The Families of Old Cavite

[ I wonder if I can get dear ol’ Ipe Nazareno to help me with this… ]




Two of the most popular Bautista descendants are former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr. and Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr..










JAVIER.  In the early 1980s, Victoria Desbarats de Burke – Miailhe [ Mme. Edouard Frederic Francois Miailhe of Bordeaux, France ], accompanied by Placido “Don” Escudero Jr., traveled to the Kawit church, perused the 1800s birth registry, and came across her ancestress named Eustaquia Javier.  Eustaquia Javier seemed to be a sister of Bonifacio Javier, ancestor of Claudia Marasigan [ y Javier ] de Escudero, matriarch of the Escudero-Marasigan clan of San Pablo, Laguna.  Victoria Miailhe recalled that according to her mother, the Escuderos of San Pablo, Laguna were the only living relations of the Desbarats de Burke family, formerly of Manila.



The Gonzalezes of Cavite City (the only “Doble Zeta” Gonzalezes of Cavite City) are all descendants of Alfonso Moreno de Arco (a Spanish naval officer from Sevilla) and Leonora Tan Siateco (a Chinese mestiza from Sangley Point in Cavite Puerto). Their marriage produced one child — a son named Lorenzo Gonzalez.  Lorenzo took the surname of his godfather (it was a habit of some families to have their children take the surname of their godfathers — like Jose Rizal, whose father was really a Mercado).

Lorenzo Gonzalez married Josefa Jacobe — also a Spanish-Chinese mestiza.

The Gonzalezes had 9 children.  Among the children were: Lorenza, Concepcion, Fraternidad, and Natividad.  Among their relations in Cavite City were the Osorios (among them, Natividad Osorio who married Francisco Aguinaldo whose children included Frannie Aguinaldo, wife of Ramon “RJ” Jacinto) and the Tironas (among them Francisca Tirona-Benitez whose children included Senator Helena Z. T. Benitez).

Lorenza married Jose Basa of the patriotic Basa clan.  Their children included Tomas (who migrated to the U.S.), Jose (whose daughter, Lorraine, is married to Mark Puyat), Josefina (who is the widow of newsman Bing Torres who, in the 1970s, was editor of the Manila Bulletin and the Times Journal and president of the National Press Club), and Teresa (wife of Gaizka Garamendi whose children include equestrienne Teresa Garamendi-Hernandez [wife of Ayala Land executive Javier Hernandez] and Anna Garamendi-de Venecia [wife of Mark de Venecia who is the son of Oscar de Venecia]).

Concepcion married Julian Cacha also of Cavite Nuevo.  Their daughter, Virginia Cacha-Montano, was the first lady of Cavite (wife of Cavite’s longest serving Governor, Delfin “Empin” Montano who was the son of Senator Justinano Montano of Santa Cruz de Malabon [now known as Tanza, Cavite] and his wife Ligaya Nazareno of Naic, Cavite).

Fraternidad Gonzalez was a spinster.  She was an educator who, until her death in the 1960s, was the Dean of the Philippine Women’s University.

Natividad married Dominador Nazareno (a nephew of Ligaya Nazareno-Montano).  The Nazarenos had 5 children.  Among them were Antonio, Dominador Jr., Arturo, Mario, and Corazon.  Antonio (or Tony) was married to Victoria Vizcarra Amalingan.  They were avid art collectors and lived in North Forbes with their 5 children — among whom are Antonio Jr. (now married to Cristina Aurelio Oben daughter of Rey Oben and Tessie Aurelio [the family that owns Wallem Shipping; Rey Oben was the son of the Dean of the UST Faculty of Law in the 1940s-1960s while Tessie Aurelio was from the family who owned Hotel Aurelio]), Cathy (now married to Ramon Victor Cojuangco Rivilla — son of the late Luis Tirso Rivilla and his widow, Lourdes Cojuangco-Rivilla), Rita (formerly a producer for Fox TV and NBC TV; one of the first Filipinas to win an Emmy Award), and Marv (married to Joao Feria Miranda — son of Chuki Feria-Miranda [daughter of the writer Dolores Stephens]).

Dominador Jr., a former congressman from Cavite City, now resides in the United States with his family.  He is married to Foederis Alonso Arca.

Arturo is married to Encarnacion “Girlie” Cuyegkeng — daughter of the late Dr. Alfonso Cuyegkeng and Trinidad Casas-Cuyegkeng (the Casas-Cuyegkengs were an old Ermita family whose roots trace back to Biñan, Laguna as they were relatives of the Mercados of Biñan).  Mario was married to Piat “Pearlie” Crisologo — daughter of the late Floro Crisologo (Congressman of Ilocos Sur) and Carmeling Crisologo (former Governor of Ilocos Sur).

OSORIO [ with one “s” ].





VIRATA [ originally BAUTISTA ].

According to family members, the original family name was Bautista.  Sometime during the 1896 revolution, a forebear changed the surname to Virata, taking the name of the character King Virata from the Indian epic “Mahabharata.”

Leonides Sarao Virata married Marie Theresa Gallardo Lammoglia and they have two children:  Luis Juan Virata [ married Elizabeth Torres Cu-Unjieng ] and Giovanna “Vanna” Virata.

Leonides S. Virata was one of the most distinguished men of his generation.

Cesar Enrique Aguinaldo Virata.  He became the prime minister during the Marcos administration.

Cesar Aguinaldo Virata is a nephew of Leonides Sarao Virata.  Cesar’s father Enrique Topacio Virata [ married to Leonor Aguinaldo ] was the elder half-brother of Leonides Sarao Virata.














Dominador Nazareno (a nephew of Ligaya Nazareno-Montano) married Natividad Jacobe Gonzalez.  The Nazarenos had 5 children.  Among them were Antonio, Dominador Jr., Arturo, Mario, and Corazon.  Antonio (or Tony) was married to Victoria Vizcarra Amalingan.  They were avid art collectors and lived in North Forbes with their 5 children — among whom are Antonio Jr. (now married to Cristina Aurelio Oben daughter of Rey Oben and Tessie Aurelio [the family that owns Wallem Shipping; Rey Oben was the son of the Dean of the UST Faculty of Law in the 1940s-1960s while Tessie Aurelio was from the family who owned Hotel Aurelio]), Cathy (now married to Ramon Victor Cojuangco Rivilla — son of the late Luis Tirso Rivilla and his widow, Lourdes Cojuangco-Rivilla), Rita (formerly a producer for Fox TV and NBC TV; one of the first Filipinas to win an Emmy Award), and Marv (married to Joao Feria Miranda — son of Chuki Feria-Miranda [daughter of the writer Dolores Stephens]).

Dominador Jr., a former congressman from Cavite City, now resides in the United States with his family.  He is married to Foederis Alonso Arca.

Arturo is married to Encarnacion “Girlie” Cuyegkeng — daughter of the late Dr. Alfonso Cuyegkeng and Trinidad Casas-Cuyegkeng (the Casas-Cuyegkengs were an old Ermita family whose roots trace back to Biñan, Laguna as they were relatives of the Mercados of Biñan).  Mario was married to Piat “Pearlie” Crisologo — daughter of the late Floro Crisologo (Congressman of Ilocos Sur) and Carmeling Crisologo (former Governor of Ilocos Sur).













Acknowledgments:  John Sidel:  “Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man:  Justiniano Montano and Failed Dynasty Building in Cavite 1935 – 1972” in the book “Anarchy of Families” edited by Alfred W. McCoy.  ADMU Press;  Chuchi Constantino;  Marie Theresa “Bebe” Lammoglia-Virata, Luis Juan L. Virata;  multi-awarded journalist and the former Press Secretary during the Ramos and the Estrada administrations Rodolfo “Rod” T. Reyes;  Atty. PAN.


  1. Bing Arca Miranda said,

    February 28, 2018 at 3:47 am

    For correction, please?

    The wife of Dominador Nazareno, Jr. is Foederis Magcauas Arca. Alonso is not her middle name and she asked for this to be corrected.

    As JunJun Arca Nazareno commented earlier, you seem to have forgotten the ARCAs of Tanza, Cavite. JunJun Arca Nazareno is the son of Dominador Nazareno Jr and Foederis Magcauas Arca, while I am the daughter of Foederis’ older brother, Pacifico Magcauas Arca, Jr. Pacifico Jr. and Foederis are the children of Dr. Pacifico Trias Arca, who became the Head of Dra. Salamanca Hospital in Cavite City in the 60’s, and Constancia Perez Magcauas.

    Our branch of the Arcas of Tanza are descended from Hugo C. Arca and Maria Trias. As a matter of fact, the Hugo Arca Street in Biwas, Tanza is named after him, our great-grandfather. He was apparently a captain in Gen. Aguinaldo’s army, while his wife Maria is a relative (a cousin, I believe) of Gen. Mariano Trias, for whom the City of General Trias, Cavite is named.

    One of the sons of Hugo Arca and Maria Trias was Francisco Trias Arca, who was appointed as Governor of Cavite during the American era.

    It would be great if the ARCAs could be included in your historical roster as well.

  2. Bobby Rieta said,

    February 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    How come you never made mention of the Rieta family who by all accounts was one of the richest and most prominent families in Cavite? They also helped finance Aguinaldo’s revolution.

  3. Rodolfo J. Rojas said,

    September 20, 2015 at 9:21 am

    My father Exequiel Fabella Rojas, is from Tacloban City, Leyte. I wonder if the Rojases of leyte is related with the Rojases of Cavite. Just curios because the influential Rojas family of Cavite might have traveled to this part of our islands. .

  4. Christian Camerino said,

    July 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I came to this website because we share the interests with everyone in this blog. I’m happy to know that there are lots of people like me who want to trace their family roots. Greeting to all of us!

    My name is Christian Camerino 22y/o from Imus. I heard that there are more people with my last name in Dasmarinas (which is a city near Imus, and one of the most progressive towns), and a street with the same name. I knew that Dominador Camerino became a governor and he is related to us. For those who have any idea about my family surname can comment.

    I just hope we can all stand strong and unite for the development & betterment of our province and the whole country.

  5. Arch't Medardo N. Bernal said,

    May 16, 2015 at 10:32 am

    My great grand parents come from Cavite attested by the Birth certificate of my grandfather His father settled in Tanauan Leyte
    Married a Brosas of Burauen, Some of his cousins settled in Sta Rita, Samar. While others had homestead in Burauen Leyte, Others settled in Calogcog, Malaguicay,and Poblacion in Tanauan Leyte.
    During the Sacada era Many Bernal families went to the Azucarera Centrals in Negros and Iloilo
    My Parents and 13 of my siblings (we are 15 in all) migrated to the US and will populate the east coast.“6 brothers.
    While my children 4 boys in Makati and my other 2 boys wil remain in Leyte.

    I understand, a brother of my great grand father a navigator or cartographer sired 90 in his voyages to Mexico and back in Cavite

  6. April 24, 2015 at 10:05 pm

    Hi! I’m only 19, but I’ve been tracing my family background ever since I was a kid whenever I have free time. I find it fun because I learn things about my family. Here are some infos I know.

    He was supposed to be the First President of the Philippines. He’s the statue at the Imus Plaza in front of the Imus Cathedral. My mother always tell me that he is my Grandfather. Also, the Remullas/Revillas are a relative of mine both mother and father side. My Dad’s middle name is Bautista (Tan). In the early years, I think that’s when the Spaniards came, you have to change your surname, so from Tan to Bautista. I have a spanish and chinese blood.

    General Licerio Topacio (1839–1925) was a leader in the Philippine Independence movement.

    Born in Imus, Cavite, on August 27, 1839 to Miguel Topacio, a former gobernadorcillo, and Marta Cuenco, the young Licerio finished his studies in Imus. He was not able to pursue higher education in Manila. But he kept on developing his inborn talent by self-study, and when the Revolution broke out he showed exceptional leadership in battle.

    Because of the on-going Lachambre offensive in Magdalo territory, only eight Magdalo leaders were able to attend the Tejeros Convention on March 22, 1897. They were Baldomero Aguinaldo, Daniel Tria Tirona, Felix Cuenca, Cayetano Topacio, Crispulo Aguinaldo, Antonio Montenegro, and an unidentified Magdalo leader. Except for Montenegro and this unidentified leader they were all members of the Magdalo Council or Government. Licerio Topacio was the eldest of the Magdalo leaders present. In deference to his age he must have been considered by the group for nomination as president of the Revolutionary Government to be established. But he declined because he was too old (58) and that the presidency needed a younger, stronger man. The next choice was Emilio Aguinaldo, who was absent, defending the strategic Pasong Santol in Dasmariñas against repeated assaults by Lachambre’s troops. Aguinaldo was elected president of the Revolutionary Government in absentia.

    After the Battle of Imus (September 3, 1896) and the Battle of Binakayan (November 9–11), Aguinaldo’s prestige as a military leader had risen like a meteor, making him a living legend. It was this image as a living legend, more than anything else that won for Aguinaldo the majority votes in the Magdiwang dominated Tejeros Convention.

    Had Licerio Topacio, instead of Aguinaldo, been nominated in the Tejeros Convention, the chances were that he might have been decisely beaten by a younger and more famous man, Andres Bonifacio, the Katipunan Supremo. Of course, with such an outcome “history would have been taken a different course,’ as claimed by biographer Gwekoh.

    There are alternative views about the reasons he did ot become head of the movement. One biographer, Sol H. Gwekoh, says that had Topacio not gallantly given way to a young man, Emilio Aguinaldo, he would have been the leader of the Philippine Revolutionary. Another biographer, Benjamin M. Bolivar, claims that Topacio “declined the honor” when Aguinaldo offered him the leadership of the Revolution.

    After the Philippine-American War Topacio was twice appointed as municipal president of Imus. He died on April 19, 1925 at the age of 86.

  7. charlie cruz said,

    November 2, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    anastacia loyola, Diosdado poblete , teresita pable (teresita poblete), perdro espiritu. does anyone knows them?

  8. Jovy Rojas said,

    September 6, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Rojas,the Public Servant
    His Assassination
    Ordinances Passed

    He was the most famous member of the family. He also was the best educated and most well-travelled among his siblings. His political career shone brighter than any of his brothers. But he was destined to die a most brutal and savage death, an undeserved end for a man whose political career reached its highest peak.

    Born in Cavite City on the 5th day of August, 1908, Manuel Sipriaso Rojas nicknamed “Aling”, was the second child of Honorio Rojas, a Chinese meztiso from Cavite City and Maria Sipriaso of Kawit ,Cavite.

    As a child, he studied elementary and highschool (Cavite High School) in Cavite City. He finished his Bachelor of Laws degree from the Philippine Law School in 1932 and passed the bar exams the same year. Two years thereafter, he went to the United States for further studies. He took up business and finance at the Wharton School of Business and his Master of Business Administration degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Before he returned to his native Cavite, he first travelled all over the world.

    Upon his return, he worked briefly at the Philippine National Bank. Later, he resigned and entered the mining stock brokerage as an active partner and trader. He also became a practicing lawyer in Cavite City. He met and then married Placida Villanueva, a school teacher from Bulacan and had 3 children, Ma.Theresa, Honorio and Manuelita.

    When he decided to embark on a career in politics, his parents surely had the financial capacity to back him up. The Rojases were a “landed”family owning several parcels of land in Silang, Tagaytay, Dasmarinas, Imus and Cavite City. Aside from that, they also owned some movie houses, the most famous one being the Perla Theater in San Roque, Cavite City.

