry Dr. Gonzales. you lost me in the transision???

  54. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    September 1, 2010 at 10:34 am

    “Ponceng” de Leon was ALFONSO de Leon, yes, I believe the Bapang Ponceng and Bapang Pitong, as the Buysons addressed them, were half brothers.

    (Bapang Pitong’s only child was Cong Peping, as how the Buysons addressed him.)

    Bapang Pitong and Bapang Ponceng descended from the line of Don Jose Aniceto de Leon and Dona Alexa Buyson.

    Don Jose Aniceto was the “Escribano” circa 1860’s in Bacolor.
    Dona Alexa was known as the “asesora”.
    ( I would appreciate an elucidation on those terms pertinent during that era ).

  55. September 1, 2010 at 4:45 am


    I’m sorry. I do not have the information you want.

    Toto Gonzalez

  56. August 31, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    hello, mr. gonzalez,
    just searching here a bit? is Jose “pitong” de Leon the half brother of Jose “ponceng” de Leon. did the mother or the father marry again?
    do you happen to know?
    salamat po.

  57. gideon ventura said,

    August 11, 2010 at 3:02 pm


    kindly give any means of communicating with you as i would take a hands on search in ilocos which i presume to be where Honorio and his parents orignated. The Tranquilino i might know. The other venturas in north are of Valentin and assume Victor Ventura. It would be good to search outside pampanga and binondo as Honorio stayed in binondo in pursuant of his bussiness endeavour, hence, not originally from there. The puzzle can be sort of Why the venturas went to the north, valentin for one, perhaps their relatives and roots are from there. My grandfather is named Tranquilino Ventura, once a chemist also in Pasudeco, his brother Geronimo was assisted by Honorio in his schooling in UST Medicine, along with the late Diosdado. If you happen to cmpare their photos you will see the resemblance of ventura in each of our grandfathers. Mia and Fabolous kindly share with me the enthusiasm of connecting these puzzles.


  58. Karen Manaloto-Arce said,

    August 10, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hello, I have mentioned before that I have 4 VCR tapes of the entire Bacolor town before the Lahar incident. I am trying to see if I can convert the tapes to DVD. It might be hard for me to do it but I will try. I am also a friend of Miriam Baking Buenviaje and a cousin of Stan Palma, so I will talk to Miriam about this if it will help the school. I want to help provide more info about pre lahar through the VCR tapes but I dont know know how to do it. I will email Miriam about it. Take care

  59. August 10, 2010 at 3:15 pm


    I do not have any of the photographs you mentioned. However, you will find most everything you need at the JDN CKS HAU Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City. The staff is accommodating and you will surely find a lot of materials.


    Toto Gonzalez

  60. Jojo Pineda said,

    August 10, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Hi Mr. Gonzalez,

    I still live in Bacolor right in front of the newly constructed RP Rodriguez Memorial Hospital (District Hospital). I’m setting up a restaurant that will function as a canteen during daytime to cater to students from DHVTSU (Former DHVCAT now a state university) and employees of the hospital and will function as a grill house at night time. Its called Bacolor 1576 Grill House and Restaurant. One of my objectives is to make people from Bacolor and visitors aware of our rich history. I have a mural of the church and the timelines of Bacolor colonial history from 1576. I will also hang seasonal photos (possibly old pictures) of Bacolor celebrations, prominent families, etc.

    I am currently completing the photos. I wonder if you have photos of the old houses of the Rodriguezes, Panlilios, de Leons, etc. that you can lend me.

    Hope you can help me,


  61. Buddy de leon said,

    August 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Mr. Gonzalez,

    Have you come across the name of Emila de Leon? She was my grandmother. When she was alive, she mentioned living in the mansion in Bacolor.

  62. August 8, 2010 at 6:25 am


    I suggest you look into the archives of the JDN CKS HAU Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City. There is an incredible wealth of information there.

    Good luck!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  63. Oliver Chavez said,

    August 7, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    I am currently the editor in chief of The Industrialist, the student publication of Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, for we all know the school is the oldest vocational school in Far East, yet because of some calamities both natural and man made, some traces of the school’s history are missing, including the publication’s. For no one can really tell the exact age of the publication’s existance until now…If any of you sir/madam have any have any documentations and alike pls let us know.

  64. gideon ventura said,

    July 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    hi eman would you mind to give me your contact so that i can keep in touch with you. thanks and best regards to your family

  65. Gideon Ventura said,

    July 14, 2010 at 1:39 pm


    Good to hear from you, still in aparri? would it be possible to get in touch with you when i get home in the philippines by November hopefully. Do you have some details of the brothers and sisters of Valentin Ventura and the brothers and sisters of Jose Ventura. Do you happen to know the angestals refered by mia or sheryl. Thanks and Best Regards to your family


  66. Bunny Joven said,

    July 5, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I am only in my early 40’s but I remember the elegance and beauty of Bacolor, having attended many of the Holy Week celebrations in the 70s. My dad, Maello Joven, used to bring the whole family to Bacolor for the Lenten occasion. We used to spend the afternoon of Good Friday at Lola Nining’s house. I really cherished those visits and the experience of historic and beautiful Bacolor.

    I only hope that one day we can restore it to its old elegance…

    Bunny A. Joven

  67. Emmanuel Ventura Gatan said,

    July 5, 2010 at 5:23 am

    I’d like to share a photo of the grave marker of Jose Ventura Y Tovar. He is the son of Valentin Ventura (married to Carmen Tovar in Spain) who eventually settled in Aparri, Cagayan.

    It says in the marker that he was born June 19, 1893. It may be of help in tracing the family tree. Here is the photo: Jose Ventura

  68. Ma. Victoria Sotto said,

    June 10, 2010 at 7:14 am

    Hello Karen,

    Thank you for your info. I asked my sister-in-law Emilie Soto Amawatana if she knew Judy Soto and apparently she does, they are cousins. She actually has been looking for Judy for quite sometime now and thanks to you, she was able to contact Judy through facebook. Unfortunately though, Judy does not know much about her great grandfather either 😦

    Victoria Sotto

  69. Karen M. Arce said,

    June 7, 2010 at 1:31 am

    Dear Victoria Soto,

    I know that my cousin Judy Soto is related to Juan Crisostomo Soto. You might want to find her on facebook and ask her more about it.

    Karen M. Arce

  70. Ma. Victoria Sotto said,

    June 6, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Hello Toto,
    I was doing a research about my grandfather, Jose Blanco Galang, who was a two term mayor of Bacolor, Pampanga before and during the Japanese occupation. I was wondering if there is anything you can tell me about him and his family ancestry.

    I love your blog, I was able to see the beauty and splendor of the old Bacolor through your eyes. I also find it fascinating that a lot of descendants from Bacolor have also found their way here, sharing their bit of family history.

    P.S. Would you happen to have more info about Juan Crisostomo Soto? I would love to learn more about my husband’s heritage. My father-in-law is Isidoro C. Soto, one of the greatest artist-decorator-designer of Pampanga.

    Hope you can share some info about them. Thank you.

    best regards,
    Victoria Sotto/Soto

  71. Karen M. Arce said,

    May 7, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Dear Noel Palma and Didi,
    Speaking of tracing the Palma tree, I, too am interested in doing this.. just a few days before my mom passed away, we were asking her about her immediate ancestors and this is what I learned, maybe someone can help us fill in the blanks for us then
    Dna Josefa Palma (originally a Castillo, not Palma – they only changed their name to Palma – so we were told) had 6 children from Gregorio Castro (a Castillian who came to the Philippines and actually had a family in Spain – can’t trace them either) Their children were Mereng, Gregorio, Andres, Isaac (my grandfather – married to Natividad another Palma as well) Margarita (Didi’s grandma) and another one. I forgot who it is… Natividad Palma, my maternal grandmother is related to Pelagia, Victor (Virgilio Palma – the musician of Bacolor) and Liberato… my email is Please share anything that can help us fill in the blanks. Thank you.

  72. Karen M. Arce said,

    May 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    To Nestor Galura,
    This is Karen Arce – Sorry but I did not put my email address and I forgot to come back to this site. Yes I do have vcr tapes of the Bacolor pre-lahar and yes Rona is my cousin. I am the daughter of Remedios (Sitching) Palma Manaloto. email me about your interest on teh pre-lahar tapes. Hi Didi, I read your comment.
    Karen (

  73. gideon ventura said,

    May 1, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    hi toto kindly give me the contact person and number to aid me in our research of the lost gap of the ventura ancestry. that of the Don juan Nepomuceno museum, center for kapampangan studies and of mia faustman. thanks, really appreciate your blog.


  74. April 23, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Augusto Amancio Sicat’s Daughter:

    Please be reminded:

    Comments with no real names, no verifiable email addresses, and no reliable identity checks will no longer be allowed.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  75. April 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm


    Please be reminded:

    Comments with no real names, no verifiable email addresses, and no reliable identity checks will no longer be allowed.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  76. Nestor R. Galura said,

    April 20, 2010 at 2:34 am


    The Stabat Mater, Musica de Bacolor, composed by Prof. Pablo C. Palma are now on CD, recorded by the Capampañgan String Ensemble, headed by Prof. Stan Palma. These CD’s are for sale and available at the Property and Procurement Office, Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, Bacolor, Pampanga. Look for Mr. Nestor R. Galura, the Supervising Administrative Officer and concurrent Chairperson, DHVTSU Center for Capampañgan Culture and the Arts. Tel. No. (045) 900-2453

  77. Nestor R. Galura said,

    April 20, 2010 at 2:21 am

    Hi! So you have 2 VCR of pre-lahar Bacolor! Could you please spare us a copy of this important recording, we need it, so we can start making the miniature of old Bacolor by our Architecture students here at Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, Bacolor, Pampanga.

    I am sure Stan Palma and Rona Palma are your nearest relatives. So if my wish will be granted you can send thru Stan or Rona the VCR copy of Old Bacolor I am asking because they know me personally.

    Dacal pung salamat!

  78. greg tiglao alimurung said,

    March 26, 2010 at 5:45 am

    Hi Friederika J Fajardo, You are absolutely right. Jay Joven Tiglao is my cousin. Uncle Lolong (Teddy) Tiglao is the youngest & only male amongst the Tiglao. In fact,our late Uncle Teddy was the General Mgr. of the Hijos de m Tiglao hydro-electric & ice plant when I was working there. By the way, How is Tita Blan ? Is Jay still in Germany? Its been 35 years since I heard news from my relatives on my mother side. to, Toto…….thank you for letting us use your space.

  79. Friederika J Fajardo said,

    March 24, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Hi, Greg Tiglao Alimurung

    You are also then related to my first cousin Jay Joven Tiglao and siblings. Jay’s dad is Uncle Lolong (Teodoro) Tiglao and his mom Auntie Blanca Joven is my mom’s sister. Uncle Lolong is your mom’s brother if I am not mistaken.

  80. Friederika J Fajardo said,

    March 20, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Hi, Dr. Taddy,

    Yes we are related for sure, Palma’s side or even on the Joven’s side maybe. Bapang Biliong Palma who takes charge of the Stabat is my mom’s cousin and our ancestral home is next to them. We have not met but its nice to hear from you. I would love to meet you one day. You mentioned Dr. Rogelio Samia. He is related to my mom also. My dad and my brother Dario did participate for a short while in the Stabat by playing the violin. My cousins were part of the “paso”. Every Good friday and All Saints Day we would all go home to Bacolor and gather with cousins. Now, most of us are here in the US. Those were the good days of growing up.

