Thursday, August 30, 2007


My friend Gavin Bagares in Cebu sent me the following historical materials that have to do with my great-greatgrandmother, Juana Lopez y Diosomito. The first report is dated 1896 and involves Juana buying two houses in Cebu City from Prudencio Sanson Camara (ancestor of Gavin). The second article below is dated 1901 and involves a real estate deal with Prudencio Sanson Camara once again. 

 This is the oldest historical document I have about any of my ancestors. I always thought Juan Lopez came from Naic, Cavite, but the documents below indicate she came from Tondo, Manila. The little I know about her came from my mother (Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra) and also from my aunt Lourdes Cuenco who had written saying Juana Lopez loved to dance. It was never spelled out who the father of her daughter Remedio Diosomito was, but there were some references of a Spanish Admiral - hmmm - 

 Aside from dancing, Juana was a sharp business woman, as we can well see from these documents that indicate she was investing in real estate. My mother said Juana bought houses and rented them out. Her daughter Remedios learned to do the same thing, and my granduncle (her son), Archibishop Jose Cuenco wrote in his autobiography that after his father died, Remedios supported her large family from these rentals. My own mother also learned to do this, and soon after my father died, my mother made daring investments in San Lorenzo and Bel Air villages in Makati, Manila. Mama said she went to Ayala and Mr. Fitch advised her not to be afraid to invest. Mama did: 3 lots in San Lorenzo and 5 in Bel Air. The photo shows Juana Lopez, seated right side, with Filomena Cuenco (standing), and Concepcion (child holding doll). The other child is Maria, a sister of my mother who died young. Here's another history trivia: President Sergio Osmena's father was a Sanson, not an Osmena. He was a love child and while the Osmenas and Sanson accepted this fact, at some point, it was the second wife of Sergio Osmena who didn't want this information to be public knowledge. In fact, many historians know about this. 

 --------------------------------------------------------- - 1896: Doña Juana Lopez Diosomito of Baybay, Leyte, purchased (for 3, 000 pesos, pacto de retro) two houses in Cebu City, one of mamposteria and solar on calle de Prim, facing the Plaza de General Loño, and the other of cal y canto and solar on calle de Prim, in the barrio of Maloco, from: Don Prudencio Sanson Camara, negociante, married, n and v* of Cebu City (Cebu Protocolos, Doc 11, 1/27/1896/1411: 74-77) * n and v represents natural and vecino, respectively - GSB 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Protocolo Cebu [or PC] 1424, No. 111, 26 Abril 1901, S52-S55 ... de una parte D. Prudencio Sanson Camara, mayor de edad, de estado casado, propietario y vecino de esta ciudad... Y de la otra D. Juan Niwel Sidebottom, natural de Manchester, "Ynglaterra," mayor de edad, de estado soltero, comerciante y vecino de esta poblacion en nombre y representacion de la Casa Smith Bell y Compania, en virtud del poder otorgado a su favor por D. Francisco Stuar Jones, socio gerente de la entidad mercantil colectiva Smith Bell y Compania... Primero: Que teniendo D. Prudencio Sanson Camara cuentas pendientes con los Senores Smith Bell y Compania de eta plaza, las cuales no es posible liquidar en este acto; para garantia de la espresada Sociedad por el alcance que pudiera tener a su favor al practicar la liquidacion definitiva, hipoteca [mortgage] las dos fincas siguientes: una casa de mamposteria con su correspondiente solar senalada con el No. 8 en la calle de Prim frente a la laza del General Lono de esta ciudad... mide 9 metros 20 centimetros de frente por 14 metros 80 centimetros de fondo: Segundo: una casa de cal y canto, con su solar correspondiente sita en el barrio de Maloco y en la calle de Prim de esta ciudad... dichas fincas las adquirio por retroventa de Dona Juana Lopez... Segundo: Las deslindadas fincas responderan siempre del saldo que contra el D. Prudencio Sanson Camara pueda resultar en la liquidacion definitiva que practique con los Senores Smith Bell y Compania, en los negocios que actualmente tiene con los mismos... PC 1424, No. 102, 22 Abril 1901, S16-S19B ... de una parte Dona Juana Lopez y Diosomito, mayor de edad de estado viuda, natural de Tondo Manila vecina de Baybay provincia de Leyte y con residencia en esta ciudad... Y de la otra D. Prudencio Sanson Camara de estado casado, mayor de edad, propietario y vecino de esta ciudad... Primero: Que por escritura otorgada en esta ciudad ante D. Joaquin Domenech y Costa Notario publico que fue de esta provincia en 27 Enero 1896, compro al D. Prudencio Sanson Camara las fincas siguientes: primero una casa de mamposteria con su correspondiente solar senalada con el No. 8 en la calle de Prim frente a la plaza del General Lono de esta ciudad... mide 9 metros 20 centimetros de frente por 14 metros 80 centimetros de fondo: segun de una casa de calicanto con su solar correspondiente sito en el barrio de Maloco y en la calle de Prim de esta ciudad... por precio de tres mil pesos, con la condicion de que si antes del 15 Julio 1897 le devolvia el vendedor dicha cantidad deberia otorgarle escritura de retroventa... Tercero: Y utilizando el derecho de redencion retrovende al D. Prudencio Sanson Camara las fincas deslindadas ... por el mismo precio de tres mil pesos... regards, gavin