    In 1932, he tasted his first political victory by being elected councilor of Cavite City. In 1939, he won as Assemblyman for the lone district of the whole province of Cavite for the Second National Assembly in the year 1938 to 1941. He served on the Committee on Appointments, the Ways and Means Committee and the Committee on Public Works, Reorganization, Landed Estates and Fishing Industries. As Assemblyman, he authored the law creating the City of Cavite from a municipality when he introduced the bill at the Second National Assembly . It became known as Commonwealth Act No. 547-The Charter of Cavite City, approved on September 7, 1940. This earned him the title ,”Ama ng Lungsod ng Kabite” (Father of Cavite City). In 1946, President Roxas appointed him mayor of Cavite City. In 1949 ,he resigned and ran as Representative of Cavite Province. He won after he contested the fraud committed by the opposition.

    Elections for mayor of Cavite City in 1971 proved to be fateful for Manuel S.Rojas. He bested his opponents in this election and was sworn to office on January 1, 1972. Barely a month after, on February 25, 1972, he was ambushed and killed by heavily armed men while he was going to Bo.Panapaan, Bacoor, Cavite at 12 noon. His driver, Jaime Yap, was also killed.
    He was dead at 64. Cavite City was stunned by his violent and untimely demise. Several arrests were made and some men were sent to jail. But the mastermind was never really determined and never caught. By a cruel stroke of fate, 10 years after his death, his wife Placida was also murdered when a robber entered their home and tortured and killed her.

    But good men and women are hard to kill for they are not forgotten. After his death, the San Roque Elementary School built in 1911, was renamed Manuel S.Rojas Elementary School in honor of the slain mayor. Even the promenade at the back of Cavite City Hall was named Paseo de Rojas ,also in his honor. Up to this day, Cavitenos still speak of him with respect and fond affection. The bullet only wasted his body. It failed to extinguish the luster of his name and his memory.

    Manuel Rojas in 1949 as congressman of Cavite.

    The young Manuel Rojas exuded class and confidence. With his crisp, neat style of wearing clothes, both formal and informal,he must have cut quite an impressive figure in the halls of Congress.

  9. Joy Topacio said,

    August 5, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I would like to find out, if there’s any, that know of our ancestry (topacio) i would love to learn more about our family roots. thanks!

  10. Isagani cuevas said,

    March 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm

    Please give show us cuevas family tree in cavite

  11. Ramon Basa said,

    December 14, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Hello All,

    I am Dr. Ramon M. Basa, an Occupational Health Physician, descendant of Jose Enriquez Basa of Cavite Nuevo (Cavite City), the lawyer and jurist as aptly described by Messrs. Bustos and Nazareno. It is heartening to know that there is a blog such as this that exists to keep the precious memories alive. Though the family has spread in and out of the country, we do still have a property in San Roque, Cavite City. I am from the lineage of Don Ramon (San Agustin) Basa, son of Jose Enriquez Basa, who married Consuelo Faro. They lived in a turn of the century Bahay na Bato in Calle San Nicolas, Binondo, Manila. The husband and wife was a main sponsor for the maintenance of Binondo Church during the days. Don Ramon died in the 1950s from a lung disease, while Dona Consuelo Basa lived a full life up to the age of 96. One of the siblings of Ramon and Consuelo is my father’s father Augusto Basa (Sr). Augusto Sr. or Toti had five children from two wives. My father is the eldest of them, Augusto Santos Basa Jr. from the first wife Remedios Santos daughter of prominent government physician in Manila. The present generation family manages now what is left of the original Hacienda Basa. We still have memorabilla from Jose Basa y Enriquez. His remains lie in state at Manila North Cemetery

  12. Monching Basa said,

    December 11, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Hello All,

    I am Ramon M. Basa, an Occupational Health Physician, descendant of Jose Enriquez Basa of Cavite Nuevo (Cavite City), the lawyer and jurist as aptly described by Messrs. Bustos and Nazareno. It is heartening to know that there is a blog such as this that exists to keep the precious memories alive. Though the family has spread in and out of the country, we do still have a property in San Roque, Cavite City. I am from the lineage of Don Ramon Basa, a son of Jose Enriquez Basa, who married Consuelo Farro. They lived in a turn of the century Bahay na Bato in Calle San Nicolas, Binondo, Manila. The husband and wife was a main sponsor for the maintenance of Binondo Church, prior to the rise of the Chinoys in the area. Don Ramon died in the 1950s from a lung disease, while Dona Consuelo Basa lived a full life up to the age of 96. One of the siblings of Ramon and Consuelo is my father’s father Augusto Basa (Sr). Augusto Sr. or Toti had five children from two wives. My father is the eldest of them, Augusto Santos Basa Jr.. The family manages now what is left of Hacienda Basa, partly situated in Bacoor Cavite and partly in Zapote, Las Pinas. We still have memorabilla from Jose Basa y Enriquez. His remains lie in state at Manila North Cemetery

  13. September 27, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Sir Ferdinand re: Fiscal Crisanto Soldevilla Cornejo. The fiscal’s mom is surely from Sta. Barbara, Iloilo. Ask him if you may. The Soldevilla’s are all related because we all came from one place (Sta. Barbara, Iloilo). It so happened that I have migrated for more than 10 years already in this heroic place of Cavite- maybe as G-d had planned it. We have 3 houses here: one in Imus, one in Silang and one in Dasmarinas – nothing to boast about because these are all loans. Please try to read the poems I originally wrote here: There are more poems that you can find by clicking the blue number (uppermost right) after opening the site. Thanks.

  14. Willie B. Pangilinan said,

    August 1, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Please check the old families of Cavite from the book “The Historic Cavite 2001(La Historica Cavite 1926) author Don Gervasio Pangilinan y Enriquez.

  15. Amber Poblete Cruz said,

    July 31, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I want to trace the Loyola, Poblete, and Tirona families. My father said that we are related to those families but he was not able to tell me who his cousins were.

  16. Maria Estrella T. Caoili, RN, MAN said,

    July 29, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Thank you very much for this very timely and informative history from our roots. I am a grandaughter (Maria Estrella Ganay-Tapiador Caoili) of Patria Ventus Poblete, married to Marceliano Alvear Ganay, whose parents Marcos Ventus and Constancia Poblete. Whose children ( Marceliano Jr., Iluminada V. Ganay Tapiador (my mom); Oscar, Augusto, Dolores and Evangeline. I hope to get copies of the book ” the Poblete Clan of Cavite”, mentioned by Atty. Ram Cadiz. We would like to connect with you. Last year my Uncle Augusto ( all the way from U.S.A )was a given a Plaque of recognition for the accomplishments of my great (5x???) grandfather on the 201st foundation day of Naic. Thank you very much and God bless our history and the family.

  17. Rick Tagle said,

    June 10, 2013 at 12:10 am

    The Tagles of Imus is also a family worth mentioning as they are one of the oldest and most prominent families in Imus. The Tagle were the cabeza de barangay of Pueblo Viejo for more than half a century and no retelling of the Battle of Imus will be complete without mentioning the name of José Tagle and the role he played in the opening battle of the Philippine Revolution in Cavite. Later scions of the family include former senator Richard “Dick” Gordon and Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila. The Tagle were indeed among the landed gentry of Imus, once owning lands throughout the city. It was said that the land where Robinsons Imus stand today were among the lands once owned by the Tagles until it was sold by Don Severino Tagle.


  18. paolo lopez said,

    May 15, 2013 at 3:10 am

    will somebody help me find the geneology of Don Mariano Lopez of Indang,Cavite circa1800’s

  19. Corazon Fontanilla said,

    April 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Dr. Ma. Lourdes Osorio Fernandez -Mabanta and my mother in law, Since Dr. Lulu’s family is the majority stock holder of Marian Hospital and Marian College.She asked my mother in law,Araceli Jose Ramos to manage the restaurant (of Marian Hospital/Marian College).They are really close. She (Dr. Lulu) is the Godmother of my husband.

  20. Ferdinand Topacio said,

    March 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Carlo, any relation to Fiscal Crisanto Soldevilla Cornejo?

  21. Corazon Fontanilla said,

    March 27, 2013 at 3:51 am

    The incumbent mayor of Cavite City,Romeo “Ohmee” G. Ramos is the first cousin of my husband, Emmanuel Ramos Fontanilla.They are the grandchildren of the late judge Alfonso Castro Ramos and Amparo Lorenzana Jose.Judge Ramos was former Judge of Dasmarinas, )Cavite.He is a friend of the late Sheriff Campus (father of Fernando Campus and etc. My mother in law learned cooking from her aunt Tomasa “Matchay” Osorio.

  22. Cindy Flynn said,

    February 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Are the Cuencas of Imus related to the Cuencas of Bacoor?

  23. maria luisa bayhon said,

    February 5, 2013 at 6:00 am

    my grandmother from hawaii is looking for her friend named christina hernandez topacio her friends late husbands name is pedro topacio she also said their family is related to jeepney bussiness in cavite,can you please help us

  24. Junjun Arca Nazareno said,

    July 25, 2012 at 4:55 am

    You all have forgotten the Arca family.

  25. Neria Alvarez Lacuna said,

    June 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    I am very pleased that I came across your website, I belong to the Alvarez clan that hails from Noveleta. I was a good friend of Tony Nazareno and in the past enjoyed belonging to a civic. and social group called Mon Cher Ami. The Nazarenos and the Basas and some other old families were our neighbors and it is nice to know how their children fared after their parents passed away. My last contact with Tony Nazareno was during our town fiesta, a year before he died of a heart attack. That news saddened me a lot. .My regret is that I was not able to attend his funeral, as I did not know of his death right away.
    I also think you should include the Roxas and the Paredes family as one of our oldest families in the Cavite Nuevo. The Bernals are also a family of intelligent membership and I hope you can do some research about them too. The Alvarez clan had a big reunion in Noveleta a few years ago and mayor Alvarez can verify on that, I attended the well represented group, and was so surprised to receive a copy of the family tree although our family has not been included yet due to lack of information about our own ancestors. We salute our great generals in history who fought side by side with the Katipuneros. also I hope we will continue to honor the thirteen martyrs from our city. Nobody can deny we have the biggest number of revolutionaries in the Spanish regime. I salute the well accomplished members of our old families. We still have some in Who’s who in the Philippines like Impy Pilapil, Butch Maigue, Freddie Garcia of ABS CBN, and maybe more that I have not come across yet.
    Greetings from British Columbia,
    Neria Bernal Alvarez Lacuna

  26. Enrique Bustos said,

    April 22, 2012 at 4:30 am

    From the Column of Frannie Jacinto in the Philippine Star

    Antonio Tan Quinco Osorio of Cavite. He will be remembered as one of the province’s top citizens and the father of illustrious children that include Philippine hero Francisco Osorio (one of the 13 Martyrs of Cavite), Leonardo Osorio, Cavite’s first governor during President Manuel Quezon’s time, Felisa Osorio vda de Aguadode Tirona (widow of one of the 13 Martyrs of Cavite, Luis Aguado) as well as Mariano Osorio and Tomasa Osorio.

  27. Enrique Bustos said,

    February 8, 2012 at 3:42 am

    The wife of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Cristina Basa Roco-Corona is a Basa from Cavite her mother is Asuncion Basa Roco, her mother is Rosario Guidote vda de Basa her children are the FF
    1.Jose Ma III married to Randy G.Basa one of their daughters is Betsy Basa Tenchavez owner of Tender Bob’s Steak Restaurant
    2. Asuncion, married Vicente Roco
    4.Sister Conception
    5.Sister Flor

  28. Carlo Soldevilla said,

    February 2, 2012 at 8:57 am

    if i may, i am sharing to you the christmas (season’s far yet) song i composed. just youtube: christmas in the philippines by carlo soldevilla. this song was sung by sharon vicente (now residing in bacoor, cavite) and the pascual kids. you may sing along while the music is played. thanks.

  29. Carlo Soldevilla said,

    February 2, 2012 at 8:53 am

    very beautiful pages of history. -from carlo soldevilla, migrant to imus, cavite (my parents, both from iloilo) for almost 10 years.

  30. Jean Rojas said,

    November 17, 2011 at 4:49 am

    This is a truly remarkable site. I am happy to come across it in my search. Please be informed that one of the old families of Cavite City is the Rojas family. We have a genealogy site and we hope that you will be interested to view it. There are many historical facts included in the Rojasofcavite site! More power to this site!

  31. Ipê Nazareno said,

    November 8, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    Hi Tita Frannie! I’ll be at the reunion later but I can’t stay long as I have a dinner to go to. By the way, Papa started tracing the family history. I kept Papa’s notes upon his death. Uncle Doug borrowed it last year but he hasn’t returned it yet. I hope he brings the notes later so we can add on to the things written there.

  32. frannie a. jacinto said,

    October 24, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Hi Taddy,
    Yes, I remember Grandma Andeng very well as I was her favorite grandchild and I grew up living beside her house. I used to accompany her to Bulacan for the fiestas and enjoy the harvests from her palaisdaan.
    My love for Filipino food comes from Grandma Andeng as she would have the most delicious dishes coming from her kitchen and the vegetables would be grown in her garden.
    She was a cousin and contemporary of Gregorio del Pilar from the Sempio- del Rosario side. I am sure you and I are related from that side of the family tree.
    We have a del Rosario site on Facebook that you should join. It is headed by Albert del Rosario’s son, Buddy. I am happy that the younger generation has shown an huge interest in our lineage.

    Going back to the Osorios– you are correct about Annie Osorio being my mother’s sister. She was a half sister but grew up being considered a full sister by my mother, Nati Osorio-Aguinaldo.
    She was always sought after for her impeccable sewing skills by the society ladies. A pity no one took over from her grandchildren.
    Their father, Leonardo Osorio (Lolo Totoy) was considered a playboy during his time. Both he and President Quezon were contemporaries, moved in the same social circles and enjoyed the company of pretty women. Yet Lolo Totoy was a very good governor who helped his constituents with his own personal funds. Those were the days when public service was really about helping others in need.

  33. October 23, 2011 at 11:15 am

    please remember your direct grandmother Dona Andrea del Rosario de Aguinaldo was from Bulakan, Bulacan.
    she was somehow related to our grandmother Dona Cipriana de Silva Gonzales.
    they were such good friends, they appreciated the good life, they knew how to live well, to put it mildly.

  34. frannie a. jacinto said,

    October 22, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Thank you for this site.
    We are organizing an Antonio Osorio- Leonardo Osorio line on Facebook for our family and I enjoyed reading about our family members (Osorios and Aguinaldos).
    We are related to the Nazareno, Tirona, Basa, Poblete and Pereyra families in Cavite as my mother-in-law, Bernardina Pereyra Jacinto had roots in Marigondon through her mother, a Reyes.
    I am proud to be considered a Cavitena (on my mother’s Osorio side).

    Frannie Aguinaldo-Jacinto
    (daughter of Naty Osorio- Aguinaldo)

  35. frannie a. jacinto said,

    October 22, 2011 at 6:04 am

    Thank you for this site. We are organizing an Antonio Osorio- Leonardo Osorio line on Facebook for our family and I enjoyed reading about our family members (Osorios and Aguinaldos).
    We are related to the Nazareno, Tirona, Basa, Poblete and Pereyra families in Cavite as my mother-in-law, Bernardina Pereyra Jacinto had roots in Marigondon through her mother, a Reyes.
    I am proud to be considered a Cavitena (on my mother’s side).
    Frannie Aguinaldo-Jacinto

  36. Irene Evelyn Osorio said,

    October 9, 2011 at 1:27 am

    My fargwe Tony Osorio Oct. 13 1902 brother of Naty Osorio Aqinaldo

  37. Irene Evelyn Osorio said,

    October 9, 2011 at 1:23 am

    I am daughter of tony osorio, Irene born in the philippines in 1938. My father is the bother of Naty Osorio Aquinaldo. I cannot get any information of his, he married my mother Mary Hamill in New York while on college. They returned to the Philippines
    after 10 years in the states with my sister Lolita, Tony Jr. they had 2 more children, my brother Lenardo who died in an earth quake. I so want to know more. Irene Osorio Pierini

  38. benjie mojica said,

    October 6, 2011 at 5:51 am

    hello!!we’re tracing our grandfather Isaac Nazareno grandmother told us he is related to Ligaya Nazareno Montano the wife of former senator Juspiano Montano…thank you very much

  39. ovidio espiritu jr said,

    September 30, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Hi, I like to trace my grandfathers roots leopoldo espiritu from imus, cavite. has two sons Ovidio Pablo Espiritu and Leopoldo Pablo Espiritu.