  81. greg tiglao alimurung said,

    March 18, 2010 at 10:37 am

    To Dr. Taddy- Buyson Gonzales, first I would like to thank you for a quick response in my comment. you are right my father was called Tenting & also very amaze by your recollection in meeting my dad at 16 apo st., Quezon City where my Uncle Dr. mariano lives.secondly at the residence of Dr. samia who was a neighbor of ours at talayan village. you are quite right that my lola Ines was the one who supervising the carrazo if i am not mistaken I thing it was the black nazarene together with the other carrozas friom the Rodriquez, The panlillios and other families which I cannot recall. Doc you mentioned in one of yourpost that my uncle showed you a book or hist ory of baculud,is there book exist? I have ask cousin Dr benjamin alimurung son ofmy late uncle Dr mariano presenty the medical director of Makati Medical Centre if he heard or seen this book? I am very eagertoget my hands on this book & propably will enlighten me re my grandfather Don Gregorio Alimurung in which iwas named after him.The last time Iwas in baculud was 1982 when my father passed away & was buried Bacolor cemetery just behind the bacolor church and at the same time I took my mothers bones in mabalacat cemetery & transfer it beside my dad plot.Doc, Iam now 66 yrs old & retired . I am having second thought because of my health. I had a tripple by-pass in 1976 and also diabetic. I am now living here in Niagara Falls, Canada & all of my medications are free my medications are as follows plavix,lipitor ,mavik,glyburide,carvediol and lastly Lorazepam. i think these medications are quite expensive there. I would get an advised from my cousin dr. Benjamin alimurung if it wise for me to retire in baculud. thanks again for your reply Still waiting for ashort comment fromm toto gonzales

  82. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    March 18, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Noel and Federika

    I was informed the Buysons were related to the Palmas somehow.

    The Palmas played an important role during the Holy Week rituals in Bacolor.

    During the Good Friday procession, the Palmas had the singular distinction of participating as a clan.
    All were dramatically attired, veiled in black sayas, barong tagalogs and black formal pants while playing the haunting, mournful, solemn funeral music in Latin.
    Some played the violin all the while during the march.

    That made the Good Friday procession outstanding.

    It was a Palma who directed the processions, making sure that order was strictly observed.
    The procession was very formal and solemn.

    Before the war, it was known that the respected citizens of Bacolor attended the Good Friday procession in formal attire. The men in black tux or dark suits and the ladies in veiled black sayas.

    Only the distinguished men were behind the Santo Entierro while the distinguished ladies were with the Mater Dolorosa.

    The younger men lined one side while the younger ladies lined the other side.
    The children watched on the sides. That made it orderly.

    The “paso” in the center, the participants in black hooded soutanas, walking barefooted, in deathly silence.

    It must have been very dramatic.

    The Palma residence was busy before the procession as it was there that the Stabat was rehearsed. And they served delicious food! We would be invited to observe and we were amazed how the family practiced with passion.

  83. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    March 18, 2010 at 3:56 am


    Was your father called “Tenting”?

    I remember meeting the brother of Dr. Mariano in the house of Dr. Rogelio Samia in Talayan sometime in the late 1960’s.

    They were telling me stories of the old Bacolor during their era.
    It was the home of many highly distinguished men and women in the goverment and in society before and after the war.
    No other Pampanga town produced such illustrious Capampangans. And those people never forgot to come home for the “La Naval” or for the “Todos Los Santos.”

    That St. Mary’s was their introduction to excellent education with German nuns guiding them.

    I also saw him in the house of Dr. Mariano in Apo (?) during one of those Bacolor meetings for the revival of the zarzuela “Alang Dios”.

    Dr. Mariano’s neighbor before was Nieving Joven-Bunuan.

    I also know that the Alimurungs had a “santo” brought out during the “La Naval” in a beautiful silver carroza. I was told it was Indang Ines who personally supervised the “gayak” from the window while she would be playing “mahjong” at the same time.

    The “lapidas” of the Alimurung ancestors were by the main entrance of the parish church, both sides of the massive doors and their family plot was also by the main entrance of the “cementerio,” right side.

    I remember because inevitably the Buysons would meet the elderly lady Indang Ines during the “Todos Los Santos” there and engage in small conversation.

    The Alimurung ancestral house is still there. The de Jesus family raised the original structure from the lahar level.

    Yes, the “duman” was also our childhood favorite. The “casamacs” from Sta. Rita never failed to send us yearly, late November with “gatas damulag.” It literally melted in the mouth!

    My favorite “asan” were the “kilayin”, “betute,” and “chicken ala king” of Imang Betty Rodriguez.

  84. greg tiglao alimurung said,

    March 13, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    hi toto, i am a descendant of don gregorio alimurung, my late father was contantino alimurung and also my uncle dr. mariano alimurung. kindly, give me more information regarding my (lolo) don gregorio who was originally from bacolor his wife, my grandmother,ines mesina. My vivid memories of bacolor on my younger days was the holy week parade they would dressed up in the black nazarene which was permanently housed in my fathers home near the monument which i think now belongs to the de jesus family. i still remember the old legs which was held if im not mistaken was held in the basketball court near the church and the prominent people in the city the jovens, the buyson, panlilios, the rodriguez and some guests from manila. i have attended this event old legs maybe twice in my lifetime together with my good friend marcello rodriguez also from bacolor. there would be a live band forgot the name but they were quite famous at the manila bay night club.

    my late mother estrella tiglao alimurung hails from mabalacat and one of the board of directors formerly hijos de m tiglao mabalacat hydro electric & ice plant which was eventually taken by the marcos regime during the martial law i grew up in quezon city and graduated in letran college. when i got my BSc i worked for a few months in mabalacat in the electric plant and immigrated to toronto, canada 1969. thanks will be waiting for your response for more information of my ancestors. my email is thank you kabalen dakal pung salamat

    what i really, really, really miss most is the “duman”which only comes out in the month of november and december, in the province of bacolor, which i put it on a home made hot chocolate.

  85. greg tiglao alimurung said,

    March 13, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    what i really, really, really miss most is the duman which only comes out in the month of november and december which i put it on a home made hot chocolate.

  86. greg tiglao alimurung said,

    March 13, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    hi toto, i am a descendant of don gregorio alimurung, my late father was contantino alimurung and also my uncle dr. mariano alimurung. kindly, give me more information regarding my (lolo) don gregorio who was originally from bacolor his wife, my grandmother, with the last name mesina. My vivid memories of bacolor on my younger days was the holy week parade they would dressed up in the black nazarene which was permanently housed in my fathers home near the monument which i think now belongs to the de jesus family. i still remember the old legs which was held if im not mistaken was held in the basketball court near the church and the prominent people in the city the jovens, the buyson, panlilios, the rodriguez and some guests from manila. i have attended this event old legs maybe twice in my lifetime together with my good friend marcello rodriguez also from bacolor. there would be a live band forgot the name but they were quite famous at the manila bay club.

    my late mother estrilla tiglao alimurung hails from mabalacat and one of the board of directors formerly hijos de m tiglao mabalacat hydro electric & ice plant which was eventually taken by the marcos regime during the martial law i grew up in quezon city and graduated in letran college. when i got my BSc i worked for a few months in mabalacat in the electric plant and immigrated to toronto, canada 1969. thanks will be waiting for your response for more information of my ancestors. my email is thank you kabalen dakal pung salamat

  87. gideon ventura said,

    March 6, 2010 at 8:51 am

    hi mia,

    i reread your story about the angestals of the late honorio I and II. kindly give me the information about those who went north to ilocos and about the tranquilino angestal as that would be of great help in solving the gaps of our ancestry.


  88. Josemari V. Valdes said,

    February 16, 2010 at 7:23 am

    I just happened to come by this site while I was waiting for a phone call from my brother coming from San Fernando to USA. I have fond memories of the old Valdes mansion & old Bacolor. My grandmother, Mama Teray, used to bring me with her there during summer vacations when I was a child. She also hails from a prominent Bacolor family, Joven. We also stayed with other relatives in their houses. My parents resided in Bacolor until the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. We are hoping to rebuild the fence around the perimiter of our property and see what God has planned from there.

  89. Robert de Quelen said,

    January 25, 2010 at 12:32 am

    Dear Mr. Gonzalez

    I am Frenchman who lived in the Philippines several years ago. I chanced upon this blog accidentally, as I was doing some research on Bacolor for a book I am writing. After reading the whole thread with growing fascination, I googled the name “Michels de Champourcin” only to find out that the family still has two very vivid branches in Spain and in France, so in fact you do have remote cousins in these two countries. It was quite moving for me to see that a compatriot had settled in my beloved Philippines such a long time ago and established deep roots there.

    Best regards,

    Robert de Quelen
    PS: I would be ery thankful to know where I could find these CDs you mentioned, the Stabat mater and any other music composed in these circles.

  90. Friederika Joven Fajardo said,

    January 24, 2010 at 4:36 am

    Hi Noel Palma,

    We are relatives then since my maternal grandma is Margarita Palma. There are so many cousin’s on the Palma side here in Los Angeles and NY. I am in touch with most of them. I reside in the San Fernando valley in Los Angeles. An aunt Remedios Palma Manaloto who lived in NY just died 2 months ago. If you are interested, please get in touch with me via my e-mail address.

  91. Noel Palma said,

    January 15, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I am a descendant of Manuel Salvador Palma (born in 1880) originally from Bacolor and then Manila (cc 1900). I am trying to trace my Palma ancestry (my maternal side). Could anyone offer any suggestions? I reside in Michigan, USA. Thanks.

  92. Gideon Ventura said,

    January 5, 2010 at 3:20 am

    hi mia,

    i reread your story about the angestals of the late honorio I and II. kindly give me the information about those who went north to ilocos and about the tranquilino angestal as that would be of great help in solving the gaps of our ancestry.


  93. December 30, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Gideon, my paternal grandfather is Victor Ventura not Valentin Ventura. That’s where the confusion started. My father, Tranquilino never mentioned any relations with Don Honorio Ventura nor the brother, Valentin, although Lolo Honorio sponsored Dr. Geronino Ventura and helped in his political career. I would be happy to see that we are related to Don Honorio Ventura. All I know we are related to DHV on the Tizon side. After your visit at the Archives in Angeles I am sure you will share the information you got with me. Thanks. Also I believe that my father is a brother to your paternal grandfather Dr. Geronimo Ventura. They are related to the Venturas in Vigan and their family moved to Isabela. One of my sisters is named Isabelita. Happy New Year and regards to your family.

  94. Gideon Ventura said,

    December 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    auntie adelina,

    my father is geronimo “boy” ventura. i dont see the reason why your haven’t mentioned the relation ship of us with the late don honorio as the father of my father is the cousin of lolo honorio ventura. as my grandfather was sponsopred and helped by lolo honorio even in his political career before and at the same time in nhis studies as the honorable Diosdado Macapagal before was sponsored by don honorio.

    please do give your contact number as i am making ways to get my relatives together with my father as he is already too old.

    thank you. my contact number is 0939580427 or 0786222899 merry xmas and a happy new year

  95. December 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I remember the Ventura family in Cabalantian but I didn’t have the chance of meeting them.

    Chito Feliciano is one of Tita Consuelo’s sons. Both Chito and Arles (the younger son) are now deceased. The oldest and only daughter is Chuchi Feliciano Richardson. Tita Consuelo is married to a Feliciano from Pampanga and Manila. Chito and siblings are grandchildren of Lola Belen and Lolo Eliong. During Chito’s college days in UP he was a member of the UP Varsity Team. He was not only a latin dancer but a sharp shooter.

    During our grade school days, I remember Lolo Eliong used to take us home to New Manila Friday afternoons and return to La Consolacion (all girls school and my mother’s alma mater) on Sunday afternoons. That is where we met some of our relatives. Sometimes, relatives visit us in San Fernando. Tatang Angestal used to takes our cousins at our place whenever they go to the province. I met again one of the daughters, Elizabeth at my niece’s wedding in British Columbia. I heard from Elizabeth that Tatang Estung’s daughter, Tina, an accomplished ballet dance is now living in California.

    It is so amazing how your blog can unite families together past and present but also far and wide.

  96. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    December 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I remember visiting a Ventura family in Cabalantian in the 60’s.
    Would you remember them?

    Belen Ventura Santos, was our neighbor in New Manila and I remember seeing the 60’s popular latin dancer Chito Feliciano there.
    How was he related to them?

