The death of a budding Cebuano actor

REST IN PEACE JEPJEP (Jose Lavilles de Paula III) 1958 – 2018.


I fondly call him Sir Jep, he is my friend in the gradually growing Film and TV industry of Cebu. I consider him one of the best film/screen actors in Cebu who always portrayed his screen roles in the most natural way. He is a big lost to the film industry in Cebu, his film & TV projects would have continued to line up if it was not for his sudden death.


Jepjep at the right side doing a wacky pose at the left side is me visualizing the camera angle for the scene of the indie film we are shooting, Diabetiko Film.

Jose aka Jepjep was also a pioneering member of the heritage organization that I created, The History Lovers of Cebu and my colleague in another organization that he leaded, The Cebu Filmmakers and Screen Actors Guild or CFSAG where he is one of the main conveners. CFSAG was created to make the Cebu Film industry more vibrant, a vision that he shared with his close friend, advertising, theater veteran & Professor, Prof. Bien Fernandez.


The pioneering members of History Lovers of Cebu during the 400th fiesta of Parian, both of whom have already passed away. The Late Jepjep and the Late Jhovel Oling who passed away on 2016.

3 Crop

Cebu Filmmakers and Screen Actors Guild (CFSAG) 1st anniversary dinner and get-together with Jepjep and Bien Fernandez.

A descendant of great Ancestors

Jepjep is a descendant of two important people in Cebuano History; he is the grandson of a former Cebu Municipal Councilor, Journalist, Historian, Author and Lawyer, the Late Atty. Gervasio L. Lavilles who in 1931 authored the Ordinance which requested the Lower House of Congress to sponsor a bill converting Cebu into a Chartered City, Congressman Vicente Rama took over the mission in Congress.

Gervasio Lavilles when he was secretary to the Governor

Atty. Gervasio Lavilles when he was the Secretary of Governor Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr.

If Vicente Rama was the father of the Charter of Cebu, I consider Atty. Lavilles as the grandfather of our charter who started it all. Jepjep is also the son of former Cebu Provincial (Capitol) Administrator Evangeline Lavilles de Paula, the daughter of Gervasio. Evangeline is also a historian and Author like her father. The current Vice Governor of Cebu, Agnes A. Magpale was a former student of Evangeline during her Teaching days in the past.

Jepjep passed away on May 24, Thursday and was laid to rest in the columbary of the Sacred heart Parish Capitol on Monday, May 28.

P.S: It took me a long time to compile this photo collage because it came from different sources, External hard drives (Data Storage device), Flash drives (USBs), Laptops and SD Cards from my camera.

4 Crop

During my stint as Talent scout for a Manila movie named Must be Love, that was shot in Cebu starring Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernando. These are the important extras (with much screen exposure) of the movie that I myself handpicked. At the rightmost is Jepjep.

2 Crop

400th fiesta of Parian at the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral house in Parian with the prominent owner Mr. Val Sandiego. At the rightmost side is Jepjep.

Posted in Personal stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

14 similarities between Pres. Sergio Osmeña & Pres. Manuel Quezon

1 Topmost Blog Photo

Commemorative Photo of President Sergio Suico Osmeña from the Malacañang Palace website.

My Article in line with Osmeña day 2017 (Pres. Sergio Osmeña Birthday & Commemoration)

Since its Osmeña day today (the birthday of Cebuano President, Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr) I’m writing an article about him but instead of focusing solely on his life, I’m going to write about his similarities with his political tandem and at a point political rival, President Manuel Quezon.

Sergio Suico Osmeña and Manuel Quezon were 2 of the most prominent elected statesmen of their time. They’re probably the most similar President and Vice President tandem in our history in terms of achievements, so I’m going to write as many similarities as I could remember. They may have different personalities and attitudes but they were equally brilliant.


Historical statesmen Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Quezon

  1. SAME BIRTH YEAR – 1878

Okay let start with the basics, both of them were born on 1878. Sergio Suico Osmeña was born September 9, 1878. He is the son of Juana Suico Osmeña and an unknown father, Sergio’s mother was only 14 years old when she gave birth to him. Manuel Quezon was born on August 19, 1878; he is the son of Spanish mestizo Lucio Quezon and Spanish mestiza Maria Dolores Molina.


The Young Sergio Osmeña Sr. and Manuel Quezon. The Photo of Sergio Osmeña here is taken from the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos – Cebu while the Manuel Quezon photo was from google.


Even though both of them would eventually rule the whole country as President in the capital City of Manila, both Sergio and Manuel were born outside Metro Manila. Sergio was born in the city center of Cebu city near the Spanish Period city hall and San Agustin Church which is presently named Basilica Minore del Santo Niño while Manuel was born in Baler in the district of El Príncipe (now Baler, Aurora) which is outside Metro Manila but within Luzon. Being both from the Provinces, this is the main reason why Sergio and Manuel created the Nacionalista Party to counter the Partido Federalista that was headed by Manila-based politicians.


