Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cebuano Families: The Garcias

When Argawanon Hilario P. Davide III ran against reelectionist Gwen Garcia for the post of Cebu governor in 2010 I started to trace Garcia's family tree as part of a feature I wanted to do in my blog. Unfortunately I was unable to go beyond three generations at that time and decided not to pursue it then.

I have finally been able to get hold of a more comprehensive genealogy of the Garcias of Dumanjug, Cebu recently. I would have loved to do the research myself but as this was given to me by a fellow social historial Michael Cullinane from the United States then I am simply happy to post the information about this political family of Cebu.

The Garcias of Cebu look to Dumanjug as their hometown although the family started in Sibonga, still in Cebu, and before that supposedly in Ciudad Real in Spain. They lived in relative wealth from the first to third generation but the family wealth most likely began to run out by the time Pablo Garcia, the current recognized patriarch of the clan, was born in 1926. Although Pablo Garcia started as a scholar of a local politician he soon made a name for himself and was able to provide for his family when he started to become a popular lawyer in the province of Cebu, having placed third in the bar examinations of 1951. He ended up in politics and worked with politicians who were his clients, including the Duranos, who were known Marcos allies. Joining the rest of the pro-Marcos politicians, he ran in 1978 under the banner of Marcos's Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, which was badly beaten in Cebu by the Pusyon Bisaya opposition party. 

Pablo Garcia, his daughter Gwendolyn, and his sons Pablo John and Nelson, all currently serve as 2nd district representative, Cebu governor, 3rd district representative, and Mayor of Barili, Cebu, respectively. The family of Pablo’s brother Jesus own the SunStar daily newspaper of Cebu.

Some of the Garcias during Josefa Paras Garcia's birth anniversary (from Sunstar Cebu blog)
Pablo Garcia's line started in the mid-19th century with another Pablo Garcia, who was born in 1839 in Spain to Ramon Garcia, said to have been from Ciudad Real, and Isabel Fernandez. The parents most likely never set foot in the Philippines and it was the son, Pablo, who first came to the country. He was listed as a resident of Cebu between 1869 to 1870. In the 1870s he was already living in Sibonga, Cebu and was recorded to have made a living out of metal collection, marble cutting, drilling, and carpentry. By 1885 he was a Juez de Paz of Sibonga and by the late 1800s he was already known as an agricultor and by 1910 was honored as the "oldest Spaniard in Cebu". He married an insulares, Nieves Fortich y Gonzales, who was of the Cebu Fortiches. 

It was Pablo's son, Antonio Garcia, who settled in Dumanjug. He came to the town in the last decade of the nineteenth century as a tabacalera agent. He decided to stay in Dumanjug and settled in an area now known as Bitoon, Dumanjug.

Antonio Garcia, who was born in 1876, married Inday Oracoy from Ginatilan, Cebu. His son Vicente Garcia married Josefa Paras, of the prominent Paras family of Barili, Cebu, Philippines.  

Widowed early, the strong-willed Josefa Paras raised her eight children by herself and was able to produce fine men and women. Her son, Pablo, served as Cebu governor, vice-governor, representative of both the 2nd and 3rd districts while another, Jesus, founded SunStar. Still another son, Tomas, served as mayor of Dumanjug from 1971 to 1987.

UPDATE. Although she has been able to stay in power for three terms, Governor Gwen Garcia became the first member of the Garcia clan to be removed from her elected post. On December 17, 2012, an order of suspension was signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III. This suspension stemmed from an administrative case filed by Garcia's former Vice-Governor, the late Gregoria Sanchez. The complained stated that Gwen Garcia abused her authority by 1) encroaching on the appointing authority of the complainant over employees of the Office of the Vice-Governor, 2) slashing the budget of the Office of the Vice-Governor by 61%, 3) stopping the publication of the Legislative Gavel and non-payment of the honoraria of the publication staff, 4) transferring the funding of the Legislative Research and Codification Project from the Office of the Vice Governor to the Office of the Governor, 5) hiring consultants without prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 6) withholding the overtime pay of the personnel of the Office of the Vice Governor, and, 7) issuing a check worth P10,000,000.00 without prior authority from the SP. (Click here for the full text of the suspension).

While the suspension order has paved the way for Vice-Governor Agnes A. Magpale to be sworn-in as Acting Governor, as of December 28, 2012 Gwen Garcia has refused to step down from office.

The complete descent from Ramon Garcia to the present:

Ramon Garcia born Ciudad Real, Spain.
Wife:  Isabel Fernandez
└─Pablo Garcia born 1839; died 1925 Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐Wife:  Nieves Fortich
┐┐├─Antonio Garcia born 1876 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐Wife:  Inday Oracoy born Ginatilan, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐├─Vicente Garcia born about 1900; died about 1935.
┐┐Wife:  Josefa Paras born Barili, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐├─Jesus Garcia born 1918; died 2004; married Severiana Biaño 1940.
┐┐Wife:  Severiana Biaño
┐┐├─Elma Garcia.
┐┐Husband:  Noppadon Muangkroot
┐┐├─Jesus Garcia Jr..
┐┐Wife:  Armi Lopez
┐┐├─Alvin Garcia. 
┐┐Wife:  Trinidad Neri
┐┐├─Zenda Garcia.
┐┐Husband:  Emmanuel Lat
┐┐├─Jouce Garcia.
┐┐Husband:  Francisco Dizon
┐┐├─Gina Garcia.
┐┐Husband:  Caesar Atienza
┐┐├─Dale Garcia.
┐┐Wife:  Doreen Jabonero
┐┐└─Nelia Garcia.
┐┐┐┐┐Husband:  Julius Neri
┐┐├─Pablo Garcia born 1926 Dumanjug, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐Wife:  Esperanza Fiel
┐┐├─Deirdra Garcia 
┐┐Husband:  Rich Vachal
┐┐├─Winston Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Isabel Alega
┐┐├─Nelson Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Yvette Rochelle Lleva
┐┐├─Byron Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Erlinda Rufino
┐┐├─Marion Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Laura Domingo
┐┐├─Farla Garcia 
┐┐Husband:  Ernie Empenado
┐┐├─Pablo John Garcia Jr. 
┐┐Wife:  Nini Fe Gonzales
┐┐Wife:  Karen Flores
┐┐└─Gwendolyn Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐Husband:  Eufroncion Codilla, Jr.
┐┐┐┐┐├─Paolo Codilla
┐┐┐┐┐├─Christina Codilla 
┐┐┐┐┐Spouse:  Vincent Franco Frasco
┐┐┐┐┐└─Carissa Codilla 
┐┐├─Loreto Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Remedios Segunda
┐┐├─Eva Garcia 
┐┐├─Ricardo Garcia 
┐┐├─Carlos Garcia 
┐┐└─Elizar Garcia 
┐┐├─Tomas Garcia born 1927;
┐┐Wife:  Zolema Po
┐┐├─Enrico Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Joey Villacastin
┐┐├─Maricar Garcia 
┐┐Spouse:  Anthony Davis
┐┐├─Marvin Francisco Garcia 
┐┐Spouse:  Marites Holganza
┐┐├─Gabriel Garcia 
┐┐Spouse:  Lormita Ybañez
┐┐├─Marice Garcia 
┐┐Spouse:  Sam Little
┐┐├─Victor Garcia 
┐┐Spouse:  Sarah
┐┐└─Francisco Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐Spouse:  Athlea Mission
┐┐├─Maria Garcia 
┐┐Husband:  Jose Amador
┐┐├─Jose Amador, Jr. 
┐┐├─Josephine Amador 
┐┐├─Juliet Amador 
┐┐Spouse:  Romulo Trijambolo
┐┐├─Jonathan Amador 
┐┐└─Julius Amador 
┐┐├─Andresa Garcia 
┐┐Husband:  Arcadio Galloso
┐┐└─Lina Galloso 
┐┐┐┐┐Spouse:  Melecio Amadro, Jr.
┐┐├─Marcos Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Luzviminda
┐┐├─Michael Garcia 
┐┐├─Antonio Garcia 
┐┐├─Malone Garcia 
┐┐Wife:  Carmen Mabiling
┐┐├─Morton Garcia 
┐┐└─Angie Garcia 
┐┐└─Inocentes Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐Spouse:  Lydia Lozada
┐┐┐┐┐├─Antonio Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐├─Bernardita Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐├─Consuelo Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐├─Dennis Garcia 
┐┐┐┐┐└─Ethyle Garcia 
┐┐├─Teresita Garcia 
┐┐Husband:  Mr. Bulado
┐┐Husband:  Mr. Garol
┐┐Wife:  Gabriela Ramirez
┐┐├─Isabel Garcia born 1879 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines; married Jorge Louis Jully 1902.
┐┐Husband:  Jorge Louis Jully
┐┐├─Enrique Garcia born 1881 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐├─Asuncion Garcia born 1883 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐├─Encarnacion Garcia born 1885 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines.
┐┐Husband:  Januario Ch. Veloso
┐┐├─Hector Chiong Veloso 
┐┐Spouse:  Carmen Maramara
┐┐├─Manuel Chiong Veloso 
┐┐Spouse:  Mary Mann
┐┐├─Carmen Chiong Veloso 
┐┐Spouse:  Jose Alvarez
┐┐└─Caridad Chiong Veloso 
┐┐└─Jose Garcia born 1888 Sibonga, Cebu, Philippines

For a related article, see Cebuano Families: Loling Bihag and Barili's "Blue Bloods".

1. Church records from Dumanjug, Barili, and Sibonga courtesy of Vip Aleonar and Gavin Sanson-Bagares.
2. Various other records from the Philippine National Archives courtesy of Michael Cullinane.


  1. wow! What a comprehensive report on our genealogy. Thanks. Update: Carissa Codilla married Richard Aznar-Beane

  2. Paulo Codilla married Michele Geneston

  3. I guess you miss Abuelo Pablo Garcia his wife Abuela Lolita Arnaiz of Tanjay and Bais, Negros Oriental.

  4. I have been told that my great-grandfather (Fabian Garcia - which he later changed to Juanito Cañete) is or might be an illegitimate child of Antonio. My great-grandfather's family settled in Negros Oriental and my grandfather and his siblings eventually settled specifically in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental. Geographically, Dumanjug is just right across from Guihulngan so it might not be too farfetched for Antonio to reach the other side. I was told that back then, the legitimate children acknowledged my great-grandfather Juanito as their half-sibling, however they lost contact later on. I am just really curious whether my great-grandfather really one of Antonio's kids or Antonio's siblings' kids because it seems like some members of the family really branched out to Negros Oriental. If anyone's willing to exchange information and leads, please let me know.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Lolo Juanito was a half-brother of my grandfather Vicente (Antonio's son in Cebu). He was always considered part of the family. I remember that when I was still a small child, we visited Lolo Nitoy in Guihulngan.