  97. December 2, 2009 at 1:57 am

    I have read your blog with great interest. I recognized some of my relatives. My family is related to Don Honorio Tizon Ventura on the Tizon side. Don Balbino’s wife, Juana, is a sister of my maternal great grandmother, Leonor Tizon Santos. Also, Lola Belen Tizon Ventura married my maternal grandfather, Eliseo Santos, (who is brother of my maternal grandmother, Emiliana Tizon Santos Panlilio). Tranquilino Ventur of Pasudeco is my father, and Tranquilino Jr. is my brother who died in 2007. My mother is Adelina Santos Panlilio Ventura. My name is Adelina Panlilio Ventura married to a Sampang (Mexico). My living sisters are Maria Vida Panlilio Ventura Dacumos and Frieda Panlilio Ventura Cariaga. All of my other 5 siblings are now deceased. My grandfather is a Panlilio from Mexico, Pampanga. Nice knowing my relatives on the Tizon-Ventura side. Gideon, I am writing this before you finalize the Ventura family tree. My next project is to build the Tizon family tree. Tizon is a dying lineage, but it is a large family. Any Tizon out there, you can contact my at

  98. Adelina Panlilio Ventura said,

    December 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    My name is Adelina Panlilio Ventura. My family is related to Honorio Tizon Ventura on the Tizon side. Don Balbino Ventura’s wife Juana is a sister of my greatgrandmother, Leonora Tizon Santos. Tranquilino Ventura of Pasudeco is my father and Tranquilino Jr. is my brother who died in 2007. My mother is Adelina Santos Panlilio Ventura. Gideon, I am writing this before you finalize the Ventura Family Tree. Lola Belen Tizon Ventura is married to Lolo Eliong Santos who is a brother of my maternal grandmother, Emiliana Tizon Santos Panlilio. I am trying to trace the Tizon family. Tizon is also a large family. Most of them are in San Luis-San Simon area, some in Bacolor and some in Tarlac. That is a different project I am having. Nice to hear from my relatives on the Tizon-Ventura side.

  99. James Ang said,

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    I’m curious to find out who the ascendants of the late Judge Arturo Joven are.

  100. Friederika Joven Fajardo said,

    November 24, 2009 at 3:58 am

    Hi, My mom is the late Africa Joven Fajardo. She is the daughter Edilberto Joven and Margarita Palma. Ceferino Santiago Joven is the brother of my Lolo Edilberto. My late father is Dr. Antonio Fajardo Almeida also from Bacolor. It brings so much nostalgic memories reading all the comments.
    I am now a resident of Los Angeles, California but will always be proud to be from Bacolor.

    I see notes from Robert Joven Jr and karen Palma Manaloto Arce who are my close relatives.
    I have two sisters, Cielo and Margot and brother Dario who is a professional singer and the Harry Belafonte of the Philippines.
    Thanks to the author of this site. This will keep Bacolor alive.

  101. James Ang said,

    November 19, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    To Robert Joven Jr.:

    According to Ivan Henares, your grandfather Ceferino Alas Joven whom you say was a Jr. was actually the third Ceferino since the civil governor, Ceferino Casas Joven, was already the second. The governor’s father’s name was also Ceferino ( Ceferino Suarez Joven ). By the way, the civil governor had a nephew whose name was also Ceferino ( Ceferino Santiago Joven ), son of his younger brother Francisco. As you know, Francisco was the mayor of Bacolor in 1902.

  102. ROBERTO JOVEN JR said,

    November 18, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I am a descendant of don juan joven. my father is roberto joven sr., the son of ceferino joven jr., the son of ceferino joven, the civil governor of pampanga.
    I’m glad to know the history of the joven family.

  103. Jastine Datu said,

    November 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I love Bacolor ! :))
    I hope that Bacolor will be successful again :))


  104. Karen Palma Manaloto-Arce said,

    October 26, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Hello, this is the first time I have ever come across a site that talks so much about Bacolor Pampanga. Very interesting site. My Parents are Atty. Agustin Manaloto and Sitching Palma-Manaloto. We lived next to the Municipal Building. My father has rebuilt our house there but I can’t seem to mentally connect any longer. I have not visited Bacolor since 1979. I have 4 vcr tapes of pre-lahar Bacolor. The entire town. I wish to have a comparison tape of today’s Bacolor. When my friends tell me about Bacolor I feel so lost, they always refer to me to the old Bacolor. I get so sad to think how much I have missed.

  105. aida chu vigilia said,

    August 28, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Hi Rosario,
    I was a transferee from the Trade School, so I had to take some subjects with the first year HS, and then they changed their ruling and was moved to my proper curriculum. I remember all the people you blogged about. Ligaya David was my classmate. We were the First HS graduates of St. Mary’s. You are right, Bacolor is not the same anymore. We have lost our Bakery and our house. We still come home at least every two years ans we stay with my sister Len in San Fernando or is it Angeles?,Holy Angel Village. I remember, Belen Bognot, Rolando Canlas and Efren(can not remember his last name)

    Till then,

  106. gideon ventura said,

    August 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    hi fabulous,

    if you may,can i have some pictures of Lola Africa, Honorio and Valentine?please send it to my mail

  107. rosarioleobrera said,

    August 19, 2009 at 7:29 am

    hi aida, i graduated year 1971, i think your batch was ligaya david and or enrique roxas, am i right? but you were my classmate in one or 2 subjects under I think Mrs. cruz, or miss cecil rodriguez? we never got the chance to get familiar with each other because we belong to different group then, and I remember you left at once, i dont remember anymore why. you were seated always at the front row then, I know you cause your store was very popular then, Charings Bakery, right? and your house sits besides the ancestral house of the buysons. You know last holy week i went to Bacolor. its not the same anymore. our school, st.marys academy is nowhere in sight. only desert like sand occupies the area.The places ( palengke,n the trade school etc) are different from the Bacolor, where we spent our youth. Sometimes, when i am alone, i use to sketch the houses in the paglimbunan, line by line starting from the martinez residence at the other part, and cross over, from the Sicat house, which eventually became a Lenon poulry, and who owns them too. That is how I miss our sunken town. opps, am getting too sentimental. but you know, i am really very happy, cause thru this blog, i have found a long lost classmate.By the way, my batch then, were, Rodolfo Alviz, victoria joven,lilia Chu, enrico cruz, edilberto pineda, lucy palma,(ive lost contact with them now) I am sure, you know, the beautiful strict German sisters, Sis Diethilde, Sis. Micaeles,Sis. Consuelo and Sis Ines (the strict math teacher) Sis. Alicia (very sweet with the boys) and the handsome Mr. Buenaventura(who became Ms Rodriguez husband ) I dont know if you still remember Mrs Estandarte( our GMRC teacher) Mr. de los Santos (our physics teacher) and I wont forget Mrs. Maria Cruz, the perfectionist teacher, and Mrs. Real who always gives a surprise test when she gets angry with us. Ha ha ha , after all ths years I still remember. and most importantly, you know what inspire me writing all ths? coz I found you classmate Aida… Regards .

  108. mia faustmann said,

    August 18, 2009 at 11:43 am


    do you have your family tree? Jose Ventura was the son of Valentin, brother of Honorio. Would really like to know how the puzzle works out


  109. gideon ventura said,

    August 15, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    kindly send me the pictures of Don \Honorio, Valentine and Balbino if possible to my mail and i will send the pictures of Don Victor, and Geronimo Ventura to

  110. fabulouslawyer said,

    August 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I have a picture of the Dona Africa’s family on my blog.

  111. aida chu vigilia said,

    August 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Hi Rosario,
    Thank goodness you acknowledge my blog, what year did you graduate from St. Mary’s? I think I graduated 1967 or 68, we were the first class to graduate from St. Mary’s.If you know any of our classmates please ask them to blog.


  112. rosarioleobrera said,

    August 3, 2009 at 9:48 am

    i got a chance to read your blog.It was accidental. but i had fun reading it. Its bringing back the good ol days. am a true bloodied bacolorena. Some of the affluent personalities though I didnt actually see them, and old residences are familiar to me, I got the chance to see some houses cause I spent my youth there. Until this time, there are times that even in my dreams, the scenarios (call me sentimental) were parts of the old Bacolor. .The big beautiful ancestral houses around the paglimbunan, the wide gardens of every homes, the kalesas, the old century church are truly worth remembering. Even the church patio where the musicos did their serenata during the La naval fiesta which falls on the 3rd sunday of November, and that of San Guillermo feast on Feb 10 still lingers on my mind. Since our house is just a stones throw away from the church. I got to read one comment, that of Ms Aida Chu. I think were classmate b4 at St. Marys. I also know Charings Bakery. My mom use to buy her stuffs there..

  113. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    August 2, 2009 at 12:09 am

    this is getting exciting.
    the BUYSONS circa 1800’s had a CUNANAN, with ancestry originating from Baliuag, Bulacan.
    That must be the link of Don Julian Buyson with Don Honorio Hocorma Ventura.
    The Buyson-Cunanans were from Baliuag Bulacan.
    Don Julian Buyson even has a street named after him because of his philanthropy in Baliuag proper.
    Parallel to Buyson street I think is the Cunanan street in Baliuag proper.
    I believe the Buysons were originally from Baliuag and they married into Capampangan families.
    One Buyson, Alexa was married to Jose Aniceto de Leon of Bacolor who was the “escribano” of Pampanga.
    Our branch, Julian married Maximina Genuino y de Jesus of Bacolor. There are still de Jesus relatives in Bacolor and the Genuinos are from Candaba which is adjacent to Baliuag.
    I remember meeting mom’s relative Cesar Genuino in the late 1960’s who was married to Hilda “Daling” Santos Dizon niece of Lolong Santos.
    Hilda’s mother was Bartola “Tola” Santos-Dizon, sister of Lolong Santos. Lolong had another sister “Dedeng” Paras (?). ( Mia, Ricky should know them ).
    I remember seeing them in my Tita Pitang Eusebio’s house circa 1960’s.
    Dedeng was in the traditional black baro’s saya and Lolong was in all white attire.
    They had loong ears, if that was an indication of long life!
    ( Lolong’s father was also a Teodoro “Dorong” Santos, thus the name Dorong Tola in reference to him and daughter who lived in that grand house. )
    Hilda inherited the largest bahay na bato in San Fernando of the Santoses but she sold it to PNB and the bank demolished the beautiful and grand bahay na bato circa late 1960’s. That was disastrous! They never used the lot anyway, up to now.
    Hilda has a sister Luring delos Santos who is still alive at 92yrs., maybe we can get together with her. Tita Luring was my mom’s contemporary.

  114. mia faustmann said,

    August 1, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Based on the official partition document of the children of Honorio Ventura Hocorma and Cornelio Bautista, the children were : (in order per the partition) Antonia married to Puig (yes I know Melisa as we get together when Tia Maria Puig visits)

    Maria – married to Michels de Champourcin – my branch

    Balbino (married to Juana tizon

    Cristina – Sor Asuncion

    Valentin – married to Carmen Tobar pr Tovar (I knew two of his daughters and granddaughter in Barcelona but they have all died)

    Balbino had four children – Africa, Nunilon, Belen and Honorio. We were closer to Lola Africa as she and my Lola Asuncion were very close. Africa married Teodoro Santos (Lolo Lolong), Nunilon married ? Liongson, and Belen married Eliseo Santos. Honorio did not marry but may have had a natural child Angestal who was adopted by Belen and Eliseo Santos together with another adopted daughter, consuelo.

    Trying to complete the family tree of Tito Gatas, Ricky had me research a website, and I found on the website that there seems to have been two Angestals. One Angestal may have been part of a second family of Honorio I in Ilocos and possibly the second Angestal (if not the son of Honorio II ) is the son of this Angestal. One of the Angestals had a son Tranquilino while the other Angestal used Cunanan and married Luz Valdes.

    Valentin Ventura II (son of Valentin brother of Balbino) – married twice and our family lore is that he disappeared up north – so it must have been to either join his brother Jose or other Venturas up there.

    The one place I have not had time to research is the National Archives as apparently there are a lot of documents there which might shed light on this puzzle.

    I have no knowledge of who Honorio Ventura Hocorma’s parents are but there seems to have been a brother Eulogio. Sr.Padre Pedro Ventura – was a priest? and like many other priests had “families” so he must have been the origin of the Venturas since he had families in Isabela, Pampanga, and Manila.

