Nuptial Splendor

Last night, We attended an unbelievably beautiful wedding at a “hacienda” outside Manila.  For an evening, We were spared of all the unpleasant realities of life in the Philippines which, hopelessly enough, cannot really get its act together. 

The bride was the daughter of a prominent stockbroker and investment banker and an heiress to a jewelry and real estate fortune.  The bridegroom was the son of a retired [ American ] Citibank executive and an heiress to a vast plantation.

The Wedding Ceremony at the Chapel of the “hacienda” was straight out of a Luchino Visconti movie.  All was Splendor and Magnificence.  Before an altar presided by life size ivory “santos” and sheathed in antique panels of chased solid silver, The Couple was surrounded by large candles in antique church silver candelabra [ from The Family Collection ] and cascades of white orchids.  The bride wore a strapless gown by an American designer, the groom wore a specially designed “barong tagalog.”  Several priests celebrated The Wedding Mass.  A grand choir sang beautifully during The Mass as a full symphony orchestra played.  Elegant sprays of various exotic white orchids decorated the chapel.  The assemblage — the aristocracy of the day — was as soignee as the setting.  The ladies were beautifully made up and coiffed, wore costly couture gowns of rare fabrics, and glittered in splendid jewels; the gentlemen were attired formally in expensive and exclusively designed “barong tagalog.”  Expensive French perfumes and eaux de toilette punctuated the air.  Actually, the congregation would have expired from the splendorous surfeit were it not for the efficient airconditioning system.

After the requisite pictures at the altar, the families of the bride and the groom and their guests showered the couple with flowers as they left The Chapel.  Hundreds of live butterflies were released along with a pair of white doves.  The Couple rode in an elegant antique black carriage [ from The Family Collection; the kind used for blue ribbon driving in England ] drawn by four splendid horses.  A merry procession to The Manor commenced led by a band, little girls in angel costumes, dancing couples in Filipino attire, and men carrying lanterns, banners, fiesta decorations, and woven arches, The Newlyweds, and their guests riding carriages used in the farm, and another band.     

The approach to The Manor was utterly magical.  A very great number of Tivoli lights generously draped all of the trees fronting, around, and at the back of The Manor.  Actually, the vast grounds, the gardens, the fountains, the statuary, and The Manor itself were gorgeously lit by floodlights on all angles.  One quite literally forgot that he was in the Philippines…




  1. Maria Teresa M. Evangelista said,

    June 4, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Hi to all my relatives…the big Mercado Clan! I am Maria Teresa Mercado Magtuloy-Evangelista, a direct granddaughter of Don Monico R. Mercado. My mother is his youngest daughter, Irene Andres Mercado (my dad, Faustino Luna Magtuloy). Like Incong Moneng, and some other co-Mercados, I love poetry. It’s my legacy from mommy and him. Please, just google my name, or simply Maria Teresa “Marites” M. Evangelista, so you will come across my poems, in English & Kapampangan versions (and type same name so you’ll get into my videos at YouTube), at United Poets Laureate International UPLI, Parnasong Kapampangan, Academia Ning Amanung Sisuan Int’l, Kawatasan Kapampangan WordPress, etc. I deliver my Kapampangan poems over the radio in Pampanga, DWBL 91.9FM, every Saturday 8pm to 9pm.

    I used to write poems whenever Aug. 28 comes for my beloved uncle, Tatang Daniel Mercado Sr. I have fond memories of him. He loved poetry very much, and so with Tatang Entong or Dr Felixberto Mercado. I hope I will meet my other relatives who love poetry as well. We should be proud and happy to share our legacy. We should also be proud of our Kapampangan blood! Godbless, MARITES

  2. Ann Dayrit Lee said,

    April 6, 2010 at 2:26 am

    We are happy and proud to invite the Mercado Clan on our upcoming wedding, December 4,2010 @ The Manila Cathedral and reception will follow at The Shangrila Hotel Makati. – Alvin Calma Mercado & Ann Dayrit Lee

  3. Lowell Lorenzo said,

    March 30, 2010 at 4:42 am

    correction on my previous comment: Francisca Mercado (Apung Paquita), is the daughter of Monico & Tomasa Mercado.

