PHILIPPINE POLITICS AND ITS GENEOLOGY
Note: This article below was derived from an email received a long time ago. Similar posts can be found as well on some forum sites so I would like to give due credit to the original author, MR. TODD LUCERO SALES for an amazing work. Although I cannot be certain on the veracity of the facts presented and how the article linked prominent political clans, tycoons, celebrities and icons, I still appreciate the writeup. Thus, I am sharing it for your reference.
In 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared the Philippines an independent and sovereign state and became this nation’s first president. A century plus three years later, his cousin, Gloria M. Arroyo (through Escolastica Romero of Cavite City who married into the Macapagal family of Pampanga) rose to the same position when Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada was toppled from power through the event known as People Power II. As it happened, Erap, too, was Gloria’s relative (Aguinaldo, Erap, and Gloria had common ancestors from Cavite City). In fact, in a complicated and Byzantine manner, almost all of our former leaders were related to one another, in one way or the other. Allow me to extrapolate.
Emilio Aguinaldo’s first cousin’s, General Baldomero Aguinaldo, great-grandson was Cesar E.A. Virata, the first and only Prime Minster of the Republic of the Philippines.
The Virata family, through marriage, is connected with the Acuña family. One Acuña married a scion of the Roxas family. The product of this marriage was former President Manuel A. Roxas, whose son Gerry Roxas was a former Senator and whose grandson, Mar Araneta Roxas was a Trade and Industry secretary and currently a Senator of the Republic. Mar Roxas’ mother is Judy Araneta-Roxas whose brother, George, is married to the 1st Miss International, Stella Marquez of Colombia.
President Manuel Roxas had a paramour, Juanita McIlvain. One of the granddaughters of Pres. Roxas and Ms. McIlvain was 1973 Miss Universe Margarita “Margie” Moran.
President Manuel Roxas’ wife, Trinidad de Leon (a Miss Philippines-Carnival Queen), was the daughter of former Senator Ceferino de Leon. Sen. De Leon’s brother, Jose, married Dona Narcisa “Sisang” Buencamino, one of the most successful movie magnates in her time. Narcisa’s first cousin’s son was Philip Buencamino, who married Nene Quezon, daughter of President Manuel Luis Quezon.
Further, another scion of the Roxas family was Margarita Roxas, whose marriage to Antonio de Ayala produced Trinidad de Ayala. Trinidad later married Jacobo Zobel and started the legendary Zobel De Ayala family.
Some of the minor branches of the Zobel de Ayala family married into the other aristocratic families of Manila. The Aranetas, Ayalas, Elizaldes, Prietos, and more. Through the Roxas family’s connection with the Aranetas, former Tourism Secretary and 1965 Miss International Gemma Cruz-Araneta is also related to Pres. Roxas since the grandmother of her husband Tonypet Araneta is Carmen Roxas Zaragoza (a cousin of President Roxas and a great aunt of Senator Mar Roxas).
It must also be remembered that Gemma Cruz’s paternal great-grandmother was Dona Maria Rizal, the sister of our national hero, Jose P. Rizal.
Gemma Cruz’s mother, Carmen, remarried Mr. Angel Nakpil, the nephew of Julio Nakpil, composer of a version of the Philippine National Anthem, who in turn was the husband of Gregoria De Jesus, the “Muse of the Katipunan.”
Gregoria de Jesus was also the widow of Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio. Similarly, two of Gemma’s first cousins, Paz and Maria Cruz Banaad, married Bienvenido and Roberto Laurel, respectively, relatives of former Vice-President Salvador “Doy” Laurel, son of President Jose P. Laurel.
Three branches of the Araneta family further married presidential children: the first one being Juan Miguel Arroyo, whose mother is an Araneta. He married then Ms. Gloria M. Macapagal, daughter of President Diosdado Macapagal. Of course, she is now the country’s Chief Executive. The second Araneta to marry a presidential child was Greggy Araneta who married Irene Romualdez Marcos, the youngest child of President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos and Miss Manila Imelda Romualdez. The Araneta-Marcos marriage further stretches our already complicated family connections because Congressman (and former Governor) Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. is married to New York educated lawyer Mary Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos who is a great grandniece of business tycoon J. Amado Araneta.