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Husband Lauren was given a bunch of old pictures and I've posted some of them. I never met Grandpa Mac (McKay), the father of Lauren's Mom. What I know about him was that he had a band and played several musical instruments. The musical gene carried through to Lauren's mother (Merwyn) who sings beautifully. The baby below is the baby picture of General Robert Francis Brainard, Lauren's father - interesting isn't it? - a general's baby picture. He was the only baby in his generation so he not only had doting parents (George Francis Brainard and Ella May Fuller) but aunts (Ines and Mary) and uncle (Jerry). Except for Merwyn, they're all gone. I knew the General, Grandma Dina (Ella May), Aunt Mary, Uncle Jerry and wife Tillie Robson - but didn't know Ines nor Grandpa Mac.

Time moves on - and as full as our lives seem to be, we're sometimes reduced to black and white pictures and only a handful of people will have some memories of us.

Here are some old photos of Lauren and his family!

Lauren and Larrie Brainard with Grandpa McKay

Robert Francis Brainard, as baby

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Judge temporarily blocks owner’s intentions to the relief of tenants
By Kevin Herrera
Santa Monica Daily Press Staff Writer
August 8, 2007

DOWNTOWN LA The embattled tenants of The Teriton apartments can breathe easy ... for now.

A federal judge believes tenants of the San Vicente Boulevard complex have enough evidence to move forward with a housing discrimination lawsuit against their landlord and has granted them a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking any attempts to evict them.

Central District Court Judge George Wu ruled Monday that there was a “probability of success” and that there may have been a violation of the Fair Housing Act when the apartments’ landlord, Or Khaim Hashalom, repeatedly informed tenants and city officials that it had plans to evict those living at The Teriton and replace them with Jewish refugees from the Middle East.

A representative from the alleged religious organization said it no longer has plans to house Jewish refugees at the North of Montana site, but rather low-income families of all backgrounds.

Tenants have been served with eviction notices under a state law allowing landlords to remove them when getting out of the rental business, and could have received unlawful detainers as early as Tuesday, according to Christopher Brainard, an attorney representing the tenants.

“This is big,” Brainard said. “This means that, for now, my clients don’t have to go anywhere. Or Khaim Hashalom had a right to commence unlawful detainer actions (Tuesday) and everyone would have been kicked out. But now, that is stopped.

“They can’t evict anyone until a further order of the court.”

Rosario Perry, the chief executive officer of Or Khaim Hashalom, could not be reached for comment. In a previous interview, however, Perry said the organization had no plans to file an unlawful detainer for at least two weeks after Aug. 7, as part of an agreement with City Hall, which was planning to ask for its own injunction.

Or Khaim Hashalom, which formed in January 2006, is being sued by both tenants and City Hall in federal and state court, respectively, for housing discrimination because of previous statements made by Or Khaim’s executive officers that they planned to demolish the since-landmarked structure and replace it with condos for sale to Jewish refugees persecuted in Iraq and Iran.