  4. Lowell Lorenzo said,

    March 30, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Here is a 1989 video clip from of Francisca Mercado (Apung Paquita), grand daughter of Monico & Tomasa Mercado demonstrating Pampanga Country Cooking. She is with my grandfather, Francisco Lorenzo (Apung Quitong), grandson of Catalino & Alejandra Andrea Lorenzo. Apung Paquita’s family has the heirloom kitchen utensils of Maura Lorenzo (Apung Orang). Video courtesy of Grace Mercado. Here is the link to the video:

  5. Ann Lee said,

    March 12, 2010 at 4:56 am

    I was amazed that one of Mercado forefathers was an engineer. By the way, me and Alvin are both engineers! In God’s grace, we can be blessed by more engineers bringing MERCADO for their last name.

  6. Ann Lee said,

    March 12, 2010 at 4:39 am

    By the way, I was raised up in my dad’s hometown Imus,Cavite but I am working as the country manager for CONVERGYS Makati. My fiancee Alvin is currently working in South Korea.

  7. Ann Lee said,

    March 12, 2010 at 4:37 am

    My mother is from the family of Dayrits in San Fernando,Pampanga. First cousins with Dr. Manuel Dayrit. I am so happy that soon I will be marrying a Mekeni. I will be back to my mom’s hometown.

  8. Ann Lee said,

    March 12, 2010 at 3:59 am

    Hi. My fiancee is Alvin Calma Mercado of Magalang, Pampanga. I got curious about the genealogy of Mercado Clan cause I will be soon bringing that surname as well!

  9. Presy Guevara said,

    January 30, 2010 at 5:10 am

    Kitz, thanks for the clarification on the noble name of your town. I have always wondered about its origin when I first read it spelled with the x. I remember the joke about a female American Peace Corps fresh from college making an overseas call to her parents in Massachusetts. The mother fainted when she heard her report as: “We’re slowly progressing from Sex-moan to Make-a-baby.” Now, I’d like to know how Macabebe was so named. Anyone?

  10. KITZ MERCADO said,

    January 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Everyone,

    I stumbled this site and nice to hear exchanges of messages especially my relatives, the Mercado’s of Sasmuan. I would like to share about our town Sasmuan. Our town got its name from the word “sasmo” which means meeting place in the old Pampango dialect. From oral traditions they said that in the olden times the “datus” or leaders always held their meetings in this place that it was called Sasmuan. And during the American regime the Americans cannot pronounce properly its name and thus they change it to Sexmoan. But it became a laughing stock especially those from other towns of Pampanga, thus its original name was restored.

  11. Aurora Mercado Abrera said,

    September 26, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Karina, isn’t it fun to meet all these people who might be relations? So did you find Stella’s sites? You should ask Luz about the bloggers on ballet. It gets pretty interesting.
    Dick, how are you doing? Last I saw you I was still at Marymount College in the 50’s and you were with the US navy?. You can email me at Identify yourself as I don’t open mails I don’t recognize.
    Thanks to the ‘cousin’ who started this site. From the dates by the writers it has been on going for years now.

  12. Enrique Romero Simpao (Dick) said,

    July 22, 2008 at 10:25 pm

    I am happy to have run across this blog. I knew the Mercados of Sasmuan, Aurora or Baby as I remember her was the only daughter of Daniel Mercado. We were playmates during the evacuation in WW2 at their house in San Nicolas 2. The children of Don Monico are my god parents, pakyao daw. I would like to email Aurora if I could get her address. Her cousin, Marites Mercado Evangelista is my god sister.

    I would appreciate a connection to her. Thanks

  13. Regina Juco said,

    July 11, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    and oh you can email me at in case i forget to check this site

  14. Regina Juco said,

    July 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Hi everyone. I just googled Don Monico Mercado today because I was curious to learn about my great grandfather. My father, Jose M. Juco, Jr. is not close to his extended family so I don’t know much about the history. His mother is Dulce Juco, daughter of Don Monico Mercado. At least that’s how I understand it to be. We had paintings of Don Monico in our house in Paranaque and in the house in Malate (my grandmother, Ma. Dulce Juco, runs the St. Martin de Porres Chapel). I loved reading about these stories because it’s a part of my history that I know nothing about especially since I grew up here in the US. Any more information about this would be much appreciated.


    btw, i currently live in boston

  15. Karina Mercado Erlichson said,

    April 7, 2008 at 2:56 am

    Hi to everyone, I am Karina Mercado Erlichson ( currently based in the East Coast ). Great to read these exchanges. It’s like a refresher course on our family history. I’m also a first cousin of Catherine. My parents are Hector Magpayo Mercado and Eva Arguelles Limjoco. I was googling Tita Aurora Abrera’s daughter, Stella Abrera ( American Ballet Theatre ballerina ) when I stumbled upon this site.