  40. July 24, 2011 at 3:12 pm


    Please be reminded:

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

    Please post your comment again with the pertinent information.

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  41. ricardo caluen said,

    July 7, 2011 at 2:03 am

    I have made numerous attempts to touch base with anyone from among the descendants of the illustrious Jose Basa of Cavite. The grandfather of my greatgrandmother was also named Jose Basa. This Jose Basa settled in Guindulman, Bohol. Before my maternal grandfather died, he wrote a genealogy of sorts, including that of his in-laws, meaning, the side of his wife, my grandmother Concepcion Bernaldez Tan, whose mother, Rufina Basa Bernaldez (maiden name), was the granddaughter of the Jose Basa, my ancestor. My grandfather writes that my ancestor Jose Basa originally came from Cavite and was a direct relation of the famous Jose Basa, the patriot. I place my ancestor Jose Basa’s arrival in Bohol to have taken place sometime in the 1870s or a little earlier. Very little inter-island travel happened during those times…unless one was exiled (like Rizal) or was sent by the government (military assignment, exiled criminals, etc.). I wish to find the direct connection between the two Jose Basas.


  42. May 12, 2011 at 5:30 am

    May 11, 2011

    Hi Atty. George Ramil Cadiz: Pinky Poblete was my first cousin and sad to say she just passed away. I would like to point out that the Filipino Embassy in San Francisco has some extensive research on the Poblete’s but I have been unable to pick it up for one reason or another.

    The librarian did the research for me. I would like to thank her and so maybe these could be of help to you. I’m trying to find my grandmothers family in Spain the Alemaney’s but have so far been unsuccesful.

    Please feel free to email me if you should encounter any more geneological connections. Thank you. Esther P. Ruiz

  43. Stacy Paredes Foote said,

    May 9, 2011 at 8:12 am

    hi my name is Stacy Paredes Foote

    I would like to start off by saying, i have never seen such a site with such an aray of intellectuals such as this one.

    although thought this entire thread i’ve yet to see any information on the Rojas family and or of the Paredes family both of which are prominent families from cavite despite their original roots from china.

    I am currently along with, Jean Eulogia Rojas, and other rojas cousins, working on the genealogy of both the rojases and the houses of their descendants . We have done a fair amount of research thus far and all of the research and information we have attained thus far are written on a website we’ve been building up, though we will welcome more information that will help us on our quest to complete our genealogy . if i can ask all of you a favor and visit the site i would like to expand on the house of juan, and the house of gregorio if anyone has any information on these rojas houses please email me at oh and please feel free to explore the information on the website.

    and for other matter as i was reading information on this page i’ve come across a paredes , Jacoba Paredes i think is the name I am wondering if she is related to my families branch of paredes, whom are related to bernardo s. paredes the former mayor of cavite city ?

    and if you visit our website the house of gregorio mentions a Carmen Rojas whom married a Judge Buencamino, i wanted to mention this info because I saw the surname Buencamino Discussed in previous posts in this website and i wanted to know if there are any connections?

    I would appreciate any help thank you

  44. Atty. George Ramil Cadiz Ramos said,

    April 23, 2011 at 6:30 am

    I don’t know what happened in my other two posts but my name should’ve been “George Ramil Ramos y Cadiz”.

  45. Atty. George Ramil Cadiz y Ramos said,

    April 22, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Here’s another excerpt from the book which talks about who the author believes to be the patriarch of all Pobletes in the Philippines:

    “Don Miguel Poblete
    First Known Poblete Appeared in Our History

    A secular priest born in Mexico on 1603. In 1644 he resigned the bishopric of Nicaragua. The decree of his presentation as archbishop of Manila was dated on May 1648. He kept decree his (sic) for more than a month before showing it and finally consecrated archbishop of Mexico on September 9, 1650. He reached Cavite on July 22, 1653 with Governor-General Sabiniano Manrique de Lara (1653-1663). In the islands he rebuilt the Cathedral laying the first stone on April 20, 1656. In order to complete the reconstruction of the Cathedral he begged alms and applied to it the twenty-two thousands (sic) pesos (P22,000.00) which had been contributed by the inhabitants of Manila. He ordered to build the Cathedral of Manila dedicated to St. Peter – Prince of the Apostles. He died on the day of the Concepcion on December 8, 1667. Before he died, he ordered his own body not to be embalmed and his order, however, was disregarded and at last he was buried on December 11 of the same year.”

    The author theorizes that Don Miguel Poblete might have had “sowed some seeds” during his stay in Cavite, but the author does not mention any direct relation between Don Miguel and the Pobletes of Cavite.

    “The Poblete Clan of Cavite”
    by: Jaime Salvador Corpuz
    Sampaguita Press, Inc. (1997).

  46. Atty. George Ramil Cadiz y Ramos said,

    April 22, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Hi Esther! It’s nice to bump into a direct descendant of Pascual H. Poblete. I am Atty. Ram Cadiz Ramos, son of Jorge Poblete Ramos of Silang, Cavite. I distinctly remember that on June 15, 1997 a Grand Reunion of Pobletes in Cavite was held at the Villa Luz Resort at Silang, Cavite and was hosted by banker Gaudencio “Lolo Guding” Reyes Poblete, first cousin of my paternal grandmother Natividad Evangelista Poblete-Ramos, and father of the now incumbent Mayor of Silang, Cavite, Clarito “Areng” Ambalada Poblete. I was just eleven years old then but the whole event is still a little clear to me especially that I remember us getting one of the front tables. I remember a Pinky Poblete who represented the clan of Pascual Poblete during the reunion. Also, a short book entitled “The Poblete Clan of Cavite” was distributed to all who were present. It was written by a Bulaceño historian Jaime Salvador Corpuz whom I think was commissioned by Lolo Guding to do some genealogical research on the Pobletes. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t say much about the Poblete genealogy, it just mentioned how the author was not able to find any records of Pobletes (In my opinion, judging from the contents of the book, the guy didn’t do enough research). But the good news is I still have my Dad’s only copy of the book which has a short biography of your grandfather, here’s an excerpt:

    “Pascual H. Poblete was born on May 17, 1857 in a Tagalog province of Cavite (Naic), a province which produced notable men and women of our history, over which is the home of the first Philippine Independence of Asia. He is the son of Francisco Hicaro of Kawit and Maria Poblete of Naic. He adopted and later used his mother’s name as his surname and his father’s as his middle name.


    Pascual H. Poblete married twice, the first one was with Leoncia Ricta of Kawit and Manila and they had five siblings, namely Constancia, Vicente, Amparo, Pedro and Esperanza. The second one was with Rafaela Alemani of Madrid, Spain and seven more children were added to his previous marriage: Pascual Jr., Rafael, Cesar, Alberto, Benito, Ester and Hector. The large brood doubtless strained Poblete’s bread-making endeavors, as through the years he stayed at his “pluma” to provide for his family.

    On February 5, 1921, he died in the peace of the Lord in Manila at the age of 64, a great loss for Philippine history. He was burried (sic) in Cementerio del Norte and among the prominent nationalists who gave their respective eulogies were: Fernando Canon, Gregorio Perfecto, Patricio Mariano, Jose Ma. Romero Salas and Lope K.”

    I hope you find this helpful. Anyway, I’m currently doing research on the genealogy and family history of my maternal line, the Cadizes, to write a book about it. After I’m done with this, I’ll start doing research on my paternal line and hopefully be able to write a book about it also – which of course would include the Pobletes.

  47. Esther P. Ruiz said,

    April 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    My name is Esther P. Ruiz. I’m the granddaughter of Pascual Hicaro Poblete. He was born in Naic Cavite. Father of Filipino Journalism. Wrote and translated several books. He translated Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere in Filipino. My grandmother Rafaela Alemany Guizot de Bonnet was the second wife of my grandfather Pascual Poblete y Hicaro.

    I would like to know if I can get in touch with anybody in Cavite who is an expert in Filipino Geneology since I’m very interseted in finding my roots.

  48. Ferdinand S. Topacio said,

    April 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

    As far as our family tree tells me, the TOPACIO FAMILY in Cavite Nuevo (Cavite City) is an offshoot of the Camerino Topacio Branch of the family from Imus, which is composed of seven brothers and three sisters. Related to this branch are the Remullas, the Gatchalians, the Viratas and the Ilanos of Imus, among others.
    Grandfather Arturo Constantino Topacio, Jr. was one of the first police chiefs of the Municipality of Cavite (which later became Cavite City). He was married to Mercedes Miguel, and they produced the following children: Miguel (+), married to Lulu Ramos; Milagros (died a maiden), Tirso (+), married to Amelita Basa; Arturo Jr. (married to Belen Sumague of Tanauan, Batangas); and Consuelo (married to Anselmo Moreno of Cebu). The provisional Municipio of Cavite is the residence now occupied by Senora Flora Caniya along L. Jaena Street.
    Except for the children of Miguel, who remain in the ancestral house in Caridad; and Arturo Jr., both of whom are still in the country, all the Topacio first cousins are either in the United States or Canada.
    Arturo Jr. was one of the six original city councilors of Cavite when it became a City. The first City Mayor was Dr. Fidel Dones, and the first City Vice-Mayor was Rodolfo Alejo, later a City Judge. Among the councilors were the late Eduardo de Guzman (later City Mayor) and Rodolfo Garcia (later RTC Judge). Of the original six (6), only Arturo Jr. survives. Arturo Jr. became a three-termer councilor and a member of the Provincial Board from 1980-1986.
    Arturo Jr.’s elder child Enrico, former three-termer councilor and now assistant city assessor, is married to Leilani Pulido of Rosario, Cavite. They live in San Roque, Cavite. They have one child, Erika Lyn. His younger child Ferdinand is married to Dinnah C. Aguila of Ibaan, Batangas, who is now an RTC Judge in Manila. They have two (2) children, Jose Arturo and Ferdinand Martin.

  49. April 9, 2011 at 9:08 am

    Francisco Osorio I was not a Freemason although he died with Freemasons. His son Francisco Osorio II became a Freemason after his death. Francisco Osorio II married Nieves Lupisan of Tanza Cavite and had 6 children. Eloisa, Francisco III, Consuelo, Benjamin, Nenit and Felisa. Felisa the youngest of the brood is my mother.

  50. Ruby Dominguez said,

    March 28, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Dear Atty. George Ramil Ramos y Cadiz,

    What an important historical record! Thank you for sharing this information that reflects a couple of MARIANO’S as cabeza de barangay in 1852. This streamline my research for blood relatives on that side of the family.


  51. George Ramil Ramos y Cadiz said,

    March 27, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Businessmen of Silang, Cavite in the late 1800s:

    Petrona Poblete
    Maxima Elemus
    Chino Sy Tongco
    Jose Sy Tico
    Chino Ong Sioco
    Chino Chua Chianco
    Chino Manuel Yu Chayco/Chaico
    Chino Jose Sy Quico
    Bacilia Camaclang
    Gertrudes Paredes
    Placida Cruz
    Eduarda Amon
    Mariano Alarcon
    Manuel Faune
    Gregorio Hermitano
    Buenaventura Reyes
    Feliciano Tangco
    Benito Loyola
    Miguela Saprid
    Silvestre Legaspi
    Ysidro Montoya
    Estevan Tanduc
    Agrifina Cortes

    (from Teresita Palma Unabia’s Silang: Kasaysayan at Pananampalataya)

  52. Atty. George Ramil Ramos y Cadiz said,

    March 27, 2011 at 10:25 am

    The Gobernadorcillos of Silang, Cavite from 1852 to 1892:

    Anastacio Medina
    Codrato Mercado
    Severino Belarmino
    Ancelmo Belarmino
    Julio Medina
    Lazaro Kiamzon (A corruption of the original “Quiamzon”)
    Ignacio Ambalada
    Benito Gonzales
    Victor Vito Belarmino
    Lazaro Quiamzon
    Benito Gonzales
    Gaspar Medina
    Marcelo Madlansacay

    Cabezas de Baranagay in 1852

    Dn. Cuadrato Mercado
    Dn. Julian Vedar Espiritu Sto. (looks like the Vedars used to carry the surname “Espiritu Santo)
    Dn. Gabriel Marbilla Espiritu Sto.
    Dn. Ponciano Toledo
    Dn. Lucas Tibayan
    Dn. Gregorio Belardo Leon
    Dn. Paterno Bayot Luciano
    Dn. Francisco Velasco Cristoval
    Dn. Juan Mendosa
    Dn. Pedro Medina
    Dn. Damasio Gallardo
    Dn. Evariso Amot Narciso
    Dn. Mariano Javier Leon
    Dn. Vicente Toledo
    Dn. Melencio Reyes
    Dn. Benedicto Amoroso Bernardo
    Dn. Dionisio Gonzales
    Dn. Pedro Montoya
    Dn. Gregorio Poblete
    Dn. Jose Belandres Mariano
    Dn. Clemencio Javier
    Dn. Bartolome Ambit Crus
    Dn. Damian Ramos
    Dn. Agustin Zarco Alberto
    Dn. Gregorio Bayla Fernando
    Dn. Pascual Benjamin Leon
    Dn. Toribio Legaspi
    Dn. Marcelo Gral Feliciano
    Dn. Eulalio Reyes
    Dn. Juan Ambion Mariano
    Dn. Anacleto Bayot Luciano
    Dn. Pascual Panganiban
    Dn. Macario Tenedero Narciso
    Dn. Vicente Marquines Crus
    Dn. Venancio Villanueva
    Dn. Simon Landiso Santos
    Dn. Vicente Loyola
    Dn. Tomas Lebaton Crus
    Dn. Mariano Realon Santiago
    Dn. Justo Martillano Santos
    Dn. Anacleto Cortes
    Dn. Domingo Quiamson

    (From Teresita Palma Unabia’s Silang: Kasaysayan at Pananampalataya)

  53. Ruby Dominguez said,

    March 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Dear Enrique Bustos,

    I appreciate the information you shared. I hope that I may be able to find some MARIANO relatives via this forum as well.


  54. Enrique Bustos said,

    March 19, 2011 at 3:47 am

    One of Macario Adriatico’s daughter is the Late Socialite Lourdes A. de Leon she married a son of Senator Ceferino de Leon of San Miguel Bulacan Their Children are Buda Samson Teddy de Leon and Lory Enriquez Lourdes is a sister in law of the late First Lady Trining de Leon-Roxas

  55. Ruby Dominguez said,

    March 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    My name is Ruby B. Dominguez, the family history researcher and GENI Family Tree creator. I am writing to you in the hope to discover the long, lost relatives of my first cousins on their mother side of the family, the MARIANO’S of Cavite.

    Searching for possible blood relatives, I chanced upon your site that may lead to a SHORT CUT to my research or a STOP SIGN to a misdirected search.

    I ask for your patience to please read on.

    As the story goes, LUCIANO MARIANO, a CAVITENO married Natalia Gonzalez and relocated to Calapan, Mindoro. Somewhere down the road during the American occupation, he was asked to change his surname because it sounded to the Americans that he had two names, rather than a name and surname.

    Thus, he chose the surname ADRIATICO and since then grandfathered this surname to his descendants.