Sergio was a Chinese mestizo with ancestral roots in Parian Cebu, a Chinese mestizo and genteel community in the City of Cebu. Sergio’s Suico and Osmeña ancestor were both Chinese mestizos and were from Parian. Manuel’s father Lucio Quezon and mother Maria Dolores Molina both had Spanish blood, making Manuel a Spanish Mestizo. When you look at Sergio and Manuel’s pictures, their mestizo looks are very evident.


In this photo, the mestizo features of Sergio Osmeña (Chinese) and Manuel Quezon (Spanish) are very evident. Sergio looks like Chinese statesman and also kinda looks like the Hong Kong native and Movie star Jackie Chan here while Manuel looks like a foreign statesman from Europe.


Sergio’s family (The Suicos & Osmeñas) belonged to the local Principalia (Local Aristocracy) his grandfather Don Severino Osmeña was a Gobernadorcillo (mayor) of Parian, Cebu and the Gremio de Mestizos (Guild of mestizos). The Osmeña clan of Parian Cebu was among the most prominent and wealthiest clans of Cebu even before Sergio became President.

While Manuel belonged to a Spanish mestizo family since both of his parents (as mentioned earlier) were Spanish mestizos, which automatically puts his family at a higher social stratum than the usual native Filipino with no foreign blood (indios) because the people of the Philippines were socially stratified according to their ethnicity during the Spanish colonial era. Manuel’s father, Lucio Quezon was a Sergeant of the Spanish Colonial Army. But the Osmeña clan of Cebu was a far more prominent clan than the Quezons being one of the top families of Visayas and Mindanao combined even before Sergio’s political career.


Sergio served Emilio Aguinaldo during the revolution against America as a war courier and journalist because he was studying law at the University of Santo Tomas but I’m not sure whether he was still studying in UST or have graduated already when he covertly joined the revolution at the sidelines. Manuel joined in the frontlines of the revolution as an ayudante de campo (aide-de-camp) of General Emilio Aguinaldo. Manuel subsequently got promoted to Major.

Just a brief history trivia in connection with this, Sergio’s lawyer uncle Don Guillermo Osmeña (the half brother of his mother) was a teacher of Andres Bonifacio because Don Guillermo owned a school in Manila. Unknown to many, Andres belonged to a well-off family because his father was a high ranking employee of company but unfortunately both of his parents died of illness when he was only 14, forcing him to work at an early age to support his younger siblings. Andres was one of the few Filipinos of his time to speak English because he had worked in an English company.

Manuel Quezon during the Filipino-American War101

The young Manuel Quezon during the revolution – Philippine-American war of the early 1900’s under the behest of General Emilio Aguinaldo.


Coincidentally, Sergio and Manuel were classmates during college at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Manila and also went to the same law school at the University of Santo Tomas. That’s 2 more similarities to add in the list.


Both Sergio and Manuel took the bar exams in 1903. Sergio placed 2nd with an average score 95.66 while Manuel placed 4th in the bar exams. That’s 3 more similarities to add in the list.


Sergio started his political career in April 23, 1904 when he was appointed acting Governor of Cebu when Governor Juan Climaco (one of Sergio’s political mentors) was sent as a member of the Board of Commissioners of the St. Louis Purchase Expedition in the U.S. After Sergio’s stint as acting Governor, he was appointed Provincial Fiscal of Cebu on July 25, 1904.  On February 5, 1906 he was elected Governor of Cebu and subsequently became the Chairman of the first convention of Provincial Governors held in Manila.

He was also elected as member of the First Philippine Assembly (Present day Congress) on July 30, 1907 and was eventually elected as Speaker of the Philippine Assembly on October 16, 1907 making him the highest Filipino official of our nation during that time, second only to the American Governor General and he was only 29 years old during that time. According to the book Life in the old Parian (By Concepcion Gantuangco Briones) Sergio’s wealthy Uncle Don Tomas Osmeña (the half brother of his mother) played an important role in his career as life mentor and treated him like a son since all his children were girls who eventually  became nuns. Don Tomas was one of the wealthiest business owners in Cebu during that time. The present Mayor of Cebu and grandson of Sergio, Tomas Osmeña was probably named after Don Tomas.

Manuel Quezon on the other hand started his political career when he was appointed fiscal/treasurer for Mindoro and subsequently Tayabas. He later became a town councilor and was elected Governor of Tayabas (presently Quezon Province) on 1906; the same year Sergio became Governor of Cebu. On 1907 he became an elected member of the First assembly (Present day Congress) still on the same year that Sergio became a member of the Assembly. Manuel subsequently became Majority floor leader of the Assembly.

