The Families of Old Leyte



ACEBEDO.  According to the Acebedo descendants, it is a conjecture in the family that they are of Indian descent, because so many of them, from the past generations to the present, bear visibly Indian features.

Luisa Acebedo de Pedrosa.





VELOSO.  The Veloso of Leyte are directly descended from the Veloso of Cebu.


LOPEZ.  The silversmith Fray Francisco Lopez of Granada, Spain had a relationship with Maria Crisostomo y Talentin of Basey, Samar and they had fourteen children, seven boys and seven girls.

The eldest daughter, Trinidad Lopez y Crisostomo, married cabeza de barangay Daniel Romualdez of Pandacan, Manila.  They met when Trinidad’s father Fray Francisco was assigned from Basey, Samar to the church of Pandacan in faraway Manila.  Trinidad and Daniel traveled to Leyte province because she believed that his delicate health — he suffered a bout of consumption — could be improved by the salubrious sea breezes.  It was in Leyte where their three sons were born:  Norberto in Burauen, Miguel in Dagami, and Vicente Orestes in Tolosa.

The Lopez-Crisostomo family founded the town of Tolosa, Leyte.

Norberto Romualdez y Lopez [ Norberto Romualdez Sr. ] of Pandacan, Manila and Tolosa, Leyte married Mariquita Marquez y Lobiano.  After she passed away, he married a second time to Beatriz Buz of Palapag, Samar.  Norberto became an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

Miguel Romualdez y Lopez of Pandacan, Manila and Tolosa, Leyte married Brigida Zialcita of Manila.  Miguel became Mayor of Manila.

Vicente Orestes Romualdez y Lopez of Pandacan, Manila and Tolosa, Leyte married Juanita Acereda.  After Juanita passed away, Vicente Orestes married a second time to Remedios Trinidad y de Guzman of Baliuag, Bulacan and Capiz and they became the parents of the former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos [ Mrs. Ferdinand Edralin Marcos ].

ROMUALDEZ.  Senior Leytenos remember that the Romualdez, much as they are now the most popular Leyteno clan, were NOT natives of Leyte province.  They were a prominent family from Pandacan district, Manila;  they have a well-documented history there.  During prewar, Miguel Romualdez y Lopez [ Mayor of Manila ] purchased an imposing “bahay na bato” built by the de Jesus-Legarda y Roces family across from the Pandacan Catholic parish church and established his residence there, creating the now-revered Romualdez ancestral home in Manila.

According to the seniors, the matriarch brought her three sons to Leyte to enjoy the salubrious sea breezes and that was when the Romualdez association with Leyte province began.  However in reality, Trinidad Lopez y Crisostomo brought her husband cabeza de barangay Daniel Romualdez of Pandacan, Manila, who had suffered from consumption, to Leyte because she believed that the salubrious sea breezes could improve his fragile health.  Apparently, the sea breezes helped because Daniel’s and Trinidad’s three sons were born in Leyte:  Norberto in Burauen, Miguel in Dagami, and Vicente Orestes in Tolosa.

According to knowledgeable Romualdez descendants, much as they would want to have a more eminent ancestor, after considerable research they discovered, much to their disappointment, bemusement, and amusement, that their clan progenitor was a Chinese immigrant, Pei Ling Po, who deposited his family temporarily in Vietnam while he searched for livelihood possibilities in Manila in Las Islas Filipinas.  Finally established in Manila, later generations of Romualdezes engaged in goldsmithing.  The clan likes to connect its early days of goldsmithing to the intense penchant for jewelry developed by its ladies, most notably former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.


  1. January 4, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    I belong to the Mendiola clan of Tanauan, Leyte. Don Antonio Lopez, the younger brother of Dona Trinidad Lopez Romualdez, married Maximiana Encina Mendiola of Tanauan which had Tolosa as one of its barrios before it became an independent town. Maximiana was the younger sister of Agustin Mendiola y Encina, my grandfather’s father. Lolo Gil Lopez y Mendiola was a first cousin of my grandfather, Domingo Mendiola y Cumpio. We have a complete data of the Lopez-Mendiola branch of our family in our Mendiola Family Tree which was written down by Pedro C. Mendiola, a lawyer brother of my grandfather, who started his law practice with the office of the Romualdez brothers who were all lawyers. Lolo Gil had several brothers some of whom were made to enter the seminary (none made it to the priesthood) and three sisters, Lola Conchita, Lola Caridad and Lola Paciencia who were made to enter the convent (thru the proddings of their aunt, Dona Trining). The two older girls later left the convent, except for Lola Paciencia(Sister Trinidad) who died as a Sister of St. Paul several years ago. Imelda also had an older sister, Sr. Bellarmine, SSPS (Holy Spirit).

