Monday, May 23, 2022

First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos and the House of Araneta

A recent article online which was obviously released to malign incoming First Lady Louise "Liza" Cacho Araneta Marcos, and in effect also take a cheap shot at presumptive President Ferdinand Romuladez Marcos, Jr., was brought to me attention since there was a brief genealogical revisionism found in the article. It read:

Liza's father, Filipino basketball Olympian Manuel Araneta Jr., is a distant cousin of Judy Araneta-Roxas, the mother of former Senator Mar Roxas. Liza's family residence was in Cubao where Mar's family mansion is also located which explains why the two are reportedly close to each other.

This short but very blatant genealogical error clearly shows either the writer being lazy with his research or trying to wrongly illustrate Atty. Liza Araneta-Marcos as a "poor" relation of the Aranetas.

Lineage of Atty. Liza A. Marcos

Whatever people say, records and genealogies available prove that the pedigree of our incoming First Lady is extensive and established. On her Araneta side, she can trace up to eight generations, while on her maternal line, she can climb 13 generations up the family tree. Aside from the Cachos and Aranetas, she can count as her relatives, whether near or far, the Cojuangcos, the Aquinos, the Pardo de Taveras, the Marcoses, the Macapagal-Arroyos, the Roxases, and many more.


Her maternal side, the Cachos, are one of the most connected families in the Philippines. They all descend from Luisa Azaola, the widow of Davao City’s founder, Don Jose Oyangoren (interesting connection since BBM’s VP is Davao Mayor Sara Duterte). After the death of Don Jose, Luisa remarried to José María González y Brenes. Descendants of Luisa Azaola include:

  • Paz Gonzalez de Azaola, the granddaughter of Luisa, married Joaquin Gorricho Pardo de Tavera, the uncle of Paz Pardo de Tavera who was married to Juan Luna (brother of General Antonio Luna);
  • Rosario Cacho González de Azaola, a great-granddaughter of Luisa, married Pedro Jose Cojuangco, an older brother of former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino and uncle of former President Benigno Aquino III;
  • Javier Luis Castillejo, a great-great-grandson of Luisa, married Maria Beatriz Preysler Arrastia, sister of Maria Isabel Preysler Arrastia, the mother of singer Enrique Iglesias;
  • Maria Angeles Cacho González de Azaola, a great-granddaughter, married Carlos Romulo, Jr., son of Filipino diplomat Carlos P. Romulo.
  • Paul del Mar Soriano, a grandson of Marilu Cacho and a 3X-grandson of Luisa Azaola, is married to TV host and actress Toni Gonzaga.

And of course, Liza Araneta Marcos is another direct descendant of Luisa. Liza’s mother, Milagros, is a sister of Rosario Cacho de Cojuangco, Maria Angeles Cacho de Romulo, and Marilu Cacho de Soriano.

On the other hand, Liza is a member of the House of Araneta, one of the most powerful families in the Philippines where four members married into Presidential families:

  • Judith Araneta, who married Senator Gerardo Roxas and thus became the daughter-in-law of President Manuel A. Roxas and mother to presidential aspirant Manuel “Mar” Roxas II;
  • Jose Miguel T. Arroyo, who married presidential daughter (and later President) Gloria M. Macapagal, thereby becoming both a son-in-law to President Diosdado Macapagal and later First Gentleman;
  • Gregorio Araneta, married to presidential daughter Irene Marcos; and,
  • Marie Louise Araneta, married to presidential son and presumptive President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

The Araneta Connections

The family tree above (click to enlarge) clearly illustrates that the above mentioned article was wrong to say that Liza Araneta Marcos is a distant relative to the Araneta-Roxas family. She is, in fact, a second cousin of Mar Roxas, her father Manuel Araneta, Jr. being the first cousin of Mar’s mother, Judith “Judy” Araneta. 

Liza is also closely related to Jose Y. Yulo, a former Speaker of the House, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, and a Cabinet Secretary, who was married to Liza’s grand-aunt Cecilia S. Araneta; as already mentioned, she and former Secretary Mar Roxas are second cousins; former Ms. International Stella Marquez is the wife of of her dad’s first cousin, Jorge Araneta; former first gentleman Mike Arroyo is her fifth cousin once removed; Gemma Guerrero Cruz, former Ms. International and Tourism Secretary and a descendant of Jose Rizal’s sister, is married to Antonio “Tonypet” Araneta, Liza’s fifth cousin twice removed; Irene’s husband, Greggy Araneta, is Liza’s 6th cousin once removed; while Jose Concepcion III, the president and CEO of RFM Corporation as well as a current presidential adviser for entrepreneurship of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.

The most interesting connection of the incoming First Lady is this: even before her marriage to President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on April 17, 1993, her aunt, Maria Teresa Araneta, married Manuel Abad Lopa, Jr. in 1956, whose brother, Ricardo A. Lopa, would marry Teresa Cojuangco, sister of Corazon Cojuangco Aquino, who would later become President of the Philippines. Interestingly, during the Araneta-Lopa nuptials, one of their sponsors was Daniel Romualdez who in 2 years time would become Speaker of the House of Representatives. In another interesting genealogical twist, this same Daniel Romualdez married Paz "Pacita" Gueco, the first cousin of Ninoy's father, Benigno Aquino, Sr. Thus, incoming First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos is related to the Cojuangco-Aquino family on both her maternal and paternal sides, with the added twist that her husband's maternal family is also related to the Aquinos.

Clearly, Liza Araneta is not distantly related to the Araneta line of Mar Roxas, as the article stated, but is still closely related being the second cousin of Mar.

The House of Araneta, after all, knows and has accounted for all its members.

1 comment:

  1. The First Lady's father Manuel "Manolet" Ledesma Araneta is a first degree cousin of Judy Araneta-Roxas, the mother of Mar Roxas