Tandem - Speaker Sergio Osmeña, Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, & Senate Pres. Manuel L. Quezon1

When Sergio was still the Speaker of the Assembly with Governor-General Francis Burton Harrison, & Senate Pres. Manuel L. Quezon.


These two prominent politicians from the provinces decided to create the Nacionalista party to counter the manila-based party Partido Federalista despite their rivalry of ideas in the Philippine Assembly since they were both leaders of the Assembly with Sergio as the Speaker, the highest position of the Assembly and Manuel was the Majority Floor leader; there were many times when they would argue in a democratic and parliamentary way since both of them were brimming with great ideas but at times Sergio would just give way to Manuel.

There was a time that the Nacionalista party was split into two factions, one faction that supports Sergio Osmeña’s push for the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Independence Bill, the other faction was against it which was headed by Quezon but regardless of this difference in opinions, they reunited again in the 1935 Presidential elections as a candidate President-Vice President tandem which won by a landslide against Emilio Aguinaldo and Bishop Gregorio Aglipay, the founder of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente (Aglipay Church).


Another photo of the young Sergio Osmeña and Manuel Quezon


On 1922 Sergio was elected Senator representing the 10th Senatorial district while Quezon was elected as Senator earlier on 1916 which elections was made possible when the Jones law was passed which replaced the Philippine Commission with a Philippine Senate. Manuel eventually became the Senate President on the same year and Sergio continued to be the speaker of the Assembly until 1922. They were now the 2 highest leaders of the 2 chambers/houses of the Legislative branch of Government with Sergio heading the Assembly chamber or Congress as Speaker of the Assembly (equivalent to House Speaker today) and Manuel heading the Senate chamber as Senate President.



On 1933, then Senator Sergio and House Speaker Manuel Roxas supported the passage of the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Independence Bill through their OsRox (Osmeña-Roxas) mission in the USA. The group of Senators under the influence of Manuel Quezon (which composed majority of the Senate) rejected the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Independence Bill and instead supported the Tydings-McDuffie Act which was an almost verbatim copy Hare–Hawes–Cutting Bill.

According to some historians, Quezon was not really against the Hare-Hawes bill deep inside but had to oppose it to pave the way to a new and similar bill which was this time, personally overseen by him for publicity purposes to gain more political mileage and capital, outshining Sergio and Manuel Roxas in the process. Nevertheless, Sergio swallowed his pride and supported this endeavor for unity and the achievement of a common goal.

Sergio Osmena habang ikinakampanya ang Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act

Sergio Osmeña campaigning for Hare–Hawes–Cutting Independence Bill when he was still Senator.

Sergio Osmena, Manuel Roxas and Manuel Quezon all young in Washington DC

Sergio Osmeña, Manuel Roxas and Manuel Quezon in Washington D.C, USA to lobby for our long sought after Independence.


As mentioned earlier, Sergio was the head of the Assembly chamber as Speaker of the Assembly on 1907, making him the highest Filipino official of our nation during that time, second only to the American Governor General and he was only 29 years old during that time; while Quezon was the Majority Floor leader of the assembly on the same year and subsequently headed the Senate chamber on 1916 as Senate President until 1935. When Sergio was elected Senator on 1922, he was eventually elected Senate President Pro Tempore on the same year which made him the 2nd highest official of the Senate chamber after Senate President Quezon.

Sergio Osmena as Speaker

Sergio Osmeña as Speaker of the Assembly on 1907


This is the most apparent distinction that they have in common, both of them served as the highest official of the Nation as President of the Philippines. On September 18, 1935, Sergio and Manuel was elected Vice President and President of the Philippine Commonwealth respectively and then reelected on November 11, 1941. Due to the untimely death of Manuel Quezon on August 1, 1944, Sergio rose to the Presidency and took his oath of office as President before the U.S Supreme court associate Justice Robert H. Jackson in Washington D.C because he was in exile due to World War 2. The Commonwealth government of the Philippines was restored with proper ceremonies on February 27, 1945 at the Malacañang Palace still with Sergio Osmeña as President of the Philippine Commonwealth which was also attended by General Douglas MacArthur.

Sergio Osmeña Sr.5 SONA

President Sergio Osmeña’s SONA – State of the Nation Adress

Sergio Osmeña Sr. inducts his first regular Cabinet into office

President Sergio Osmeña Sr. inducts his first regular Cabinet into office. Photo from Hulton Archive.


Sergio is on our 50 peso bill while Manuel is on the 20 peso bill. Being both very important leaders in Philippine history since they were part of our early Presidents, they will be forever remembered and etched in the annals of our History and in our currency!