    Moving forward, Luciano MARIANO now an “Adriatico” and Natalia Gonzalez had a son named MACARIO G. “ADRIATICO” and this is his story:

    Macario G. Adriatico – “Father of Manila City Charter”

    (1869-1919) Scholar and Parliamentarian
    Macario Adriatico, a distinguished scholar, parliamentarian, journalist, and author of Manila’s City Charter, was born in Calapan, Mindoro on March 10, 1869 to Luciano Adriatico and Natalia Gonzales. His father, a native of Cavite, was clerk of the Court of the First Instance in Mindoro.
    After completing his primary education in Mindoro, Adriatico was sent to Manila in 1882 for further studies. Late for registering at the Ateneo Municipal, he entered the school of Hipolito Magsalin where he improved in Spanish and Latin, and later at the “Instituto Burgos” of Enrique Mendiola. From there, Adriatico proceeded to the San Juan de Letran, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts in 1889. Adriatico pursued studies in Medicine at the University of Santo Tomas but, later, shifted to Law. In 1902, Adriatico passed the bar examinations.
    A practicing, Adriatico went into journalism. His patriotic sentiments were transformed into his writings with patriotic tones, an interest that started even before the outbreak of the 1896 revolution. He formed a secret society called “Academy of Spanish Language and Literature” which, however, the Spanish authorities discovered and banned. This did not deter his spirit. He established a manuscript newspaper that was circulated secretly among his compatriots.
    Adriatico’s revolutionary activities became more known during the later part of revolution against Spain. He was among the revolutionary force that captured the remaining Spanish forces in Calapan in July 1898 and was behind the expeditionary force organized to liberate Romblon from the Spanish soldiers. When the First Philippine Republic was established, he was its Comandante de Estado Mayor. Like many Filipinos who desired independence from colonial masters, Adriatico fought against the Americans from 1899 to 1901. Soon, he went back to journalism. In 1907, he was editor of Diario de Filipinas and La Independencia. His writings also landed in other newspapers like El Renacimiento, La Cultura Filipina, El Ideal, and Domus Aurea among others under the pen names: C. Amori, Felipe Malay, Gat Rombiason, Maquiavello, Francachella and McYoa.
    In February 1904, he entered politics. He organized the Conservative Party that advocates preservation of the Hispanic heritage of the Filipinos and for Philippine independence. This party, however, failed to gain popularity because it did not sound nationalistic to the masses. Realizing the strong nationalist fervor of Filipinos, he joined Sergio Osmeña, Manuel L. Quezon, Alberto Barreto, and Justo Lukban among others. On January 17, 1907, Adriatico’s group formed the Partido Independencia Inmediatista (Immediate Independence Party), with him as secretary until the party merged with the Nationalist Union on March 12 that same year. Out of the merger of the two parties, the Nacionalista Party was born.
    In 1907, he won a seat in the first Philippine Assembly as representative of Mindoro, which he served for three consecutive terms (1907-1913). As member of the Assembly, he authored the Manila City Charter, which was enacted into Law (Act No. 176). When Manuel L. Quezon was appointed resident commissioner of the Philippines in the United States, Adriatico took his place as majority floor leader of the Congress where he eloquently participated in
    deliberations on appropriations, reorganization of government bureaus, on divorce and capital punishment.
    Also a writer, his literary works gained recognition. He was accepted in the Royal Academy of Madrid. After his stint in Congress where he became a known scholar and parliamentarian, he was appointed director of the Philippine Library and Museum, the first Filipino to hold the position, which he served, from 1917 to 1919.
    On April 14, 1919, Adriatico passed away, leaving his wife, Paula Lazaro and their eight daughters and two sons. In his honor, the Manila City Council changed the name of Dakota Street to Macario Adriatico in 1964.

    NOTE: Establishment of the close social circle between President Manuel L. Quezon and Macario G. Adriatico was that President Manuel L. Quezon was even a witness to one of Macario G. Adriatico’s daughter Emilia’s wedding as indicated in her marriage certificate to Emilio Pena.

    For now this where my story shall rest. Until I hear from someone to further explore the possibility of a blood connection.

    Ruby Dominguez

  56. George Ramil Ramos y Cadiz said,

    March 14, 2011 at 8:47 am

    My late father, Jorge Ramos y Poblete, was a cousin of Silang Mayor Areng Poblete. We trace our roots to the Pobletes of Naic and have traced relations with Don Pascual Poblete of Naic – the one who translated Noli Me Tangere to Filipino from Spanish. The theory of a historian the family hired to do genealogical research on the Pobletes is that we come from Don Miguel Poblete of Mexico who was Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Manila in the 1600s.

  57. Mary Anne Enriquez said,

    February 14, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Hello, my Grandfather was Albino Enriquez from Cavite believed to have been born Mar 1, 1895 died at 81 yrs old in 1976. His known brother was Lorenzo Enriquez. I am trying to find out more information on them. Can you help.

  58. Enrique Bustos said,

    February 9, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Jose C. Campos Jr. a former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines was born in Dasmariñas, Cavite. He was married to Maria Clara Almeda Lopez-Campos. his brother is Paulo C. Campos a physician and educator The Father of Nuclear Medicine in the Philippines he is the first president of the National Academy of Science and Technology, he was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines in 1988

    Claro Santillan married to Margarita Torres their children are Vicente and Antonina she married_____ Narciso their children are Alfredo, Salud married to Baldomero Buenaventura,Demetria married to Leonardo Quinto, Adelina married to Cesario Punzalan, Tomas and Amado

    Mariano Álvarez of Noveleta Cavite he is a Filipino revolutionary General and politician.he married Nicolasa Virata y del Rosario, by whom he had an only child, Santiago, who became an equally noted revolutionary general. In 1901, Santiago Alvarez, along with Pascual H. Poblete, Andres Villanueva, Macario Sakay, and others, founded and forerunner of the Nacionalista Party
    He married to Paz Granados of Tanza, Cavite, they had ten children; namely, Maria, Magdalena, Gabriel, Pacita, Numeriano, Emigdio, Rosendo, Virginia, Amelia, and Fidel. It is interesting to note that one Alvarez daughter, Pacita, became Mrs. Pacita Alvarez Rono, mother of Deputy Prime Minister Jose Rono, former governor of Samar

  59. Enrique Bustos said,

    February 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

    The 13 martyrs of Cavite

    * Luis Aguado was the son of a captain in the Spanish navy. He would later become supply chief of the Spanish arsenal in Fort San Felipe in the town of Cavite (now Cavite City). He was married to Felisa Osorio, sister of Francisco Osorio and oldest daughter of Antonio Osorio, a Chinese-Filipino businessman reputed to be the richest in Cavite at that time. Aguado’s widow would later marry Daniel Tria Tirona.

    * Eugenio Cabezas (born 1855 in Santa Cruz, Manila) was a goldsmith who was a freemason and Katipunero. He was married to Luisa Antonio of Cavite by whom he had seven children. He owned a jewelry and watch repair shop on Calle Real (now called Trece Martires Street) in Cavite which was used by the Katipunan as a meeting place.

    * Feliciano Cabuco (born June 9, 1865 in Caridad, Cavite Puerto) was born to a wealthy family in Cavite el Viejo (now Cavite City). He worked in a hospital. He was married to Marcela Bernal of Caridad by whom he had two sons.

    * Agapito Conchu (born 1862) was a native of Binondo, Manila who migrated to Cavite and became a school teacher, musician, photographer, painter and lithographer.

    * Alfonso de Ocampo (born 1860 in Cavite) was a Spanish mestizo, who had been sergeant in the Spanish colonial army before his appointment as assistant provincial jail warden. He was both a freemason and Katipunero. He was married to Ana Espíritu by whom he had two children.

    * Máximo Gregorio (born November 18, 1856 in Pasay, Morong) was drafted into the Spanish colonial army while he was studying at the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán. After training in San Antonio, Cavite, he was inducted into Regiment No. 72 and dispatched to Jolo, Sulu to fight the Muslims. Upon his return from Mindanao, was appointed chief clerk of the Comisaría de Guerra in Cavite where he worked for 20 years. He became a freemason and joined the Katipunan in 1892. He organized two Katipunan branches, namely, the Balangay No. 1 named Marikit (Bright) in Barrio San Antonio, Cavite and Balangay No. 2 called Lintik (Lightning) in Barrio San Rafael, also of Cavite. Among the people he initiated into the Katipunan were the jail warden Severino Lapidario, Feliciano Cabuco, tailor José Lallana, watchmaker Eugenio Cabezas and tailor Eulogio Raymundo. He was married to Celedonia Santiago with who he had four children.

    * Maximo Inocencio (born November 18, 1833 in Cavite) was the oldest of the martyrs. Being a freemason, he was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny of 1872 and was subsequently exiled to Ceuta in Spanish Morocco or Cartagena, Spain for 10 years. Upon his return he rebuilt a fortune from building and bridge contracting, shipbuilding, sawmilling, logging and trading. He was married to Narcisa Francisco with whom he had nine children,

    * José Lallana (born 1836 in Cavite) was a tailor whose shop was used by the Katipunan as a meeting place. Lallana was married to Benita Tapawan of Imus, by whom he had two children, Clara and Ramón. Ramón would later join the Philippine Revolution to avenge his father’s death, but he never returned and is believed to have been killed in action.

    * Severino Lapidario (born January 8, 1847 in Imus, Cavite) was a corporal in the Spanish Marine Infantry who was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny of 1872. He later regained the confidence of the Spanish colonial authorities who named him warden of the Cavite provincial jail in 1890.

    * Victoriano Luciano (born March 23, 1863) was a pharmacist and freemason who was recognized for his formula of rare perfumes and lotions and was a member Colegio de Farmaceuticos de Manila. He studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letrán and University of Santo Tomas. He owned a pharmacy, Botica Luciano, on Real Street (now Trece Martires Avenue) in Cavite which was also a meeting place of the Katipunan.

    * Francisco Osorio (born 1860) was the scion of a wealthy and well-connected family in Cavite. Little is known of him except that he was a pharmacist and not a freemason or a Katipunanero.

    * Hugo Pérez (born 1856 in Binondo, Manila) was a physician. There is little biographical information about Perez except that he was a freemason.

    * Antonio San Agustín (born March 8, 1860 in San Roque, Cavite) was a scion of a wealthy family. He studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran and University of Santo Tomas. He was married to Juliana Reyes. He owned the only bookstore, La Aurora, in the town which was used as a meeting place by the Katipunan.

  60. Enrique Bustos said,

    February 4, 2011 at 4:21 am

    A scion of the Ysmael family Halim Ysmael married Marina Osorio her siblings are Antonio Osorio,Leonardo Osorio former Governor of Cavite and Natividad Osorio-Aguinaldo

    The mother of the first set of Children of Former President Joseph Estrada before he married Dra Luisa Pimentel,Teresita and Jojo is Peachy Osorio daughter of Movie Producer Consuelo Osorio of Cavite a descendant of Francisco Osorio
    Francisco Osorio a businessman and was one of the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite.

    Francisco Osorio was born on 4 October 1863 in Cavite. His father, Antonio Osorio, was a Christianized Chinese originally named Tan Kim Ko. The older Osorio was a businessman and was a partner of Mariano Limjap’s father. Later on, Antonio Osorio established his own firm and named it the Yek Tok Lin & Co. He also opened a cattle ranch in Silang, Cavite. Later on, he went into the shipping business and became an agent of Ynchausti & Co. which provided materials for the armory in Cavite. Osorio’s father was regarded as the wealthiest man in Cavite during his time. His mother was Petrona Reyes.

    Osorio studied at the Ateneo de Manila University and took a course in accounting although it is not known whether he finished the course or not.

    Early on, Osorio helped in his father’s business by buying coffee and abaca from Caviteño growers. Then, he accepted contract jobs for the Cavite arsenal and later became his father’s cashier.

    Osorio was a member of the Katipunan chapter in the province, but it was not verified whether or not he was a mason. Alfonso de Ocampo mentioned him as among the leaders who planned a revolution against the Spanish government in their hometown. He and Maximo Inocencio was charged with the acquisition of arms. He was sentenced to death by a firing squad in Fort San Felipe. Twelve others were sentenced to death on 12 September 1896 namely: his brother-in-law Luis Aguado, Eugenio Cabezas, Feliciano Cabuco, Agapito Conchu, Alfonso de Ocampo, Maximo Gregorio, Maximo Inocencio, Jose Lallana, Severino Lapidario, Victoriano Luciano, Hugo Perez, and Antonio San Agustin. His bones were placed in a vault and kept in the Porta Vaga Church in Cavite City.

    Francisco Osorio was married twice. By his first wife, Soledad San Agustin, he had one daughter named Soledad. By his second wife, Consuelo Garcia, he had a son whom they named Francisco.

  61. wilfred"basa"Degay said,

    January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    It took me hard to trace the root of my origin which I believe is true. According to my late lolo Mariano Degay, he is the son of Mariano Basa, a katipunero from Cavite who tried to reach Mountain Province via Ilocos Sur during late1890’s. Mariano carried his father’s first name but adopted the family name of his mother, a native of Sagada, Mountain Province.

  62. Enrique Bustos said,

    November 23, 2010 at 8:57 am

    During the Martial Law Years the Lopez family sold some of their Art collection in the Lopez Museum the Nazareno’s bought Felix Hidalgo’s Mar y Cielo Juan Luna’s Old Man with Pipe and en el Palco

    Paulino Que was also able to buy Juan Luna’s Nena Y Tinta Felix Hidalgo’s Study of Joven Cristianas and a des Nudo

  63. Enrique Bustos said,

    November 19, 2010 at 6:54 am

    Former Silang Mayor Areng Poblete he married a Fule from San Pablo Laguna

  64. Jingle Arca-de Lange said,

    November 8, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Correction: It’s not the Alonso-Arca Family. It is actually Trias-Arca. Dolores Potenciano of the BLTBCo. was Dolores Arca Alonso. Also, the wife of Dominador Nazareno, Jr is Foederiz Magcauas Arca, not Foederiz Alonso Arca.

  65. joy akeley said,

    September 19, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Thank you Ipe Nazareno! Sra Ballesteros may just have the information we need – plus more. The storytellers are much appreciated. Without them, our history will sadly fade into oblivion.

  66. Ipê Nazareno said,

    September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    Enrique, San Roque is a district in what is now Cavite City, Cavite.

    Joy (Akeley), the Filoteos are a prominent family from Cavite City. You may want to check birth or baptismal records there. There is also an old lady from the San Roque district in Cavite City named Pura Ballesteros. Now in her 80s, Mrs. Ballesteros’ mind is still very lucid and she knows all the stories behind the old families in Cavite City. You may want to consult with her. Just go to Cavite City’s San Roque District (or to San Roque church) and ask where you can find “Ñora Puring Ballesteros” and they will direct you to her home. Warning: once she starts talking, she never stops. You may find yourself in her presence for hours upon hours. We call her the “Scheherazade of Cavite.”

