Teves town

Of course, Negros Oriental Governor Emilio “Dodo” Macias M.D. reacted suitably when I casually mentioned over the Bais fiesta lunch at Angelo and Ruby Teves’ house [ 10 September 2009, Thursday ] that “Dumaguete = Teves,” at least in Manila circles.  The good Governor — despite being at the top of Negros Oriental politics — was magnanimous and politely agreed that it was the popular perception, at least in Manila circles.

The Teves are generally regarded as a Spanish mestizo family, like so many of the Old Negros Oriental aristocracy.  But according to them, the original family name was actually Tan of Chinese origin.

The most prominent Teves these days is the current Secretary of Finance Margarito “Gary” B. Teves.  He is acknowledged by the clan as a financial genius as well as an upright man of unquestionable integrity.  He is a son of the formidable Herminio “Miniong” Teves by his first wife.



  1. Franco Teves said,

    March 3, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    Nobody really knows exactly the origin of Vicente Anunciacion Teves who was my ancestor. I belong to the 6th generation of Teveses from Vicente. The physical evidence that is more reliable is that in every Teves clan, there would always appear generations with some members showing the Hispanic features, even those deeply mixed with native Filipino families. If anyone has in is or her possession any old photo or painting of Vicente or his children, we can probably be more accurate. As it is, everything is just speculation. H. Teves could probably speak Karay-a because his mother (Lola Basyon) was from Panay, not his father (Lolo Titoy). I used to visit them often when I was a boy. Regarding the question on possible Spanish Jew origins, DNA testing will settle the question. 20% of the people in Spain have specific genetic markers found only in Jews. There were “marranos” or Jews in Spain who concealed their identity during the time of “los reyes catolicos”.Later, some lost track of Jewish ancestry.

  2. Peter Huey said,

    June 8, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    There are some corrections:
    1. Pinili is very native Negrense. Nothing foreign about them – ever.
    2. Teves isn’t descended from Tan but from Vicente-Anunciación Téh (鄭)
    3. They didn’t marry Spanish Jews but simply Spaniards. Some of them are of noble lineage (albeit being untitled hijosdalgos – de Villegas, de Bengoechea), some are of Galician origin (López), Basque origin (de Bengoechea, Sagarbarría, Longa, Yoldi), Asturian origin (Sierra, Rodríguez-?, Ortíz), Catalan (de Vicente, Bouffard), Extremaduran (Belloso, Montenegro) and the list goes on and on… and some are even Caucasians of other extracts (Anderson, Hawkins, Durbin, …) but some are too lax about blood admixture they marry Chinese and natives as well – and are looked down upon. Because the Whiter your blood is, the better.
    4. No Jewish history for the Teh-veses. None at all. Unless Judaism was already in China in the 1600s/1700s.

  3. Jaime Teves said,

    January 30, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    If one were to search a hotel guests database the Teves name shows up only for the Philippines, US, and Israel. This kinda supports the Jewish theory, doesn’t it?

  4. fatima153 said,

    September 23, 2009 at 4:00 am

    What I heard is H. Teves speaks the Karay-a dialect because his father was from a town in Iloilo. But his mother was from the Pinili clan of Dumaguete who trace roots to Spain. The latest generation of Teveses (not Rajo L. etc) are products of intermarriage with the mestizaje including the Bais, Neg. Or. Teveses whose patriarch was said to be of Spanish Jew origins.

    Which doesn’t jive with the claim of some of them that their land was given by the King of Spain. Oh, well, we would need a Spanish title to prove that, like the Tuasons had.

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