  16. Jun Sibug said,

    October 30, 2007 at 8:15 pm

    Re: entry 7 that reads;
    December 18, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Toto and Yangsky,
    Hello to both of you. I might be of assistance. Mariano Jimenez Mercado
    was married to Catalina Rivera Limpin. These were the grandparents of Don Monico Mercado who was married to Dona Tomasa Hizon Lorenzo. They were from Sasmuan and were the biggest fish pond owners there. Monico’s
    father was Capitan Romulo (Obong) Limpin Mercado.
    If you need more information, google Mariano Jimenez Mercado and you will see a family picture and also a family tree. If you google Daniel L. Mercado,
    you will see a profile on him. Daniel is the son of Monico Mercado.


    Now and again I read this article which I believe was started by a regular author of the Singsing magazine of the venerable Center for Kapampangan Studies. “ Don Monico Mercado was a second cousin of Dr. Jose Rizal and that they were classmates in college.”

    I do not have a more appropriate description for this statement except that it is a blatant lie. It does not even qualify as an honest mistake. Our national hero is 14 to 15 years older than Don Monico Mercado. For them to have been classmates either our national hero would have failed and repeated his subjects many times, started schooling late or Don Monico was a super genius as to be accelerated to have caught up with his alleged cousin. Furthermore, our national hero did not have the surnames from his rightful ancestors’ surnames. Mercado was adopted by his Chinese ancestor Lam-co upon being baptized and Rizal was adopted by his father Francisco under the Claveria decree. In his own words he said it plainly and here is the English translation of his letter to F. Blumentritt;

    “When you write to my brother, address him Paciano Mercado . . . After the sad catastrophe (1872), he had to leave the university since he was a liberal and the friars did not like him because of his having lived with Burgos. At that time, I had to go to Manila to study, and in order not to have difficulties in my studies, I was advised to use our second name, Rizal. For some time, I am the only Rizal because at home my parents, my sisters, my brother, and my relatives always preferred the old surname Mercado. Our father’s name was in effect Mercado; but in the Philippines there are many Mercados who are not our relatives. There was an alcalde, a friend of the family, who used our name Rizal. My family, however, did not mind this, because even now I alone use the name. Accordingly, does it not appear as if I were an illegitimate son?

    My father and all my family remain valiantly united permanently loyal to the Filipino party, and my brother is much braver in exile than he was before. My whole family now carries the name Rizal instead of Mercado because the name Rizal signifies persecution. Good. I want also to stick with them and be worthy of the name of the family. . . .”

  17. Carla said,

    October 2, 2007 at 7:09 pm

    Kuya, i am very much interested regarding the family history of the hizon clan of pampanga.

    i am from dona asuncion vilage, bo. pampanga, davao city. the village where i am residing is owned by the hizon family ( my mama told me that it used to be a hacienda long ago ). a certain vicente hizon sr. named bo. pampanga ( my place ) after his home place pampanga. in fact, all the streets here are named after places in pampanga, like san fernando, apalit, bacolor, mexico, etc.

    kuya, can you enlighten me why there are existing hizons in davao city? what was the reason for their transfer from pampanga to davao?

    thank you!

  18. Joe Vicente said,

    August 2, 2007 at 6:24 am

    I read with much interest all the comments on this site. I am very much interested in knowing more about the Vicentes and Limpins of Sasmuan. My great-grandfather is Faustino Vicente and he was married to Catalina Limpin. I would like to know more about them and their ancestors.

    Thank you.

    Joe Vicente

  19. Mariano Banting said,

    June 27, 2007 at 4:40 pm

    Greetings Mr. Gonzalez, et. al…

    I love reading these stories and posts: how things were and the subsequent deterioration of Sasmuan and many of our cabalens leaving a town once described by my ancestors as having a clean river and beautiful church — basically a beautiful town. A few questions and clarifications you might probably answer for enlightenment:

    1. I am confused, some say the Americans bastardized the original name of present day Sasmuan; thus calling it “Sexmoan.” Others say the Spaniards renamed the town and spelled it “Sexmoan” which makes sense to me because I was told that the letter “x” was common in Castillian Spanish or the Basque region of Spain. (Of course the Spaniards where not referring to any sexual connotations unlike today’s perverted society.) So what country promulgated the spelling of SEXMOAN?

    2. I would like to find out about the Regala, Laxa, Mangalindan and Banting surnames of Sasmuan because these are my parents’ last names/roots. I also hear stories from the older generations of how things used to be and the good life. (I have collected old family photographs from both sides — even of Spanish priests Fr. Mallo and Fr. Gorrosary with notes written in Spanish by Nicomeda Regala and Epifania Regala on the back.) So any information social, political or historical will help.