Teriton residents are asking the court to award compensatory damages in the amount of $5 million per tenant, as well as punitive damages and attorney fees, for the alleged discrimination based on the tenants’ race, national origin, religion and disability.

The City Attorney’s Office is requesting that the court order civil penalties be paid in the amount of $2,500 per violation for each day an infraction occurred. City Hall is also asking for additional civil penalties for each violation against a senior citizen, along with punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Or Khaim has filed its own lawsuit against City Hall, challenging the Teriton’s landmark designation, which prevents them from demolishing the 28-unit apartment building, which was built in 1949 and designed by architect Stanford Kent.

The organization charges that the building does not meet the necessary criteriato be a landmark, and also that the landmark status creates an unfair financial hardship on a religious institution.

The lawsuits filed by City Hall and the Teriton tenants challenge Or Khaim Hashalom’s status as a religious institution.

The City Council approved the landmark status last month after finding that the low-rise structure, designed in the vernacular Modern/International style, was a rare representation of the somewhat luxury housing for the working class that became as emblematic of early 20th Century Los Angeles. The building is situated in a potential historic district known as the San Vicente Courtyard Apartment Historic District.

The building has been surveyed by City Hall three times in the last 25 years, and at first was deemed not significant on its own, but as part of an historic district, according to city staff reports.

However, during the last survey, the building was found to be individually significant because of a lack of such buildings in the area, and because little is known about the type of building and period of development in Santa Monica.

Judge Wu has ordered parties on both sides to return to court for a status conference later this month, Brainard said. Attorneys for Or Khaim told the court that they will file for reconsideration regarding the preliminary injunction.

Christie Savage, a former tenant of the Teriton who recently moved out due to fear of being evicted, leaving without a place to live, attended the hearing and was pleased with the judge’s decision. Still, she’s concerned about her former neighbors’ future.

“I couldn’t really understand all of what the judge was saying but it sounded like he wants more information, so that’s good,” Savage said. “But I feel like we are sort of on hold once again, waiting to see what happens.”
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Thursday, August 9, 2007


I stumbled across this article which is quite interesting: (credits to Point Cebu and Ybarra)

Colon’s Prominent Residents

During the late 19th century, Colon was first and foremost a street full of residential houses built in rows. For every store, shop and office on the ground floor, there was a family or two living upstairs. Some came from the most prominent families of their time and ours, others from once-prominent families now long forgotten, having moved out of Cebu, their descendants scattered all over the archipelago and abroad.

From the Colon section of Parian lived the Gantuangcos, whose descendant, Concepcion Gantuangco-Briones, wrote in 1980 an important first-person account of life in the old Parian district. The Gantuangcos lived on No. 66 Colon Street. Across the house lived the Lu. Do Family, whose children Paterno and Cayetano, would later make a name in the coconut oil manufacturing industry in Asia. It was here that Lu Do (or Oya Owa), who came from Amoy, China, built a copra-buying station on property leased from Fr. Venerado Reynes in 1896.

On this same row lived the Rallos family led by patriarch Florentino Rallos, who became Cebu’s Municipal President (Mayor) in 1907-08. The Rallos property was said to straddle the Parian Estero up to Manalili Street. Up until World War II, the family had kept an old caruaje, an heirloom piece at their Colon residence.

On the same row also lived the Osmeñas and the Singsons. The shipping office of Don Victoriano Osmeña was on the ground floor of this big stone house, which had two main doors – one opening to Colon, the other to the dark and narrow Sudlon Street. At the corner of Colon and Norte America (now D. Jakosalem) was the stone camarin and bodega of Don Tomas Osmeña, with a yard so big that it occupied an entire block. Don Sergio Osmeña, meanwhile, lived still farther, along the corner of Colon and Pelaez streets, where he had his law office on the ground floor. It was also here that Cebu’s first daily, El Nueva Dia, which he published, had transferred from Calle Comerio (later M.C. Briones).

