Saturday, July 20, 2019

Are You a Lakandula Descendant?

It has become a badge of pride for Cebuano and Bol-anon families to claim descent from Lapu-Lapu, Tupas, or any of the other Visayan rulers who fought the Spaniards. The same is true for those in Luzon whose pride it is to be known to be descendants of the pre-Hispanic noble and royal families of Central Luzon.

Because his descendants outnumber any other prominent pre-Hispanic family in Luzon and many of the names in his tree have become distinguished men and women in history (with some become infamous), descent from the pre-Hispanic royal families of Central Luzon has become almost synonymous to being a Lakandula descendant. Even the record keeping of the Spaniards lumped all royally-descended families into a file called Descendientes de Don Carlos Lacandola and when there was a need to put them all into one barangay in pueblos where descendants of pre-Hispanic royal families were found, this barangay was called the Gremio de Lacandolas

It thus stands to reason that in many documents, a "Lakandula descendant" is not necessarily a direct descendant of the famous ruler of Tondo, but rather an indication of descent from the other royal personalities like Rajahs Matanda and Soliman or any of the names mentioned in the Rulers of Central Luzon family tree. In the same manner, while the title of this article is "Are You A Lakandula Descendant", the Lakandula descendant here will mean all other pre-Hispanic royalty descendants.

This article is simply an introduction to the 4 main qualifications for being a Lakandula descendant. Separate future articles will be released for each qualification.

First Qualification: The Surname

Many families today claim a tenuous link to pre-Hispanic royalty just because of the surname they carry. This is the easiest way to claim descent from Lakandula, just because their surname is the same as one of the acknowledged "royal" or "noble" surnames.

So which surnames are these? First, we look at the most obvious list of surnames: the Claveria decree of 1849. The decree mentioned 4 very specific last names that should not be adopted by people without any business using these surnames: Lacandola, Mojica, Tupas, and Rajah Matanda. The reason given for the special protection for these surnames is, as the decree stated, to "avoid confusion which might result to the prejudice of those who with their surnames inherited from His Majesty certain benefits".

The portion in the Catalogo listing Lacandola etc.
Lacandola and Rajah Matanda of course refer to our kings of Tondo and Manila. Mojica, on the other hand, refers to the "patrician house of Don Pedro de Mojica (also spelled Moxica) of Silang, Cavite. In 1677, Don Pedro and "his wife, children and descendants" were exempted by the Spanish crown from "tributes, forced labor (polo) and personal services of the general and particular kind.” To be sure, besides the descendants of Lakan Dula, the Mojicas of Cavite were the only indio clan which was able to maintain and preserve its special prerogatives till the end of the Spanish era. In fact, its vested rights surpassed those of the Lakandulas for they applied to both the male and female lines of descent whereas those of the Lakandulas were limited to the male line. Not even the proud progenies of Rajahs Matanda, Soliman, and Tupas were able to keep up a similar entitlement (Santiago, 1992).”

It is thus a safe assumption that people who carry the surname Lacandola, Raja Matanda (or simply Matanda), and let us add Soliman, are most likely descendants of the Lacandolas. Most likely, but it cannot be definitive for several reasons, chief among these is the fact that while these were "protected surnames" the compilers of the catalogo alfabetico de apellidos or the alphabetical catalog of last names still included these supposed protected surnames. The surnames Lacandola, Mojica, and Tupas are found on pages 71, 87, and 132 of the Catalogo, respectively, while Matanda appears to be not found in the catalog.

The next list of Lacandola surnames comes from the disputed will of Fernando Malang Balagtas. These are: GATBONTON, MONMON, GATCHALIAN, GATMAITAN, MACARALAGA, GATMAITIM, MANDIC, GATDULA, and DUMANDANKapampangan historian Mariano Henson further said that “Kapampangans and Tagalogs with the surnames MUSNGI, DUMANDAN, LUMANLAN, MADLANGBAYAN, SALALILA, GATBONTON, GATMAITAN, GATDULA, CAPULONG, SOLIMAN, LAKANDULA, and MACAPAGAL  are descendants of Pansonum, who was christened Francisco Malang Balagtas and a direct descendant of the Madjapahit rulers of Luzon (Henson, 1955).

Two other surnames, TALANGPAZ and PAMINTUAN, are also considered ancient and most enduring Tagalog surnames and are believed to be descendants of pre-Hispanic Central Luzon roaylty (Santiago, 1989). 