    Mariano Banting IV

  20. Asciel Navia Hizon-Morco said,

    May 8, 2007 at 11:38 am

    Hi! I’m Asciel Navia Hizon, granddaughter of the late Joaquin Marquez Hizon and Anicia Bachiller-Hizon. I’m the only daughter of Cielo Romeo B. Hizon and Asteria Navia-Hizon. We are five siblings in the family, namely: Cierome, Rociel, Jacques and Cielo Romeo Jr. and me Asciel, the eldest. I am looking forward to meet and trace our clan.

  21. Catherine Mercado said,

    April 6, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Hi Natalie,

    I presume this is Natie Tioseco? OMG how are you. Of course, I am the same Yayeen from Vancouver. Asked them once about you and they said you went back to Manila. I am actually going home in June or July. Send me an email with your contact info so I can call you.


  22. natalie said,

    March 31, 2007 at 6:35 am

    Catherine: are you by chance also called Yayeen ( formerly of Vancouver); cousin of my Mercado cousins of SF? Long time no hear!

  23. Catherine Mercado said,

    March 1, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Tito Louie,

    I got the papers yesterday. Thank you again for sending them. Funny, cuz when I looked at the paper for my family, it was in fact my mom’s handwriting and she was the one who put my children’s name erroneously, lol. Thanks again.


  24. Catherine Mercado said,

    February 28, 2007 at 5:09 am

    Hi Tito Louie (hope you don’t mind me calling you that),

    Thank you so much for sending me the Hizon family tree. It will be a welcome addition to the one my cousin is doing. Actually if you looked at, it has more pictures than the first one you mentioned including Lolo Daniel & Lola Luz wedding picture. Cong Marc, just to clarify, Don Monico & Dona Thomasa were my great-grandparents, one of the sons Daniel Lorenzo Mercado got married to Luz Tempongko Magpayo and bore 5 boys and 1 girl, my dad being the youngest of the siblings and Tito Renato was the 4th, but you will see all of that in the family tree, although I must say that both my children’s names are erroneous in the family tree and I will have to ask my cousin to update it.


  25. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    February 27, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Toto, Catherine and Marco,
    I have sent the papers to Catherine this morning. Let me know when you get them. Marco, you can go to this website, http://daniel and you will see that Don Monico was married to Dona Tomasa. Also, the Hizon Tree done by Jovencio Aguas Hizon also indicates that. Alex Castro and Ivan Henares have mentioned your name to me. They say that you are one of the few Pampanga historians. Take care guys.


  26. Catherine Mercado said,

    February 26, 2007 at 10:08 pm


    I do have a sister who currently resides in LA, her name Ma. Corazon just like my mom cuz they have the same birthday. Actually, my grandmother from my dad side is Luz Tempongko Magpayo-Mercado. If we are related to Bernie Magpayo Nepomuceno, it would be thru my dad’s maternal side.

    How nice that you met my mom. I haven’t gone back to Manila since 2003 but planning to in the next few months for a much needed R&R. Actually, Tita Mariett is here vacationing since Dec 4, and she does visit me often here at home since I work from home 3x a week.

    I hope that sheds some light on how we are related. But Toto is definitely right, Pampanga is so small and almost everyone is related to everyone else.

    Glad you found your way in this blog too just like we did.


  27. February 26, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Many thanks for that introduction, Toto. Actually your late mom and I belong to the same generation, counting from our oldest common ancestors Dr Don Mariano Henson LLD (son of Severino Henson and Placida Paras) and Doña Juana Ildefonsa de Miranda (daughter of Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda and Doña Rosalia de Jesus, the conjugal founders of Angeles).

    Anyway, I came across your blogs because I googled “Monico Mercado” the day after I met Catherine’s mom. Quite interesting, including the subjects of Quiason painting.

  28. February 25, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    Cong Marc:

    Great to see you here!!!

    As Angeles’ foremost historian and heritage activist, you will surely be able to shed light on so many of our questions.

    Friends, Cong Marc Nepomuceno is an uncle / cousin of mine through the Henson line.

    Toto Gonzalez

  29. February 25, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Ooops, sorry about that, Toto. It was Louie Dison West who said that the wife of Don Monico Mercado was Tomasa Lorenzo y Hizon. May have the names of our parents, Louie. They might be in my database.