    I will try to find time to research the archives.


  115. gideon ventura said,

    July 31, 2009 at 7:23 am

    From the stories foretold by my grandfathers there were seven siblings of Honorio and the others were in Ilocos region. but what puzzles us most is the relationship of Sr Padre Pedro Ventura during the 16th century in Ilocos where his descendants went to Isabela, Pampanga and manila. ours where from pampanga and eventually to isabela. what we cannot connect is the relationship of this Senior Pedro to the parents of Honorio. Don valentin and balbino were in contact with the don Victor and Tranquilino in isabela who we thought to be their first cousins as they were closed to each other. as thought during the war, there were sometime that the pampanga ventura’s went to hiding also to cagayan for some days to their relatives. this we would like to shed some light if possible also from pampanga scholars


  116. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 30, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Mia, Emman, Gideon.
    use these dates as guides in the missing link.

    CRISTINA HOCORMA VENTURA born 1853 died 1923
    VALENTIN HOCORMA VENTURA born 1860 died 1935

    there’s a 7yr gap between Cristina and Valentin. Balbino and Mia’s greatgrandma may have been born between those years.
    Possibly Balbino was born 1858, and he was 29yrs. old in 1887 when his only son and youngest child Honorio Tizon Ventura was born.

    confusion though, if the statement says Cristina was the 4th child of Honorio Ventura and Cornelia Bautista and she was born in1853, does it mean there were 3 kids ahead of her?

  117. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 29, 2009 at 12:45 am

    There is progress somehow. I would be interested to find out the antecedants of Honorio I and Cornelia Bautista and the lost Tizon family.
    Honorio and Cornelia must have been born circa 1820’s in Bacolor too, perhaps Binondo?

    I remember Melinda Moreno Rodriguez-Suntay, the pretty daughter of Rene Hizon Rodriguez and Nenita Moreno mentioning that her mother was a PUIG. And they still have Puig relatives in Spain.
    Her mother had two equally beautiful sisters, Mrs. Rafael Alunan,Jr. and Mrs. Javellana. They were contemporaries of the Buyson sisters. They all spoke fluent Capampangan. Another Capampangan family known for their good looks were the Arrastias.

  118. gideon ventura said,

    July 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm


    it would be very interesting that you lay down the traces that you’ve discovered for us to discuss as we can lay also what we have found. what puzzles us most is the relationship of Don balbino and valentin ventura to Don victor ventura in the northern part of luzon as they visit each other often. the visit stopped only when the old houses of the Parents of Don victor and Tranquilino ventura was burned and bombed. Later on the son of don Victor went to pampanga to live with his cousin Don Honorio Ventura. hence, what puzzles us most is their relationship in the northern part of luzon, as later on the son of Valentin which is Jose went also to cagayan afterwards.
    hoping tomorrow i will call excelso ventura who kept the traces of us.


  119. July 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    It is almost impossible to trace, but I wonder if Cornelia Bautista who married Honorio Ventura y Hocorma was a sister of Jacoba Bautista [ + 1874 ], who became the second wife of Olegario Rodriguez [ + 1874 ], the progenitor of the Rodriguez de Bacolor clan…

    Somehow, I remember Imang Beatriz “Bets” Rodriguez [ o 10 May 1910, now 99 years old ] saying that her clan, the Rodriguez, were related to the Ventura.

    In a discussion with historian / heritage and culture advocate Basilidez “Dez” Bautista some twenty years ago [ about 1988 ] which I witnessed, Imang Beatriz “Bets” Rodriguez recalled that her grandmother “Impung Cobang” Jacoba Bautista de Rodriguez [ + 1874 ] was a native of Binondo. Dez added that his clan, the Bautista de Malolos, also originated from Binondo, as with the Bautista de Malabon.

    Small world as always, at least in the Philippines.

    Toto Gonzalez

  120. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 27, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    from the records of Sor Asuncion Ventura, in the Asilo, she was born CRISTINA to HONORIO VENTURA and CORNELIA BAUTISTA, the fourth child in 1853 in Bacolor Pampanga.
    Apparently from the notes established here, so far, the children of the first HONORIO VENTURA HOCORMA, we presume all with Cornelia Bautista, were BALBINO, VALENTIN and ASUNCION.
    Your great grandmother must have been the 3rd child while Asuncion was the 4th and another female, the fifth child (?) married a Puig. That is if we go by the statement that CRISTINA WAS THE FOURTH CHILD OF HONORIO VENTURA and CORNELIA BUATISTA.
    What would your great grandmother’s name be?
    Perhaps there’s also a Cornelia among the next generation?
    And they followed the Spanish way, they carried the family name VENTURA HOCORMA. The maternal Bautista family name was lost somehow.
    Balbino married a Tizon, Valentin a Tobar.
    Balbino had 4 children Nunillon, Belen, Africa and Honorio ( that makes him the Honorio II , the philanthropist ).
    Africa married Teodoro Santos and had three children: Ernesto, Teodorico and Afriquita.
    It is interesting for the Buysons because we were told of the affinity of the Venturas with the Buysons since way back altho we are lost in the actual connection.
    But Gatas (Ernesto Ventura Santos) was a first cousin of Dr. Jesus Santos Eusebo, Sr. married to my aunt Josefina “Pitang” Buyson Eusebio. And Gatas’ wife Tessie was a first cousin of Elsa Revilla Torres who was married to my uncle Benjamin Buyson.
    ( trivia, Josefina was the eldest while Benjamin was the youngest in the brood of 8 siblings. Dona Africa and my lolo Don Mariano Buyson addressed each other as primo- prima, like wise with Gatas and the Buysons).

    How to complete the puzzle now will be an interesting task.

    I am aware of the fact that there were instances in the past when others would adopt a family name of the godparents when baptized. Or the families would change their baptisimal family names for some valid or strange reasons.

  121. mia faustmann said,

    July 27, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    I have found my notes on the Ventura family tree – and drawn up into family tree format. Am waiting for ricky Santos to give me info on their branch and am just about complete except for the “lost Venturas” Based on my notes, there is confusion between Honorio Ventura Hocorma and his grandson, Honorio Ventura y Tizon, the Secretary of State. His sisters were both married to Santos men – Belen to Eliseo and Africa to Teodoro – Would anyone know if Teodoro and Elise were related in any way?

    there is also confusion between Valentin Ventura y Bautista and hiis son Valentin Ventura y Tobar. Jose Ventura may have been a son of Valentin Ventura y Tobar as my notes only mention Carmen, Valentin, and Maria as the children of Valentin Ventura y Bautista.

    I am using Spanish usage for surnames as that is how they would have used their father’s family name and mother’s family name.

    Dr. Taddy: Belen is a sister in law – she now lives in France.

    When can we set a date – I will invite Ricky and his brothers and sisters to also attend.

    Mia Faustmann

  122. mia faustmann said,

    July 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Am very happy to find out you are finally in touch as the rest of Valentin Ventura’s family in Spain died without descendants. I knew Jose’s sisters, Tia Carmen and Tia Maria and used to visit them regularly from 1961 to qbout 1966. Valentin (Jr) is the brother of Jose, Carmen and Maria and went north after his divorce from Bebeco Pardo de Tavera.

    As far as I know, Balbino is the brother of Valentin Sr. (father of Jose,Valentin,Carmen and Maria); Cristina (Sor. Asuncion), my great grandmother married Michels de Champourcin, another sisiter who married Puig also from Spain. Balbino had Honorio(Secretary of State) who was single but may have had children, Africa who married teodoro santos (children are Teodoro, Ernesto and Afriquits), Belen (who I think is mother or grandmother of Chito Feliciano) and Nunillon. I never heard of this Balbino going up north as he died quite soon after being arrested for treason by the Spaniards.


    I cannot place who the Balbino Ventura you say is your antecedent. It would be good if you listed down your antecedents in order and with dates as going through all the messages, there is Balbino(?), Tranquilino Sr., Tranquilino Jr., Geronimo.

    Going back to the children of Don Honorio Ventura Hocorma, a daughter married a Puig and went back to Barcelona – this line has almost died out but there is a girl married and living in the United Kingdom though we have no idea where;tia Maria, the widow of the youngest, Manolo Puig is still alive but Tio Manola already died and they had no children.

    From the daughter who married Michels de Champourcin, came Asuncion who married Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion from Vigan and Francisco Michels de Champourcin who had two daughters, Henrietta and Maria. Henrietta did marry but no children but Maria died unmarried. I am not sure but I think there might have been another sister who married a de Hazanas but one son committed suicide while the other did marry but died childless.

    It’s very sad but the family names are disappearing ……

    I also know Tia Lulu Liongson is somehow related – this is the lady who used to live in hotels and then finally in Makati Med. Also Tita Rafaelita Hilario Soriano but I don’t know how – we need to trace the family names of the men/women who married into the Venturas.

    will be very interesting to trace family trees – any date suggested???

    Mia S. Faustmann

  123. gideon ventura said,

    July 26, 2009 at 2:57 pm


    i grew up in aparri san antonio cagayan, are you sure that your are the descendants of valentin and not of balbino because balbino was the one who went to cagayan after the war to his cousins in isabela and ilocos who were then the first governor genre of isabela the raphael maramag clan. your family has been known to us all along and we failed to have contact ewith you until we went back to isabela. my grandfather was the first cousin of Don Honorio Ventura who was the late Doctor Geronimo Ventura who was at the same time with the Diosdado Macapagal in UST as they were together in Honorio’s house.My grandfather had a son Father Arnulfo Ventura who was then in Aparri cagayan and at present our house in san antonio is still there. do keep in touch as we are nearly getting our family tree done as excelso who i assume you may know for decades searching the lost venturas


  124. Emmanuel Ventura Gatan said,

    July 26, 2009 at 3:05 am

    We are the descendants of Jose Ventura Y Tovar of Aparri, Cagayan. Jose is the son of Valentin Ventura who was married Carmen Tovar in Barcelona, Spain. We surmise that our great grand father Valentin is the brother of Balbino Ventura. According to family stories, Valentin financed Rizal’s El Filibusterismo. In fact, our ancestral house in Aparri used to have photos of Rizal and Valentin.

    We would also love to find out about our lineage and reconnect our ties with our long lost relatives. You may contact us at

    Dios ti agngina, from the Venturas of Cagayan.

  125. Dr.Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 23, 2009 at 4:21 am

    It would be a pleasure to meet up with long lost Bacolor kins.
    Mia, would you happen to be realted to BELEN FAUSTMAN?
    She was a classmate of my sister, PRIA ( Cipriana ) in Assumption Herran.
    And there was a Miguel Faustman in our pre-med class at UST circa 1968.
    Looking forward to finding out more about the Venturas with you.

  126. toto gonzalez said,

    July 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm


    Thank you. So generous of you to invite us to sort out the family trees — actual Ventura de Bacolor descendants and plain history buffs.

    Well, Mia Cruz Syquia-Faustmann has invited us to put our heads together. Are you ladies and gentlemen — Atty. Sheryl, Gideon, Michael, Dr. Taddy, et. al. — coming?

    Wow!!! A surviving “letras y figuras” painting of a Ventura-Hocorma family member still in Spain!!! And possibly by the celebrated Filipino Old Master Jose Honorato Lozano of Manila!!!


    Toto Gonzalez 🙂

  127. mia faustmann said,

    July 21, 2009 at 4:42 am

    Dear Toto:
    I would be happy to host a get together with you, Dr. Taddy, Gideon Ventura and other lost Venturas in Club filipino to try and sort out our family trees – but let’s bring the available family trees —

    By the way it is Hocorma as my aunt in Spain still has the arte y figuras painting of one of the antecedents.

    Mia Faustmann
    (descendant Champourcin and Ventura-Hocorma)

  128. Asilo de San Vicente said,

    July 11, 2009 at 1:29 am

    To the Family of Sr. Asuncion Ventura of Bacolor, Pampanga, we would like to encourage you to please keep in touch with us at This is the orphanage that Sr. Asuncion Ventura founded, built in 1885, and exists until now. Hope to hear from you soon… we will be celebrating our 125th year foundation anniversary on July 2010. Thank you.