It is the belief of many that these names or portions of these names in modern Filipino surnames are true indication of descent from ancient Filipino blue-bloods. Unfortunately, just like Lacandola, Soliman, Tupas, and Matanda, carrying any one of these names isn't an immediate proof of being a descendant of Filipino nobility. The Claveria catalogo shows that these surnames were also found in the list: Macapagal (page 79), Magat (page 80), Salamat and Salonga (page 115), Dula (page 41), and the "Gat" names all found in page 54 of the Catalogo. As such, having Dula or Gatdula or Macapagal as a last name does not mean these people's ancestors did not simply pluck these names from the Catalogo. Mere stories of descent cannot prove validity of the claim.

Second Qualification: Empadronado in the Gremio de Lacandolas

The second list of names who are most likely descended from the Lacandolas are those whose names appear in the Gremio or Barangay de Lacandolas. The so-called gremio de Lacandolas was an administrative grouping of proven Lakandula descendants to simplify the administration of the Spaniards of the privileges received by the Lakandulas. This was established after 1758 when the Audiencia declared that only the descendants of Maestre de Campo Don Juan Macapagal and his brothers were to enjoy the benefits of the privilege given to their ancestors.

Very few pueblos had a large number of Lacandolas, so most of the names are those found in San Simon, Arayat, Apalit, San Luis, and Candaba. These surnames were SIMBULAN, PAGUIO, CAPULONG, PUNZALAN, ALFARO, MASIBAC, LALU, PUYAT, MACAPAGAL, UMALI, AGUIRRE, MATIC, TABORA, QUINTO, BUCIS, TIGLAO, CANLAS, GUEVARRA, PANGAN, TAYAG, SALONGA, and LUBAO. 

Third Qualification: Listed in the Reservados por Privelegio de Lacandolas

Other than the gremio or barangay de Lacandolas, we can also find other sources of Lakandula's descendants through the various lists of reservados in towns in Central Luzon. The Reservados was an accounting of individuals in every pueblo who were exempted from doing polo y servicio and from paying tribute. In most towns these were normally three: reservados por edad (exempted due to old age), reservados por enfermedad (exempted due to infirmity), and reservados por privilegio (exempted due to privilege, usually because the individual was a local functionary and their wife). In other towns, there were also exemptions given to primogenito or the eldest sons of cabezas de barangay; to mestizos espanioles; to church workers like cantors, sacristanes, and porteros; and soldiers, retired soldiers, and their spouses. But for a few towns in Central Luzon, they also an additional reservado called reservados por Lacandolas or reservados por merced de Lacandolas. On a rough estimate using existing records on these exempted individuals, it can be seen from the chart on the left that a bulk of the descendants of Lakandula could be found in the pueblos of Apalit and San Simon, both in Pampanga. There were also a few found in Macabebe and Mexico and a smattering few in other towns, most in Pampanga but also in others outside the province of Pampanga like Tarlac, Calumpit, and Cabanatuan. Many of the names found here like BUNDOC, TIGLAO, PUYAT, VERGARA, PAGUIO, DANGCA, PANIMOG, GALCINA, CAPULONG, YUMUL, YUMBA, LACANDOLA, BINUYA, BAYANI, MANALO, NOCOM, MANANGQUIL, BACANI, PINILI, LAPIRA, ANINAGAN, PAYQUITAN, DE QUIROS, BALAGTAS, DE LEON, LOZANO, DE TORRES, PANGAN, MACAPAGAL, MALDONADO, MANGUNAY, TUMOL, GUEVARRA,MUTYA, BATAC, CORTES, LOBO, CUYUGAN, SOLITAN, PUNSALANG, and RUEDA.

A sampling of Reservados por Lacandolas
Fourth Qualification: Other Archival Documents

The last way to find out if one's family is a Lacandola descendant is through consultation of other archival document other than those mentioned above. One very sure way is going through the Descendientes de Don Carlos Lacandola which is a treasure-trove of Lakandula descendants.

Other samples of relevant documents that can be found in the Archivo General de Indias include the documents entitled Carta de José Joaquín MerinoCarta de Pedro Calderón EnríquezPetición de Juan Macapagal para que se le conceda encomienda, and Pleito promovido contra los Herederos de Lakandola.

The last document, which translates as Record of Case Filed Against the Heirs of Lacandola, show a sprinkling of names of Lacandolas from various towns in Bulacan:

Summing Up Everything

It is not enough that one finds one's last name listed among those mentioned above. For all you know, your Salonga or Lacandula surname was adopted only in 1849 in accordance with Claveria's decree. So the first thing one must do is to establish the origin of one's "Lakandula" family name. Roots to Pampanga, Bulacan, and nearby Central Luzon towns would give someone an 80-90% chances of being a Lakandula descendant.