  30. February 25, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    Hi Catherine,

    I met your mother, Mrs. Corazon H. Tuazon-Mercado, last night (Feb 24, 2007) when she (together with some relatives and former classmates) visited my restaurant, Historic Camalig Restaurant ( here in Angeles. We were introduced to each other by my former classmate, Noel M. Narciso, who is married to your mom’s cousin (the former Christia ‘Tee’ Henson). One of your relatives from Baliti, San Fernando, later told me that your dad was the brother of Renato Mercado, the late husband of my cousin Marieta Nepomuceno Manankil. However, my data shows that the surname of Renato’s mother was Magpayo. Your mom also mentioned that you are related to Bernadette Magpayo-Nepomuceno ( the former president of Holy Angel University), who is married to my cousin Chito S. Nepomuceno. This doesn’t jive with the information given by Toto earlier (hi Toto, komusta na ka?) that “Don Monico Mercado’s wife [was] Dona Tomasa Lorenzo y Hizon . . .” Additionally, can you confirm the information also provided by Toto that “Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Magpayo-Nepomuceno, [is] a granddaughter of Don Monico”? Your mom mentioned that she’s a relative of your dad’s, but stopped short of saying that she’s a niece.

    My database shows that you have an older sister named Ma. Corazon. Is this correct?

  31. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    February 9, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Will be happy to send you the write-up on Daniel. It is well written and really tells a lot about him. I think it was written by somebody who lived in Sasmuan and who apparently idolized Daniel. I will also send you the Hizon – Lorenzo family tree where Monico and Tomasa’s family up to the grandchildren are mentioned. E-mail me at so you could give me your address. Hopefully your aunt will have stories to tell about your family. Monico was a good orator and a very skilled writer. My grandfather knew him well because they were both party members of President Quezon where my grandfather ran for Congress but lost to Pedro Abad Santos. Monico was a good politician, intelligent, and a total class act.

  32. Catherine Mercado said,

    February 9, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Hi Louie,

    I see that we are distant relatives. Unfortunately, I do not have much stories to tell since my dad died at such an early age(40 years old). I am sure my aunt will tell you more stories, when she gets back from travelling. We are in the process of compiling a family tree and you might be able to help with the much needed info from your side of the family. I would really like a copy of the 7 page internet write-up if you still have it and I too have been searching for Lolo Daniel’s write-ups but found none recently.

    Catherine Mercado

  33. February 8, 2007 at 4:07 pm


    Oh, OK. Got it!!!

    Thank you!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  34. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    February 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm

    Tomasa and Maura were the children of Catalino Lorenzo and Alejandra Hizon. Alejandra was the sister of Anacleto Hizon. So, they are first cousins of my Lola Felisa.

  35. February 8, 2007 at 3:41 pm


    It’s great to see you around again!!!

    How small Pampanga was, and still is: How were Don Monico Mercado’s wife Dona Tomasa Lorenzo y Hizon and her sister Dona Maura first cousins of your grandmother Dona Felisa Hizon y Singian [ de Dison ]???

    The only Mercado I know is Dr. Bernadette “Bernie” Magpayo-Nepomuceno, a granddaughter of Don Monico. She was a great friend of my late uncle, Brother Andrew Gonzalez, F.S.C..

    Toto Gonzalez

  36. February 8, 2007 at 3:34 pm


    That’s sooooo decadent!!! And sooooo Italian!!! How sophisticated!!!

    The Quiambao are an old family from Macabebe.

    The Henson are an old family from Mexico. They also established themselves in San Fernando, and from there to Culiat [ Angeles ].

    The Tuazon are an old family from Bacolor and Mexico.

    The Angeles branch of the Henson spawned the current Nepomuceno Clan of the city. In the late 1800s, Dona Maria Agustina Henson of Angeles, Pampanga married Don Pio Rafael Nepomuceno of Lucban, Tayabas.

    Toto Gonzalez

  37. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    February 8, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Toto:
    Hello to you. Have not been active lately but am still reading the interesting
    stories here.To Aurora and Catherine, do you have any stories to share. I am
    curious about my grandmother’s first cousin, Tomasa who is Monico’s wife and also Maura, Tomasa’s sister who took care of Daniel when he was young.
    There is a seven page write-up on Daniel Mercado, the Engineer which I have. I somehow got it in the internet but when I try to look for it again, I
    could not find it anymore. Hoping to hear from you guys soon.


