Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Philippines: CUENCO FAMILY - "Remembrance of Things Awry, The Families of Old Cebu"

 I get a lot of queries about my mother's family, the Cuenco Family of Cebu.  The following site has good information about the Cuenco family; I've taken the liberty of reprinting a substantial excerpt from this article. The author, Antonio C. Cuyegkeng is descended from the line of Miguel Cuenco. I'm descended from the line of Mariano Jesus Cuenco (my maternal grandfather).
CUENCO.  (by Antonio C. Cuyegkeng)  
Mariano Albao Cuenco was born on December 8, 1861 in Kalibo, Capiz.  During this period, Aklan was part of the political-military province of Capiz established on May 31, 1837.  Nothing is known about the ancestry of Mariano Albao Cuenco.

Mariano Albao Cuenco attended the Escuela Normal de Manila run by the Jesuits and taught in public schools in Sogod and Catmon, Cebu.
In 1883, Mariano Albao Cuenco married Remedios Lopez Diosomito and settled in Carmen, Cebu.
The grandparents of Remedios Lopez Diosomito belonged to the Lopez family of Naic, Cavite.  Her mother Juana Lopez was born in Naic around 1850 and married a Spaniard, surnamed Diosomito.   Juana Lopez Diosomito had two daughters, Remedios, who was born around 1870, and Concepcion, born prior to her migrating to the Visayas with Remedios.
Concepcion Lopez Diosomito stayed behind and got married to a Fojas, also from Naic.  She later moved the family to Tondo were she, Concepcion, owned and rented out houses and apartments.
Remedios Lopez Diosomito attended the old Immaculada Collegio run by the Sister of Charity in Cebu.
Juana Lopez Diosomito, a successful businesswoman, was married a second time to Domingo Veloso from Leyte.  They had two sons, Feodor and Domingo Veloso.

Domingo Veloso was the second son of Maximo Veloso, the grandson of an adventurous Portuguese trader who established a profitable business in China and the Philippines in the mid-1700′s. He sired five children in the Philippines, most of whom settled in Cebu’s Parian district.
In addition to her great and lucrative business in Baybay, Leyte, Juana Lopez Diosomito also invested in Cebu City.  In 1896, she purchased two houses on Calle de Prim, one of which was facing Plaza de General Loño, in Barrio of Maloco, Cebu City, from Prudencio Sanson Camara.

In 1899, Mariano moved the family to Baybay, Leyte, where his mother-in-law, Juana Lopez Diosomito Veloso had a successful business.  After a short stay in Baybay, the family moved to Malitbog, Leyte upon invitation of Don Fernando Escaño.  Mariano worked at the Hijos F. Escaño as accountant, private secretary and counselor. 

After the outbreak of the Philippine–American War, Mariano became an adviser and speech writer to General Ambrosio Mojica, commander of the Filipino army in Leyte.  After the surrender of the Leyte forces to the Americans, Mariano, to avoid American persecution for his war activities, took his family to first to Camotes Island, then to Cebu City.
Mariano Albao Cuenco settled the family at the Parian district in the heart Cebu City, where he built an imposing house located on Colon Street near the corner of D. Jakosalem Street.
Mariano Albao Cuenco was appointed by Governor Don Julio Llorente as Clerk of Court to the American Judge Layman Carlock in Cebu City.
While working as Clerk of Court, he became a journalist, writing for various papers, as well as being the editor of several local newspapers, using the pseudonym “Asuang.”. 
His constant reading and study of Spanish literature made Mariano Albao Cuenco one of the best Spanish writers of his time.  He wrote and published “EJERCICIOS PRACTICOS DE GRAMATICA CASTELLANA” in Spanish and Cebuano.
As publisher-editor of the pioneering Catholic newspaper in Cebu “ANG KAMATUORAN” (1902-1911), he established the Cuenco newspaper dynasty.
In 1907, he founded IMPRENTA ROSARIO housed in the ground floor of their residence along Calle Colon.
Mariano Albao Cuenco tried to enter politics by running for governor of Cebu, but lost. He died on July 9, 1909 after a lingering sickness.
His early death at the age of 48, caused his widow, Remedios Lopez Diosomito to take over the management of the IMPRENTA ROSARIO that published the tri-weekly Spanish-Cebuano “EL PRECURSOR, ANG MAG UUMA” (1907 – 1941) edited by second son, Mariano Jesus Cuenco.  It also published the Cebu Catholic all Spanish weekly newspaper “EL BOLITIN CATOLICO” (1915-1930) founded and edited by eldest son, Jose Maria Cuenco.  Being the youngest, Miguel Cuenco contributed articles, both in Spanish and in English, to the family’s daily and weekly newspapers as well as being the editor of “LA JUVENTUD”.
The contributions of the brothers Mariano Jesus and Miguel to the Spanish language and culture were recognized with Mariano Jesus being elected member of Academia Filipina Correspondiente de la Real Academia Española, while Miguel was elected member of the prestigious Real Academia Filipina and Real Academia Española, literary organizations for the preservation and promotion of the Spanish language and culture.
This trio of talented brothers – all trilingual writers – were among the pillars of Philippine journalism.