Upper-half is the new Peso bills. Lower-half is the old ones in the 90’s and early 2000’s.


They may have a lot of similarities but their personalities were very different since Sergio was a humble and selfless person while Quezon had a very cocky personality and at times a selfish attitude. You could read about this in the paragraph that focused on their contributions to our independence. Manuel didn’t support the very first bill on our independence so that he could oversee his own version of the bill which was an almost verbatim copy of the first bill that was developed by Sergio and Manuel Roxas, he made this move for his own selfish interest of gaining Political mileage & capital and to outshine Sergio and Manuel Roxas. Sergio gave way to Manuel for the sake of unity because they had the same objective. And when Manuel was still President, he almost didn’t delegate any powers and responsibilities to his then Vice President Sergio. And even way before Quezon’s death, he already commissioned people to work on his monument and laid out his plans for this in advance. Sergio also made a very noble resolve on focusing on the rebuilding of his country rather than his Presidential campaign despite the upcoming 1946 Presidential elections in which he didn’t campaigned at all. But nobody could argue that both of them were brilliant minded Filipinos who contributed much to our country and had the fervor to be very successful in life, achieving something that only a few Filipinos in history could accomplish, being the highest official/chief executive of a country. I’m very sure, In spite of Quezon’s competitive traits, that he respected Sergio Osmeña a lot even if at times he was his rival in ideas and viewed him as his equal.

Coincidentally Sergio and Manuel is the namesake of my great grandfather and grandfather respectively. Not only that, my great grandpa & grandpa had ties with father and son Sergio Osmeña Senior and his junior Serging respectively. The President and my great grandpa Sergio del Mar (A Clerk of Court) who was only 4 years older than him went to the same school here in Cebu at the Seminario Colegio de San Carlos. Pres. Osmeña studied there from 1889 to 1892 while great grandpa studied there from 1890 to 1897. My grandpa, Atty. Manuel del mar was a friend of the President’s son, Sergio Osmeña Jr. aka Serging who was only a year older than him.

This article is close to my heart because President Sergio Suico Osmeña is a great and noble man that I highly admire being the first Cebuano President of the Philippines. Even before becoming President, he was already the highest elected Filipino official of our country when he became the Speaker of the assembly on 1907 second only to the American Governor General of the Philippines, making history as the first Filipino National government official of our nation, not only that, he was one of the early Presidents of our country. I’m also fascinated with his ancestral roots in Parian, Cebu because my del Mar and Cui ancestors were also from Parian.

Sergio Osmeña - On February 27, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur turned over control of the civil government of the Philippines to President Sergio Osmeña

On February 27, 1945, General Douglas MacArthur turned over control of the civil government of the Philippines to President Sergio Osmeña

Posted in History and Heritage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Grandpa Atty. Manuel del Mar’s 100th birth Anniversary

Today (June 17, 2017) is the 100th Birth Anniversary of my grandfather, Atty. Manuel B. del Mar. As the grandson who resembles him the most in terms of looks and being fond of history, it’s only right for me to write 2 dedicated articles about him and his ancestral roots. I don’t always get to greet you but Happy 100th Birthday Grandpa Manuel.Blog Primary Photo 2

Intro: I never met my grandpa because he died a long time ago, even my own dad couldn’t remember him since he died when he was only 5 years old but I would hear interesting stories about him from our old kin. From what I heard, he was an intelligent person who had an unhealthy addiction to the mah jong game (a traditional Filipino game that we inherited from the Chinese). I also heard that he passed the bar exam with flying colors and was said to be one of the top 20 bar passers despite his meager studying, why meager? because he kept playing mah jong. I surmise that he had a great memory basing on the testimonies that I heard. I use to have an obscure knowledge about his life, so I did some research to fill the void of ignorance and I discovered some information which I will discuss in the article below.



Overview: The son of Sergio Ruiz del Mar, a Clerk of court rooted from Parian. Atty. Manuel Bascon del Mar, fondly called “Maning” was apparently a lawyer and a World War 2 veteran with the rank of Sergeant of the E company 43rd Inf. who was born on June 17, 1917. He fought the war in the mountains of Toledo at Camp no. 11 where he was captured and tortured by the Japanese forces; fortunately he survived the ordeal by convincing the enemy troops that he should live with the help of his eloquence. Maning finished his law studies at the University of Visayas which was near his home in Tinago and passed the bar exams on March 28, 1949 and was said to be part of the Top 20 bar passers. During his studies, he was a consistent honor student and excelled in writing and speaking.