  38. Catherine Mercado said,

    February 8, 2007 at 1:35 am

    Hi, My name is Catherine Mercado, great-great-granddaughter of Romulo Mercado from Burlingame, CA. My father’s name is also Romulo Mercado, younger sibling of Aurora Mercado Abrera. I used to hear these things from my grandfather how the mass never started until Don Romulo was in church, and even stories of how Don Monico (great grandfather) used to carve a small hole in the middle of a queso-de-bola then put olive oil in it then wait patiently for a slug to appear and then get a glass of port and eat the slug with it… As children, we were always so grossed out to hear this story. I am glad my aunt told me about this site, it does good to remind us about how glorious our ancestors lived their lives.

    I am curious though since on the mother side my grandmother is Aquilina Quiambao Henson Tuazon, but originally from Concepcion, Tarlac, are they also part of the Nepomuceno clan you speak about? Although another grandmother, her younger sister did eventually marry a Nepomuceno.

    Catherine Mercado

  39. February 5, 2007 at 12:45 pm


    I’m happy to hear that the remains of Don Romulo and Dona Simona Mercado of Sasmuan have been conserved properly by The Family. But I am still saddened to hear that they have been removed from their old niches at the Sasmuan Church. The “principalia” [ the old landed gentry ] of the town were customarily reinterred along the Gospel and Epistle transepts of The Church. That was History, and that was Pampanga History, and the loss is truly lamentable.

    I really don’t understand what contemporary and sometimes poorly-educated parish priests have in mind when they insist on “leaving a legacy” — often a misguided “restoration” and usually artistically tragic — on the beautiful old churches entrusted by the Catholic Faithful to their care. They should be assigned to small, unfinished, hollow-block “visitas” [ chapels ]!!!

    All Angeles Nepomucenos are of Henson descent. Therefore, they are all related to the late, great Don Juan de Dios Nepomuceno.

    Toto Gonzalez

  40. Aurora Mercado Abrera said,

    February 5, 2007 at 4:28 am

    I no longer live in the Philippines, but rest assured my cousins who still do have taken cared of their remains properly. As for the headstones, those are all gone. At one point they had them on a wall at the back of the church, but at my last visit I could no longer find them. It is sad.
    By the way, is Imang Puring Nepomuceno Miranda part of the Juan Nepomuceno clan? She and her husband Jose Miranda lived in Sasmuan.

  41. February 4, 2007 at 11:29 am


    Thank you for finding your way here.

    You must write about the collective memories of The Mercado Family of Sasmuan and submit them to the JDN CKS HAU Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, where they are compiling Anything and Everything about Pampanga History.

    OhmyGod. How come The Mercado Family did not bother to retrieve the remains and the gravestones of Don Romulo and Dona Simona from the [ demolished ] Sasmuan Church??? That’s a travesty of History!!! How Terrible!!!

    Calling heritage activist Ivan Henares!!!

    If ever that happens to the remains and gravestones of Our Gonzalez, Arnedo, and Espiritu ancestors at the Apalit Church [ who built it!!! ], We will definitely sue the Catholic Church off its pants and withdraw all The Donations of Our Family through the centuries!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  42. Aurora Mercado Abrera said,

    February 1, 2007 at 5:53 am

    How interesting to read about one’s ancestors. I am the granddaughter of Monico Mercado and daughter of Daniel Mercado. To be sure there are tales to be told especially about Obong and Simona. I do have bits and pieces of the grandeur in which they lived. Pity that with the Mount Pinatubo lahar and the subsequent renovation of the Sasmuan Church their grave markers at the church are no more. The renovators piled all their remains without distinguishing individuals. So dust to dust comes to pass.

  43. January 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm


    Thank you for enjoying my silly blog.


    Toto Gonzalez

  44. Karenina said,

    January 30, 2007 at 3:45 pm

    Hi Toto, I am a fan of your blog.

    This wedding was at Hacienda Esc*dero.
    “Popular” indeed! Hahaha!

  45. January 22, 2007 at 6:03 pm


    That’s not a popular destination. That’s a chichi destination. *lolsz!*

    Toto Gonzalez

  46. January 20, 2007 at 2:47 am

    The former sugar estate of the Y*lo family in Laguna?

  47. January 16, 2007 at 11:56 am


    It’s a “hacienda” south of Manila. A popular destination. No, not the Spanish mestizo “haciendas” in Calatagan, Batangas.

    Toto Gonzalez

  48. fgnxgfbfx said,

    December 30, 2006 at 2:15 am

    Which hacienda do you speak of? Jeweler? Real estate? Are you talking about Puerto Azul? Hmmm…or L*isita perhaps? I’ve never in my life been to L*isita although you say it’s a vast plantation and L*isita is vast and a one-crop (which is stupid for the P*dro C*juangcos) plantation.