  2. November 7, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Hi! Anybody know the ancestry of Trinidad Lopez y Crisostomo? That might help us Crisostomos in search of our ascendants and descendants. Few of us are from Cebu city, while others are in some parts of Mindanao like General Santos city while most are in areas of Bulacan and Laguna.

  3. July 27, 2015 at 2:09 am

    for Susan Craven: I have no idea who might be the remaining heirs left from the original Salvatierra family. However, those who have been living most of their lives there locally might shed you some light. if you’re currently living outside the country, you may want to add a trip there on your next visit. I do not know Jaro in general but I do know some relative who might point you where you may begin your search. You could bring more people with you and share the experience. You’ll be amazed at what you might find.

  4. James Godek Jr said,

    July 26, 2015 at 3:09 am

    The late former judge Antonio Salvatierra Sr of Alang Alang Leyte was a first cousin of my great grandfather Petronilo Salvatierra Talana.that’s why I’m related to all the Salvatierra’s of Alang Alang Leyte.

  5. James Godek Jr said,

    July 26, 2015 at 3:00 am

    My great great grandmother Margarita Salvatierra is an older sister of Rosalia Salvatierra who was married to Pablo Tan of Ormoc. The two sons of Rosalia and Pablo are Jorge Salvatierra Tan Sr and Carlos Salvatierra Tan. Carlos S. Tan was a former senator during the 50’s and thats why there’s a Carlos S. Tan street in Ormoc city now to commemorate the first Senator from Ormoc Leyte. Carlos S. Tan is a first cousin of my great grand father Petronilo Salvatierra Talana.

  6. Susan A. Craven said,

    July 22, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    To clarify, Catalino Salvatierra, born 1888, Jaro, Leyte, was my mother’s father; his parents were, Eulalio Salvatierra and Julia Diaz, both born in Jaro, Leyte.

  7. Susan A. Craven said,

    July 22, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    I am hoping to find a connection and origin of the SALVATIERRA family line. They were said to be Catholic missionaries from Barcelona, Spain. My grandfather was born, 18888, Jaro, Leyte. I have as far back as Eulalio Salvatierra, married to Julia Diaz, both also born in Jaro, Leyte. Julia’s parents were Anacito Diaz and Zenoma Gapzon.

  8. Jolt Acebedo said,

    July 6, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I’m much inclined to agree with the observation of Mike Acebedo Lopez that descendants of the Acebedo family are really of Spanish (Galician) origin. If some of them appear as Indian, it was not because of ancestry as there was no known link with the Indus Valley region (India). The appearance persist because of Moorish ancestry that was present much earlier, and not because of some stray Indian gene pool. I personally appear Caucasodian: fair skinned, standing at least six feet tall. But of course I have dark hair.

    Anyway, should anybody find this helpful in tracing heritage/family lineage, etc. — my grandfather is Jose Flores Acebedo (from Palo, Leyte) who married Felisa Valley (from Guian, Samar). Together, they had 3 children. Before their marriage Jose fathered 2 children: Andrea and Romeo. My father is the youngest of those 3 children, Jose, Jr. The other two are: Miguel and Imelda, in that order.

    My grandfather had a brother who became a monsignor, and also a bishop who tragically died in a fire that gutted the seminary in Palo, Leyte back during the late 1950’s-1960’s. I’m not too sure about the exact year. I remember my dad telling me stores about his encounters and bonding experiences with the late Pio Pedrosa he fondly calls “Tio Pedring”. Perhaps somebody here could tie them together.

  9. Miguel Lopez Arcilla said,

    January 23, 2015 at 9:50 am

    @ Aileen Lopez. My grandfather, Miguel Lopez, was a brother of Trinidad and Antonio. My Mom, who at 95 is still alive, says other siblings of Trinidad aside from Antonio are Maria (Lopez-Fernandez) and Julian(?). There may be others but she cannot remember them all.

  10. Aileen Lopez said,

    October 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

    who were the other brothers and sister of Trinidad and Antonio? Do they have a brother named Mariano? Thanks

  11. Enecito Gonzaga Leoveras Cimafranca said,

    August 26, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Ormoc city;
    where did Leoveras,Lada,Gonzaga and Cimafranca clan come from?