A maternal grandfather of Marcos, Don Fructuoso Edralin, was a cousin of Gen. Antonio Luna and his brother the Filipino national artist, Juan Luna. Juan Luna in turn married Paz Pardo de Tavera, of a rich and powerful Spanish-Filipino family.
Ferdinand Marcos’ grandfather’s sister, Crispina Marcos, married Hilario Valdez. Their daughter, Angela Valdez, married Ambassador Narciso Ramos, father of Fidel V. Ramos, also a President of the Republic. Narciso Ramos, after becoming a widower, married Alfonsita Lucero, whose father’s maternal family, the Birondos of Argao, Cebu, married into the Almendras family of Cebu and Davao.
Alfonsita’s fourth cousin, William Birondo, married Kukit Tecala, whose uncle, Pedro Tecala Sr., married Sofronia Almendras. Two of Sofronia’s siblings married into political families. Her brother, Paulo Almendras, married Elisea Durano, the daughter of Demetrio Durano and progenitor of the Durano family that has ruled Danao and Sogod, Cebu for many years. A prominent member of the Durano family is Ace Durano, a former representative and now Tourism Secretary.
Another cousin of Alfonsita, Dr. Procopio Lucero, Jr., married Gliseria Gullas, sister of former Cebu Governor Jose Eduardo Gullas.
Still another fourth cousin of Alfonsita is Hilario Davide, Sr., whose son is Hilario G. Davide, Jr., a former Chief Justice of the Philippine Supreme Court.
A son of Paulo was former Senator Alejandro Almendras, whose marriage to a Bendigo of Davao City connected them to the ruling families of Davao: the Banggoys, Palma Gils, Lizadas, Nograleses and others. Speaker Prospero “Boy” Nograles from Davao City is a cousin. Senator Almendras’ brother, Josefino, married Rosita Dimataga, the sister of Leonila Dimataga, who in turn was the wife of President Carlos P. Garcia.
Senator Almendras’ 2nd wife is Baby Rodriguez (daughter of Senate President Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez). Baby Rodriguez was married to Senator Genaro Magsaysay brother of President Ramon Magsaysay. It is interesting to note that Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez was the longest serving Senate President. He was unceremoniously unseated as Senate President in 1963 by Ferdinand Marcos by 1 vote. The last crucial vote for Marcos was the vote of Senator Almendras. Unbeknownst to Senator Almendras at that time, he was actually voting against a man who was to become his future father-in-law!!!
One of Sofronia Almendras’ sisters was married to an Osmeña, thus linking them to the family of President Sergio Osmeña. Most of President Osmeña’s male descendants have become senator, governor, mayor, Representative, and councilor at various points in time and his family remains the premier political dynasty of Cebu: Tomas is the current mayor of Cebu City.
President Osmeña’s half-sister was Doña Modesto Singson-Gaisano, the matriarch of the affluent Gaisano family of Cebu City. Modesta was a progeny of Don Pedro Gotiaoco, whose other descendants include Atty. Agusto Go, President of the University of Cebu and Honorary South Korean Consul; John Gokongwei, Jr., a great-grandson of Don Pedro Gotiaoco and the owner of Cebu Pacific, Robinson’s Mall, JG Summit, and many more; and the Sy-Gaisano family, who operate chains of shopping malls all over Visayas and Mindanao. A grandson of the brother of Don Pedro is Andrew Gotianun, who owns FILINVEST Group and East West Bank.
