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.
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.
WHO IS ATTY. MANUEL B. DEL MAR?
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.
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.
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.
ATTY. MANUEL’S INTERESTING GENEALOGY FROM PARIAN & TINAGO.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
MAIN PHOTO CAPTION
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
Supreme Court law list (from the website) also available at http://lawlist.chanrobles.com
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