  12. Susan A. Craven said,

    August 7, 2014 at 10:02 am

    My mother’s father’s name was Catalino Salvatierra, born 1888, in Jaro, Leyte. There is a Miguel Salvatierra from Dagami; also, Nicolas Salvatierra, born in Jaro, Leyte, who I suspect may be related to my grandfather, Catalino, all born around the same time. My mother and her sisters say they were Spanish Catholic missionaries from Barcelona, Spain. Miguel’s family said they were Spanish missionaries who settled in California, and then went to the Philippines. The information all seems to tie in.

  13. maria luisa potente cedro-estuaria said,

    October 29, 2013 at 6:09 am

    I’m reaching out my mom’s relatives from Palo, Leyte. Her name was LUISA VILLAS POTENTE. We haven’t been in Palo, Leyte nor haven”t seen her siblings or relatives. We want to visit Palo. Mom died, 1963 and we were from Surigao City but we’re brought to Iloilo City with Dad’s Family, soriano-rodriguez clan of Molo, Iloilo City. Hoping to visit the place-Palo to meet our Uncles, Aunties and Relatives….

  14. JAMES GODEK JR said,

    December 19, 2012 at 6:28 am


  15. Anna Larrazabal Armstrong said,

    April 11, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    My name is Anna Grace Espina Larrazabal & my birth mother’s name is Amelita Dolores Espina. I believe or have been told my birth father is Inaki Larrazabal. I left Ormoc Leyte when I was about 11 or 12 yrs old & have reside in the USA since. I have never met my birth father & hope one day I may have that chance.

  16. February 13, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Carlos Villas Pedrosa married Martina Puebla their Children are the FF.
    6.Pio married Luisa Noble Acebedo

    Regarding the above information from Mr. Enrique Bustos, it’s not Angela but “Angeles” who is my grandmother. She married Olimpio Durango and my mother Rosario Pedrosa Durango is their eldest daughter.

  17. May 9, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    Hi there,

    Just to clarify, regarding the information of the Lopez family of Leyte, the friar from Granada, Spain, is Don Francisco Lopez or Fray Francisco, not Diego de Lopez. A silversmith, he is founder of the Lopez- Romualdez clan of Leyte, and founded the town of Tolosa. He is my great, great, great grand father.

    1st generation:
    Don Francisco Lopez (from Granada in the Andalusia, Spain)

    2nd generation:
    *Don Antonio Lopez (brother of Trinidad Lopez who brought his husband, Daniel Romualdez, and family to Leyte);
    *Dona Trinidad Lopez- Romualdez

    3rd generation:
    *Gil Mendiola Lopez (engineer and inherited coconut and abaca plantations from his father, Antonio);
    *Justice Norberto Lopez Romualdez;
    *Mayor Miguel Lopez Romualdez;
    *Vicente Orestes Lopez Romualdez (Imelda Marcos’s father); et. al.

    4th generation:
    *Captain Generoso Lopez (WWII Veteran, first Filipino international commercial pilot);
    *Imelda Romualdez Marcos (former First Lady, minister of Human Settlements, current Ilocos congresswoman);
    *Amb. Benjamin Romualdez; et. al.

    5th generation:
    *Mario Del Mar Lopez (maternal grand mother was Remedios Duterte- Del Mar, the first ever carnival queen of Cebu);
    *Gene Del Mar Lopez;
    *Susan Lopez- Veneracion;
    *Imee Romualdez Marcos;
    *Rep. Martin Romualdez;
    *Sen. Bongbong Romualdez Marcos; et. al.

    6th generation:
    *Borgy Marcos Manotoc (model);
    *Ian Lopez Veneracion (actor/artist/pilot);
    *Nina Lopez Terol- Zialcita (writer/author);
    *your truly, Mike Acebedo Lopez (former National Youth Commissioner and MTRCB Board Member); et. al.

    >>>> I have photos covering 7 generations of the Lopezes of Leyete–from Don Francisco, the first of our Lopez, to the Lopezes of this generation, my nephew and nieces.

    About the ancestry of Daniel Romualdez, I am inclined to believe the information given by Mr. Enrique Bustos. I was told that he was of Chinese origin.

    As regards to the ACEBEDO family: Our family (the Acebedo side) can be traced to Portugese/Spanish roots. The conjecture that the family has Indian ancestry probably owes more to Spain and Portugal’s Moorish past (more Turk than Indian).

    I am not sure, however, how the Acebedos in Palo are related to our Acebedos. Ours is originally spelled Acevedo with a “v” and changed to Acebedo with “b” by my great grand father, Don Felix Acebedo, when he started our optical chain business in the 1920s, purportedly, to have a more Filipino sounding name. He also grew up in neighboring Tandag, Surigao, where other Acevedos/ Acebedos are from.