Imelda Romualdez’s marriage to Marcos also brought in many famous personalities. Imelda’s daughter, Imee, a former member of the House of Representatives, married Tommy La’O Manotoc, whose mother was the sister of Chita La’O Lopez wife of Eugenio “Geny” Lopez (chairman of ABS-CBN and a man imprisoned by Marcos). This makes Tommy Manotoc the 1st cousin of Gabby Lopez (present head of ABS-CBN) thereby making Gabby Lopez the uncle of Borgy Marcos Manotoc. Another Lopez, Beaver, married Jackie Estrada, daughter of Pres. Erap Estrada. As stated earlier, Eugenio “Geny” Lopez was imprisoned by Marcos even if his uncle, Fernando Lopez (grandfather of Celine), was Marcos’ Vice-President. Geny Lopez’s cellmate in prison was Senator Sergio “Serge” Osmena III. Serge Osmena III is the husband of Bettina Lopez — the granddaughter of Marcos’ Vice President Fernando Lopez and the legitimate daughter of Albertito Lopez.
Imelda Romualdez Marcos’ niece, Marean Romualdez, daughter of her brother Gov. Alfredo Romualdez, married Thomas Pompidou, the grandson of the French President Georges Pompidou. Imelda’s nephew, Philip Romualdez (son of her other brother Ambassador Benjamin “Kokoy” Romualdez) is married to Sandy R. Prieto – chairman of the Philippine Inquirer.
Imelda’s first cousin, House Speaker Daniel Romualdez, married Pacita Gueco of Tarlac. In an ironic twist of fate, Pacita Gueco happened to be the first cousin of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. In fact, Imelda and Ninoy used to date after they were introduced to each other by Pacita Gueco-Romualdez.
Of course, the Aquinos themselves have allied with many political families, and a scion of the Aquino clan was Senator Eva Estrada Kalaw, one of the Philippines’ very first female senators.
Ninoy’s marriage to the heiress Corazon “Cory” Cojuanco also allied his family to another political dynasty. Corazon Aquino, after her husband’s death in 1983, later became the country’s first female Chief Executive. Her maternal family, the Sumulongs, have also produced several lawmakers. The Cojuangco family, on the other hand, owns one of the oldest-existing haciendas in the country today, and the Cojuangcos control many of the country’s business enterprises. Cory Aquino’s eldest brother and the acknowledged patriarch of the clan, Don Pedro Cojuangco, is married to Sari Cacho-Cojuangco. Sari Cojuangco’s sister Maria Milagros Cacho-Araneta is the mother of Liza Araneta-Marcos (Bongbong Marcos’ wife). In fact, Liza Araneta-Marcos’ sister was one the personal secretaries of Cory Aquino when she was President!
Of course, Cory Aquino’s cousin, business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco is widely acknowledged as Ferdinand Marcos’ most trusted man. In an ironic twist of fate, in the elections of 1992, Cory Aquino and her followers supported Fidel Ramos who was Marcos’ cousin while most Marcos loyalists supported Danding Cojuangco who was Cory Aquino’s cousin!
Danding Cojuangco’s son, Charlie, is the widower of former Miss Philippines, the late Rio Diaz, a sister of 1969 Miss Universe Gloria Diaz. Moreover, Danding Cojuangco’s sister, Isabel Cojuangco, is the widow of Emilio Aguinaldo Suntay – grandson and namesake of the 1st Philippine President!
Cory’s niece, equestrienne Mikee Cojuangco, married Dodot Jaworski, son of basketball legend and Sen. Robert Jaworski. Senator Jaworski, on the other hand, married Susan Bautista Revilla, daughter of Sen. Ramon Revilla Sr., whose son Bong Revilla was a former governor and Senator. This connection, no doubt, extends this family tree to most of the country’s movie personalities.
Clearly, this Byzantine illustration of family connection is proof of the intricacies of Philippine politics. In this short presentation we have already linked no less than 13 of our 14 Presidents, one Prime Minister, 6 beauty title winners, several senators and many other personalities, political or otherwise. We have even connected our “Philippine Family Tree” to a former French President! Imagine what further research into the other family trees could reveal?
In the Philippines, politics, business, and beauty are family affairs!