    Or do you speak of the Jos*n hacienda in G*imba, N.E.?

    Clues please.

  49. December 19, 2006 at 11:57 am


    It is high-minded and noble of you to become the best you can be to make your parents proud and to pay tribute to your ancestors. That is very admirable from any point of view.

    But as for me, I want to achieve for my own sake. Yes, many of my ancestors set high standards of education, accomplishment, wealth, and philanthropy but there were also many insane, selfish, indolent, and inutile characters in the family who destroyed and dissipated what took great effort and sacrifice to build through the years, even decades. Those for me are crimes beyond forgiveness, because I myself know what it is like to establish something with blood, sweat, and tears. In fact, I have a good mind to exhume their remains from the mausoleum and throw them to the landfills or into the Pampanga River!!!

    Nothing gets me more violent than that.

    Toto Gonzalez

  50. yangsky said,

    December 19, 2006 at 1:41 am


    thank you so much for the valuable information, louie! it’s enlightening and much appreciated. it’s nice to meet fellow cabalen’s like you and toto in here in cyberspace. 🙂


    please pardon my idealistic thoughts of doing better for the sake of our ancestors. i do agree that one must create a name all his own and make his own mark in society. 🙂

    i will make it a point to pay a visit to HAU in Angeles City once i gather enough information from my uncle in the US, so that i can do some research about our family’s history.

    all the best, louie and toto.

  51. December 18, 2006 at 3:49 pm


    Meet Louie Dison West. He is descended from the affluent Hizon, Singian, and Dizon Clans of San Fernando, Pampanga, from which so many present-day rich and prominent families trace their lineage. I met him online. I consider him family because many of his relatives are also my relatives. He lives in Fairfield, California. He is very generous to have pointed the way to your Mercado-Limpin ancestry.

    Toto Gonzalez

  52. December 18, 2006 at 3:39 pm


    Thank you!!! That was so generous of you!!!

    Louie Dison West, meet yangsky. yangsky is descended from the Vicente and the Limpin of Sasmuan, Pampanga. He is interested in his family history.

    See yangsky, how Everyone in Pampanga knows Everybody Else???!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  53. LOUIE DISON WEST said,

    December 18, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Toto and Yangsky,
    Hello to both of you. I might be of assistance. Mariano Jimenez Mercado
    was married to Catalina Rivera Limpin. These were the grandparents of Don Monico Mercado who was married to Dona Tomasa Hizon Lorenzo. They were from Sasmuan and were the biggest fish pond owners there. Monico’s
    father was Capitan Romulo (Obong) Limpin Mercado.
    If you need more information, google Mariano Jimenez Mercado and you will see a family picture and also a family tree. If you google Daniel L. Mercado,
    you will see a profile on him. Daniel is the son of Monico Mercado.

  54. December 18, 2006 at 1:46 pm


    If you are interested in your family’s history, you must make the effort to gather whatever information your relatives may have, no matter where they are in the world. Every little bit will help. There are crucial memories which only senior family members have that you will not be able to get from any history book.

    Yes, we all have the obligation to be the best we can be. For ourselves!!!

    I am a full- and red-blooded “cabalen.” My father Augusto Beda Arnedo Gonzalez was from Sulipan, Apalit. My mother Pilar Quiason Reyes was from Arayat and Angeles. My family history is splattered all over the posts and comments of this blog.

    The surnames Vicente and Limpin are certainly Pampango. If they were prominent in Sasmuan, then they were probably descended from [ or allied to ] the Mercado, the principal family of the town in the 1800s [ Don Monico Mercado ]. You might want to visit the JDN CKS HAU Juan D. Nepomuceno Center for Kapampangan Studies at the Holy Angel University in Angeles City, where many Pampango genealogies are recorded.

    Toto Gonzalez

  55. yangsky said,

    December 18, 2006 at 1:04 pm

    wow! you have quite a family history right there, toto. i wish i can hire a geneaologist, so that i can trace my family history since most of my grandparents have passed on and it’s hard for my older relatives to pass on the story to my generation first hand, as most of them are now based abroad.

    from the stories that my mother have told me; our ancestors were urbane, highly-educated and affluent during their time, much like your relatives. an estate in sasmuan and a house in new manila. college education at the ateneo and trips to the US. i almost didn’t believe that my great-grandparents had people holding their umbrella’s for them when they were in town. it seemed surreal to me that my family (maternal side at least) had that much going on for them back in the day.

    i totally agree with you about the present generation and how we should look at our past with affection. we can learn lots from whatever mistakes our ancestors may have done and try to become better versions of them. i myself take after my mom’s side of the family more than my dad’s side, but i want to make both sides proud by being the best i can possibly be, as a tribute to my predecessors glorious past.

    on a side note, where in pampanga are you originally from? my family is originally from sasmuan and later moved to san matias near san fernando. my great-grandfather’s name was catalino vicente y limpin. i already forgot what the name of his dad was though. would you happen to have come across our family name before?