    PNB Chair Eugene Acevedo was his grand nephew, the grandson of his brother.

    I hope you, or Mr. Enrique Bustos, can give me some more information. Mr. Bustos seems to be very knowledgeable when it comes to the Acebedos, especially the intermarriages. Looking forward.


  18. Enrique Bustos said,

    November 23, 2010 at 7:01 am

    According to Domingo Abella the founder of the our country’s National Archives he married Milagros Romualdez he said that the ancestor of the Romualdez family is a man named Pei Ling Po fifth son of a mayor of Hunan Province in China he left China and boarded a ship bounded to Macau he was an enterprising man he became a trader then he came to Manila to trade goods he flourished in Manila and married a woman named Victoria delos Angeles and Filipinized himself by adopting the name Romualdez because the priest’s name who baptize him was named Father Romualdo and the name Romualdez sounded appropriate he was baptize in Pandacan Church

  19. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 16, 2010 at 8:16 am

    The first wife of Norberto Romualdez is Mariquita Marquez Y Lobiano

  20. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    Carlos Villas Pedrosa married Martina Puebla their Children are the FF.
    6.Pio married Luisa Noble Acebedo

    Carlos Acebedo married Luisa Noble their children are the FF

    Pio Pedrosa and Luisa Acebedo children are the FF
    3.Alberto married Carmen Navarro
    5.Josefina married Antonio Manahan
    7.Leticia married Augusto Hidalgo

  21. Enrique Bustos said,

    July 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    President Noynoy Aquino chose to stay in the “Bahay Pangarap” across the Pasig River from the Malacanang Palace. The land where the “Bahay Pangarap” in Malacanang Park used to be owned by the grandfather of the former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Daniel Romualdez. The land was sold in the 1900s. Dona Josefa Edralin-Marcos also lived for some time in the “Bahay Pangarap” during the term of her son as the President of the Philippines.

  22. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 24, 2010 at 4:08 am

    The husband of Luisa Acebedo was the banker Pio Pedrosa. They had six sons and three daughters. One son is former Ambassador Alberto Pedrosa who married Carmen Navarro, the author of “The Untold Story of Imelda Marcos.” Their daughter Veronica Pedrosa is a broadcast journalist who was formerly with CNN & BBC, she now works for Al-Jazeerah. The Pedrosa family owns beachfront land in Nasugbu Batangas and they entered into a joint venture agreement with Landco to develop it as the “Terrazas de Punta Fuego.”

    Filomeno Montejo was a former congressman of Leyte. He represented the 4th district from 1922 to 1928 and from 1941 to 1946. His son Cirilo Roy Montejo is also a former congressman.

  23. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 2, 2010 at 8:11 am

    The Ormoc Elite

    One of the wealthiest families in Ormoc. The Seraficas, along with the Pongos, pioneered the logging industry in Ormoc. They began in 1936, operating a 5,000-hectare concession with their own sawmill. They were interrupted by World War II, but resumed logging in 1946.
    Heavy bombing and fighting during the war not only killed people but also destroyed trees. Shrapnel was found embedded in trees. After the war, the government issued permits to fell damaged trees but cutting became indiscriminate. Even young trees were cut and large areas were cleared.
    The lush forest and agricultural potential of Leyte attracted the likes of the Seraficas, who come from Pangasinan, and the Larrazabals, who later diversified into such businesses as cattle ranching, hotels and real estate development.
    The Larrazabals also entered politics. Potenciano, the son of the clan patriarch Felipe, was twice appointed mayor of Ormoc, first by the Americans and later by President Diosdado Macapagal. Another son, lnake, served 20 years as mayor under President Ferdinand Marcos.
    A daughter of Potenciano, Victoria, was elected mayor in 1987. Her family supported Corazon Aquino’s bid for the presidency in 1986, a risky choice in the province where Imelda Marcos hails from. Because the Larrazabals’ political instincts proved right, their fortunes survived the aftermath of the Marcos administration. Victoria lost her bid for another term in 1992. Her husband, Carmelo Locsin, represents the province in Congress. Locsin, who is also president of the Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association and a key official of the National Federation of Sugarcane Planters, belongs to the prominent family of sugar planters from Iloilo.

  24. Enrique Bustos said,

    June 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

    In Ormoc Leyte, the government’s opening up of public land led to a scramble for converting forests into sugar plantations. Some lands were acquired through the homestead act while others were bought. Ownership of these lands has hardly changed. Until the present, Six families have owned most of the agricultural land located in the Ormoc The Rivilla Family The Larrazabal family The Seraficas the Pongos,the Torres family,and the Torrevillas family,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: