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Hernando Redondo christening: 10 February 1617 Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines father: Hernando Redondo mother: Francisca Juan

Ana Vottinete christening: 4 February 1617 Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines father: Juan Vottinete mother: Ana Lopez

Thomas Gallego christening: 28 February 1617 Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines father: Miguel Gallego mother: Ysavel De Benabente

Maria Sanchez christening: 31 January 1617 Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines father: Juan Sanchez mother: Cathalina Hernandez

Cathalina Macias christening: 4 February 1617 Jaro, Iloilo City, Iloilo, Philippines father: Miguel Macias mother: Maria Hernandez

In 1849, Governor-General Narciso Claveria issued a decree requiring Filipinos to have family names. The decree was accompanied by a Cedulario de Apellidos or a list of surnames. The provincial governors were given discretion to devise their own system of distributing the surnames to families within their jurisdiction. In Capiz, the governor gave the surnames listed under letter “A,” like Acuña, Andrada, and Arnaldo, to families in the capital town of Capiz (now Roxas City). By the time the distribution got to families in Dumalag, it already had names beginning with “F,” like Fegarido, Fajardo, Felarca and Faeldonia. In Iloilo, Governor Felipe Combe ordered that the family names of people should start with the same letter as the initial letter of the name of the town where they lived. Thus, Alimodian residents received surnames starting with “A” – Alonsabe, Alipao, Altura, Alobin, etc. While the families in Guimbal were allotted surnames beginning in “G” – Garin, Gargaritano, Gellada, Gemarino, etc. Tigbauan and Tubungan both begin with “T.” To differentiate the families in the two towns, those from Tubungan were given surnames that commence in “T” followed by a, v.g., Tagamolila, Tanalgo, Tagabe; and those from the bigger town of Tigbauan were allotted names under “T” followed by e, o, u, v.g., Teruel, Tenefrancia, Torres, Torrefranca, Tueres, Tuvida. There are three towns that start with “S.” San Joaquin was given surnames under “S” followed by a and e, like Sanglap, Santacera, Servidad and Serag. San Miguel received names where “S” is followed by a, like Sale, Sanchez, Saclauso, and Salvilla. Sta. Barbara got “S” followed by e, i, o, and u – Senupe, Serisola, Sirilan, Simpas, Somo, Sorongon, Sumagaysay, Superficial, etc. Why do surnames in Leon start with “C” and not with “L”? This happened because in 1849, the town was still named Camando. Camando got surnames that commence with “C” followed by a, v.g., Cajilig, Cabana, Cabado, Calaor, Calugas, etc. Calinog received surnames where “C” is succeeded by e, like Centena, Celeste and Celestial. Cabatuan got “C” followed by a, o, and u; for example, Caspe, Cabrera, Confesor and Cuello. The same is true with Dueñas where surnames begin with “L” – Lagos, Labro, Lamasan, Lagarde, etc. This is so, because Dueñas was still named Laglag at the time the Claveria decree came out. The capital town of the province was formerly spelled Yloylo, so it had families like Ybiernas, Ybañez, Ypolong, and Yrañela. Jaro, the largest town in Iloilo, was allotted surnames under “G,” and “H,” and “J.” To mention some: Gonzaga, Gamboa, Hechanova, Hofileña, Jamandre, and Javellana. Pavia and Leganes were still parts of Jaro in 1849. That is why we find there Gorriceta, Gumban, Gustilo, Hisancha, Herradura, Jaen, Jinon, Jagunap, etc. In 1849, New Lucena and Zarraga were not yet separate municipalities, but were parts of Sta. Barbara. This explains why family names beginning with letter “S” are predominant in these towns until the present. The Cedulario de Apellidos included dozens of Spanish family names, but the bulk consisted of native words that were adapted as surnames. Some of these native names are interesting. In Sta. Barbara, for example, there are such names as Somogod, Sumulong, Sumogat, Sumalacay, Sumilhig, and Sumulat. In Dumangas, there are Demaisip, Doronila, and Demasuay. Some Spanish officials who prepared the list of names in the Cedulario were mischievous. Imagine, they included the Bisayan words lugay and timbol. These words have ugly meanings in Iloilo, but the Lugay and Timbol families are prominent in Central Luzon. On a personal note, I have been puzzled about my family name. At first, I thought it was Portuguese, for there are many Sonzas in Brazil where most surnames are Portuguese. Lately, I learned that the Sonza family name originated in Italy. It is Italian. How it got to Philippines, I have no idea. What I know is that I am from Iloilo, and proud to be Filipino! (Source: Privilege Speech delivered by Hon. Demy P. Sonza, Board Member 2nd District, Iloilo Province on Dec. 1, 2015) ~~~~~~~oo0oo ~~~~~~~ Addendum: The father or the oldest member in each family chose a surname for his or her family in the presence of the barangay head together with another barangay official. However, several groups were exempt from having to choose new surnames: Those possessing a previously adopted surname (whether indigenous or foreign) already on the list; or, if not on the list, not prohibited due to ethnic origin or being too much common, such as; De la Cruz, de Jesus, Del Rosario, De Los Santos, etc. Incidentally, Mandurriao and Molo, two separate towns that were later incorporated as part of Iloilo City adopted the surnames that begins with letter “M” --for Mandurriao; Militante, Misa, Miraflores, Mirasol, Mesa, etc. However, several natives in Molo did not take the Spanish surnames --instead, they adopted native surnames such as; Mabilog, Mabunay, Macairan, Macatiar, Macalalag, Macatual, Magahum, Magbanua, Magalona, Mahinay, Malabor, Malacaman, Maprangala, etc. --dinggol.d~~~