When he was a practicing lawyer, he frequently serviced jeepney operators in acquiring franchises from government offices in Manila because our local LTFRB offices didn’t existed in the 50’s. He would procure their documents and do the legal processes involved, making it possible for more Jeepneys to roam Cebu; giving people more access to cheap transportation. Maning also occasionally goes to Mindanao to represent his clients there and was said to have won most of the cases that he handled. Aside from being a private lawyer, he was also the resident lawyer of the family, assisting his siblings, aunt and uncles with the legal concerns of their properties and whatnot.

Atty. Manuel del Mar with Father Sergio Ruiz del Mar

Left photo: 1951 cropped photo of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar from a family portrait of the Cuis shot at Silver Studio located somewhere in the downtown area of Cebu City. Left Photo: 1945 cropped photo of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar from a family portrait of Sergio and children taken in a reunion in Tejero public school after the end of World War 2. To the left of Atty. Manuel is his father, Sergio Ruiz del Mar.

Maning was also an active and respected community leader in their neighborhood in Bagumbayan, Brgy. Tinago, Cebu City. He organized important events and activities in their neighborhood with the help of his witty 1st cousin, Jose Bascon Delfin CPA, a practicing accountant.

In June 1, 1946 at the age of 28, Maning married his neighbor Milagros N. Cui (my grandma) a scion of the prominent Cui clan of Parian. Milagros is the daughter of businessman Don Mamerto Almario Cui and Spanish-Chinese mestiza Doña Dolores Sindiong Natividad, who was also engaged in businesses and a descendant of the Duterte clan. At one basketball league in 1936 participated by the athletic brothers of Maning: Restituto, Isidro and Emigdio who are known Basketball players in Cebu; the league was sponsored by their neighbor and Maning’s future father-in-law Don Mamerto Cui together with his business partners Don Go Lam (founder of IPI) and Dr. Jose Castillo representing their large Pharmacy in Magallanes street, the Botika Asia which was the best Pharmacy in Cebu during that time.

Mamerto Cui Sr. Family Portrait - resized

1951 Cui family portrait at Silver Studio. Stading at the back left to right: Patrocinio N. Cui -Rosal, Dr. Jose N. Cui, Leonardo N. Cui, Atty. Manuel B. del Mar, Capt. Mamerto N. Cui Jr., Francisco N. Cui, Consuelo N. Cui -Hubahib. 2nd Row Sitting Left to Right: Milagros N. Cui -del Mar, Dolores Natividad Cui, Señora Maria Sindiong Natividad, Don Mamerto A. Cui Sr., Carmen N. Cui -del Castillo and sitting in her lap: Chito Cui del Castillo. 3rd Row Sitting Left to Right (Kids): Mario Cui del Mar, Antonio “Tony” Cui del Mar, Prof. Araceli Cui del Castillo, Engr. Amparo N. Cui -Sison, Hilda Cui del Castillo, Froilan Cui del Castillo.

With text & resized

The Botika Asia basketball team with Atty. Manuel del Mar’s athletic brothers: Restituto, Isidro and Emigdio. They are sponsored by the owners: Don Mamerto Cui, Don Go Lam (founder of IPI) and Dr. Jose Castillo.

Political ambition and untimely death

According to the accounts of his surviving sister-in-law, he had plans to pursue politics as a city councilor of Cebu City to follow the footsteps of his much older 2nd cousins Filomeno, Graciano and Jose Maria del Mar who were former councilors but this ambition never happened because of his untimely death in March 12, 1955 due to a complication of a stomach ulcer (Peritonitis due to ruptured duodena) despite a successful surgical operation at Southern Islands hospital (present day Vicente Sotto hospital), leaving behind 5 young children: Porting, Antonio, Lilia, Mario and Estrella. The complication was said to occur when he drank water at his residence in house no. 6 in corner Mabini and Sikatuna Street, the doctor prohibited him from drinking water but he did not follow. He contracted his severe ulcers from regularly playing mah jong until dawn without eating. His friend Governor Sergio “Serging” Osmeña Jr. (Who would later become Senator) was among his high profile visitors in his wake in our ancestral house in Barangay Tinago. The Governor was said to bring with him a family tree chart that showed the familial connections of the Osmeña clan to the del Mar clan. Serging’s father, President Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr. was a schoolmate of Maning’s own father, his namesake Sergio Ruiz del Mar at the Seminario-Colegio de San Carlos. Sergio del Mar’s much older 1st cousin, Don Santos Rosales del Mar was also a family friend of Pres. Osmeña and a relative of his 1st wife Doña Estefania Rosales Chiong Veloso.


The Children of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar attending a burial of a cousin in Queen City Memorial Gardens, Left to Right: Estrella, Mario, Lilia, Antonio, Porting. Arrange from eldest to youngest from right to left starting with Porting.