  129. KJB said,

    July 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Crissot was a best friend of Lolo Modesto Joaquin. Together they helped the American’s write the first Pampango-English Dictionary.


  130. July 4, 2009 at 5:37 am

    Regarding the first DON HONORIO VENTURA y HOCORMA [ paternal grandfather of Don Honorio Ventura y Tizon, Secretary of State ], I wonder if the surname HOCORMA was a “Hispanized” Chinese surname like JOVEN [ “Ho Bang” ] and LICHAUCO [ “Li Cha Ho” ] ? Was HOCORMA perhaps “Ho Co Mah”? Quite possible considering the Sangley [ Chinese ] antecedents of several of Old Bacolor’s “principalia” and “ilustrado” families.

  131. Nijel Granda said,

    July 4, 2009 at 3:58 am

    Lolo Taddy,

    Cumusta pu! My mom says “hello.” Bapang Diru and Monching (Roman and Ramon) just celebrated their 52nd birthday a few weeks ago. Both are retired and mostly pass the time playing golf. Everyone is well and we see each other at least once a year during Christmas Eve. My grandmother is doing well and is liveliest while visiting the local casinos. She has many grandchildren and great grandchildren. It seems like there is always a birthday party for one of the kids so we see each other fairly often.

    I never met my lolo Pepito, but I’ve heard many stories about him. I grew up in the house he had built next to the church in San Vicente (to the immediate right of the church). I was sad to see it buried under lahar during my visits there, along with the Granda’s bale matua in Bacolor.

    Hopefully I’ll get to see you when we next visit the Philippines.


  132. fabulouslawyer said,

    July 2, 2009 at 10:38 am


    if you know when don balbino ventura was born and where (maybe in bacolor), you can try visiting the Center for Kapampangan Studies in Holy Angel University. They have the microfilms of the baptismal certificates of Kapampangans way way back even during the Spanish period.

    Good luck.

  133. July 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    If I remember right, the parents of the four Ventura-Tizon siblings Nunilon, Belen, Africa, and Honorio were Don Balbino Ventura and Dona Juana Tizon. According to the Bacolor elders, the Ventura siblings were named after famous places: Nunilon for London, Belen for Bethlehem, Africa for the continent, and Honorio for _____ [ perhaps the Faubourg Saint-Honore in Paris? ]. Don Balbino Ventura was a brother of Don Valentin Ventura who married a Spanish lady [ Senorita _____ _____? ] in Barcelona, Spain.

  134. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 1, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    I understand that Sor Asuncion a Daughter of Charity founded the ASILO de SAN VICENTE de PAUL in 1885. It was she who donated that orphanage in the former Calle Isaac Peral, now U.N. Ave. The funds came from her inheritance.
    Sor Asuncion’s name was CRISTINA HOCURMA VENTURA. That makes her a sibling of Don Honorio and Don Valentin Ventura y Hocurma.
    I can still recall those family names in the lapidas in the parish church of Bacolor, on the rightside of the church facing the side altar below the high windows. It was a tradition to visit the bisita of San Vicente and the main church of San Guillermo before proceeding to the ancestral house. And in the main church we would say a prayer by the lapidas of our ancestors.
    How much have you gone with tracing the Ventura line, perhaps you can share it with us here so other Capampangans will be happy to know that they may be likewise related.

  135. fabulouslawyer said,

    June 30, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    gideon and doc taddy:

    The son of Mme. Afriquita and Dr. Angeles, Mr. Rene Angeles communicated to me once and he said that they are tracing their family tree.

  136. gideon ventura said,

    June 29, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Doc taddy,

    For so many years my grandparents and cousins were tracing our family roots as we were lost there in pampanga. we are the direct descendants of balbino who went to cagayan after he departed with lolo valentin. The Late Honorio was our ascendant and the last heirs of him was my grandfather who were in PASUDECO. One of of the stories foretold before was that we were as the Jovens are from Spain but from Spain IS to mean also from Black americans. hence, combination of spanish origin and black americans. Some evidences of which are available from us if you may. As we are lost in tracking one generation it would be of great help if somebody here knows the father of valentin and balbino ventura as we know only that they are brothers and no sisters after all.


  137. fabulouslawyer said,

    June 29, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Afriquita Ventura Santos married Dr. Alfredo Angeles.

  138. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    What I know about the Venturas is limited to the stories told by the family members. Valentin Ventura was a cousin of Jose Buyson and they were to study in Spain circa 1877 but Jose Buyson eloped. It must have been a scandal then to the point that his father Julian Buyson disinherited him.
    Jose’s son Mariano was close to Africa and Honorio Ventura, making them godparents of his children. They addressed each other “primos”.
    Gatas likewise addressed the Buysons as “primas”.
    Our next block neighbor in New Manila was my mom’s Tia Belen Ventura. Once we visited her and I saw the popular Latin dancer Chito Feliciano there, circa mid 60’s. I do not know if Chito was an apo or nephew or if Belen Ventura was a Feliciano. Incidentally that house was later acquired by Jesus “Susing” Salgado Gonzalez, a first cousin of Toto’s dad.
    Africa had 3 children, Ernesto, Afriquita and Teodorico.
    Ernesto married Tessie Revilla, Afriquita was married to a doctor ( Galang? )from San Fernando but she died young. Teodorico was not married.
    Once we were invited by a Ventura relative in Cabalantian and I remember seeing a studio photograph of Balbino Ventura with his family of three daughters and Honorio was the only son. They were still kids then and I do not know if there came other kids after that.
    Also that property of a religious congregation in Isaac Peral, now U.N. Ave. has at it’s gate a plaque saying that it was a donation by a Ventura lady who was a religious, (Sor.Asuncion?).
    And before the lahar, in the parish church of Bacolor, on the right side of the church on the wall were the beautiful lapidas in Spanish, of the Ventura and Buyson ancestors.
    Too bad no one has documented the family tree then but hopefully someone can start it.

  139. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    June 23, 2009 at 10:15 am

    That was serendipity, meeting your parents in that cruise to Mexico. They were in a big group of Capampangans, several were from San Vicente Bacolor. I was delighted to hear stories about the Buysons from them. They all knew the “bale maragul”, a virtual landmark then. Two Joven sisters were the nieces of our dear Tita Nieving Joven Bunuan, their father was the doctor brother of Tita Nieving. They said it was predictable to see the Buyson sisters in their Joven reunions, about the only guests they would have.
    There was an elderly man, Miranda was the family name and what he remembers well was the stately funeral of my grandfather in 1937. The hearse had 6 white horses and escorted by uniformed men. I remember the story told that it was Mr.Antonio Quiogue of Funeraria Nacional who directed it, the horses were brought in by train to San Fernando. That the wake had to transferred for two days from the house to the Teatro Anacleta infront as requested by the townspeople. Don Mariano Buyson was well loved.
    Those from San Vicente said it was a tradition to see the Buyson sisters at the 8am mass during the 22 Jan. fiesta. That I know, they were devoted to San Vicente and it was a must to stop by the chapel before we would proceed to the house. Their maternal ancestral house was right beside it.
    The elderlies remembered the Buyson house as a happy house. The windows were always open as compared to the other houses, the windows were always closed. It was busy with visitors on weekends “dacal awtu paligid” and they would see the sisters jolly “lupa lang sinambut sweepstakes”.

    Nijel I remember your lolo Pepito, he was tall, fair with an imposing personality. “Lupa yang artista” was how they described him. He would always command his children to kiss the hands of the elderlies. “Siclod kayu” . And he would be proud of the two sets of twins. We remember Diru as the playful one. Could you tell us how everyone is now?

  140. gideon ventura said,

    June 18, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    hi doc taddy,

    its great that written something about your past and roots and its only now that we’ve known that you are related with us the venturas. my direct grandfather is balbino the brother of valentin ventura. its sad that we don’t know much of our relatives in pampanga as grandfather valentin died in europe and lolo balbino went to northern luzon we lost track of our relatives there. my grandfather is doctor geronimo ventura same as sponsored by lolo honorio with as you know the father of our dear president macapagal. please do give us some details to enlighten also our roots as we lack two generations in our family tree. your help is greatly appreciated.


  141. Jose Nijel Buyson Granda said,

    June 4, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Wow, I haven’t been to this site for a while, but am glad to read from relatives! Cumusta pu lolo Willie…yes I’m Pepito’s grandson (I was named after him). I guess I’m a Buyson twice… Jose Aniceto de Leon-Alexa (Aleja?) Buyson had a daughter, Filomena, who married Francisco Granda. They had an only child, a son named Fernando Granda. (Fernado was a cousin of Jose de Leon who founded the PASUDECO.) Fernando married Silvina Neri and their children were Salud, Cesar, Carlos, Rafael, Juanita, Fernando Jr, and Vicente. Carlos Granda’s youngest son is my dad, Antonio Granda, who married Estelita “Baby” Buyson, Pepito’s eldest. My mom says “hello,” she says she saw Taddy a few years ago while on a cruise to Ensenada, Mexico. I hope you are well…


  142. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    May 23, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Don Mariano Candido Buyson y Lampa was born in Bacolor on 25 March 1881 to Don Jose Buyson y Genuino, actual cabeza de barangay de Cabambangan, Bacolor and Dona Paula Lampa Baldivia San Clemente, mestizos, in that large bahay na bato close to the parish church of San Guillermo.
    Don Mariano was married to Dona Maria de la Paz Angeles y Miranda of San Vicente, Bacolor..
    They had 8 children: Josefina B. Eusebio, Antonino, Carmen, Luz B. Gomez, Emiliana B. Gonzales, Asuncion B. dela Cruz, Pilar B. Villarama and Benjamin.
    They were all born in Bacolor except for Pilar who was born October in Manila, feast of Nuestra Sra. del Pilar.
    Before the war they all resided in Calle Nebraska, Ermita, Manila.
    But their hearts belonged to Bacolor.
    After the war they religiously went to Bacolor in January for the fiesta in San Vicente. They went there for the Holy Wednesday procession for their San Pedro.
    And in November for the Todos los Santos and La Naval.
    In our childhood circa late 50’s we the cousins looked forward to those family affairs. We loved the Capampangan food like pindang damulag, pindang babi, betute, native small hito and fat dalag with buro and mustasa, pancit palabok, kilayin, lelut, the tamales from Cabalantian, the espasol from San Fernando behind the capitolio, the roasted casuy of Allies San Fernando, the sorbetes (buko sherbet).
    Then we took home turrones de casuy and petite fortunes of Lansang from Sta. Rita, San Nicolas from Mexico, chicharon from Guagua.
    In the 70’s it was the ensaymada of Imang Beatriz plus her mangga halea, the chicken pastel, buro talangka and kilayin which we took home.
    Those were what grew up enjoying and we only tasted them in Bacolor and not the special fiesta food which we easily had in Manila.
    Our neighbors there were surprised we asked for the ordinary fare when invited and did not care for the fiesta dishes like the morcon, mechado, lengua estofada, arroz ala valenciana, embutido. We only touched the chilled fruit salad made of imported canned fruit cocktails plus Nestle’s cream.

  143. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    May 20, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Dona AFRICA VENTURA SANTOS was a relative of my grandfather Don Mariano Buyson.
    In fact her son Gatas addressed my mom PRIMA.
    I think she also had a daughter named AFRIQUITA,
    Dona Africa was the baptismal godmother of my aunt Pilar Buyson Villarama.

    Our great grandfather Don Jose Buyson was set to go to Europe with his cousins the Valentin Venturas circa late 1870’s but fate intervened, he eloped with a beautiful young mestiza from Bacolor, Paula Lampa-Baldivia San Clemente. But that’s another saga…

  144. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    May 20, 2009 at 10:35 am

    Bacolor was called the ATHENS of Pampanga, I heard that from Dr. Mariano Alimurung who was our medical director at the Makati Medical Center late 70’s.
    Bacolor was the birthplace of several prominent Pampanguenos who excelled in their fields nationally and internationally.
    He showed me a book he made where he compiled them and it was indeed impressive.
    I wonder if there is still one that exists.

