Towards a Philippine Genealogical Society

Started by Private User on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
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Private User
6/28/2011 at 5:31 AM

We need a Philippine Genealogical Society.

I am in search of equally passionate Filipino family history researchers to form the nucleus of the organization. I am looking for individuals who have, through first-hand documented research, built their family trees and communicated their findings to their relatives or other interested parties, either through printed materials or digital media. They should be willing to volunteer their time to toward improving genealogy practices and increasing interest in family history in the Philippines. Please send me a message with an introduction and your vision of how you can help.

I know there are not a lot of Pinoy genealogists out there, so I will wait for as long as it takes. Individual invitations will also be extended to historians of note. When a critical mass is achieved, I will call for a start-up meeting, in Metro Manila. I am eager for the sharing of ideas on how to move ancestry and family history research into the mainstream.

Private User
6/28/2011 at 5:34 AM

State of Genealogy Tools in the Philippines, reposted from

"Why are research and conservation efforts focused on such a small percentage of the population? Why are research tools not readily available to the general public? Why are rare papers at the National Archives only available to those with a “special authority” from the director? Why do people sell their lolo’s old office papers por kilo at the bote-garapa?

Behind my questions is the poor state of interest in history and preservation in the Philippines. Ambeth Ocampo, with his writings, have done a lot to bring the lives of Filipino heroes closer to the the average Pinoy; but so much more needs to get done. I feel that the best way to get kids and young adults today interested in the time before Facebook games and Android phones is to get them researching about something personal — their own families.

Sadly, little has been done to effectively present history research as an interesting personal journey. Aside from the CLDS Family History Centers, their is no repository of data that is conducive to research (my trips to the National Library and National Archives will be the topic of a separate entry — a looong one). So much of the fascinating tales of our lolo‘s and lola‘s, often shared in family reunions, are based on oral histories — which, as some of us have observed, grow grander over time. There is no organized group of genealogy enthusiasts who are championing the preservation of the personal histories of the common tao."

Tell me what YOU think ...

Private User
6/28/2011 at 6:00 AM

Very nice article Mona. :)

Private User
6/28/2011 at 6:09 AM

Found this on after googling Philippine Genealogical Society: but the post is 6 years old already.

6/28/2011 at 9:22 AM

Great article Mona, and eye opening for me. Thank you so much.

Private User
6/28/2011 at 4:18 PM

@Liplip, I found a lot of interest when I googled the first time; but no organization has been established.

I only know of the Kapampangan Genealogical Society from years back; but it is geographically limited. I have reached out to the Philippine Historical Association and the Philippine National Historical Society, both being loosely affiliated with the government agency, National Historical Institute, to get a feel for the landscape. As far as I can discern, both are composed of academic historians, with no organized interest in genealogy and genealogy standards. I think the private sector needs to be involved and I have got a gazillion ideas for funding and advocacy programs. But the fun times won't start without the community. :)

Private User
6/28/2011 at 4:18 PM

@Erica. Thanks for the note! I must say, Geni has been a great way for Filipinos to get a kick start in their journeys into family history. It is important to know that it is harder for the general public to get documentation beyond the 1950s, unlike the US and the UK: so data on older generations on Geni, unless well-documented or first-hand, often needs to be validated.

6/28/2011 at 7:42 PM

I wonder if an "oral history" project would attract funding and interest. This organization is very popular in the US and their stories run on National Public Radio (people commute to it).

Private User
6/28/2011 at 10:26 PM

Erica Howton, fascinating! Definitely an option, especially for many who WANT to write their family histories; but never get around to it. Will keep that in my back pocket, if you don't mind!

Private User
6/29/2011 at 5:24 AM

Folks, instead of sending me an email, please fill out this on-line sign-up sheet ( instead. It will ask you some contact details as well as three questions on your genealogy experience -- you will need about ten minutes to fill it out. Thanks!

Private User
6/29/2011 at 5:43 AM


Can I join? :)

Private User
6/29/2011 at 5:48 AM

Oo, naman! The first meeting will be in Metro Manila though, so advance planning na lang. :)

6/30/2011 at 8:41 AM

Mona I would like to assist in this Society. I currently live in California, though I can't make the meetings in person I would like to assist to document and preserve history and it's stories. Please let me know. Thanks

6/30/2011 at 3:32 PM

My aunt's brother-in-law got me started on tracking my family. Harold Liban ( has been very successfully in building his family's tree to where it is quite large, including mine, which he then turned over to me. He was recently contacted by another relative, Enrique Carino ( who mentions a Genealogical Project that I think you might want to know about and perhaps connect with him. Both these individuals, I think, would be interested in joining up with your project. This is Enrique's message:

Genealogical Project is a web site of Family Trees submitted by several genealogical hobbyists one of them is my cousin who has entered a database of about 20,000 names including the Cariño family from Lolo Basilio. I want to ask your permission to enter the Lasola families also. The information entered is limited to Name, year of birth, year married, year of death, relationships and some photos. There is a very limited information to expose us to the risk of identity theft. Click on the following link
to see the format. Scroll down to the bottom of the Home page, click on letter "C" for Cariño, then

Private User
6/30/2011 at 8:17 PM

Hi, Christian Manao Palma. Every bit of help makes a difference. Still, please fill out the on-line registration form at If we get a lot of interest from a certain location, perhaps it may make sense to create chapters early on.