  56. December 18, 2006 at 11:16 am


    Don Jose Leoncio “Pitong” de Leon y Hizon of Bacolor, the first Pampango multimillionaire [ in 1921 ], always warned his son and grandchildren:

    “Abuelos comerciantes
    Hijos disipantes
    Nietos mendigantes”

    [ “Grandparents who are businessmen
    have Children who dissipate their Inheritance
    and leave Grandchildren who are mendicants” ]

    Believe me, it doesn’t take a gambling family member to dissipate the family fortune…

    One branch of Our Family sued each other continually for years, gradually enriching their lawyers and the judges, until they ended up with a fraction of the Assets they were arguing about.

    One member of another family had a dozen mistresses at the height of his fortunes. They were all supported in high style. When He passed away suddenly, his mistresses and many children fought over his estate until it was down to zero.

    One unconventional lady member of another family was [ very ] careless and entrusted her legal papers to her constant companion, a dance instructor. Upon her death, her family was shocked to discover that the dance instructor was already the owner of all her real estate, the co-signatory of her USD $ accounts, and the possessor of all her jewelry [ worth Php 700 million years ago ]…!!!

    One reclusive bachelor member of another family was so distant from his siblings that when he died, They got the surprise of their life when they discovered that all of his real estate, USD $ accounts, stocks, and jewelry [ worth Php 800 million years ago ] had been legally bequeathed to his majordomo [ allegedly his lover ], housekeeper, and other household staff…

    One member of Our Family was so conservative that he simply sat on his many investments, which because of the usual economic, political, and social changes, went bad one after the other, until there was nothing left.

    One pious member of Our Family gradually donated Everything [ Php 400 million years ago ] to Charity leaving nothing — absolutely nothing — to the next generation.

    I’ve seen it all…

    As for my generation, We look back to Our Past with affection, because it was very affluent, highly-educated, elegant, and all that, but we look forward to The Future with eagerness, since We believe in our capacity to outdo our antecedents!!!

    Toto Gonzalez

  57. yangsky said,

    December 18, 2006 at 9:44 am

    thanks, toto.

    the cliche really does hold true that the first generation builds the fortune, the second generation expands it and the third squanders it. in our case it was a second generation member of our clan that gambled away the family holdings.

    though we, the current generation, are living comfortably in a “middle-class” kind of way, we will always wonder how life would have been for us if our family’s business was still “alive”.

    from a sugar cane plantation in tarlac, a coconut plantation in bicol and a construction company and fish ponds in pampanga, it’s such a pity to think that all that is left of the “fortune” is the ancestral house in pampanga.

    i just hope that my generation uses this as an inspiration to be more wary of their finances.

  58. December 18, 2006 at 9:03 am


    Many “hacenderos” lost their fortunes to gambling, which was the fashionable pastime during the Spanish Era. Even when it was prohibited during the American Regime, the rich landowners [ and everybody else ] continued to gamble. And even now, rich businessmen play high stakes at the VIP Rooms of the casinos, and lose much money in the process.

    The most memorable story I was told by the elders was of a grand Central Luzon landowner who gambled many of his “haciendas” away in PreWar. It was during those gambling sprees that my more astute Gonzalez and Escaler forebears acquired thousand hectare “haciendas” in Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Pangasinan from the said “hacendero.” But the Old Man really owned thousands and thousands of hectares [ originally more than 30,000 ], so while He considerably diminished the family fortune, He was not able to completely demolish it. His descendants wisely reinvested what was left after His death and The Family is still Rich to this day.

    Toto Gonzalez

  59. yangsky said,

    December 18, 2006 at 8:37 am

    hello! i just happen to come across your blog by chance and you seem to be very knowledgeable about the alta sociedad in central luzon in the past. i am just curious, because my old uncle used to tell me about how our relatives lost their fortune due in part to the gambling habits of the family patriarch.

    i’m pretty sure that this has a high probability of being a tall tale being conjured up by my uncle, but would you happen to know of Kapampangan family whose story comes close to what i’ve said, so far?

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