Remedios Lopez Diosomito’s assumption of the job of running the family printing press, IMPRENTA ROSARIO established her as the first woman publisher of Cebu in 1909 at the age of 39.
The “EL PRECURSOR, ANG MAG UUMA” (1907 – 1941) evolved into the English “REPUBLIC NEWS” in 1947. 
Nyora Medios, as she was fondly called, died on July 29, 1945 at the age of 75. 

Mariano Albao Cuenco and Remedios Lopez Diosomito had 16 children, of which only 4 survived to adulthood.  The eldest was Jose Maria, then Mariano Jesus, followed by Jaime, born in 1889, and Dolores, born in 1893, who both died at a young age, then Remedios, and finally, the youngest, Miguel. 
Jose Maria Cuenco was born on May 19, 1885 in Carmen, Cebu and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colegio Seminario San Carlos de Cebu in 1903.  Upon the advice of Judge Carlock, he pursued his law degree in the United States.  He enrolled at Santa Clara College in California, but later transferred to Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
It was after attending a three week mission given by the Paulist Fathers at St. Patrick’s Church in Washington D.C. that Jose Maria decided to become a priest.  He graduated with a Bachelors Degree and Doctorate of Philosophy degrees in law from Georgetown in 1907, after which he returned to the Philippines.
With the blessing of Nyora Medios, Jose Maria entered the Cebu Seminary in June 1909. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Juan P. Gorordo on June 11, 1914.  He became Vicar general of the Diocese of Cebu in 1925.  Father Jose Maria Cuenco was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Jaro and Titular Bishop of Hemeria on November 22, 1941 and Bishop of Jaro in November 24, 1945 following the death of Bishop James P. McClosky on April 9, 1944.
On June 29, 1951 Bishop Jose Maria Cuenco was appointed Archbishop of Jaro and stayed on till his death on October 8, 1972, at the age of 87.
Mariano Jesus Cuenco was born on January 16, 1888 also in Carmen, Cebu and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colegio de San Carlos of Cebu in 1904.  He finished law in 1911 at the Escuela de Derecho (later became the Manila Law School) and passed the bar examinations in 1913.
Mariano Jesus entered politics in 1912 as a member of the 2nd Philippine Legislature, which started on October 16, 2012, representing the Fifth District of Cebu. He held the position till the end of the 7th Philippine Legislature on November 9, 1927
Mariano Jesus was Governor of Cebu from 1931 to 1934, when he got elected on July 10, 1934 as delegate to the 1934 Constitutional Convention presided over by the Honorable Claro M. Recto.
On November 25, 1938, he was appointed Secretary of Public Works and Communication by President Manuel L. Quezon.
Mariano Jesus was first elected senator in 1941, but the Second World Warprevented that Senate from going into session. He was reelected Senator in 1946 and served as Senate President from 1949 to 1951.  Except for the later part of the 2nd Congress, Mariano Jesus continued to be a Senator until his death in February 25, 1964, around the age of 76.
Mariano Jesus was honored by the Spanish government with the decoration Gran Cruz de Isabela la Catolica and by the Holy See with the Pro Ecclesia et PontificeAward.
Mariano Jesus Cuenco married Filomena Alesna-Barcenilla and they had son, Manual, and seven daughters, Lourdes, Carmen, Concepcion, Consuelo, Teresita, and Maria.  Filomena had a stroke and died during the war. 
Filomena Alesna-Barcenilla was the daughter of Evaristo Barcenilla Alesna and Cresencia Ynosencia Sanchez Villarosa.  Evaristo belonged to the prominent Carcar native Alesna and Barcenilla families, as differentiated from the families that migrated to Carcar from the Parian district of Cebu,
After the death of Filomena, Mariano Jesus married Rosa Cayetano.  They had two sons, Mariano and Jesus.
Of the sons of Mariano Jesus, it was only Manuel that entered politics. 
Manuel, who graduated with a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Santo Tomas, was Governor of Cebu from 1946 to 1951.  He was appointed Secretary of Health from 1964 to 1965 by President Diosdado P. Macapagal.
Manuel married Milagros Veloso and had seven children.
Milagros Veloso belonged to the same Veloso clan as her grandfather-in-law, Domingo Veloso.  Milagros was a descendant of Gabino Veloso, the younger brother of Maximo Veloso, the father of Domingo Veloso, the stepfather of Nyora Medios.