Intro: Atty. Manuel B. del Mar’s (aka Maning) ancestry can be traced to the genteel community of Parian (Mexican slang for marketplace) which in the old times was a community of Chinese mestizo clans who were the influential leaders and business owners of Cebu in the Spanish colonial period who enjoyed the Hidalgo titles of Don and Doña. The most prominent Parian clan up to this day is the Osmeña clan which has produced a Philippine President, President Sergio Suico Osmeña Sr., a descendant (grandson) of the influential Gobernadorcillo Don Severino Agaton Osmeña. The 2nd most prominent Parian clan is the Veloso Clan. President Rodrigo Duterte is a scion of both the Veloso and Duterte Clan of Parian. An intermarriage between the 2 most prominent Parian Clans, the Osmeña and Veloso happened with the marriage of Edilberto Osmeña (The son of Pres. Osmeña) and Guadalupe Veloso, the daughter of Don Mariano Veloso who was one of the richest persons in Cebu. The Parian community use to span from the present Parian barangay proper to the areas at the back (Likod district) which includes areas of present barangay Day-as, Zapatera and also extends to the present barangay Tinago.

Colon Street - Dr. Galileo N. Medalle Photo

An old photo of Colon street, the oldest street in the Philippines which is part of Parian, Cebu. The photo is owned by a relative, Dr. Galileo Noel Medalle, a descendant (great grandson) of Don Jacinto Sarmiento del Mar.

Specifics – The prominent immediate relatives

Maning was the son of Sergio Ruiz del Mar (1874-1961), a Clerk of court of the Court of First Instance (Modern day Regional Trial Court) and Carlota Bascon (1885-1935) a tailor who probably had ancestral roots in Talisay. Not long ago I found out from American Historian Dr. Michael Cullinane Ph.D that Maning’s grandparents (the parents of Sergio) were prominent people of Parian, they were: Don Francisco Sarmiento del Mar (1833-1889)and Doña Brigida Codilla Ruiz. Doña Brigida was a scion of both the esteemed Ruiz and Codilla clans of Parian and the niece & heir of Padre Don Patricio Codilla who was a influential priest from Parian in the 1830s while Don Francisco was a Cabeza de Barangay (Barangay head) and a Principal (member of Cebu’s Aristocracy) of Parian just like his father Don Fabian del Mar, a mestizo sangley (Chinese mestizo) and Maning’s great grandpa. Just like his wife, Don Francisco is also a scion of two prominent clans, the Sarmiento and del Mar Clans of Parian.

Del Mars of Bagumbayan

The children of Sergio Ruiz del Mar and Carlota Bascon. Standing left to right: Josefina “Nina” del Mar, Pilar del Mar, Narcisa del Mar-Farrales, and Semiona del Mar-Rogado. Sitting left to right: Isidro del Mar, Emigdio del Mar, SERGIO Ruiz del Mar, ATTY. MANUEL del Mar, and Restituto del Mar.

Don Francisco’s uncle (the brother of his mother) Don Roman Sarmiento was the first non-native Mayor (Gobernadorcillo) of Carcar in the 1840s since he was from Parian. The Sarmientos were also a distinguished clan in Parian. One of the clan’s distinguished members was Padre Don Mariano Pono Sarmiento, a high ranking priest and the much younger 1st cousin of Don Francisco who was born on 1851. Padre Don Mariano was an award winning priest and Vicar Foraneo of the old 3rd district of Cebu which had a different area of jurisdiction back then. The other brothers of Padre Don Mariano were also influential figures in their careers: Don Isabelo P. Sarmiento was a high ranking official (principales) of the gremio de mestizos (Chinese mestizo tax group) and another priest, Padre Don Ruperto P. Sarmiento the celebrated parish priest of Dalaguete town. They are sons of Ciriaco Sarmiento and Martina Pono. Ciriaco is the brother of Doña Celina Leoncia Sarmiento-del Mar, the mother of Don Francisco.

markjosephgct, carcar cebu (8)

The house built by Gobernadorcillo Don Roman Sarmiento on 1859 in Carcar City. The heritage house is called “Balay na Tisa” or the Sarmiento – Osmeña ancestral house. The house is probably the oldest ancestral house in Carcar City. Photo is owned by The Gee City blog from

Sarmiento Priest Brothers & Nephew

A picture of the famed Sarmiento Priest brothers, the 1st cousins of Don Francisco Sarmiento del Mar. The biggest photo is Vicar Padre Don Mariano P Sarmiento. Lower right is Padre Don Ruperto P. Sarmiento. Upper right photo is their niece Padre Telesforo Sarmiento Florido, a descendant of both the del Mar and Sarmiento clan because he is the Son of Don Doreteo del Mar Florido and Doña Teresa Pono Sarmiento (Sister of Fr. Mariano). Don Doreteo is also a first cousin of Don Francisco. Photo from the Reseña Historica del Seminario Colegio de San Carlos de Cebu 1867-1917 Book from UST Miguel de Benavides Library (Website)