    If you remember the “paglimbunan”, or poblacion where the procession passed was lined by beautiful ancestral houses in large estates. The residential lots were cut in no less than 2000sq.mters.

    The La Naval I was told was a grand homecoming for the colegialas who were “internas” in exclusive schools in Manila and they had guests from Manila for the affair.
    Our house was repainted yearly for the fiesta in anticipation of the Manila guests.
    It was known that a special cook from Sulipan was the “general” of the cusina then.
    There were cooks for occasions, they claimed.
    “mey pang araw-araw, mey pang bisita at mey pang fiesta, taga Sulipan”.
    An ordinary stay-in cook for everyday fare with alalays was common.

  145. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    May 20, 2009 at 8:21 am

    where that first CALTEX STATION of Don Chu at the corner was , facing the Trade School, was part of the Buyson residential property, which occupied the two corners facing the Trade School.
    Don Chu was renting the place and Poca was renting the “accesorias’ infront of the market from my mom’s family.

    The landmark Buyson residence infront of the Trade School was originally the Don Ceferino Joven residence. It was reputedly the grandest house that era.
    Jose Rizal was a guest as well as American Gov. Generals after, as Don Ceferino was an influential political figure then.
    Yes the pressed metal ceiling was the only one of it’s kind. It had different designs for each room, vines and fruits at the dining area, floral in the living room, geometric in the bedrooms etc. And handpainted.
    Juez Mariano Buyson acquired the house from the descendants of Don ceferino circa 1916.

    in the late 1960’s Charlie Valdes sent an emissary to my mom to ask if he could buy the original Don Ceferino house from my mom for sentimental reason.
    My mom’s reply was certainly, on condition that the de Leons would likewise sell the original Buyson house to her too…

    You are right, the Valdes – Gonzales residence had the best in lay out for the “modern times”. But that was only pre war, much the same time as the Lazatin-Singian house in San fernando. The reason why they already utilized the ground floor for the “sala” and the second floor for the private rooms.

  146. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    May 20, 2009 at 7:54 am

    My dear Toto
    First of all my warm greetings to a cabalen.
    I read hastily the items here and I got excited, now I do not know where to begin.

    That imposing house mentioned in San Fernando, which is now a hotel, at the corner of the main church.
    Originally it belonged to Gobernadorcillo JULIAN BUYSON, circa 1850’s.
    Then it was acquired by the family of DORONG TOLA.
    ( Don Teodoro Santos had a daughter Bartola, where the name Dorong-Tola evolved, and another daughter ASUNCION, married DON ANDRES EUSEBIO, father of Dr. Jesus Santos Eusebio, married to Josefina “Pitang” Buyson.)

    From San Fernando, Julian Buyson settled in Bacolor with his second wife, Maximina Genuino y de Jesus.
    Julian again had the largest bahay na bato in that town, as what seemed to be his ambition.
    They had an only child JOSE BUYSON born in that manor, circa 1857.
    Maximina Genuino was the daughter of Juana de Jesus and Licenciado Albino Genuino.
    In that house was where my direct grandfather was born in 1881, Juez Mariano Buyson y Lampa.
    The house was later acquired by the Jose Aniceto de Leon-Alexa Buyson family of Don Peping de Leon.

    I mentioned my ancestors’ names to enlighten you on what those major statues in the front altar of the San Guillermo parish church signify.
    It was Julian who was one of the benefactors of the reconstruction of the church and to honor his loved ones had their patron saints enshrined.
    San Jose in memory of his only son Jose Buyson.
    San Albino in memory of his father in law Albino Genuino.
    San Juan Nepomuceno in memory of his mother in law Juana de Jesus.
    San Maximino in memory of his beloved wife Maximina Genuino.

    How’s that for starters!?

  147. Aida Chu Vigilia said,

    May 17, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Good Afternoon,

    This is wonderful to read the history of Bacolor, Pampanga and their early settlers. We grew up in this quaint little town, my parents were the owner of Charing’s Sari-Sari Store and Bakery, located right beside the PSAT, a.k.a. Don Honorio Ventura Arts and Trade School. Our father was one of the first Chinese merchant settlers in Bacolor, together with his brother Poca, his nephews Luis, Pepe, and Ben Chu. Don Q ( Poca’s son-in-law owned the only Caltex gasoline station in the early 1950s. Our father Tuna was a very hardworking, honest person and met our mother Lazara Del Rosario who hailed from Tinajero, Bacolor, Pampanga. The two were both widows, our father had a son in China and our mother had three children from her first husband, and had our “OWN” yours, mine and ours family. Our parents, spent their life providing us with the best things in life and the best education. Our parents always supported the town’s festivities and I, Aida, had always dreamed of one day attending the “OLD LEGS” as soon as I would grow up and become a professional. I got married early at the age of 18 and immigrated to Canada in 1974 and began our life there. My siblings, Ben, Babes, Bong, Lito, and Juancho followed. With the strong values and beliefs our parents have ingrained in us, we all have a good life in North America. To this date, I still wish I can attend the “Old Legs.” Hopefully, it will be resurrected again, with all its pomposity and glory.

    Thank You, Toto Gonzalez.

  148. April 28, 2009 at 6:33 pm


    Thank you so much!!! I am sure Aldrin Tayag will appreciate your response.

    Even I will look for that CD!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  149. scarlatti said,

    April 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    It might interest your reader Aldrin to know that the Bacolor version of Stabat Mater is intended for a string and marching band ensemble. If he wants to listen to it, it was made into a CD a few years ago by the Center for Capampangan Culture & Arts when the center commissioned a group of musicians headed by the composers’ great great grandson to digitally record the string ensemble version of this Good Friday processional march. All four opuses of Pablo Cordero Palma’s Stabat Mater are in this CD. With regards to the lyrics, he can Google info on this since Stabat Mater has been in existence since the medieval times and several great composers have put this hymn into music.

  150. April 1, 2009 at 12:07 pm


    You will have to go to Bacolor, Pampanga, attend the Good Friday procession, and introduce yourself to the Palma family with your request. I don’t think you can download Bacolor’s “Stabat Mater” on YouTube just yet. 🙂

    If I remember right, Bacolor, Pampanga’s singularly haunting “Stabat Mater” was composed by a member of the Palma family in the late 1800s; the descendants compose the string ensemble accompanying the ladies’ choir singing the “Stabat Mater” as it follows the very old “Mater Dolorosa” of the Malig family during the Good Friday procession.

    Toto Gonzalez

  151. Aldrin Tayag said,

    April 1, 2009 at 3:14 am

    how can i find the lyrics of the song “stabat mater” and its chords?

  152. gideon ventura said,

    March 11, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    hello michael girman and sheryl,

    i read your blogs and seems that your also looking at our roots in the same blanket of venturas. i have some details of which i can share with you coz for the past years i and my cousins are searching for our family tree which traces us back not only from the chinese mestizos but from the spanish and french origin.

    thank you and keep in touch

  153. Titanons said,

    January 27, 2009 at 2:07 am

    I am a descendant of the Joven/Malig family of Bacolor. My sister has told me about this site and I’ve visited before. Today I happened to take a look at your site again and just read all the threads. There was a recollection made by Mel Sison of July 29, 2008 regarding his Holy Week vacation at the invitation of his friend who lived in Bacolor. From what he described, I believe he spent the week in the house across my aunt’s house in Cabambangan. My family grew up in Manila, but when we were kids, my sisters and I would always spend the holy week in Bacolor to give my mom and dad much needed respite from us kids. The last name of the family with whom Mel Sison lived escapes me for the moment (alzheimer???), but I distinctly remember that they were the ones who sang and played the violins during the Holy Friday procession. While my sisters and I and our cousins were playing on my aunt’s front yard, or just sitting on the fence of the house, or climbing the santol tree in front of the house, we would hear the choir and the violinists rehearsing. Of course this was the much anticipated procession. Mr Sison so described it vividly. It’s exactly the way it was done. He failed to mention, though that the people who joined the procession, walking along the sides with lighted candles (“sulo”) had to dress up to their best, too. It was really a very solemn procession. You don’t hear any music while the “pasos” are passing by. You just hear the swish of their hemlines against the pavement while they walk. And we , the spectators will be lighting candles on our window sills or on our fences and just keep silent. Thinking back now, yes, I agree it felt eerie. But at that time, all I felt was just awe and reverence. The choir and the musicians will be at the end of the procession, behind the Via Dolorosa (which is owned by the Malig family) and the dead Christ.

    Thank you, Mr Sison for a very nostalgic piece of writing. I visited Bacolor last November after 10 years of being away. I just felt the incredible loss of historical treasures.

  154. jerico culala said,

    January 15, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    sir tnx 4 bringin back gud old memries i hope with the bill that was pass by the congress which will give a large amount of money to the local government to restore bacolor will bring this once beautiful place to its former glory

  155. jerico said,

    January 15, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    tnx 4 writing of how glamorous the town of bacolor was back in the days…i was still so young den but i can still remember the old church…..and the beatiful ancestral houses…..the food during fiestas…and how warmth and welcoming the people were….

  156. rey quizon said,

    January 6, 2009 at 7:53 am

    bacolor such a beautiful place back in the 80″s, could still remember my alma mater don bosco, also the puto seco of cabalantian and the balasubas of talba . i missed those sasa palm fruit from tinajero.

  157. Merilyn Bognot Redman said,

    January 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Thank you for the article. I am proud of my heritage. I love Bacolor.
    At this day and age we need to look back and relfect of the happy
    times we had during our childhood in our hometown. Thank you so much

  158. Bestre Beroy said,

    January 1, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Good article!!!

  159. Noli Mallari said,

    December 31, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Your article reminds of the town I grew up in the 50’s. I am amazed at the accuracy of the description of those ancestral houses as I remember them and the personalities I saw personally. The “Bale Sim” you mentioned is in our neighborhood. Those truly were the glory days of Bacolor. Another annual event that is worth mentioning is the “Old Legs” ball which is attended not only by the prominent people of the town and province but also of Manila. Keep on writing these interesting articles.

  160. Cassandra Manago said,

    November 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Hello my name is Cassandra Manago, my grandfather is Europe Manago Sr. he live in a small town call Crawfordville, Georgia not far from Atlanta Georgia this is my number 706-424-3266 and my email address I’m looking for some family memeber.

  161. gideon ventura said,

    November 17, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    hello toto,

    my father who does not speal about his past just told us that we’re from pampanga ang my great grandfather was don honorio. my father used to live before in Isabela cagayan valley, his father was the late doctor geronimo ventura who was also the first elected mayor in our town. his story was then that his father was sponsored by the late honorio ventura same with the father of our dear president right now. my father seldom tell us about his stories but we hear only from our neighbors. i knew only two granfathers of mine the then TRanquilino ventura who was in PASUDECO and his son who just died tranquilino p ventura. please do help me with this information to keep in touch with our relatives in pampanga and makes us known to them that we’re looking for them to trace our hisroty.

    thank you

  162. October 31, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    dear sir toto,
    I am actually amazed on how vivid your recollection and history of the former Bacolor, you’ve just rejuvenated my fond memories of Bacolor(though I am graduate of Holy Angel University I am not aware of that center for kapampangan studies there). I am actually from Parulog, since lahar hit our historic town it was my dream to see again pictures of the old Bacolor. I have a friend who stays in L.A who told me about your blog and I said I’ll give it a try since I really love to see pictures. I am right now living in baltimore, maryland as a physical education teacher. I would really appreciate it if you can help me find one so that I will have something to share with my students as far as culture is concern.
    Kudos to you sir! Hope to see Bacolor soon.

  163. santA_santitA said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    you can also visit the University of the Assumption Archdiocesan Museum. They have paintings of old churches and ancestral houses there.

  164. santA_santitA said,

    October 10, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    arnold abad rivera said:

    Mr. Alex Castro may be of help to you if you are looking for pictures. I believe he collects old photos of Pampanga. His blog is “Views from the Pampang”. Visit him there. Good Luck.