  67. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 16, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Guillermo Tirona married Jacoba Paredes they have 14 children among their descendant are Ramona Tirona, Jacoba Tirona mother of former senator Vicente Paterno Joaquina Tirona and Felicidad Tirona

  68. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 11, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Maximo Inocencio of San Roque Cavite he is one of the Thirteen Martyrs of Cavite he married Narcisa Francisco with whom he had nine children

  69. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 11, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Jose Enriquez Basa born on August 16 1843 in San Roque, Cavite his parents are Francisco Basa, a shipbuilder, and Felipa Enriquez, a businesswoman Jose Basa represented the province of Cavite in the Malolos Congress he married twice. His first wife was Mamerto Alberto of San Roque, Cavite they have seven children. When his first wife died he remarried, this time to Asuncion San Agustin, with whom he had four daughters

    Roman Basa a leader of the Katipunan, the secret society against Spanish Rule in the Philippines his parents are Mariano Basa and Dorotea Esteban of San Roque Cavite the Katipunan was uncovered by the Spanish Colonial Government, Roman Basa was arrested for sedition and treason in September 1896. After being convicted by a Spanish military court, he was executed by musketry on February 6, 1897 along with Apolonio de la Cruz, Teodoro Plata, Vicente Molina, Hermenegildo de los Reyes, José Trinidad, Pedro Nicodemus, Feliciano del Rosario, Gervasio Samson and Doroteo Domínguez

    Crisanto Mendoza de los Reyes married Dorotea Silverio. They had four children
    1.Juana married to Atty.Tomas del Rosario of Bataan, a Judge in Manila
    2.Escolastica married Mariano Ocampo their son, Jose de los Reyes Ocampo married Louisa Mueller They have several children: Leonardo, Trinidad O.Cañiza, Filomena O.Barrera, Blesilda O. Buencamino, Lucina O. Teodoro and Gloria O. Reyes
    3.Manuel married Sergia Tanquintin their son Manuel Jr. married Paz Ongsiako their daughter is Pacita de los Reyes Philips she married Dr. Ralph Philips
    4.Teodoro married Margarita Sandoval of Taguig. They had four children 1.Carmen de los Reyes married Marcelo Arabiran of Bulacan, Dominga de los Reyes married Sabino Padilla a Supreme Court Justice, their son, Teodoro Padilla also became a Supreme Court Justice and The two brothers, Crisanto and Geronimo married two sisters from the Linares Berenguer family of Arayat, Pampanga. Crisanto married Marietta, and Geronimo married Lutgarda their son is Desiderio Delos Reyes his daughter is TIngting Cojuangco

  70. Presy Guevara said,

    September 9, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    Enrique, thanks for sharing with us the stories on Lee Aguinaldo and Rene Knecht. I couldn’t stop till I finished reading them.

  71. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 9, 2010 at 5:03 am

    Here also is the story of Rene Knecht, a similar story like his friend Lee Aguinaldo, from “Rogue” magazine:

    Rene Knecht
    By Jose Mari Ugarte

    In the 60s and 70s, millionaire playboy and man of the world Rene Knecht was unanimously considered the most desirable man in Manila. But when he started picking fights with some very powerful people, his life went into a vicious tailspin of brutal court battles, gradual impoverishment, and hard jail time. Jose Mari Ugarte checks up on the 70-year-old Knecht and recounts the swinging highs and desolate lows of a genuine Philippine character

    If Rene Knecht had hit rock bottom, like so many people said he had, you couldn’t tell by the way he first spoke to me—with the sophisticated and slightly effeminate Spanglish drawl of an old money mestizo gentleman. And, as in any ice-breaking, cross-generational confrontation between two Spaniards in Manila, he attempted to make a connection by asking me who my parents were. Of course, he knew them well, and launched into the ensuing four-hour conversation by telling me how sweet the santols were in my grandparents’ old house in San Juan, and how my maternal grandfather was a samurai baron from Japan.

    “You know when the Spaniards first came to the Philippines,” he announced with the velvety voice of a wise old hipster, “they called it Islas Ladronas . . . because in most countries it’s the men who keep a harem—but here it was the women. They used to swim over to the Spanish Galleons, steal nails and hide ‘em in their body parts—that’s historically recorded. . . . Oma, the Japanese commander had a querida who had four Nescafe jars full of solitaryo diamonds given to her by women who didn’t want their sons, husbands, or boyfriends killed by the Japs. . . .”

    Our talk meandered like a babbling brook from one story to another, and each one was either quirky, strange, amusing, or sad—none were dull—and, as I listened, I began to clearly understand what people I had spoken to meant when they repeatedly said, “You should do a story on Rene Knecht. He’s had a very interesting life, a genuinely weird riches to rags cautionary tale involving guns, broads, drugs, gold, and all the other props that set the stage for a primetime drama about a glamorous life gone awry.” Listening to him talk was like listening to an audio book or a special Discovery Channel documentary about the bald-faced absurdity of living in a zoo like Manila, because, after the first half-hour or so of energized banter, it was obvious he possessed a wealth of experience—from sailing trimarans off the coast of the Cote d’Azur to being supposedly poisoned in the greasy mess hall of an Antipolo jail house. “This guy’s a real character,” I heard Mauro Prieto say at a recent dinner party Rene attended. He would hopsctotch through seven different topics without skipping a beat, and the more he spoke, the more twisted his sense of humor would turn, dishing out sleazy historical gossip from pre-war Manila about old sex-crazed Spanish families and referring to certain women of influence as “that china chongga de kubeta.” By the end of our conversation, I had heard many strange things, including the theory that all families in the Philippines with names that began with “De la” came from priests who fornicated (he is a Dela Riva), and how to properly say, “Suck my cock” in Fookien Chinese. It was impossible to remember everything he said, so I asked if I could come to his house and pick his brain. “Sure,” he said. “Come over tomorrow and I’ll poison your mind.”

    Seventy-year-old Rene Knecht, who for almost three decades was the envied toast of Manila’s social elite, now lives literally on the fringes of society, on the industrial edge of Fort Bonifacio in a forgotten village full of dead-end streets, where the first U.S. Cavalry Troop was stationed in the early 1900s. Signs are missing, so I have to call him for directions and he leads me to an unglamorous little townhouse at the far end of a street with an empty garage and a rusty padlocked gate. He stands outside waiting for me in the shade of a guava tree, tall and rickety, like an old scarecrow wearing a long-sleeved YSL dress shirt with an elegant insignia on its breast pocket, Colony Blue Bermuda shorts, and polished calfskin Italian loafers with no socks. He looks like a matinee idol gone sour, with a full head of flowing white hair over a face that looks like it’s seen better days—which it has. Glorious days, in fact, filled with lusty women, polo ponies, and yacht parties—and it seems that his wardrobe is one of the very few things that keep him anchored to that decadent past.

    But there are other things. As we shake hands, he tells me I look like my mother and lets me through the gate where I shrug off Bougainvillea thorns and notice some artifacts from a charmed former life: those Borneo jars of all sizes that were ubiquitous in Forbes Park palaces, scattered and cracked along the small front walkway with mad roosters perched on their rims and screaming at me as we enter the house. They sound like they desperately want to rip my nuts off, but I know they are just being hospitable—as are the dozen or so stray cats wandering around the house. The closest one to me looks blind, and starts tiptoeing across an old fax machine and hissing at the chickens.

    Inside, the house is a bodega of unpacked boxes, festooned with designer dress shirts, and crudely furnished with old Louis VI chairs and a handful of solid kamagong tables disappearing under mountains of paperwork. Arranged randomly on top of a large work desk smothered with all sorts of readable junk are old framed photographs of Rene looking like every woman’s fantasy—bare-chested on a cigarette boat, in a tuxedo at the grand opening of one of his hotels. The suffering house is a symbol of his life: The Golden Boy of Manila, whose personal style and elegance was unmatched by anybody in Philippine society during the sixties and seventies, has since then been drowning to death in a money pit of embattled court cases, disputed land titles, and other savage legal wars that have all but demoralized him completely

    He lives with friends he made in jail. “They sleep in the master bedroom upstairs—I sleep over there.” He points to an Elmwood opium bench against the wall with no cushion. In front of it is a round cocktail table also flooded with faxes, letters, receipts, newspaper clippings, search warrants, lab reports, court orders, and other grim reminders of his struggles with the law. “Because I’ve already been broken into twice and I don’t want anybody shooting me through the window,” he explains. There is a distinct sense of paranoia in the air, especially when I glance over at another messy table and find a bulletproof vest lying on top of it. “In the meantime I’m raising chickens as a hobby,” he says. “I have seven chickens outside and five chicks in here. The cats are accidental. I never really liked cats. They just sort of wandered in—PUSPUSPUSPUSPUS!” Good God, I thought, as my heart skipped a beat, startled by his sudden feeding call. “My manicurist in Pasay said, ‘Masuerte yung pusa na may limang kulay.’ So now one of them just had babies again and two of them are limang kulay—so maybe my luck’s about to change

    Blind optimism may be the only weapon left in Rene’s arsenal. He’s been fighting the law since the late sixties, and since then has been slowly backing himself into a nearly hopeless corner. With an almost Palestinian zeal, Rene’s fight has always been about land, but has spawned into many different battles with varying degrees of ugliness and consequence, and his stubborn refusal to compromise and play by the rules has turned him into a dangerous enemy of the state. His life for the past 20 years can be summed up as a vindictive quest to take back the land that was once his, regain the fortune and glory he once basked in, and take down the members of the establishment that, in his view, deserve to be punished. Without ever mincing his words, he’s picked fights with everyone from the Zobels and Lopezes, mayors Pablo Cuneta and Jojo Binay, bank presidents and cabinet secretaries to every Philippine president since Ferdinand Marcos—who he once called “an uncouth barbarian who lives by the rule of the jungle” in a letter he sent to the I.M.F., the president himself, and all the members of his cabinet. He’s never backed down once, regardless of whether he was right or wrong, and for it his life has spiraled desperately from the lavish heaven it once was to the living hell it has degraded into—or, to quote the title of his autobiography in progress, into “The Gardens of Satan.”

    The strange and terrible story of Rene Knecht’s life began in San Pedro, Makati in 1936, as an only child to Cristina Dela Riva, a mestiza, and Frederic Knecht, a Swiss national whose family had owned the famously luxurious Grand Hotel in Paris. Frederic left France on a romantic Gauguin-inspired expedition to Tahiti, but somehow ended up in Manila, where he quickly made money as a dealmaker in the commodities market. During the sugar boom of 1919, when “the barons and hacenderos drove around in cars with bumpers made of silver and gold,” Frederic had become wealthy enough to travel around the world and bring back many of the treasured objets d’arts Rene would eventually inherit, such as Japanese incense burners and round samisen players. One day he chanced upon the land he bought in Pasay at a steep three pesos per square meter, and built the family compound that would later later become a sprawling monument to everything Rene ever believed in or fought for.

    The Second World War peaked and branded a searing memory in Rene’s consciousness. “I’ll never forget,” he says ruefully, “it was a Sunday, February the 11th. We hadn’t seen the sky in four days because they were burning Manila. My father’s office building was destroyed except for a big bodega full of rum that was made by the Spaniards with thick walls. They were trying to break open the door, but it had three or four locks. That’s how he got his business going again; he made a fortune selling the rum to the Americans who wanted to get drunk and fuck around. That’s how the Elizaldes became rich as well—Tanduay wasn’t burned.”

    After the war, Rene went back to the American school which was in a Quonset hut in the seafront compound, in the old Polo Club in Pasay. According to Rene, different members of the Zobel family were elected to the board until the U.S. government bought the seafront from them for a million-plus and the new Polo Club was built. “Pablo Antonio was the architect, and it opened in 1950. The day of its inauguration, a Swiss boy of eleven died. He dove into the shallow end of the pool, and hit his head on the tiles. Six months later, his mother committed suicide,” Rene remembers. “They were living in the Bel-Air apartments near Luneta, and she jumped out the window.”

    A jungled and peaceful estate near the boulevard and bay, the Knecht compound had an area of 8,102 square meters, and encompassed a beautiful main house and seven good-sized bungalows that were rented out mostly to Swiss expats. The houses were old Filipino homes from the thirties made of akle-wood , narra, and thick black ipil, surrounded by sliding capiz-shell windows. Each was built over a sort of basement garage or silong where the tenants would park their cars and store junk. The Knecht’s house was 15 meters long, and was particularly lavish with Machuca-tiled bedrooms and narra floors that were covered almost wall-to-wall with Persian and Chinese carpets. “I liked to walk around barefoot,” he says in a voice and manner that makes me wonder how Peter O’Toole would sound like if he grew up in Manila.

    Speakers were also perched on Indian mango branches so you could hear music playing in the gardens, if I remember correctly, having visited the compound a couple of times in the early eighties when my parents’ friends, TIME magazine photographer Sandro Tucci and his girlfriend Candy Lehman lived there in a house surrounded by white makopa, tamarind, and champaca trees. “Raffy Prieto was renting the house where Louie Ysmael and his gang used to party,” recalls Rene, “and my mother ended up suing Raffy and throwing them out because of all the wild parties they were having. They tried talking to me and I said, ‘Look, I’ve got nothing to do with this. The income of the compound goes to my mother.
    The famous Admiral Yamashita lived across the street from Rene in the compound, in a house that belonged to an esteemed American lawyer named Self and which is still there next to the Copacabana. “I knew Yamashita,” he says. “He used to let me carry his sword. According to rumors—and I can’t prove this—Marcos believed that a lot of Yamashita’s gold was buried in the ground under our compound. A quien sela metio en la cabeza, no se.” Rene lived in that beloved compound—with a real estate value of over a billion pesos today—until he lost it in a fateful land-grab that would change his life forever
    Coming of age in the compound was like a rare Lafitte approaching its peak of taste and sophistication, and Rene grew up to become a true renaissance man in every sense of the word. He was well educated and spoke four languages fluently, including French, German, Spanish, and an impressive command of English. Being well read, he could speak intelligently about anything from history and literature to politics and religion to art and science. Aside from that, he was a chivalrous gentleman, a dashing ladies man, and a passionate sportsman—polo and sailing were among his favorite pastimes. In the fifties, he floated around upper crust social circles and traveled the world with the international jet-set, going to parties with friends like Mary Prieto and the handsome Aga Khan. To both men and women alike, he was considered the perfect man—handsome, smart, funny, and extremely wealthy. He had it all, and, in fact, many said he was too good to be true, too glamorous for a corrupt town like Manila.

    Mary’s daughter, Marilou Prieto, recounts the first time she met Rene: “I was seventeen, and he must have been in his twenties. I saw him in his swimming trunks, diving off the diving board in the Polo Club, and my eyes popped out of their sockets and I said, ‘Who is that one?’ A lot of people said he looked like Bobby Kennedy, but, if you ask me, he was much better looking. For a long time I had a crush on him, and when I came back from my trip to Europe when I was nineteen, he took me out to a cocktail party, and, of course, he stood out—tall and handsome . . . the handsomest man in Manila, really. And on top of that, he had a fantastic physique. Simply the most gorgeous man you will ever set eyes on.”

    Lavish parties were thrown at the big house in the compound, where guests—oftentimes his mother’s friends—danced on Persian carpets, gazed at beautiful paintings, drank fine wines, and feasted on fabulous French dinners and 40-dish Indonesian rice taffels. He adored classical music, and there was always some piano or string concerto playing softly in the background. “Rene had an eye for beauty and impeccable taste,” says Marilou, “not only in how he dressed, but also in the way he took care of his house and gardens and the people he chose to associate with.” One of Rene’s best friends was the famous artist Lee Aguinaldo, so his house was full of his paintings. He took Mary Prieto to the Silver Slipper and Marilou to the Nile, a casino dining club where he bought her chips to play with. “I went to Baguio one time and Joe Vincent De Leon was supposed to be my date, but he didn’t arrive on time, so I said yes to Rene instead,” she laughingly recounts. “We went to the country club, and I ended up meeting my husband there.”