I will also reach out to the Filipino American Historical Society in the US. Makes sense that a whole bunch would like to learn about their ancestors.

Private User
6/30/2011 at 8:21 PM

Thanks for the info, Vidda Chan! I will definitely give Enrique a holler. If you are so inclined, I hope you can sign the interest form also. :)

7/5/2011 at 1:55 PM

@ Eugene Almazan.

I just signed the interest form. I hope many more follow.

Private User
7/6/2011 at 1:27 AM

Thanks, Eugene! Your vision for what we should focus on is spot on! I sent you and the other people who have expressed their interest separate notes. I am sure there are more to come. Please help spread the word. :)

Private User
9/16/2011 at 10:42 PM

Hi Mona,
I have made some inquiries about the possibilities for private individuals to research in church books in the Philippines, but got a vague first response from a filipino priest, saying that the books are not open to the public, however, that all depends on who you are! I don't know if there are some legal issues that we have to take into account, in that case, perhaps we need to influence lawmakers to look into this issue and to revise the law to facilitate in genealogical researches in the country.

Organizing an official Philippine Genealogical Society should be a good idea as a first step and spread the idea with the help of the internet and the social media. I know groups of filipino families doing some kind of family researches, but like most of us, they find it so difficult to put together a reliable family tree.

I myself is doing my research, at present, concentrating on my husband's ancestry in Sweden, which is much easier, as old church books from the year 1500 are available on the internet. It would really be a great help if something like this will happen in our country.

At my own side of the family, I could trace down to the 6th generations, which is, at the end of the 18th century. Some members of the clan were keen at recording the members of the family, but before that, the only records available are the oral history which is difficult to rely on.

Private User
9/17/2011 at 4:52 PM

Hej, Nanette. Many of the church records have been microfilmed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, which is great, since there is a central repository for all of the historical church records. Still, much needs to improve. Civil records for instance should be translated from Spanish to English to reach a wider audience. Please consider joining the effort Tak sa mycket!

BTW, I worked in Ericsson for 10 years and I have very fond memories of my extended business trips there -- Kista, Stockholm, Jarvso. The water festival, crayfish parties ... fun!

9/17/2011 at 8:43 PM

Mona, I finally completed the form. Still interested in pursuing the curator conversation with you.

9/19/2011 at 11:14 AM

I'd like to recommend this distant relative to the group: Wilfredo Kaamino Jr. ( Wilfredo Kaamiño <> ) He has managed to create a huge family tree that ultimately connected to my own. We are now in the process of merging. I mentioned the Philippine Genealogical Sociey and he is very interested. Here is what he has to say about it:

"Definitely, I am interested in the creation of such an Association. As there are lots of things that we can share in learning our past. The exchange of information will be much easier. Also we would be able to create guides for those starting their own family trees, as there are people interested in doing this but are not sure where to start and how to protect their information."

Private User
9/20/2011 at 10:01 PM

Hi Vidda! Yes, Skype call this week please! How does Wed 9/21 at 5pm PDT sound? That would be 8am Manila on Thu. We can talk about the society and working towards curatorship then. Sending you a direct mail with details ...

Private User
9/23/2011 at 9:37 AM

Hi Mona, It's a pleasure to know that we have a connection, e.g, Ericsson and Sweden. Haven't work there but I have plenty of friends and neighbours who usually had engagement in the company.

Regarding joining the propose genealogical society or association, I'd like to share my interest in it.

See you.

Private User
10/23/2011 at 2:50 PM

Finally! I've been waiting to hear of a Philippine Genealogical Society for a long time.

I've already completed the form. Within the next three months I hope to start on a documentary about Fil-Ams and their genealogical searches. Feel free to give any suggestions about what should be showcased in the film. I hope that the society will eventually be of help to those curious of their Filipino roots.

Private User
10/24/2011 at 3:29 AM

Sounds like a fun project, Ines! The PGS' first meeting will be in Manila; but the organization will reach out to the various Filipino communities everywhere. :)

10/24/2011 at 9:49 AM

Perhaps,for those of us here in the U.S., we could create an American branch of the Philippine Genealogical Society..... Christian

Ines, can I assume, since you state: Fil-Ams vs Filipinos, you are located here in the U.S.? Where? I am in the San Francisco Bay Area. Your project is something I can relate to being that history is one of my loves and I was part of the student movement at SFSU in the 60's-70's that helped create Ethnic and Philippine studies. My family is featured in the recently published book, Filipinos of San Francisco. How can I be assistance?

10/24/2011 at 9:50 AM

Mona, shall we try Skype again? I'm getting a better handle of my schedule and iphone.

10/26/2011 at 7:06 AM

Vidda Sorry for the late response I am currently traveling. I'm currently located in Los Angeles California 90036 I would be glad to help any way possible. I'm also trying to schedule a time to be out in the Philippines probably June or July. I am working with the Natives in the Mountains. Trying to preserve my and mothers heritage. Will be out there for about 2 weeks or so.

10/28/2011 at 12:19 PM

@ Christian, which tribe are you with? What a wonderful project you've taken on, to protect your heritage. I met a Canadian anthropologist who lives part time in Sagada a year or so back. She and her husband have been studying the tribes up there for about 30 years.

Showing 1-30 of 48 posts

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