But the most important step to take is to stitch everything together by making sure that one's possible Lakandula descent can be traced to any of the names mentioned in the gremio de Lacandolas or reservados por Lacandolas list. Only when one can trace one's family to these individuals using church and state records can one truly say that one is a Lakandula descendant.

The journey to discovering if one is a Lakandula descendant will be long and difficult, but it would be a great feeling when one is able to do so. 

  1. National Archives of the Philippines. Tributos (Bulacan), 1849-1874.
  2. National Archives of the Philippines. Tributos (Pampanga), 1792-1873.
  3. Indiferente General (1667, February 6). Meritos: Juan Macapagal. INDIFERENTE (121,N.81). Archivo General de Indias, Spain.
  4. Audiencia de Filipinas (1667, March 7). Petición de Juan Macapagal para que se le conceda encomienda. Filipinas (43,N.27). Archivo General de Indias, Spain.
  5. Audiencia de Filipinas (1751, August 30). Orden sobre reservas de los régulos Lacandola y Rajasolimán. Filipinas (335,L.16,F.176R-178V). Archivo General de Indias, Spain.
  6. Ministerio de Ultramar (1185 / 1892). P. Mallari pide heredar privilegios del régulo C. Lacandola. ULTRAMAR (5282, Exp.9). Archivo Histórico Nacional, Spain.
  7. Mariano A. Henson. "Genealogy of the Rulers of Central Luzon as Related in the Will of Fernando Malang Balagtas." The Province of Pampanga and Its Towns (A.D. 1300-1955), 163-168. Manila: Villanueva Book Store, 1955.
  8. Luciano P.R. Santiago. "The Houses of Lakandula, Matanda, and Soliman (1571-1898): Genealogy and Group Identity." Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, Volume 18, No. 1, 39-73. Cebu City: USC Press, 1990.
  9. Luciano P.R. Santiago. "The Lineage of Mojica : the Super-Principalia of Cavite, 1677-1898." Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, Volume 20, No. 2. Cebu City: USC Press, 1992.
  10. Luciano P.R. Santiago. "Talangpaz: The Foundresses of the Beaterio De San Sebastian De Calumpang (Now the Congregation of the Augustinian Recollect Sisters) 1691-1732." Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society, Volume 17, No. 3. Cebu City: USC Press, 1989.
  11. Domingo Abella. Catalogo Alfabetico de Apellidos. Manila: Government Printing Office, 1973.
  12. Historical Conservation Society. The Christianization of the Philippines. Manila: M. Sanchez, 1965.

Friday, July 19, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: In the Blood: Tracing the Kapampangan Lineage of Andres Bonifacio

The book cover
In the Blood: Tracing the Kapampangan Lineage of Andres Bonifacio by Joel S. Regala is perhaps the first book that has attempted to trace the genealogy of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio. While Bonifacio is considered as one of the greatest Filipino heroes and many biographies have been written about him, his genealogy remains very much unexplored.

To be fair, it would seem that Bonifacio's genealogy has been designed by fate to be extremely hard to establish. Tondo, Bonifacio's birthplace, was heavily bombarded by the Americans during WWII, thus destroying many of the older edifices including the archives of the  Santo Niño de Tondo Church. Even the supposed root of the Bonifacio's of Tondo - Masantol, Pampanga and then much earlier to Macabebe, Pampanga - as hypothesized by Regala, also do not have church records earlier than the 1890s. Regala's 100-page book on the "lineage" of Andres Bonifacio is founded on his theory that because there wan an abnormally high number of residents in Masantol with the last name Bonifacio and there was one Bonifacio family in Masantol that has a long-time oral tradition of claiming relationship to Andres Bonifacio, Andres Bonifacio was most likely from Masantol or thereabouts. 

Mr. Regala is to be commended for his dogged pursuit of his theory of the possibility that the Bonifacios of Tondo were most likely not from Tondo but were from Pampanga. Again, the strongest "proofs" for this assumption are a) Masantol (in December 2008) had around 1,009 registered voters under the last name of Bonifacio as compared to the measly 102 Bonifacios found in Tondo, and b) the Narciso Bonifacio family of Masantol has long held the belief that they were related to the Supremo. Because the Narciso Bonifacio descendants , through several generations, were consistent in their claims of relatedness with Andres Bonifacio, Regala surmises that Andres or at least his father, Santiago, was from Masantol. 