Another prominent relative was Don Roque Rosales del Mar who was a politician, businessman and the much older first cousin of Maning’s father Sergio. Don Roque was a high ranking government official of Cebu City and the most politically successful del mar in the Spanish period who held the positions Regidores (City Council) in charge of district no. 2, then got promoted to Segundo Teniente (2nd Lieutenant) the 2nd highest post available to a Filipino in the City, Gobernadorcillo (Mayor) of Parian and the gremio de mestizos (Chinese mestizos tax group) and also started as a Cabeza in his political career. He served the city government with other renowned personalities like Don Victoriano Osmeña (the uncle of Pres. Sergio Suico Osmeña), Don Pedro Cui (Cebu’s wealthiest during the time), Arsenio Climaco who would later become Governor of Cebu and other members of prominent families like the Velez, Veloso and Sanson-Camara. When the Spaniards left Cebu in December 1898, the management of the Cebu City was temporarily & briefly turned over to Don Roque and his illustrious colleagues Don Miguel Logarta (one of the Teachers of Pres. Sergio Osmeña) and Don Pablo Mejia until the Americans took over. Don Roque was born on ca. 1851 and is the son of Cabeza & Principal Don Jacinto Sarmiento del Mar, the older brother of Don Francisco. Another sibling of Don Francisco by the name of Don Claros also had the same occupation as his brothers Don Jacinto and Francisco. Don Roque’s brother, Don Santos R. del Mar was also an important official of the mestizos tax group. It is interesting to note that our first President, Emilio Aguinaldo started also as a Cabeza de Barangay like Don Fabian Francisco, Jacinto, Claros, Roque and Santos. An incumbent Mandanue City Councilor by the name of Jun Cortes del Mar is a great great grandson of Don Roque.

Jun Del Mar for councilor

A descendant of Don Roque R. del Mar (great great grandson) Jun Cortes del Mar, an incumbent City councilor of Mandanue. He is following the footsteps and continuing the legacy of his ancestor Don Roque, his great great grandfather.

Don Roque was very kind to assist in the legal processes of the last will testament of his uncle Don Francisco even if he wasn’t an heir; making it possible for his much younger cousin Sergio, Sergio’s siblings and other relatives (his wife and his surviving siblings) to inherit properties (in Parian, Banilad and Mandanue), money and other possessions after Don Francisco’s death in September 22, 1889 caused by beri beri at the age of 57. It was found out on the dying bed of Don Francisco that he had son out of wedlock in Opon (Lapu Lapu) to a woman name Gregoria, so my great grandpa Sergio had a half brother in Lapu Lapu. This unnamed son was included in his heirs but had a way smaller financial share than his legitimate siblings. One of the last acts of kindness of Don Francisco as a public servant in the same year before being stricken with illness was organizing an effort to stop cholera and hunger in the residents of the Likod district of Parian with the help of an organization of kind hearted and wealthy Cebuanos. Truly, it was in his heart to serve the public. His grandson, Atty. Manuel del Mar was trying to follow their footsteps, the footsteps of his ancestors: Don Francisco (grandpa) and Don Roque (uncle).

Atty. Manuel’s Marriage (A slightly different paragraph from the upper article)

In June 1, 1946 at the age of 28, Maning married his neighbor Milagros N. Cui (my grandma) a scion of the prominent Cui clan of Parian. Milagros is the daughter of businessman Don Mamerto Almario Cui and Spanish-Chinese mestiza Doña Dolores Sindiong Natividad, who was also engaged in businesses and a descendant of the Duterte clan. Don Mamerto was one of the owners of Botika Asia, the best Pharmacy in Cebu during that time which was also owned by his business partners Don Go Lam (founder of IPI) and Dr. Jose Castillo. Doña Dolores was in charge of their apartment business. Maning was not the only del Mar descendant to marry a Cui, his 2nd cousin Rafael Kabalikan, a successful businessman married Modesta Cui. Rafael is the son of Don Roque del Mar out of wedlock.

Grandchildren of Don Mamerto Cui

The grandchildren of Don Mamerto Cui and Doña Dolores Sindiong Natividad. Included in the photo are the 3 children of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar: Estrella Cui del Mar, Mario and Antonio aka Tony. The oldest people in the photo is Don Mamerto and Doña Dolores.

Lola Ging ging

The wife of Atty. Manuel del Mar: Milagros N. Cui-del Mar when she was younger. Amateur photo taken with an old cellphone camera.