Remedios Cuenco married Teofilo Borromeo y Pulaire.  Teofilo Borromeo, was the son of Pantaleon Borromeo y Galan married to Remigia Pulaire and the grandson of Maximo Borromeo y Feliz and Hermenegilda Galan de Borromeo.  Teofilo and Remedios Borromeo had only one child, José Cuenco Borromeo who married Filomena Rusiana and they had five children.
Remedios was an accomplished pianist and acclaimed writer. She also wrote so many stories in the VERITAS.  Remedios’ sense of humor showed when she was quoted “It’s a good thing many of their siblings died, otherwise the Philippines would be in a revolution because of the Cuencos.” – referring to their volatile nature. Aside from her literary talent, not much is known about Remedios Cuenco Borromeo, her mother’s namesake.
It is told that in 1920, while Remedios had an acute abdominal disorder, her mother, Nyora Medyos went to the shrine of the Nuestra Señora Virgen De Regla (Our Lady of the Rule) in parish of Opon (now Lapu-Lapu City) and promised Our Lady a substantial donation should her daughter get healed.  Remedios got cured and her mother donated pair of diamond earrings that has become part of Our Lady’s standard decorations.
Remedios Cuenco Borromeo must have been born in the early 1900’s when the family was already staying at the Parian.  She died a widow at the age of 62.
Miguel Cuenco was born in Cebu City on December 15, 1904.  He graduated from the Colegio de San Carlos with a Liberal Arts degree at the age of 14, and a Bachelor of Laws Degree, Meritissimus, from the University of Santo Tomas at the age of 18, passing the bar examinations that same year with a grade of 100 % in Commercial law and placing 4th in Criminal Law, a record that has not yet been surpassed.  He passed the Bar in 1923 together with Carlos P. Garcia and Cipriano P. Primicias. 
As he was too young to practice, Miguel Cuenco was packed off to Europe and the United States for further studies.  He completec postgraduate courses in Diplomacy and International Relations at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 1925 with a thesis on the Chinese Government.   He also took postgraduate law courses at the Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts and at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. 
Miguel entered politics in 1931 when he got elected a member of the 9thPhilippine Legislature, which begun on July 16, 1931, representing the Fifth District of Cebu, the district once represented his older brother, Mariano.  The 5thCebu District then covered the towns on the Southern tip of Cebu: Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan, Samboan, Boljo-on, Oslob and Santander.
Miguel represented the Fifth District of Cebu till the end of the 10th Philippine Legislature on November 11, 1935.  
On March 23, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved the 1934Constitutional Convention, which was ratified May 14, 1935, thereby, establishing the Commonwealth of the Philippines.  Miguel was elected representative to the 1st National Assembly for the Fifth District of Cebu on September 17, 1935, the first election of under the Commonwealth. 
The end of 10th Philippine Legislature on November 11, 1935 was also the start of the 1st National Assembly, which ended on July 15, 1938.
On March 1, 1939, Miguel delivered a privilege speech at the National Assembly presenting  his assessment of the developing Japanese expansion policy, which, he said, did not warrant the continued retention of US military Bases in the Philippines, and pushed for the increase to 80,000 men, from 40,000, those undergoing Scout training in the Philippine Army.
Miguel was representative of the 5th District of Cebu in all the three National Assemblies of the Commonwealth.
After a few years of absence, Miguel was elected Congressman for the 5th District of Cebu to the 2nd Philippine Congress in 1949.  He was an elected member of the House of Representative till December 17, 1965, the end of the 5th Philippine Congress.  Miguel retired from politics two days after his 60th birthday.
Miguel Cuenco passed away on June 30, 1990 at the age of 86.
Read also

Top picture shows the Cuenco Family: l-r: Child Maria or Corazon,Woman standing is Filomena Alesna Cuenco, Child holding doll is Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra, Juana Lopez, young woman is Remedios, Child Lourdes Cuenco, Jose Maria Cuenco, small boy is Manuel Cuenco, young man is Miguel Cuenco, Remedios Diosomito;

Next picture shows Juana Lopez

Next picture shows Marinao Albao Cuenco and Remedios Diosomito Cuenco with their children. Jose Maria is the oldest boy, standing in the middle; Mariano Jesus is standing far right; the boy standing in front with the hat is Jaime who died young; the girl on Mariano's lap is Remedios.