The basic conclusion with which he arrives at is that due to the destruction of the records of Andres Bonifacio's birth place, Tondo, or possible birth place, Masantol, we cannot go beyond the names of Bonifacio's parents, who were Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro. But perhaps, the consistency of the claims of a Bonifacio family in Masantol is the key to unlocking the lineage of Andres Bonifacio.

The Available Facts on Andres Bonifacio's Lineage

In the Blood came out in 2014. The author's research on Bonifacio took four years but it is puzzling that he only had the names of Andres Bonifacio's parents. This is indeed unusual because the names of Andres Bonifacio's grandparents on both paternal and maternal sides have been known to historians for decades now.

The eminent American historian Austin Craig, who wrote a definitive biography of Rizal and did a very extensive study of Rizal's genealogy, was the first to write about the names of Santiago's and Catalina's parents in the Sunday Tribune Magazine on November 23, 1929. Citing the marriage records of Tondo, Craig cited the record as such:
That Santiago Bonifacio, the son of Vicente Bonifacio and Alejandra Rosales, married on the 24th of January 1863 Catalina de Castro, the daughter of Martin de Castro and Antonia the presence of Don Severino Ampil and Doña Patricia Trinidad as witnesses and sponsors...
Of course, naturally, this record no longer existed after the Second World War. The same is true for Bonifacio's baptismal record, which was firth cited in Manuel Artigas y Cuerva's Andres Bonifacio y El ‘Katipunan’ in 1911, which states:
“On December 2, 1863, on my authority as Parish Priest, Padre Don Saturnino Buntan, presbyter cleric, baptized according to the rites of our Holy Mother Church, and applied the Holy Oils to, Andres Bonifacio, indio three days born, legitimate son of Santiago Bonifacio and Catalina de Castro, of the barangay of Don Patricio Infante, with Vicente Molina as sponsor at the font....Fr. Gregorio Prieto.”
Andres Bonifacio family tree shown in the book
The marriage record is also mentioned in Ambeth R. Ocampo's Bones of Contention: The Bonifacio Lectures in 2001. Both citations were also made in the 3-part article Andres Bonifacio: Biographical Notes by Jim Richardson, an independent scholar whose research focuses on Philippine nationalism and radicalism in the 19th and 20th centuries and whose publications include Roots of Dependency: Political and Economic Revolution in 19th Century Philippines (co-authored with Jonathan Fast); The Philippines (World Bibliographical Series); Komunista: The Genesis of the Philippine Communist Party, 1902-1935; and The Light of Liberty: Documents and Studies on the Katipunan, 1892-1897. 

So it is a little strange that Mr. Regala missed out on something that I was able to google in just within an hour. Aside from this missed information on the parents of Santiago Bonifacio, Regala's assumption of Andres Bonifacio's Masantol roots is further weakened by both these records. 

Narciso Bonifacio family tree shown in the book
It is a little strange that nothing is mentioned of the town origins of the Bonifacios in both the wedding of Vicente and Alejandra and the baptism of Andres. Only Catalina's town of origin - Zambales - is mentioned. In most cases, a person during the Spanish period was either from that particular town, original de este pueblo, or from another town, original de pueblo de (so and so). It is most probably safe to assume that since nothing is mentioned of the town of origin of the Bonifacios, it is possible that a) they are old timers of Tondo, or b) they came from somewhere else but a few generations ago.

What is clear about the book of Regala is the strong dependence he has on the descendants of Narciso Bonifacio as his source for most of the book. I do not discount the inter-generational insistence of the Narciso Bonifacio family that they are related to Andres. What I do wish to be made clear is that we cannot say for certain the validity of their claims. Pending DNA tests between the descendants of Narciso Bonifacio and those of the siblings of Andres Bonifacio (and this was mentioned in the book), we simply cannot say for sure how true this supposed connection is.

Of course, the fact that very few Bonifacios could be found in Tondo at the time of Andres Bonifacio's birth could bolster the claim of Mr. Regala that his roots were from Masantol. Obviously, more research is needed for a definitive conclusion to the roots of Andres Bonifacio.

In the end, this was an easy, short read. The techniques he used were exact and laudable but ultimately, it was was really more about the Narciso Bonifacio family and not so much of Andres Bonifacio. It was more of an attempt at tracing rather than actual tracing the lineage of Andres Bonifacio.

In the Blood: Tracing the Kapampangan Lineage of Andres Bonifacio can be purchased through the Center for Kapampangan Studies - Holy Angel University at Angeles, Pampanga.