  165. September 17, 2008 at 9:30 am


    Thank you for finding your way here.

    Definitely, Bacolor town has come back to life. The old church has been conserved, the public market reconstructed, the DHVCAT the Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Trades reopened, well-designed contemporary houses built all over town, and the year-round traditions zealously revived. The soul of Bacolor town has returned.

    As for the technical documentation of the town prelahar, I have no idea. I doubt if there are any documents, plans, or photographs at the new Bacolor municipal hall. Perhaps there are a few documents and photographs you can see and peruse at the Pampanga provincial capitol. You might be able to locate and study some archival materials — documents, plans, and photographs — at the JDN CKS HAU Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles city; it is an excellent repository of all things Pampanga.


    Toto Gonzalez

  166. arnold abad rivera said,

    September 16, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    H Toto,
    I’ve been reading your blog and it has been very helpful on both an academic and personal level. I attended the Don Bosco Academy in the early to mid-80s when it was still in its original location in Bacolor. I am now an architect in Los Angeles, California. After having seen the devastation brought on by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, I felt compelled to conduct a research study on the aftermath. I’m trying to find some old town plans showing original building locations and photographs of both public buildings and private homes that were affected in Bacolor proper. Would you have any information on where and how I might be able to obtain such information? Ultimately I am very interested in how the residents have coped with all the devastation of this cataclysmic event. I am interested in finding out what the government both on local and federal levels have done to aid the recovery of the displaced residents. As an architect I am keen on finding out what policies where put in place in terms of rebuilding and /or recovery of both public and private buildings. the change in existing grade has certain impact on property boundaries and infrastructure. I feel that this is an important study in order actively involve the international design community in making a positive impact on natural disasters such as this. I’m looking forward to hearing your response.
    Dakal a salamat po.

  167. September 10, 2008 at 1:30 pm


    I am very honored that a distinguished personage like you, a former vice-governor of Bulacan and a former congressman, has found his way to this silly blog of mine. I was introduced to you and your wife Tetchie Battista-Villarama many years ago during the “La Naval Fiesta” in your Buyson-Angeles ancestral house in Bacolor by your first cousin Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales. I was also introduced that evening by Taddy to his mother Atty. Emiliana “Diding” Buyson-Gonzales and to your elegant mother Pilar Buyson-Villarama.

    I remember your Buyson-Angeles ancestral house well. Yes, it stood along the highway across the Arts and Trades School. It was in what the Filipiniana scholars Martin “Sonny” Imperial Tinio and Fernando “Butch” Nakpil Zialcita termed as the Floral Style of the 1880s. It had a beautiful “escalera principal” principal staircase with large Victorian-style balusters, carved, tall, and majestic double doors, carved arches, and old chandeliers. Most distinctly, it was the only “bahay na bato” / mansion in Bacolor [ if not Pampanga ] with conserved Victorian Era stamped metal [ tin ] ceilings. There was also modern, long green carpeting that ran through the rooms to prevent the elegant Buyson ladies and their guests from slipping on the wide and polished “narra” plank floors.

    If I remember right, Taddy Gonzales once mentioned that the Buyson-Angeles mansion was originally the residence of Don Ceferino Joven, the first appointed Civil Governor of Pampanga during the American regime.

    The antique image of “San Pedro Apostol” and its silverplated “carroza” which participated during the annual “Maleldo” / Holy week processions belonged to the Buyson family and emerged from their house every Holy Wednesday late afternoon.

    According to the Bacolor elders, behind the Buyson-Angeles mansion stood the modest house of Laureano Sarmiento and Ines Lugue and their many children; that was the house where the Bacolor grande dame Luz Sarmiento-Panlilio [ widow of Jose Panlilio y Santos Joven ] and her spectacularly successful youngest sister “The Jeweller” Fe Sarmiento-Panlilio [ Mrs. Jose Lazatin Panlilio ] grew up.

    Should you have the time, please regale us with the memories of your happy childhood in Old Bacolor…


    Toto Gonzalez

  168. Willie Buyson Villarama said,

    September 10, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Hi relatives & everybody. Am so glad I chanced upon this blog & read many familiar names, relatives, etc.. Being 64 years old, e naku high tech. In fact I had to call a computer expert to ask what URL means, a requirement I have to fill up in order to post a comment. My mom, Pilar, belongs to the Angeles-Buyson of Bacolor. My favorite 1st cousin who was a politician like me was Kuya Pepito Buyson & I have a strong suspicion that Nijel is related to him. My email address is Am spending most of my time in Clark rather in Bulacan where I was a Vice-Governor & Congressman. Our house in Bacolor, the one in front of the Trade school, disappeared after Pinatubo erupted. I passed by the place once in a while. This was where I had fond memories of my childhood. Hope to hear from my relatives.

  169. August 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm


    Hi rich Valdes cousin!!! I’m so glad to see you here!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  170. Gabriel Valdes said,

    August 25, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Dear Toto,

    While browsing found this site. Wonderful, wonderful, it’s nice to read and remember stories of Bacolor again. I am so proud to be from Bacolor. Please continue and more power.

    Gabby Abad Santos Valdes

  171. jay-mee malit pallasigui said,

    August 2, 2008 at 8:54 am

    sir toto,
    i salute you for having this strong recollection of bacolor’s greatest memories. i am coming from the roots of galang family residing behind the bacolor municipal hall and beside the “bale sim” near the sta. ines lucky i am to see all these great wonders of “villa de bacolor” just before the pinatubo eruption. i finished my elementary years at st. mary’s academy then my high school at don honorio ventura college of arts & trades, then my bachelor’s degree in architecture at manila. we moved to guagua after the last lahar experience in 1995. i am presently residing now in UAE practicing my field. but just before i left the philippines, i used to work at the engineering office of bacolor municipality.
    me myself couldn’t believe that i’ll be working someday with office where i only used to play on its court & garden and interacting with the people whom i used to see since my childhood and becoming my colleagues. at present, there are already a number of people who are coming back to their hometowns and started to build houses. still, there’s really no place like home.
    you can see a great progress back there now in bacolor since they already open the old mcarthur road connecting the san fernando & guagua area. most specially, residents would gather during these local feast days of barangays, la naval and the holy week.
    it’s been a yearly tradition that my entire family would join these celebrations on which i really missed. during these events, we can see the present generations of the prominent bacoloreno families that along the stretch of the whole procession, my grandma would indentify them to us. most especially apung beatriz.
    matula ku at pagmaragul ku na meragul ku kening lugar a meging parti na na ning pangatau ku. dakal a salamat koyang toto kening obrang apiisip mu. nung atin ku man asaup nung nanu man pabalu mu na kanaku.

  172. mel sison said,

    July 29, 2008 at 4:02 am

    Dear Toto,

    I remember all too well during my senior year in high school, when I was invited by my classmate to spend the holy week in his hometown, Bacolor. Living with my family in a rented apartment in Makati, the invitation was a welcome treat.

    In a couple of hours, we were at our destination, Cabambangan. Since his uncle drove, our first stop was to say a prayer at the Church of San Guillermo, and during that visit, his uncle saw some of his friends building a huge altar for the Visita Iglesia, it was half finished, but one can see how grand it will look. We then proceeded to the Bacolor cemetery where his uncle paid his respects to his departed parents. Not far from the church was their place.

    We entered a high wrought iron gate and passed by a series of oliva trees, then their house emerged, it was large and more contemporary in design compared to those antique looking grand houses we passed by on the way. His uncle said it was built in 1919. From those high French windows of the house, I can see a lot of people and can hear singing. I was told it was a rehearsal for the Good Friday procession. We were met by his aunt who was so happy to see us. We proceeded to our room. So as not to disturb the rehearsal, we passed through a long narrow corridor were various musical pieces and instruments were kept (I did not know my classmate was from a musical family). Our beds had carvings and 6ft four corner post supporting a canopy that serves as a mosquito net. I was told that the beds, as well as all the furniture in the house were made by the craftsmen from the neighbouring town of Betis. I was just surprised when I saw several huge kalderos of cooked food under my bed, and my classmate had containers of mangoes, lanzones and bananas under his. He just told me to be quiet, that is how they do it there!

    That night, at the veranda, we witnessed the Holy Wednesday procession. I still remember the long procession of several antique images of the passion of Christ and some saints. My friend’s aunt told me that they belong to the prominent old families of Bacolor some families even devote the entire earnings of a property for the saint’s upkeep.

    But nothing beats the Good Friday procession. It was solemn. I remember seeing people walking bare feet all covered in black from head to ankles carrying different symbols, my friend & I agreed that they look creepy! His aunt told me they are “pasos” and those carrying them are some of the distinguished people in the province, covering their faces as a panata. That night alone, his aunt said, there was an ambassador, there was one of the founders of the biggest sugar mill in Pampanga, there was the wife of the solicitor general and the son of the owner of a huge pharmaceutical firm in Manila. Through the years, she said, even if their faces are covered, you will know who they are and from what family they belong to from the symbols they bring.

    Then the virgin arrived. My friend’s aunt said its the “mater dolorosa”, dressed in gold embroidered velvet & lace and wearing real jewels, the image I was told has been with the owners for generations. The ladies in black dresses, (the ones rehearsing) were singing “stabat mater” with a string ensemble and band. As the santo entierro arrived, it too was preceded by men in barong singing, this time, the funeral march. In Bacolor, the laity as well as the young and the old, the rich and the poor all join hands to observe the occasion, such pageantry, I never saw in Manila.

    After the salubong that Sunday morning which was also a spectacle in itself, we had to leave for Manila. I wanted to stay longer, enchanted by the place and the kindness of the Capampangans, but we had to come home. The consolation I had was when my friend told me we will be back in November, this time for the fiesta, and I just couldn’t wait. His aunt gave me some pasalubongs for my parents, wrapped in brown paper and tied with strings were longganisa and pindang.

    I have been a regular guest of this wonderful family for several more years before lahar took it all. My friend’s aunt had to evacuate to Manila until she passed away a couple of years ago. And my good friend now lives in the US where his mom remarried an American and decided to stay there.

    Toto, I stumbled upon your blog accidentally and I am glad I did, you brought back fond memories of a past that I hold dear.

  173. Blue Blooded Yaptster said,

    June 24, 2008 at 3:57 am

    This is a comprehensive rundown of Bacolor’s Royalty…. i am so impressed Toto! I’m learning…keep ’em coming.



  174. GERWEN LUGUE said,

    June 24, 2008 at 2:42 am


  175. GERWEN LUGUE said,

    June 24, 2008 at 2:41 am


  176. Sheryl said,

    June 15, 2008 at 1:16 pm


    Thanks a lot.


  177. Michael Girman said,

    June 14, 2008 at 12:25 am

    You’ve proven your kindness.
    Thanks so much!!

    Maraming Salamat

  178. Sheryl said,

    June 13, 2008 at 11:40 am


    Yes, I found out that I am not the only Sheryl Manago in this universe but I believe I am the kindest. Hahaha.

    Toto will send you my e-mail addresses. I’m sure both of them are working.


  179. Michael Girman said,

    June 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Pare, you’re the best.

    Maraming Salamat

  180. Michael Girman said,

    June 12, 2008 at 5:03 pm


    I thought that you were lost. I googled you name and found references to someone with the same name who just passed the nurses’ exam in Manila, but no attorneys. Toto said that the email that he had for you didn’t work. I was about to give up on ever finding you.

    I am curious about the stories that your grandmother told you about Dona Africa Ventura who is, I believe, either my wife’s grandmother or, possibly, her great-grandmother. I am hoping that you will share those stories with me and confirm that this woman in your grandmother’s stories is my wife’s relative.

    If you prefer, I’m sure that Toto will provide you with my email address, and we can correspond directly.

    What’s a “personero”?

    Eagerly awaiting your reply
    Maraming Salamat

    Michael Girman

  181. Sheryl said,

    June 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm


    Hi. Anything I can do to help you?

  182. June 10, 2008 at 4:21 pm


    Yes, of course. There was only ONE Dona Africa Ventura who married Don Teodoro Santos and She was your wife’s paternal grandmother.