Next picture: l-r: Manuel Cuenco (son of Mariano Jesus Cuenco),Mariano Jesus Cuenco, Jose Maria Cuenco, Miguel Cuenco;

Next picture shows Remedios Diosomito with family members including her three sons behind her - Jose Maria Cuenco in priest's frock behind her, Mariano Jesus Cuenco, and Miguel Cuenco. That's my mother, Concepcion Cuenco, seated right, in front of Miguel Cuenco. My grandmother Filomena Cuenco is seated to the left of Remedios;

Tags: Cebu, Philippines, Cebuano, Filipino, Cuenco, history, politics, Mariano Cuenco, Miguel Cuenco, Jose Ma. Cuenco, Remedios Cuenco, Juana Lopez.

This is all for now,


Anonymous said...

I am glad that the story of the Cuenco family has been written by Antonio c. Kuyegkeng, Don Miguel Cuenco's grandson by Marieta. I have been Don Miguel's assistant in Solidaridad Filipino Hispana Inc since 1964 and I knew him until his death. He is a great Filipino. Don Miguel was the author of the Spanish law of 24 units, but hispanophobes here, sabotaged it in its implementation. President Cory C Aquino demeaned herself when she had this law abolished by a mere DECS circular. Don Miguel's foresigth for Spanish in our schools is vindicated today by the Call Center need of Spanish speakers. I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT ANTONIO DID WRITE ABUT HIS CUENCO ANCESTORS. I USED TO SEE HIM IN HIS MOTHER'S HOUSE AS A KID SINCE DON MIGUEL RESIDED WITH HIS DAUGHTER MARIETTA. REGARDS TO THEM FROM AN OLD FRIEND AND CO-WORKER OF DON MIGUEL. GUILLERMO GÓMEZ RIVERA.

Unknown said...

Thank you for acknowledging General Ambrosio Mojica , my great grandfather. His son , Isaac Mojica Sr is my grandfather who formerly worked as a clerk at the the Senate.

Unknown said...

Thank you for acknowledging General Ambrosio Mojica, my great grandfather. His son, Isaac Mojica Sr is my grandfather . They are from Indang Cavite . According to our family , Gen Emilio Aguinaldo assigned Gen Ambrosio Mojica in Leyte during the war.

Unknown said...

Hello Ms. Cecilia, I am Jun from Baybay, Leyte. I wonder where in town did Don Mariano and Remedios lived. Velosos are still in town and I am sure they are related. Thanks!!! Great blog, btw. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello, just some info...

The Cebu Velosos start with their claimed founder the Portugese adventurer Diego (or Diogo) Veloso, who was rumored that Diego made a pit-stop in the Philippines during his Asian travels. His known grandsons were brothers Gabino & Catalino.

The clan "starts" with Diego's great-great-grandson Eduardo, who sired 5 children (Mariano, "Marqueza" Petrona, Fr. Rafael, Fr. Marcos, & Dionisio).

Maximo (+ Ambrosio, Agustina, another Gabino, & Catalina) is the son of Mariano & Carmen Rojas del Rosario. Now it is with Maximo where the real interesting parts start.

Maximo married Maria Paz Roxas, siring 9 children (Pascual, Jose, another Mariano, Gliceria, Domingo, Pablo, Fausta, Filomena, & Filomeno).
Despite this, Maximo had an illegitimate child.

There were supposed documents claiming Maximo Veloso married an unnamed woman hailing from the Parian Dutertes (founded by Bernardo Duterte & Dominga Guzman, starting with their only son Francisco Duterte), who sired their only child Isabelo Veloso y Duterte.

Isabelo married Concepcion Buot and sired 4 children, thus starting the lineage of the Cebu Dutertes. It is from Isabelo that can be traced the shared Veloso-Duterte ancestries of Rodrigo Duterte, Isabelo's great-grandson.