    But Rene has always been a part of Marilou Prieto’s life. After her marriage and separation to Manolo Lovina, they met up again with the Demimonde and the Coco Banana crowd which included Maurice Arcache, Alex Van Hagen, Ernest Santiago, Wolfgang Bierlein, the Valdes sisters, and the Reynoso sisters among others. Marilou calls them “the real party-party group. Discos every night until six in the morning, partying at Coco Banana. The Demimonde was the class of women on the fringes of respectable society. This was not the social circle of my mother anymore, but the younger crowd. Demimonde means ‘half-world,’ not exactly mainstream society but more of the racy crowd, more bohemian, artsy, rebellious, and generally frowned upon by the elder generation. We were the rebels of our time. Too adventurous, I guess. We would do all sorts of things like poppers while we were dancing, smoking pot and drinking, and doing all the things that you do when you’re young.”
    The group would have gatherings and parties at Bierlein’s house. “Wolfie was dating Cristina Valdes at the time,” recalls Marilou. “He was another society boy who was tall and handsome with Aryan good looks.” Because Rene was never married and ran around with the fast crowd, he developed a sort of reputation, but Marilou says he was never heavily into drugs. “People say he was a drug addict—never. We did more drugs than he ever did. While we were doing all sorts of things he was there sitting pretty in his linen suits and quoting Oscar Wilde. What he would do was laugh and laugh and laugh. You know, this uproarious laugh of his when we were together with the whole gang. While we were all smashed out of our minds, Rene would be making his famous avocado with milk and honey shake. That combination was delicious with crushed ice! Rene claims he’s never even seen shabu, but grass was legal in those days in most European countries.”

    Contrary to what people might think, Marilou asserts that Rene has a very conservative side to him (he’s been called everything from an occasional swinger to a certified pervert). “He has good morals and values. He was old-fashioned and believed a lady should act and behave a certain way. I guess that’s why he never married.”

    In fact, he was a playboy long before the term was officially coined, and every woman in Manila wanted him. Soon after he bought the Tower Hotel in the summer of ’69, he began a much talked about affair with Barbara Bouchet, the busty Bond girl in the original Casino Royale, and who more recently had a role in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York. “She was beautiful,” he says with a nostalgic gaze in his eye. “I met her when she was making a movie here, and I had a friend who was having an affair years earlier with the director of the movie.” Many of the girls Rene went out with wanted to marry, but for some reason he never did. “I guess he valued his freedom,” Marilou theorizes. “He loved life, the whole thing about it, because he had the best of it. So he relished the traveling, the good conversations with friends, the partying with all sorts of people. He wanted to make the most out of all the good things in life, and he really enjoyed everything—good food, art, music, books, films. Even dogs—at one time he had fourteen whippets running around the house. He didn’t hold back.” The only woman he appeared to have genuinely fallen in love with was his next-door neighbor in Pasay, Pamen Roxas. “I think he really wanted to marry her, but she found him too handsome.” Rene’s problems arrived before true love and children ever could, and, like in every libertine’s life story, there were rumors of homosexuality. “I heard he was bisexual, but I never saw him with a boyfriend—he had a lot of girlfriends.”

    Inspired by the famous 400 Club in London, Rene opened the Velvet Slum in 1978, the first discotheque in Manila with a Cerwin-Vega sound system. “It’s the sound manufacturing company that invented the earth-shaker for the movie Earthquake, which came out in ’76,” says Rene. “You could turn up the volume and glass would brake. We were on the 2nd floor of the Tower Hotel and the guests in the rooms in the 8th floor couldn’t sleep!” For it’s time, the Slum was the only place to go, but the killing of a Chinese student there caused it to shut down prematurely after a year.

    The Tower Hotel was also the venue for many risqué fashion shows that Marilou helped organize. “Rene was the forerunner of lingerie shows long before Mondragon started doing them,” she says. From there he went on to own the Gaiety Palace, which was an old theater that he transformed into a lunch and dining place with Moulin Rouge-inspired shows. The restaurant was beautifully decorated with palms, and the tables were draped in white tablecloths and surrounded by colonial-style wicker wing chairs. “He had all these wonderful ideas, but could never make anything of them because the law was always after him. I don’t know why. I guess because he never gave in, he never compromised on anything. He believed too much in his own integrity, so no matter how much he was put in prison, he never gave up fighting for what he believed was right. Governments had made many different offers for his properties, but, if he didn’t feel the price was fair, he would consistently refuse. He goes around with a bulletproof vest because he thinks somebody’s going to shoot him.”

    According to a letter Rene’s mother, Cristina Bradley, wrote to Texas congressman Lamar Smith in September of 1997, problems began when Marcos tried to acquire a corporation they controlled, Rose Packing Company, Inc.—then the largest food cannery operating in the Philippines—through the services of his “cronies” at the Philippine Commercial & International Bank (P.C.I.B.) and by blocking loans Rosepack had taken from the Philippine National Bank (P.N.B.). When Rene, who was the president of the corporation, tried to relocate Rosepack to Valenzuela, Bulacan, P.C.I.B. filed a complaint against him, claiming he was intending to dispose of the original property in fraud of their creditors, in this case—P.C.I.B. Rene says that “by January 11th, 1968, there was a writ of execution on the compound property stating that we owed a million and a half—900,000 pesos of which I had already guaranteed.” This, in connection with Rene’s belief that Marcos was after the mythical Yamashita treasure buried in his compound’s property, began the war of suits and countersuits between Rene and various banks and government agencies over the fate of the compound and several other properties. “They used Rosepack as a vehicle to put a writ of execution on the compound, even though the two are not related in any way. They just wanted that land, whether it was for the gold or whether they wanted to extend EDSA over it. Perhaps both.”
    It was decided by the Philippine government that EDSA would be extended about one kilometer to Roxas Boulevard. The road was intended to go through Fisher Avenue since the fifties when the plan for the development of Metro Manila was conceived by U.S. consultants. Bradley’s letter says that “the plan for the EDSA extension was changed out of the blue to veer north instead of south in order that the motels [of Pasay], which are fronts for prostitution and vice, would be spared.” All affected property owners were instructed to vacate within 15 days. Seventy percent of the Knecht compound was supposed to be demolished. Not agreeing with this, Rene mobilized all the affected property owners—including the Roxases, the Dela Ramas, and the Elizaldes—and sent a petition to President Marcos, which he endorsed to the Ministry of Human Settlements. After lengthy hearings, the Ministry decided that the EDSA extension should revert to the original plan. But, according to the letter, a Presidential Decree was issued ordering the road through Plan 2. “They took all our land. The road is seventy percent and the bars are the rest. We’ve never been paid, but now they say it’s going to happen after seventeen years. Meanwhile I’ve had no income for five years, I’m living in a house the size of a compact car, and most of my art collection is gone. My mother died with these court cases because corruption had to prevail. But I don’t care if I die, I will never stop, even though I don’t know if we’ll succeed because the law is bullshit—and all this bullshit has basically consumed my life.”

    Rene lost many valuable things in his lifelong ordeal, but his sense of humor wasn’t one of them. “Someone told me: you may have lost a lot of property but you haven’t lost your hair. I said, ‘That’s right. I’d rather lose my property than lose my hair.’” But it wasn’t always a series of failures—The Knechts won the Rosepack case in 1971 in the Court of Appeals, then it went to the Supreme Court and stayed there until 1988 before becoming final a year later, after which they filed a new case in Pasig
    Everything came to a boiling head when 14 N.B.I. officers raided Rene’s house in Antipolo and arrested him. The charge was possession of a controlled substance, but Rene firmly believes he was framed by the politicians he publicly feuded with, and that one of his bodyguards was paid to plant a packet of shabu under his bed. (Later on, the crime lab report concluded that the samples found under his bed did not contain methamphetamine.) “I heard through a cook I had that the one who planted the shabu got a nail in his eye. I don’t know how it happened.” Some people who knew Rene seem to think he ended up in jail because he opened his doors to everyone—including drug addicts who were wanted by the law.
    He was locked up in the Antipolo jail for 45 days, from September 4 to October 19, but was able to spend most of his time in the patio of a sympathetic general he had met in prison and who was able to convince the warden to give him custody. But there were many nights he spent handcuffed inside the jail cell with his godson, the son of Lee Aguinaldo, who was the alleged drug addict living in Rene’s house with his daughter at the time they were arrested. “The jail in Antipolo was worse than Bilibid. It was horrible. You’re in a room with 80 people and you can’t even move—luckily for me, I did most of my time in the patio. They say it’s the second worst prison next to Parañaque. I wrote Gloria three letters, and she answered the last one but never did anything.” Rene lost about a pound a day eating lugao, but “once or twice a week, somebody would come with a chicken or something, but you would have to share it. Maurice Arcache came with a pizza, and I handed out slices to everybody. Bettina Lopez, the wife of Serge Osmeña came to visit me. Marilou Prieto came prancing in one day clutching two bottles of wine to her chest. Hahaha! She’s crazy! She’s in her own world, that woman, but I love her to death.”

    From Antipolo he was transferred to Camp Crame, where he was detained until February 2004 under suspicion of plotting an assassination. “I was poisoned in Crame and lost all my bottom teeth.” He grins and taps them and says, “These are all fake. One day I just collapsed, stood up, and collapsed a second time. They took me to the hospital in a van and found arsenic in my blood. My teeth started falling off like popcorn. . . . The sleeping conditions were not bad though. The first two months I had to sleep on the floor, but after that they gave me a cot. I wasn’t with other inmates. There was one guy in Crame who had a very big titi—which is unusual in the Philippines—and he would walk around stark naked and show it off after the guards fell asleep. Now, I don’t know what he was trying to prove.”

    There was no food in Crame, but the inmates had 500 pesos a week. Friends would send Rene ham, and, his cook who was working with the Osmeñas at the time, would send him three or four kilos of chicken adobo. “Even in the other jails where we had no ref, chicken adobo with a lot of vinegar would last three days.” His friends would send him three or four thousand pesos a week, depending on whether they could sell any of his paintings or other things. As cash gifts, he received a total of about 400,000 pesos, and some of that money was used to pay his lawyers. “The Swiss embassy helped me out a lot also. They kept coming to see me and they brought me food, but they never gave me any money for lawyers.” According to Rene, the President’s sister, Elizabeth Keon, interceded to have him released, so instead of staying there for a year, he stayed for 52 days.

    On February 27 Rene was transferred to the Teresa jail. “The first afternoon I was inside, we were around 80 people in the room and one guy walks up to me and tells me in English to take off my shirt, so I did. Then he tells me to take off my pants, so I did and thought this is it. He takes my clothes and starts feeling through the linings—It turns out he was looking for shabu. So now I’m standing there—stark naked—and one guy sitting over here whips out his cock and starts jerking it towards me. I thought I was going to get raped by 80 guys.” After half an hour, the warden arrives with a court order for Rene to be transferred to any hospital, because, by this time, he was suffering from scabs all over and his body was covered in ointment. “You know in the mornings when you have an erection? The pain was just horrible because it stretches the wounds and hurts you to death.” Rene was transferred to the top floor and stayed there from February 27 to April 30 because there were no escorts available to take him to a hospital. “Four judges denied me bail. The fifth one was related to Chavit Singson, who I know from my Baguio days, and he saw that there was no evidence—so then I got bail and my case was dismissed in May of last year. It was the most horrible experience of my life.”

    “How he survived prison is really beyond me,” says Marilou. “God only knows what they did to him there.” She looks up with an expression of baffled concern, and says, “Well he’s big and tall and has a very strong character—it was already formed when his parents sent him to strict schools in Switzerland. He’s angry but not miserably depressed. He’s a man, a strong man with a lot of integrity. He knows what’s right and what’s wrong, and he has a lot of strength.”

    While Rene languished in jail, his estate was plundered. Safety boxes were opened and accounts were closed both here and in the States. “So then I had no more money to pay the lawyers. Josine Elizalde helped me sell some of my paintings. They sold some of my antique jars—I used to have a few hundred of those. Minnie Osmeña and some other ladies also raised money for me. In fact, I still have to pay all that back.” During the entire time Rene was incarcerated, he claims he was robbed of roughly a billion pesos worth of paintings, antiques, and jewelry. “I had a Corot painting worth maybe half a million dollars that was stolen along with all my Lunas and Amorsolos. My designer clothes and shoes were taken with all my Georgian silver. All my cars and stock certificates were stolen. They took seven watches from me in Antipolo. That’s why I don’t wear a watch—they’re all gone! I had sixty gold coins that were my mother’s, and only two were left. All my studs, cufflinks, chains, everything! And I had guards who were paid eighteen thousand pesos a month each to watch the house, so they were the ones who did it. Big Score.”

    “He had all of these talents, and then all of a sudden—everything happened,” laments Marilou. “People who see him and talk to him now will find an embittered man. But, I mean, it’s understandable. If I was jailed for over a year and everything was taken away from me—my house, my buildings, my shares of stock—I don’t know how I would react either.”

    Even though Rene’s life has taken every wrong turn imaginable, he claims he would readily fight the same fight all over again. “It’s not an experience I treasure with me, but I don’t regret it. I lost everything but I’m not going to give up. No way. I’ve never compromised on anything, that’s why I’m referred to as the biggest threat to the establishment. I’m very controversial, but at least I’m still alive.”

    From once living as a golden boy in the summits of high society, Rene has slowly over the years disappeared into obscurity, shutting himself out from his friends and holing up in his hermit’s house where Jerome, his bulletproof vest, is always an arm’s length away. “He’s in the poor house,” continues Marilou, “but he still wears his linen shirts, his slacks, his moccasins. When Giovanni Sanna left and I had nobody to take my clothes to, he gave me the number of his tailor in Hong Kong. He’s impeccably dressed to this day.”

    Despite all the problems the pitchfork of fate has tossed into his bonfire of a life, Rene refuses to lose hope—even if some might see it as maintaining delusions of grandeur. In the middle of the interview he gets a call from Ralph, his “man in Singapore,” who is apparently yacht-shopping for Rene at a local boat show. I take note of snippets from their conversation: “Seventy feet? No that’s too small . . . there are many islands in the Philippines, so I plan to sail around them . . . hundred forty feet? Now that’s a big one. . . .” After he gets off the phone he says, “I’m going to spend some of the money I collect because I can’t take it with me. I told Ralph to look for a Dutch-built boat because they have the best resale value. There’s a yacht for sale that belongs to this guy who owns the Subaru dealership in Fort Lauderdale. He’s selling it for thirty-five million dollars. It’s the fastest in the world—seventeen knots. But unless I collect what they owe me, forget it. The government owes me so much money, hijo de puta.”

    But, for Rene, the fact remains that there is still a possibility—however dismal or slim it might seem—of bouncing back into the good life. According to him, most of his court cases were won a long time ago, but nobody respects the decisions. “They’re sore losers,” he says, “so they keep giving me new hassles.” In what appears to be the last ace in his sleeve in this brutal legal battle to be compensated for all the land he lost in the various cases, Rene hired a famous lawyer from the States who won a case against Iran and charges a thousand dollars an hour. “I had to sell more land to pay him. If this doesn’t work, then nothing will. It will keep dragging me and dragging me and dragging me until I die. . . .” He ponders a moment, then says, “I tell you, the biggest mistake I ever made was coming back to the Philippines from Europe. I never should have come back to this super cock-sucking town. Biggest mistake of my life—because it’s all bullshit here. All I can tell you is this: You say you have a three-month-old baby girl?” He looks at me with a strange fire in his eye. “Well, she and all the other children being born today will have a better life if I succeed in what I am trying to do. Believe me.

  72. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 9, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Here is an old article about Daniel Aguinaldo, brother of Francisco “Paquito” Aguinaldo, in Hilarion “Larry” M. Henares’ “Philippine Folio”:

    Lee Aguinaldo, the lonely heart
    NONE but the lonely heart can know the sadness of a man who remembers past happiness in his present misery. Lee Aguinaldo, son of multi-millionaire Daniel Aguinaldo, saw himself a internationally acclaimed artist, a son disinherited, and finally,tired and ailing, a man without a home, evicted from the house he lived in for half a century.His father Dan Aguinaldo was the heir to the millions of pre-war L.R. Aguinaldo & Sons which operated the largest department store in the country. Dan parlayed his wealth to more than a P100 million in forest concessions, pearl farm, industries and real estate, to manage which he reportedly offered Monching del Rosario a salary of a million pesos a year.

    In 1964, Dan met a dentist named Dr. Thurston H. Ross Jr. who allegedly introduced him to the drug Librium to which Dan got so addicted that he kept a huge salad bowl filled with 10 milligram tablets in the middle of the conference table for his use, for 21 years, up to January 29, 1985, when he died. By the time he died, Dan’s fortune dwindled to less than P6 million in non-liquid
    assets and uncollectibles, and liabilities of P8.5 million, or a net estate of minus P2.7 million, administered by executor ex-Secretary of Finance Dominador Aytona, who, according to Lee, collaborated with others to dissipate the inheritance. Most of Dan’s valuable assets were transferred at give-away prices to a certain
    Nestor Jose whom Dan did not meet till less than three years before his death, in documents signed in Los Angeles, with Dr. Ross in attendance. Dan transferred to Nestor L. Jose, his wife Belen, and brother-in-law Manuel
    Abrugar III, 53 percent of his holdings in Agro-Seafood Corp. four months before death; 59.5 percent of Mindanao Realty, two months before death; all his holdings in Nationwide Development, three months before death; all his holdings in the Rural Bank
    of Mabini (Davao); 3,500 square meters in Tagaytay; 806 hectares of pastureland in Palawan, 5,786 square meters of Valley Golf, and 1,524 square meters in Antipolo all for only P250,000, all on Aug. 22, 1984, 5 months before death.Dan’s children are Leopoldo II or Lee, Andrea, Victor and Norman, all by Helen Leontovich Aguinaldo; and a daughter Adora by Ms. Kimiyo Koyano of Japan. Who is Nestor L. Jose? He is identified as Dan’s nephew — not true according to Lee and relatives.
    Lee Aguinaldo was a graduate of Culver Military Academy in the state of Indiana,and was so turned off by military life that for spite he decided to be an artist. He turned out to be a good one. He is the only artist ever to win first prize twice (1962, 1965) in the Art Association annual exhibit and competition. In 1963 he made the cover of Asia Magazine, and in the 1970 Expo Museum of Fine Arts in Osaka to show the world’s major masterpieces from 3,500 BC to 1970 AD, his “Linear No. 101” was included.Among the 125 artists chosen to represent contemporary trends, among Piet Mondriaan,Edvard Munch, William De Kooning, Victor Vassarely, Jean Dubuffet, Ben Nicholson and Salvador Dali, was included Lee Aguinaldo.On March 21 1969, disgusted by American parity rights and the bases pact, the American-born Lee Aguinaldo went to the US Embassy and renounced his US citizenship, and was promptly declared persona non grata by the Embassy and CIA.On Dec. 10 1974, Lee was picked up by the infamous Col. Rolando Abadilla and was confined at Camp Crame for 16 days, spending his Christmas under detention, because in one party he stumbled upon the girlfriend of a Cabinet official making love with someone else on the bathroom floor. Today, Lee and his 75 year old mother are being evicted from the Sta. Mesa estate of his father, at 3186 V. Mapa street, by the executor D. Aytona who sold the property for only P16.2 million in spite of offers up to P25 million, without prior knowledge of the Aguinaldo family.Worse of all, they are subjected to the most cruel harassments imaginable from Aytona and Combined Security Agency owned by Doy Laurel — electricity unreconnected; threats by guard Silvestre Suello to cut the throat of the mother, bash the skull of and shoot Lee; theft by six security guards of plywood walls, yakal flooring,
    electrical wiring, bathroom fixtures; throwing rocks on the roof from 12 midnight to morning; forcing Lee to climb a 6.5 foot steel gate which guards refuse to open — all subject of a petition six months ago, ignored by Judge Marcelo R. Obien of RTC Manila, whom Lee suspects is under Aytona’s influence.
    None but the lonely heart can know such sadness

    By Jerome Gomez

    When everything else has gone, someone once said, art is all that remains. And in the small Quezon City room that Melba Arribas used to share with the artist Lee Aguinaldo, art seems to brim from every drawer, underneath closets and still unopened boxes. On the walls, small works from Lee’s linear period are interspersed with photographs and small collages, and beside a lamp hangs a framed photographic diptych by Wig Tysman of a young Melba sexily reclining on a bed while the wild man Lee, wearing his signature dark aviator glasses, sits on a chair beside her.

    Before Arribas sits down for the already impatient tape recorder, she walks slowly as if about to perform a ritual. She is slim and model-like at 49. She opens a huge envelope and empties it of browning tearsheets and entire magazines made brittle by time. She lays them all on a bed whose headboard leans on a red brick wall, and whose old pillows and sheets don’t match. She opens clearbooks full of letters, boxes of old photographs. And just when you think she is about to sit down across me, she lights a cigarette and seems to ponder if there is still in fact a remnant of Lee she forgot to bring out. Finally, after putting on one of Lee’s favorite jazz records in the vinyl player, she sits down, switches on the lightbox between us, and brings out a rectangular box containing slides of Lee’s works.

    Lee Aguinaldo died in this room last January after his second stroke. He was 74. “It was like someone took a part of you,” Melba says. She speaks gently, betraying no trace of pain or longing, just a quiet, if sad, acceptance. “When you come home wala ka nang kausap. It’s hard when I come out and have to look for all his things. Sometimes I delay and delay and say ayoko na muna.” But she has had to face this task, the unloading of boxes and drawers of Lee’s works, of his personal and career history, not just for this interview but also for curators from the Ateneo Art Gallery. Next year is turning out to be a banner year for Lee. Apart from the major retrospective at the Ateneo, there will also be exhibitions at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Manila Metropolitan Museum.

    After more than half a decade’s worth of contribution to Philippine art, the Ateneo show will be the first ever Lee Aguinaldo retrospective. His last show was 1992’s “Rembrandt Light Series” at the Lopez Museum which showcased intimate pen and ink drawings based on self-portraits of Rembrandt van Rijn, one of Lee’s favorite painters, according to Melba. It was his first show after more than a decade of absence from the art world. While it is true the Dutch master’s work echoes even in Lee’s largely abstract efforts, art critic Rod Paras Perez writing about the exhibition in August of that year, saw beyond the two artists’ deft hands when it comes to light and shadow. He saw the similarity between their lives—both experienced the glamour of wealth and celebrity that eventually led to poverty and isolation.

    Leopoldo “Lee” Aguinaldo was born in New York in 1933 to Daniel Aguinaldo, campaign manager and “kingmaker” of President Ramon Magsaysay, and his Russian-American wife. Even as young boy, he always had a strong interest in art, frequenting the Metropolitan Museum to see the works of the Rembrandts and other Dutch masters. At 14, his father sent him to Culver Military Academy in Indiana, to discipline him. While the four years he spent in the academy were extremely agonizing, this was also the period he decided to become an artist. With no formal training in art, he started teaching himself by copying images from comic books. At 15 and sick with the measles, he had just read Lust for Life, a book on the life of Van Gogh. It would fuel his spirit, but what would prepare him, perhaps unwittingly, for the career he will be most celebrated and remembered for, is the book Five Hundred Years of Art and Illustration. Lee spent all his unregimented time in the academy drawing and copying from its illustrations.

    His father’s design to make a decent man out of his son didn’t stop when the latter finished military school. As soon as Lee arrived in Manila, he was forced to major in commerce at the De La Salle. He finished the course and began to live his legendary double life, “corporate by day, hedonist by night.” Glenna Aquino, writing in Metro in the early ‘90s, describes that time in the artist’s life thus: “It was the prime of Lee Aguinaldo, young, handsome, heir to the family fortunes. (His family-owned business was among the top 50 corporations then.) He’d take the social set, which was buying his early paintings, out for night cruises aboard his 92-foot yacht. It was one fast lane of parties, private film previews, chi chi cocktails, orgies and the best cars.”

    This hedonist’s life ended the day he told his father he wanted to quit the family business. Right there and then, Lee was carried out of the board meeting along with the chair he was seated on. He would take a small apartment along the Pasig river. This was in the ‘50s and by this time he was already joining group shows with the likes of Cesar Legaspi, Hernando Ocampo and Vicente Manansala. Lee’s early works were very much influenced by Jackson Pollock, and never would this be more apparent than in his first solo exhibition at the Philippine Art Gallery. Like the jazz music he so loves, his works were noticeably born out of improvisation and spontaneity rather than technique. They were filled with drips, squiggles and slashing strokes betraying a jumpy energy rather than tension and drama. Eric Torres, the renown critic and curator, commenting on Lee’s works in a cover story of Asia Magazine said, “He allows his subconscious to play around with colors and shapes: scratches, gouges, punctures the thick surface of paint layers; abandons the painting, returns to it, gives it another work out until he arrives at a composition he would like to keep.”

    Another major influence on Lee is the Fil-Hispanic painter Fernando Zobel de Ayala with whom the former kept a series of correspondences. Fernando taught him “how to think about painting and not just to depend on chance or inherent instinct…but to take advantage of chance and instinct by improving on these with the conscious brain.” Fernando remained a friend and patron to Lee even when the social set had started to regard the latter an outcast after passing a joint in one private screening.

    As the cover story that appeared in Asia Magazine observed, Lee would often work till the early mornings in his studio under a mango tree a few meters away from his house. During his Pollock period, Metro reported that he “would mark time and motion spent on a painting by lining bottles of gin he downed while working.” And as Melba recalls, during the ‘80s, there were times he would be totally consumed by his work that it is a must that he is left alone.

    While Lee continued to embrace his Western influences—Robert Motherwell’s collages during his Galumphing phase (characterized by the fun and frolic the word suggests), for instance—it was also around the ‘60s time when Lee renounced his American citizenship because of his disgust towards American parity rights and the bases pact. He was promptly declared persona non grata by the Embassy and the CIA.

    A remarkable moment in Lee’s artistic evolution was his Linear period, in which he created his most significant contribution to Philippine art. It was during this period when all the impulsive energy of his previous works gave way to a more minimalist style of abstraction, giving rein to line and geometry—but colors, strong and bold colors, continued to be a powerful element in his works.He was among the first modernists. He was in the league of Fernando Zobel and National Artist Arturo Luz Among those influenced by Aguinaldo are Cid Reyes, Ben Maramag, Rodolfo Gan and Rodolfo Samonte
    In 1979, when Aguinaldo showed his photocollage at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the late critic Leo Benesa called the works “fascinating” since they incorporated photographs of photographs that the artist had “finessed” by soaking them in acrylic and applying on them some brushwork.Showing his defiance of the art market, the 27 photocollages on exhibit were not for sale, except for editions of five of them, with 250 prints per edition, at P1.5 million, a very prohibitive price at that time.”Perhaps the message of Lee Aguinaldo is that it is high time we chase the merchants away from the temple of art,” Benesa said, “but who’s listening to the prophet crying in the wilderness?”Perhaps because he priced his work too prohibitively, as if he didn’t want to part with them or as if he didn’t want to sell his soul to the devil

    Color was also never absent in his life. In 1974, he was picked up and confined at the Camp Crame for 16 days, unfortunately having stumbled upon the girlfriend of a Cabinet official having sex with someone on a bathroom floor. When he was finally released the day after Christmas, he asked then General Olivas what he was detained for. All the general told him was: “Whatever it was you did, don’t do it again.” It was also in the Seventies when he explored gambling, selling one of his Linear paintings for P15,000 at some casino. Before the decade ended, Lee and his son Leo were thrown out of his rented Patio Madrigal studio on Roxas Boulevard He accused the Madrigal family his landlord of taking away his best works. He owed them back payments for the studio, and he had to part ways with six of his own paintings, a mosaic table by Arturo Luz, a portrait of Lee by his friend Fernando Zobel, and 60 primed canvases. All these were confiscated from Lee. A friend Rene Knecht offered him room and board at Hotel Frederick which would become his home for three years until the hotel was foreclosed.

    It was during his Hotel Frederick days when he met the model Melba Arribas. By this time, Lee’s wife, the Italian Elvira Campiglio who he married in 1960 and with whom he has three children, had already left him. Melba had been scared of Lee the first time they met in one of those shows at the Hyatt. Melba left for the US soon after for a fashion show and decided to try her luck there. In 1980, after three years, she returned to Manila and a friend had introduced them again. They were at Hobbit House and he was playing pool. “I was so attracted to him,” Melba recalls now. “Sexy siya noon. The first time (we met) talagang takot na takot ako because I was so young then. Three years after, ‘Wow, who was this guy?’” Lee had immediately told Melba to sit beside him. “’Dito ka!’ Sabi niya.”

    Tall and still athletic-built—and despite the receding hair line—he had that sexy, dangerous air of Stanley Kowalski, one of Lee’s favorite Brando characters. He favored the same fashion, too. He was partial to fitted shirts and khaki trousers with a high waist. There were always a number of girls around him. And he was already approaching his 50s then. Soon after Lee and Melba met, she was already living with him in the small room at Hotel Frederick. They would go to a lot of art openings. He likes talking to students, and he never runs out of stories.

    While Melba says living with Lee was easy, there was a period when she had to struggle with Lee’s alcoholism and substance use. She had already told Lee that it wouldn’t matter that he didn’t produce anything so long as he stopped his alcohol and drug intake. She eventually gave in. “(I thought) What do you want, hindi siya magwo-work? Madedpress naman siya (kaya) magda-drugs (din) siya, pareho lang naman.

    “A lot of people say it’s hard to live with an artist but then he was very simple. The only thing he wanted was the truth. If you tell him the truth, tapos na. If you keep hiding it from him, he will continue searching you for it. That’s why a lot of people think makulit siya.”

    This passionate search for the truth, which he always knew he deserved, is most apparent in the many letters he sent to friends, to government officials, to people who borrow his paintings and would eventually fail to honor a promise given to Lee, like returning his paintings damaged—or not returning them at all. Someone once said he has probably written a letter to every president of the Philippines. His anger and frustrations were mostly channeled into his writings. His passion in writing would show in his own edits of letters in his own handwriting.

    His father Daniel once had assets amounting to $700 million but he squandered it in an attempt to stay in good position with the Marcos government and its cronies. When Daniel Aguinaldo died in 1985, more than 90 percent of the remaining assets were worthless. Lee became locked in a legal battle with the executor of his father’s will, former Senator Dominador Aytona. While Aytona had been selling the estate of his father as the will provides, Lee alleged that Aytona was giving it at prices remarkably lower than their worth. When Aytona sold the ancestral home, the heirs were not consulted nor informed. Broke and saddled with a P2.5 million debt, Lee and his belongings were literally kicked out into the street during which he remained defiant. “He kept on painting on the day the sheriff came to eject him from his ancestral home,” Rod Paras Perez would recall of that day. “With surrealistic detachment, he noted how one by one his furniture was hauled away as he sat painting. Finally, they went for his brushes. He would put one down and it would disapper, till nothing was left—not even the canvas he was working on.” Lee’s struggle not to be evicted was covered closely by the tabloids and broadsheets. To Abner Galino of People’s Tonight, he would say “I would shoot it out like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry, or I will just blow my head off like Papa Hemingway.” “I can have a little war here,” he told The Manila Chronicle, “I want to die like Marlon Brando in Viva Zapata.”

    After the eviction, he would move to an apartment in San Juan where he did his Rembrandt series, until finally, three years before his death, a small rented house in Quezon City. The pursuit to claim the pieces of what was rightfully his consumed Lee up to his last years. Apart from the properties, there were the paintings. He would write to Freddie Webb when in a newspaper photograph of the latter at home, Lee noticed a painting of his in the background. He never got an answer. Last Christmas, when Melba attended the reunion of the Hyatt models at Chito Madrigal Collantes’ residence, his only reminder to Melba was to tell Mrs Collantes to return his paintings.