Don Mariano Albano Cuenco, a lawyer from Carmen, Cebu came to Colon in the 19th century and built an imposing house located between the corners of D. Jakosalem and Mabini. Its ground floor later became the office of the Imprenta Rosario, a printing press founded by Cuenco in 1907 and taken over by his wife, Doña Remedios, who became the first woman publisher I Cebu. The printing press published, among others, the revived El Boletin Catolico in 1915, Cebu Daily News in 1923, and the English-language newspaper Republic News. The politically prominent Cuencos continue to own the property today.

During the first decade of the 20th century, the ground floor of Don Agapito Garces’ house at the corner of Mabini and Colon streets served as venue for early films. Another Garces, Doña Josefa, owned another property along Colon around 1914.

Father along the old part of Colon lived Don Victorino Reynes, foremost realtor, art collector and a famous philatelist. Don Victorino owned a shop at his residence o No. 86 which was across Teatro Oriente. At the junction of Legaspi and Colon lived the prominent theater owner Don Jose Avilla. Near this house, the Estero of Parian tapered off and vanished.

Across the Los Hijos de Pueblo clubhouse on the corner of D. Jakosalem lived Don Esclastico “Capitan Tikoy” Veloso, whose hose once served as office of the Real Audiencia. The ground floor was later converted into a shop where stagecoaches were made and repaired. Beside the Hijos clubhouse was the residence of the Martinez-Franco clan, with its ground floor hosting a busy foundry for making cawa (cauldrons). Don Domingo Franco owned the house together with his wife, Doña Lucia Chiong Veloso and her sister, Doña Charing Veloso-Martinez.

At the corner of the Junquera and Colon lived Don Mamerto Escaño whose family originally hailed fro Leyte. Increasing investment exposures in Cebu forced the Escaños to establish a foothold in Cebu. Like all the rest, the family made the most logical choice – Colon.

- Ybarra

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


I stumbled on this website "The Cebu Heritage Walk" - check it out, . It has incredible pictures, a lively discussion of Cebu's architecture, history, movies, Carcar, churches, etc. etc. Arnold Carl seems to be moderating this group. There's a series of pictures of historic buildings in Carcar that's absolutely breathtaking.

My Russian dentist spoke of her ambivalence about visiting Russia. She lives somewhere between Moscow and Siberia, up in the Euro mountains, where she says people drink a lot. She talked of how small the place was and how the students bonded while in school. When she returns to visit, she is always surprised at "what has happened" to them - how did they get old, fat, or whatever. She said she saw a male classmate in the street, and she was happy to see him, but he didn't remember her, had shaky hands, and asked for some money from her. She also talked about the boy who was her seat partner, how big he was, but he was a C student. She on the other hand was small, but an A-student. So, she said, she was well-protected by this boy, and she did his homework for him. But she says that when she goes to Russia, she uses her American passport because she has more protection this way. All I can add is that when we were in St. Petersburg for a couple of days while on a Princess Cruise, the Russian immigration officers were univerally mean to all those who got off the boat to tour St. Petersburg - dour, and mean, and bureaucratic, nary a "Welcome, to St. Petersburg!"

I'm back, I'm back in Santa Monica, and wading through all my stuff. I also start my online class tomorrow, and that's new to me. I'm looking forward to this. I have 15 students and already they've started to introduce themselves and discuss their work space.

Monday, August 6, 2007


Photo above l-r: Chinggay Utzurrum, Terry Manguerra, Gavin Bagares, Cecilia Brainard, Erma Cuizon
Photo, middle l-r: Louie Nacorda, Resil Mojares, Joy Gerra, Gavin Bagares, Val San Diego
Photo next l-r: guest, Cecilia Brainard, Louie Nacorda, Pepit Revilles, Chinggay Utzurrum
Photo next l-r: Angel Manguerra, Yaya Elena, Tina Manguerra, Miguel Manguerra
Photo next l-r: Tanya and Jojo Manguerra, Patti Aberasturi, Terry Manguerra, Chessy and Marty Manguerra, Cecilia
Solo Photo shows Titang Gonzalez
Bottom photo shows Araceli Lorayes, Sister Consuleo Varela, and Lilu Gimenez