Cebu governors: Families connected

HISTORY MATTERS - Todd Sales Lucero - The Freeman

This week, Spain's King named Cebu's first governor. In a royal document, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi was appointed by King Philip II of Spain as the Governor and Captain General of the Island of Cebu and any future colonies in the islands. We have a comprehensive list of Cebu's governors beginning with Don Julio A. Llorente, the first American-appointed governor. Like a microcosm of Philippine culture, Cebu’s governors’ genealogies illustrate similar interconnectivity like those of our national leaders.

An interesting aspect of Cebuano politics is the interrelatedness of several governors. We have the father-daughter tandem of Pablo and Gwendolyn Garcia and the father-son tandem of Mariano Jesus Cuenco and Manuel A. Cuenco. Then we have uncle-nephew Juan and Arsenio Climaco and the father-son/grandfather-grandson situation of Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Jr. and Sergio Sr.’s grandson Emilio "Lito" Osmeña, Jr.

Then there are other connections among Cebu’s governors through three major gateway families; by which we mean families that allow us to connect various lines to one another. The first is the Chiong-Veloso family. Nicasio Chiong Veloso’s daughter, Estefania, married Governor (later President) Sergio Osmeña. Their son was Governor (later Senator) Sergio Osmeña Jr. and their grandson was Governor Emilio Osmeña Jr. Estefania’s sister, Tomasa, married Senator Pedro Rodriguez whose nephew was Governor Buenaventura Rodriguez. Estefania’s brother, Januario, married Encarnacion Garcia whose brother, Antonio, was governors Pablo P. Garcia and Gwendolyn F. Garcia’s grandfather and great-grandfather, respectively. Another daughter of Nicasio was Hermenegilda, mother of Lourdes Velez, wife of Governor Jose Leyson.

The second gateway family is the Veloso Family, which also produced President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Mariano Veloso stood as godfather to Nicasio, turning his last name to Chiong Veloso. Mariano Veloso's granddaughter, Gliceria, married Valeriano Climaco whose son was Governor Arsenio Climaco. Valeriano's brother was Governor Juan F. Climaco. Gliseria's third cousin, Tarcela Veloso Gandiongco, was Governor (later Senator) Rene Espina’s mother. A 2X-great-granddaughter of Mariano, Beatriz Duterte, married Ramon Durano whose sister Elisea married Josefino Almendras whose wife was Rosita Dimataga, whose uncle Candido dela Serna was the grandfather of Governor Vicente dela Serna.

Beatriz Duterte’s first cousin Ramon Duterte Diores had a son Luis who married Vicenta Cueva Fernan whose first cousin twice removed, Wenceslao Lepiten Fernan, married Margarita Ancajas Briones whose first cousin once removed was Jose L. Briones. Jose Briones's father, Associate Justice Manuel C. Briones, was the second cousin of Governors Sotero and Fructuoso Cabahug. Another great-granddaughter of Mariano Veloso was Milagros Veloso who married Governor Manuel A. Cuenco, son of Governor Mariano Jesus D. Cuenco.

Governor Arsenio's marriage to Januaria Cabrera Osmeña opens our “Argawanon” gateway. Januaria’s first cousin was Pedro Lucero whose great-grandson, Dr. Procopio Lucero, Jr., married Gliseria Gullas, sister of Governor Eduardo Gullas. Another first cousin of Januaria was Juana L. Villanueva whose husband, Salvador Aballe, was the brother of Martina Aballe, mother of Cebu's first governor, Julio A. Llorente. Martina’s first cousin was Francisco Aballe whose wife's first cousin, Juliana Vismanos, was Governor Francisco F. Remotigue’s grandmother. Another first cousin of Januaria, Jose Lucero, married Ambrosia Bayot whose sister, Lutgarda, was the 3X-great-grandmother of Governor Hilario P. Davide III. Ambrosia's own great-great-granddaughter, my mom Fely, married my dad Alexander whose grandmother, Carmen Legaspi, had a child with Julio Jakosalem, a brother of Governor Dionisio Jakosalem. Sergio Osmeña’s father, Antonio Sanson, was the son of Jose Maria Sanson whose first cousin, Valeriano Sanson y Rodis, “married” Cenona Rama, the mother of Senator Vicente Rama whose son was Governor Osmundo Rama.

For now, we’ve only connected 22 of Cebu's 25 governors. Perhaps there are researchers who can help expand this tree to include governors Jose Delgado, Hilario Abellana, and Manuel Roa. But what interesting connections among Cebu’s governors!


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