    I will put you through to Atty. Sheryl Manago as soon as permission is given.

    Toto Gonzalez

  183. Michael Girman said,

    June 9, 2008 at 10:40 pm

    Dear Toto:

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

    In item 14 above:

    Atty. Sheryl Manago said,

    May 30, 2008 at 7:09 am

    “dear Toto, do you have any news about the Venturas? My Lola Maria used to tell us stories about Dona Africa Ventura and Don Honorio Ventura. My great grandfather was their ‘personero’ …”

    Toto, do you think that the Dona Africa Ventura that Sheryl Manago refers to was my wife’s grandmother or even great-grandmother? Can you put me in touch with Ms. Manago or forward to her my email address?

    Maraming Salamat.


  184. June 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm


    Don Teodoro Santos and his wife Dona Africa Ventura [ sister of Don Honorio Ventura ] were among the richest and most prominent figures in San Fernando, Pampanga from the early 1900s to the PreWar. The palatial Santos “bahay na bato” mansion fronting the town plaza survives to this day as the “Pampanga Hotel.”

    Ernesto “Gatas” Ventura Santos was a prominent business and social figure. He was among the most affluent, most handsome, needless to say the most eligible of Pampango bachelors in his time.

    I do not have enough material on Don Teodoro Santos and Dona Africa Ventura, and their son, Ernesto “Gatas” Ventura Santos. I will have to refer you to the JDN CKS HAU The Juan de Dios Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, Pampanga. It is a fantastic repository of All Things Pampanga. I am sure you will be able to contact them online.

    I also want to refer you to two good friends of mine, the historians Ivan Henares and Alex Castro, whose blogs are in my Blogroll. Just click and contact. Ivan Henares is a full-blooded “Fernandino,” a remarkable scholar, and knows Everything about Old San Fernando, Pampanga. Alex Castro is a very successful advertising executive, curator of the JDN CKS HAU, and has a great collection of old photographs and I do remember having seen images of Ernesto “Gatas” Santos among them.

    Good Luck in your search, Michael!!! Do not hesitate to contact me for further inquiries. You can email me at .

    Toto Gonzalez

  185. Michael Girman said,

    June 9, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    Dear Toto:

    I stumbled across your blog while attempting some research about my wife’s family — specifically my mother-in-law. The first anniversary of her death is this week and, while I was reflecting on the impact that this wonderful woman had on my life and while remembering the trip that my sons and I made to Manila to attend her funeral last year, I was poking around the Internet looking for any information about her.

    I was married to Cecilia Africa Revilla Santos, Ceil was the middle daughter of Ernesto V. Santos and Teresita Revilla. Ernesto was known to everyone as “Gatas” or, more simply, “Gats.” Gats was from Mabalacat, Pampanga. His parents were Don Teodoro and Africa Santos who first lived, I believe, in San Fernando. My wife was named after her paternal grandmother, Dona Africa. Gats passed away in February 2001. My beautiful wife passed away a couple of months later that year in May.

    Formal, individual photographic portraits of Don Teodoro and Africa hung on the walls of my in-laws’ “sala” in their home in Horseshoe Village, QC. The portrait of Dona Africa was striking: She was posed full-length in an elaborate ethnic butterfly dress alongside an intricately carved “narra” wood chair. She looked expressionlessly directly into the camera. She appeared regal and imposing.

    During long after-dinner conversations, Gats and Tessie used to tell many stories about life in the PreWar Philippines. Both Tessie’s parents died during the Japanese occupation. I distinctly remember stories about his Dad taking a China clipper sailing ship to California to where he attended school at UC-Berkeley. Both Gats and his brother, Ted, also attended school in the States. I drove up to Mabalacat and San Fernando many times with Gats to visit his farm and, while we drove, listened to stories about his childhood in the famous house in Pampanga that was built on the hill next to the Kamikaze airfield. Gats said that the house was destroyed during the war. It was sort of a family joke because one of Gats’ nephews spent a fortune digging up the surrounding fields on the advice of a fortune teller who told him that General Yamishita’s treasure was buried somewhere nearby the old house. Unfortunately, all of the PreWar photos of the house were lost during the war.

    Toto, can you provide or point me to any information about Gats and his parents? Do you know of any resources where I might find an old picture of the house?

    Maraming Salamat,

    Michael Girman
    Cresskill, NJ

  186. May 30, 2008 at 7:30 pm


    The Venturas were, indeed, one of Old Bacolor’s most affluent and prominent families. Their “bahay na bato” mansion was on the site of the present Bacolor municipal hall. But they had already left the old hometown and settled in Manila and elsewhere long before the war.

    Don Honorio Ventura y Tizon was the philanthropist who financed the education of one Diosdado Pangan Macapagal from the nearby town of Lubao, Pampanga.

    Toto Gonzalez

  187. Atty. Sheryl Manago said,

    May 30, 2008 at 7:09 am

    Dear Toto, do you have any news about the Venturas? My Lola Maria used to tell us stories about Dona Africa Ventura and Don Honorio Ventura. My great grandfather was their “personero” ( I don’t know if that’s the right word ). She told me that they had a mansion in Tarlac on top of a hill. Another in San Jose, City of San Fernando, as well as, in Manila near the Pasig River but she could not remember anymore where exactly in Manila. According to her, when she was just a little girl she would oftentimes accompany Dona Africa Ventura during All Saints’ Day.

    She also told me that President Diosdado Macapagal and Atty. and Dr. turned Congressman Emilio Cortez, Sr. were the scholars of Don Honorio Ventura. Sometimes they would give her money.

    Your blog is wonderful. I love Bacolor. Too bad I won’t see the elegant mansions anymore.

  188. April 30, 2008 at 4:05 pm


    How wonderful to meet a “Michels de Champourcin” descendant!!! The French-Spanish-Pampango “Michels de Champourcin” were a prominent family of Old Bacolor, Pampanga but they were thought to have transferred to Manila and consequently lost without a trace.

    A good friend, William “Bill” Syquia Daland, has always spoken of a Syquia – Michels de Champourcin connection…


    Toto Gonzalez

  189. mia faustmann said,

    April 30, 2008 at 8:49 am

    The Champourcins did marry into the Pedro M. Sy-quia – I am a granddaughter of Asuncion Michels de Champourcin and Pedro Sy-Quia. I would love to know more about Pampanga.

  190. anne malig said,

    April 22, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    amazing! my dad is right. bacolor is rich in history. i love my dad’s hometown and am proud to be a capampangan.

  191. Nanette said,

    March 5, 2008 at 4:52 am

    to Beny Arceo,

    All is well with my family, hope yours is too! Thanks for the message, you and my mother were definitely related… guess, it’s a big family to know each and everyone. Glad you had time to see the “Baleng Maragul” in Capalangan. Tatang Lacanilao is Tatang Piong ( Olympio ) husband of Mama Rita, Apung Kiko’s youngest daughter. But anyway… here’s my email add: .

    Yeah, looking forward to hear from you and meet you and your family.

    To Toto… Thank you for letting us use your space!

  192. jenny said,

    January 29, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    Dear Sir,

    I can’t help but cry… because you help me remember the way Bacolor was when I was young.

    I still remember the old days: the resplendent mansions, the old neighborhood, even the old San Guillermo Church in all its majestic glory beside the St. Mary’s Academy. Vigan pales in comparison with my old hometown. I was around 5 or 6 yrs old when Mt. Pinatubo erupted. And I know Imang Beatriz very well… because my family occupied the house right beside the mansion within the compound ( green roof ). Since I didn’t have any friends around my age, I usually played with the child of one of her househelp. Whenever I was around, she would give me sweets, chocolates ( always imported), aside from her delicious “ensaimada,” custard, or “nata de coco” which she always baked and prepared.

    I remember the Rodriguez mansion all too vividly… my playmate and I loved playing in the secret garden. Apung Beatriz of course would always look for us, scold my playmate for being such an influence, but nonetheless, she was such a dear, dear woman. She would look after me like a mother hen, and would even force me to sleep in the afternoons ( my parents usually returned only in the late afternoons from work ) with the promise of something when I woke up.

    Then you mentioned the paintings… I do remember them. The patriarch was the focal point of the main receiving room. Before one could reach the “sala,” the guests could either come from the main entrance: a small receiving room with black and white square floor tiles; with a small, tall circular wooden table with a vase of flowers in front of the wide “narra” stairs, leading up to the said “sala”; or they could come from the back of the house, quite near the old “garahe,” the L-shaped stairs with plants and vines along the side leading up to the dirty kitchen ( where Apung Beatriz usually cured her homemade hams ), then into the “sala”…

    The two other paintings were placed side by side in one of the bedrooms, that, if my memory serves me right, was occupied by three antique beds. I used to be so “kulit,” asking them who those people in the paintings were. And the maids as well as Apung Beatriz ( whoever had the misfortune to be in that room with me that time ) would always say, “Kamag-anak ning Apung Beatriz. Kakulitan ng bata na nine…” and “Kamag anak ko, Jengjeng.” respectively.

    Apung Beatriz’s bathroom, despite the mansion’s antiquity, boasted of a modern bath tub, and take note, a bidet, and the tiles were in light pastel green.

    She loves to cook and prepare a feast; whether during fiestas, and other special occasions. The food, well, I’m afraid I can’t find the words to describe her cooking. Heavenly perhaps? But that might be an understatement. And two of her nieces are always present, but I only remember the name of only one of them — Tita Evelyn. She’s also kind. Apung Beatriz as far as I can remember, is also very religious. A “carroza” in her garage is always polished whenever there’s a procession, for it would carry her religious statues — Jesus on His cross, Sto. Nino, or Mother Mary ( I really can’t remember which ). As a young girl, I tried to scurry home whenever they would start their novena. But all to no avail. 😛

    Your site sir, I really can’t thank you enough. I thought I’d never again remember my happy childhood. Again, sincerest “Thank you”. 🙂

  193. beny arceo said,

    June 8, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    dear toto, yes you are right, those are my impung atang’s brother and sister. it’s nice to know we are related, so is nanette. i really enjoy reading your website, funny is an understatement. i have learned a lot about my arnedo roots thru you, you are amazing. do you know anything about my grandfather benigno vergara arceo, they call him caviteno. keep writing and enjoy life… thanks and i hope to see you someday.

  194. beny arceo said,

    June 8, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    dear nanette, hi how are you?i hope all is well with you and your family,nice to meet you. yes we are related.your great grandfather apung kiko and my grandmother impung atang are brother and sisters,younger sister of apung kiko. he always stop by to see my grandmother whenever he is in plaza,very handsome man .i took my children 2 years ago to see the bale maragul,saw imang miling and tatang lacanilao,cant remember his first name, regards to them.i hope to see you and toto someday.God Bless!!

  195. May 14, 2007 at 11:28 am


    Thank you for finding your way here.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post, even if it’s not finished yet.

    You’ll be glad to know that our beloved town of Bacolor, Pampanga is rising again. The Bacolor Public Market will be resuming operations soon. The Old Church is continually being restored. Beautiful new houses are rising all over town. Business establishments will be following soon. The Old Religious Traditions are being zealously revived.

    Toto Gonzalez

  196. Crisanto Abad Santos Evangelista said,

    May 13, 2007 at 1:22 am

    This just brought me back in time to the good old days! Great job!

  197. March 8, 2007 at 11:14 am


    Yes, Pampanga has produced some of the loveliest women. Ever.

    Even the adorable Melanie Marquez.

    Toto Gonzalez

  198. Alex Castro said,

    March 8, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Luz Sarmiento y Lugue (Panlilio) was Miss Bacolor 1933 (competed in the Pampanga Carnival 1933, Jose Gutierrez David was the Director) and was also a candidate to the 1934 Manila Carnival, together with another Luz–“Lucy” Pamintuan y Centeno and Guagua’s Remedios Ybarra. Happy, beautiful memories!

  199. Amy Franco Tizon said,

    December 14, 2006 at 6:42 am

    I am just amazed with your memory and how you put it into words.

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