    He also wished to be reinstated as a U.S. Citizen, as evidenced by the last letter he wrote, dated September 5 2006, adressed to George Bush’s office at the White House. Someone had obviously typed the letter for him in a computer; he had signed it only with his thumbmark. “I am now 75 years old and suffered a stroke two and a half years ago, rendering me incapacitated to paint as an artist,” he wrote. “My two sons have been complaining about my giving up my citizenship. My daughter Liza went to the US and acquired US citizenship. I object to the State Department declaring the persona-non-grata in the very country I was born. I find the State Department vindictive.” On the bottom of the page, he wrote, “If you cannot grant me my request of reinstatement, at least, please remove the persona-non-grata status slapped on me.”

    His first stroke had made it difficult for Lee to move around, and so his last two years were spent inside this small, humble house in Quezon City. He spent his last days watching local television, even the teleseryes and the variety shows. He would become impatient and would shout orders to the help if he wanted anything. “He was not able to get over the trauma of his eviction,” Melba says. “Everytime he would think of it maskit because he cannot do anything.” He became very emotional. What does she miss most? “Marami. His presence, his voice. His wit, his sense of humor. I could tell him honestly what’s in my heart. He knew how to appease me.” Melba recalls how Lee had his own ritual before retiring to bed: he would first fix himself a martini, and then put on a Miles Davis CD. These days, Melba says, when she listens to the old records, no one’s there anymore to tell her who is playing the sax, or the bass, or the guitar—all of which Lee knew. Tonight in their room, surrounded by memories of Lee, Chris Connors is singing “A Cottage for Sale” from the turntable. a counterpoint to the sudden downpour outside. “A little dream castle/With every dream gone/Is lonely and silent/The shades are all drawn.”

  73. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    The first wife of President Emilio Aguinaldo Hilaria del Rosario is from Imus Cavite her parents are Domingo del Rosario and Cristina Reyes

  74. joy akeley said,

    September 7, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Thank you Toto for keeping the spirit of our ancestors alive through family trees and their extensions. I wonder if anyone in this Cavite thread can help me with the Filoteos of Cavite. My great great grandfather, Don Lucas Rubin de Celis, was an engineer from Spain who was commissioned by the Spanish Royal Navy to build roads and bridges in the Philippines. He married a Filoteo (first name unknown) before moving to southern Negros Occidental. Their three children – Francisco Rubin (married Josefa Pacheco), Lucas Rubin Jr (married Guadalupe Montealegre), and Flora Rubin (married Lorenzo Zayco) – were all brought up in Kabankalan. Their descendants include Sen Migs Zubiri and Gov Isidro Zayco of Negros.

  75. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 7, 2010 at 5:43 am

    The wealthy couple, Estanislao Tria Tirona, and Juana Mata both natives of Kawit Cavite they had one son Candido Tria Tirona when his father died Candido was studying in manila he had to abandon his studies and attend to the extensive family properties, including rice lands, fishponds, salt beds, and oyster farms
    Candido married Macaria Majaba Germino

    Candido had three half brothers and one half sister
    1.Daniel Tirona he is a trusted aide of President Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a delegate to the Tejeros Convention He was also one of the representatives of Cavite el Viejo that met the Taft Commission during their visit to Cavite he was appointed provincial secretary of Cavite. and afterward served as provincial assessor and treasurer of the Province of Tarlac He was married four times widowed thrice and had three children
    2.Guillermo Tirona married Jacoba Paredes their daughter Francisca married Conrado Benitez they are the founders of Philippine Women’s University their daughter is Senator Helena Benitez

  76. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 7, 2010 at 5:21 am

    The de Facto Vice President during the Revolution against Spain is Mariano Trias his parents are Don Balbino Trias, a cabeza de barangay and Gabriela Closas he married Maria Concepcion Ferrer they have eight children Civil Governor William Howard Taft appointed Mariano Trias as the first Civil Governor of Cavite the town San Francisco de Malabon was renamed after Mariano Trias

    Mariano Trias had two brothers, Pedro Trias and Maximino Trias.

    Gabriel Trias Sr., one of his children, married Mercedes P. Trias with whom he had six children namely Nimia, Felina, Marina, Editha, Gabriel Jr. and Constancia.

    Maximino Trias was married to Catalina Raqueno and they only had one child, a son named Jose Trias.

    Jose Trias was married to Nieves Basa and they have seven children. Their names are: Balbino B.Trias, Gabriel B. Trias , Lorenso B. Trias, Isabel B. Trias, Donata B. Trias, Eleuterio B. Trias and Andrea B. Trias.

    Balbino Trias was married to Mariquita Cupino. Four daughters: Angelina, Georgina, Azucena and Gregoria.

    Gabriel Trias was married to Felicitas Solis. Six children: Nieves Trias, Felicitas Trias, Gabriel Trias Jr, Joseph Trias, Arielle Trias Flores and Catherine Trias-Jones.

    Lorenso Trias was married to Filomena Cruz. They have two sons: Alex Trias and Maximino Trias.

    Isabel B. Trias was never married.

    Eleuterio Basa Trias was married to Manuela Pengson Lopez. Eight children: Alfredo, Irene, Noela, Edwin, Eleuterio Jr., Jose, Emmanuel Luis, Elman Apollo.

    Andrea Trias is married to Alfredo Reyes. Four children : Anne, Antonette, Al Jr., and Adrian

    Jasmine Trias, of American Idol is his descendant

  77. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 7, 2010 at 3:43 am

    The daughter of President Emilio Aguinaldo, Maria Aguinaldo, married a Poblete.

  78. Enrique Bustos said,

    September 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The brothers Crispulo and Cipriano were the ancestors of the Aguinaldo family.

    Crispulo Aguinaldo married Trinidad Famy and their son was former President Emilio Aguinaldo.

    Cipriano Aguinaldo married Silveria Baloy and their son was General Baldomero Aguinaldo. He married Petrona Reyes and their daughter Leonor married Enrique Virata. Leonor and Enrique’s son is former Prime Minister Cesar A. Virata.

  79. July 23, 2010 at 3:10 am

    Hi Toto–

    I found your posting about old Cavite families via Google.

    So..ouch…I’m sorry…I’ll chalk it up to ignorance, I just read your post about “anonymous comments.” Forgive me please ^_~

    I find your website so fascinating. I’m learning so much about branches of my family…your accounts parallel stories i’ve heard about my great-grandparents and the lives they lived back then.

    Keep up the good work 🙂

  80. July 22, 2010 at 7:48 am


    Please be reminded:

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

    Thank you.

    Toto Gonzalez

  81. Enrique Bustos said,

    July 22, 2010 at 6:42 am

    Tankeh family are originally from Cavite their patriarch is Don Eusebio Valdez Tankeh he is married to Doña Hilaria Isabelo their children are the FF

    1.Remigio married to Rosita G. Tan,
    2.Alejandro married to Lulu Arenas sister of Connie Arenas Ledesma
    3.Aida married to Angel Concepion former Assembly of Nueva Ecija
    4.Florencia Married to a Vietnamese surnamed Huibonhoa their daughter is Consul of Gambia Agnes Huibonhoa
    6.Brigida Married Ben Guingona brother of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona
    7.Clemente married to Ligaya __?___

  82. Noni Agulto said,

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Wow toto…nice!

    I love tita vicky, rita and marv..spent time with them when i was in tokyo last year…they were with cathy also i remember. Joao and I work together in government…small world really. =)



  83. Noni Agulto said,

    July 20, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Wow toto…nice!

    I love tita vicky, rita and marv..spent time with them when i was in tokyo last year…they were with cathy also i remember. Joao and I work together in government…small world really. =)

    best nons

  84. Enrique Bustos said,

    July 18, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    The mother of banker and former Finance Secretary Edgardo B. Espiritu is a sister of former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr..

    The father of former Prime Minister Cesar Virata, Enrique Virata, was the brother of Leonides Virata.

    The mother of former Senator Helena Benitez, Francisca Tirona-Benitez, was born in Imus, Cavite to Guillermo Tirona and Jacoba Paredes. Francisca Benitez was the founder of Philippine Women’s University.

    President Carlos P. Garcia’s daughter, Linda Garcia, married Fernando Campos of Cavite.

  85. Alex R. Castro said,

    July 15, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    The Conchus were originally from Guagua, Pampanga. Agapito Conchu was one of the 13 martyrs of Cavite. I think a son, Agapito Conchu, became an early director of films.

  86. Dr. Taddy Buyson Gonzales said,

    July 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    a sister of Naty Osorio Aguinaldo was ANNIE OSORIO, the most sought after personal dressmaker in the 50’s.

    Ms Annie Osorio was known for her well tailored dresses and suits which were used by the matronas when travelling abroad.

    her atelier was behind the Marian hospital along Calle Isaac Peral for sometime.

  87. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    According to media reports, the great grandmother of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, a Scholastica Romero, hails from Cavite Nuevo.

  88. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 13, 2010 at 4:21 am

    The Aguinaldos of Kawit are a legendary Cavite family. Foremost amongst the family members was President Emilio Aguinaldo. President Aguinaldo’s descendants include a Prime Minister (grand nephew Cesar Emilio Aguinaldo Virata), a Supreme Court Justice (granddaughter Ameurfina Aguinaldo Melencio-Herrera), and the present Congressman of the 1st District of Cavite and Liberal Party Secretary-General (great grandson Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya). Other descendants are Emilio Aguinaldo IV (Vice-Mayor of the Aguinaldo stronghold of Kawit who is the husband of ABS-CBN news reporter and former girlfriend of President Noynoy Aquino, Bernadette Sembrano) and Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay (late husband of Isabel Murphy Cojuangco, sister of industrialist Eduardo “Danding Cojuangco and aunt of President Noynoy Aquino).

  89. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 13, 2010 at 4:03 am

    As Cavite City was the headquarters of the Spanish Royal Navy in the Philippines, many Naval officers married Filipinas or Chinese-Filipinas in Cavite City. Luis Aguado was the son of a Captain of a Spanish Naval ship. He married Felisa Osorio — daughter of Antonio Osorio, a Chinese-Filipino mestizo who was an astute businessman and was the richest Caviteño at that time (the Osorio mausoleum in Cavite City, built in the early 19th century, is still a sight to behold — wrought iron fencing, crystal chandeliers, Italian marble; it was one of the few architecturally significant structures which withstood the devastation of the 2nd World War).

    Luis Aguado, although of Spanish descent, became a freemason and joined the revolution against Spain. He was implicated in the Cavite Mutiny and, at a young age, was executed as one of the 13 Martyrs of the Revolution together with Francisco Osorio — son of Antonio and eldest brother of Felisa.

    It was not long before the young and extremely beautiful Felisa re-married. She became the wife of another revolutionary, Daniel Tria Tirona. Daniel Tirona was one of the most trusted aides of President Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a delegate to the Tejeros Convention which elected Emilio Aguinaldo as President of the Philippine Republic. During the said Convention, Andres Bonifacio was elected Secretary of the Interior. Bonifacio’s election, however, was opposed by Daniel Tirona and a duel between the 2 almost ensued.

    Daniel Tirona was the brother of Guillermo Tirona whose daughter, Francisca Tirona, was the founder of the Philippine Women’s University. Actually, Daniel and Guillermo were both teachers so Francisca was a perfect fit to found an institution of higher learning. Francisca married Conrado Benitez. They lived in the legendary “Mira Nila” — their home in Mariposa, Quezon City. They were the parents of Senator Helena Zoila T. Benitez.

  90. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 13, 2010 at 3:19 am

    The Osorios were a prominent family from Cavite City. One of the 13 Martyrs of the Revolution, Francisco Osorio, was a member of the family. Another family member, the beautiful and elegant Nati Osorio, married Francisco “Paquito” Aguinaldo. Their children include Frannie Aguinaldo-Jacinto (wife of businessman and musician Ramon “RJ” Jacinto) and Reggie Aguinaldo-Young (wife of New York-based banker Stephen Young).

  91. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 13, 2010 at 3:09 am

    The Alonso-Arca family of Cavite counts among its members Dolores “Dolly” Alonso. She married Max B. Potenciano. Their family owned the Batangas-Laguna-Tayabas Bus Company (BLTB).

  92. July 11, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    a grave omission.

    in my previous post, i should have written “and thanks to you and your readers, my interest in philippine genealogy has expanded because of these stories and perspectives.” it was never my intention to forget the virtual yet vibrant connections here. mea culpa.

  93. Myles Garcia said,

    July 11, 2010 at 6:05 am

    I also think the Alcantaras are an old Cavite family.

    UP’s head of Mass Comm dept, and one-time UP presidentiable Georgina Reyes-Encanto’s mother was an Alcantara. She was also a UP Speech & Drama professor in her heyday.

  94. chuchi constantino said,

    July 11, 2010 at 5:51 am


    thanks! and thanks to you, my interest in philippine genealogy has expanded because of these stories and perspectives. now for example while i view and research the reels of films of the “padrones de chinos” (mormon archives) to find out more about my ancestor in the chinese diaspora, i will also be paying more attention and noting those names i came across here. i find these tales of the past quite riveting.

    i am forwarding to toto’s email a rudy narvaez info. he could be the one if he is is around 65.

  95. Presy Guevara said,

    July 10, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Chuchi, do you happen to know Rudy Narvaez? His family owned a bank in Silang and a parcel in Tagaytay. I’ve lost contact in the late Eighties. Is he still in LA? I’d be glad if you can help me reconnect. Thanks.

  96. Myles Garcia said,

    July 9, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Are the Camposes an old Cavite family? Their medical school was located there.

  97. July 9, 2010 at 4:18 pm


    Thank you for that information, as always. I can consistently count on you for scholarly postings!


    Toto Gonzalez

  98. chuchi constantino said,

    July 9, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    “prominent mestizo principalia families in 19th century cavite
    were the aguinaldos, tironas, encarnacions of kawit, the viratas, ylanos, monzons and topacios of imus, the cuencas, mirandas, pagtachans, cuevas and narvaezes of bacoor, the pobletes, bustamantes, yubiengcos, nazarenos of naic.”
    from the “journal of southeast asian studies”, mcgraw-hill far eastern publishers, 1985.

  99. July 9, 2010 at 10:15 am


    Thank you for the great information. Cavite is your home province, so please keep firing away!!!


    Toto Gonzalez

  100. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 9, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Cavite Nuevo was one of the most devastated cities during World War 2. The city was totally leveled. None of the 4 churches survived. Only the icon of “Nuestra Señora de Soledad de Porta Vaga” survived. All other religious artifacts were destroyed. The present City is not even a shadow of it’s glorious past.

  101. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 9, 2010 at 7:10 am

    More prominent families from Cavite:

    Cavite Viejo: Bautista
    Imus: Virata
    Cavite Nuevo: Osorio, Antonio, Tria-Tirona, Ballesteros, Bernal, Conchu, De Ocampo, Inocencio (also, re my initial post, it’s supposed to be AlonSo [not Alonzo]).
    Naic: Poblete

    Cavite Nuevo (now Cavite City) was actually one of the richest cities in the Philippines prior to the 2nd World war. A very small city (in terms of land area), it had 4 huge churches — Nuestra Señora de Soledad de Porta Vaga, San Antonio, San Pedro, and San Roque. It derived its riches from the Galleon Trade as the central port of the Philippines was in Cavite Nuevo as was the headquarters of the Royal Spanish Navy — this is because Cavite Nuevo directly lay in the mouth of Manila Bay. During fiestas, it was customary to parade the patroness of the City — Nuestra Señora de Soledad de Porta Vaga and during the procession, the rich families would lend their finest Persian and Chinese silk carpets to line the entire procession route so that the carroza of the Virgen would not touch the cobblestone pavement.

  102. Paz Atienza said,

    July 9, 2010 at 3:31 am

    The Angeleses of Bacoor are quite an old and prominent family too.

  103. Ipê Nazareno said,

    July 8, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Cavite Nuevo (Cavite City):


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