Families of Old Jaro

  • LOPEZ.
  • ROCES. Alejandro Roces migrated from Gijon, Asturias, Spain to the Philippines. He settled in Iloilo where he established a sugar hacienda. Alejandro Roces married Francisca Ortizo and they had eight children: Nicolas, Alejandro, Benito, Roberto, Maria, Carmen, Isabel, and Maria Luz.

The Jalbuenas, Syjucos, Brimos, and Lobregats are all cousins through the Roces de Iloilo line.

[ There was another Alejandro Rozes y Gonzalez from Gijon, Asturias, Spain who settled in Manila and married Florentina de Leon; after she passed away, he married Severa Mauricio y de Jesus. Alejandro Rozes y Gonzalez was the progenitor of the Roces de Manila. ]


pre Spanish Conquest

Datu Pulpulan, father of the Ati chief Marikudo Datu Padojinog Datu Sumakwel Datu Puti

governor, Don Gonzalo Ronquillo

The island was originally called Ananipay, and ruled by the tribe cheiftain Marikudo and his wife Maniwantiwan.


  • Sabobo

After its establishment under Spanish rule, Iloilo received Chinese migrants from the west which worked among the city's industries (the Locsin, Lopez, Jalandoni, Lim and Sy families) and Latinos from across the Pacific (Viceroyalty of New Spain) to man its military fortifications (the Araneta, De Rama and Arroyo families).

On 17 January 1899, an election placed Raymundo Melliza, of a notable family from Molo that was respected by both the natives and foreigners, to office as Mayor.

1,650 native troops under General Martin Delgado

Local government was established in some towns of Iloilo by 11 April 1901. Jose Maria Gay was appointed Alcalde, Matias Hibiernas was teniente alcalde of Iloilo;Jose Yusay was President of Molo; Pablo Borromeo was President of Arevalo; Ruperto Montinola was the lone representative of Jaro, but was not its President; Madurriao's President was Emigdio Mesa. Emilio Magbanua was appointed its police delegate. It was observed by Juan de Leon, judge of the Court of First Instance that there existed a rivalry between the pueblos of Iloilo, Jaro and Molo, which are adjacent to and are only half an hour travel by carriage from each other. Besides, Molo and Jaro are residential pueblos, and Iloilo was the business town for both. It was also recommended that Arevalo be joined to Molo, and La Paz to Jaro. The aggregate population of these territories was at 100,000 in 1901.

Don Emiliano Lizares

The first school for boys in the Philippines was founded in Tigbauan by the famous Jesuit priest and historian, Pedro Chirino in 1592.

The first Filipino to launch the propaganda movement in Spain, Graciano Lopez Jaena of Jaro also known as the greatest orator the Philippines aver produced.

The first Filipino to fly an airplane for passengers, was an Ilonggo – Jose Tinsay in 1925. The first doctor of laws from Oxford University – Melquiades Gamboa. The first doctor of philosophy in political Science – Victorino Diamonon. The first Filipino doctor of Education – Pedro E. Y Rio. The first Filipino woman doctor of Philosophy in Engineering – Josette Garcia Portigo.

In the 13th Century during the height of the Sri-Vishayan Empire's power, a group of Borneans headed by Datu Puti escaped the tyrannical rule of Sultan Makatunaw and sailed northward until they reached Panay. The group was composed of ten chieftains, their wives, and some slaves, and they are collectively known in historic documents as “the ten datus of Borneo." They were Datu Puti and his wife, Pinangpangan; Datu Bangkaya and his wife, Katarung; Datu Paiburong and his wife, Pabulanon; Datu Sumakwel and his wife, Kapinangan; Datu Paduhinog and his wife, Ribongsapaw; Datu Dumangsol and his wife, Kahiling; Datu Lubay, Datu Dumangsil, Datu Dumalogdog, and Datu Balensuela. The Atis, under the rulership of King Marikudo and Queen Maniwangtiwang, obliged to the trade of their flatlands for a saduk (golden hat), a manangyad (long golden necklace), and other assorted items.