At present, Atty. Manuel’s children and grandchildren are successful professionals here and abroad in different fields of expertise which encompasses Advertising, Academe (Education), Accounting, Aviation, Banking, Events and Fashion, Public service, Information Technology, Management, Media, Medicine, Religion (Catholic faith).

The del Mars of the present might be a far cry from the almost forgotten prestige and prominence that they use to enjoy in the very old times (Spanish Colonial period) but some clan members of the present still continue the legacy of their forefathers long ago in the present local & national government and other international & local professional fields so that the torch of the clan may continue burning bright through the years and generations.

This is the direct ancestral line of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar

Chinese mestizo Don Juan Bruno del Mar (ca. 1780’s – 1866) – Maria de los Santos

Don Fabian Antonio del Mar (ca. 1803 – 1866) – Doña Celina Leoncia Sarmiento (Daughter of Antonio Sarmiento & Dorotea Santa Maria)

Don Francisco Fausto S. del Mar (ca. 1833-1889) – Doña Brigida Codilla Ruiz (Daughter of Maximo Ruiz & Fulgencia Codilla)

Sergio R. del Mar (1873-1961) – Carlota Bascon (1889 – 1935).

Atty. Manuel B. del Mar (1917-1955) – Milagros N. Cui (1925-2010) (Daughter of Don Mamerto Cui & Doña Dolores Sindiong Natividad)

Del Mars of Bagumbayan, Tinago

Photo of the other late siblings of Atty. Manuel del Mar in the 70s, with his nephews at the right side, the sons of Restituto del Mar Sr. Restituto and Isidro del Mar were known basketball players. Josefina del Mar was a school principal of Tejero High School and Pilar del Mar was a high ranking employee of Mobil oil company, an American company.


A new life after 100 years

Just days ago my nephew, Herb S. del Mar (the son of my 1st cousin Alex del Mar) celebrated his 1st birthday on June 11, the day before Independence Day. The children’s party had an Independence Day theme.  The coincidental closeness with the birthday of my grandpa made me think that my nephew is somewhat a 4th generation reincarnate of my grandfather. We may lose our beloved ancestors but their genes lives on through us, the descendants. When a life ends, a new one is made which passes on the genes to the next generation and continues the hopes and ambitions of the ones that came before them which in a way continue their life. Who we are and what we are, are shaped by the morals and values passed on by the many generations before us. We might have traits similar to an ancestor 7 generations back if this trait was successfully passed on through the generations without any bypass.

Being fond of history, it would have been nice having long conversations with my grandpa Maning about politics and history (since he was born in a way earlier time) if he was still alive. People may have forgotten you, but one grandson still remembers you.

I neither met my paternal or maternal grandpa because both of my parents grew without them. By the way, whether you believe it or not, my maternal grandpa was an American WW2 soldier making me 25% American or ¼ American but it doesn’t show in my looks because my Chinese roots are more evident.Final


Upper left photo: 1945 cropped photo of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar from a family portrait of Sergio and children taken in a reunion in Tejero public school after the end of World War 2; was probably an evacuation area during WW2. Atty. Manuel’s younger sister, Josefina del Mar was teacher in the said school. She got promoted to principal years later.

Lower left photo: 1951 cropped photo of Atty. Manuel B. del Mar from a family portrait of the Cuis shot at Silver Studio located somewhere in the downtown area of Cebu City. Manuel was the only in-law in the family portrait since his wife Milagros Cui was one of the first to get married of the siblings.

Young photos of me at the right side: Choose these younger photos because I was skinnier back then and it made look more like my grandpa Manuel.


Atty. Manuel del Mar biography sources:

Victoria Gutierrez del Mar testimony (the sister-in-law mentioned)

Accounts of the old neighbors of Atty. Manuel del Mar

Accounts of the children, nephews and nieces of Atty. Manuel del Mar

Marriage documents

Veteran documents

Supreme Court law list (from the website) also available at

Genealogy article Sources:

Manuscript records of Dr. Michael Cullinane – Associate director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

The Parian of Cebu City: A Historical Overview 1565 – 1898 book by Dr. Michael Cullinane

Reseña Historica del Seminario Colegio de San Carlos de Cebu 1867-1917 Book (Review of the History of Seminary College of San Carlos Cebu 1867-1917)

Personalities and Information 1934 book by Alfar Brigido

Genealogy Records of the late Jacinto Cuizon del Mar (1907-1992).

Carcar Families Genealogy blog of the late Peary Aleonar Jr.

Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu Museum

Municipality of Dalaguete website

My Personal records

#lawyer #cebucity #delmarclan #100thbirthday #parianfamilies #parian #delmar #AttyManueldelmar #100years



Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment